Volleyball limping to finish line

The volleyball team — which started its Ivy season with seven consecutive losses — had a three game winning streak snapped this past weekend.

Yale (9-12, 3-9) lost a pair of league matches, suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Cornell (15-9, 7-5 Ivy) Friday and a 3-1 loss to Columbia (12-9, 6-6) Saturday.

Initially, the match with Columbia started well for the Bulldogs. But after a first game in which the Elis dominated, they could not maintain their momentum.

The Lions had a 0.174 attack percentage and made nine blocks in the match, and Yale, following a tough loss Friday, was unable to muster the skills to be competitive. The Bulldogs had an attack percentage of just 0.142 and made only four blocks in the match.

“Both matches were really up and down,” Alison Lungstrum ’04 said. “[Columbia] had a couple of strong hitters that got a few kills early in the second game, and that might have affected us.”

Columbia’s comeback resulted more from Yale’s own downturn than anything the Lions did in the last three games. The Lions’ 0.186 attack percentage in the first game was higher than that for any other frame. The Yale team, however, could not harness its own energy.

“I don’t think we had the competitive edge to play,” Dana Loberg ’03 said.

The Bulldogs, in jumping out to their 1-0 lead, posted a 0.359 attack percentage in the first game. By the third game, though, the Bulldogs had lost this drive — they had a negative attack percentage of 0.029.

Several Yale players were competitive throughout the match, such as Loberg — who had 17 kills and 17 digs — and Kelly McAlearney ’05 — who made 16 kills and 14 digs.

Yale’s lack of motivation at Columbia might have been caused by its disappointing loss to Cornell at Newman Arena the previous day. The Bulldogs fought hard but were unable to top the Big Red.

The whole match was a tug of war with Yale taking the first and third games, 30-26 and 30-22, and Cornell securing the second and fourth, 30-22 and 30-21. With the whole match on the line in the fifth, Cornell was able to pull ahead of Yale, 15-10.

For Cornell, the match snapped a four game losing streak. For Yale, it ended a three game winning streak that began with Yale’s win over Cornell three weeks ago.

The roughshod Big Red team that Yale upset to earn its first Ivy win of the season was not the same team that came out against the Bulldogs Friday night. Cornell played solid volleyball throughout the match, with a final attack percentage of 0.355.

Yale’s performance, though much improved from Friday, could not compete with Cornell’s impressive play.

“Everyone just played mediocre,” Loberg said. “I can’t think of anything that went wrong. I guess I just can’t think of one thing that went right either.”

Despite McAlearney’s 15 kills and captain Carissa Abbott’s ’02 12 kills and seven blocks, the Yale team had only eight blocks and 61 kills in all. Cornell had 11 blocks and 82 kills.

“We were just really flat,” Lungstrum said. “Maybe from the long drive up.”

The Bulldogs next chance for an Ivy win will be Saturday’s match against the University of Pennsylvania at home.


  • blahblahblah

    Ok, ok the points the author made in this article were valid, I guess. But how is it ok to say that Yale guys are ugly and socially maladjusted? What if a guy had wrote that about Yale girls? Or what if even a girl had said that about other girls? That would never see the light of day. If you want to say guys are hideous, you can say that. But you should be prepared when people want to say the same thing right back at you.