The volleyball team made the most of home court advantage this weekend, sweeping Manhattan, Sacred Heart and Wagner at the Courtyard by Marriott Classic held at the John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday and Saturday.
Yale (5-3) concluded tournament play Saturday evening, defeating the Jaspers 3-0 (30-26, 30-25, 30-25) after two strong wins over Wagner 3-0 (30-9, 30-20, 30-23) and Sacred Heart 3-0 (30-13, 30-18, 30-19) the previous night. Manhattan took second in the tournament, while the Pioneers took home the bronze.
Yale assistant coach Kevin Laseau said while the Bulldogs walked away with three wins on the weekend, they are not completely clicking on all cylinders just yet.
“A win is a win, but we are not completely satisfied with how we went about it,” Laseau said. “We were treading water this weekend, if you will — we played well enough to get a lead and keep it, but we seemed to just hang on instead of really burying the other teams.”
The Elis’ most exciting match of the tournament came in the finals against the Jaspers. After getting off to a slow start in the first game, the Bulldogs picked up the pace after some strong kills from outside hitter Shannon Farrell ’07.
Captain Jana Freeman ’05 continued to punish the Manhattan front line with two more kills, helping the Elis pull away for the win. Games two and three saw back and forth action, as the Jaspers hung with the Bulldogs, even forcing the Bulldogs to play from behind in one of those games.
In their second match at the Courtyard by Marriott Classic, the Bulldogs saw some strong performances from their front line. Outside hitter Nicole Perkins ’08 tallied a career-high nine kills and registered a .348 hitting percentage, while Farrell led the Elis with 10 kills of her own.
“Nicole [Perkins] played really well this weekend, and it was good to see her use this opportunity to show us what she is capable of,” Becker said. “I am excited to see what she can do for us in the future.”
Yale named three players to the All-Tournament team, including Freeman, who recorded 14 kills and 14 digs against Manhattan to mark her fourth double-double of the season.
“[Freeman] continues to be a strong offensive threat for us,” Laseau said. “What we need to see from her now is some more finesse to mix in with her power.”
Also selected to the All-Tournament team were setter Jacqueline Becker ’06 and outside hitter Anja Perlebach ’07. Becker collected 99 assists and six service aces over the three match stretch while Perlebach notched a team high 20 digs at the tournament.
“Anja [Perlebach] and Jackie [Becker] both had strong tournaments,” Freeman said. “Anja continues to be a huge factor in our defense, and Jackie has done a good job this season of mixing it up on offense and getting a lot of people some really good looks at the net.”
With non-conference play behind them, the Elis are now looking ahead to the Ivy part of their season, which kicks off on the road Friday against Brown.
“This week we are going to focus on getting more solid as a unit,” Laseau said. “We have had some great moments already at this point, but the devil’s in the details. We need to focus on the little things and put together an entire match of really solid play, which is what we will work on before we face Brown on Friday.”