Brief: Volleyball drops three matches at Long Beach St. tournament

Although the weekend ended with three losses, the volleyball team completed yet another season with a winning record. For the fifth-straight season under head coach Erin Appleman, the Bulldogs won at least 16 of their matches.

The Elis (16-10, 10-4 Ivy) first faced off against Long Beach State (25-6) and lost 26-30, 14-30, 16-30 to the hosts of the Baden Thanksgiving Classic in Long Beach, Calif. The first game proved to be the most competitive, but the 49ers shut down the Bulldogs’ offense throughout the match. Outside hitter Julia Mailander ’10 smacked down the most kills for the squad with nine.

In the second match of the tournament, Yale played No. 8 Florida (27-2) in a tough four-game loss. The Elis won the first game 30-27 before falling to the Gators for the following three games — 23-30, 17-30, 18-30. Outside hitter Alexis Crusey ’10 posted a double-double in the match with 14 kills and a match-high 18 digs. Setter Ally Mendenhall ’09 also scored a double-double with 33 assists and 12 digs.

For their last match of the season, the Bulldogs battled for five games against UC Santa Barbara (13-18). The Gauchos ended up on top, 30-20, 25-30, 20-30, 30-28, 15-13. The match went back and forth between the two teams with 28 ties and nine lead changes. Crusey posted her third 20-20 double-double of the season with a match-high 21 kills and 24 digs. Mailander, middle blocker Laurel Johnson ’10 and middle blocker Kristen Wilk ’09 all knocked down at least 15 kills for the team.

Although the team finished the weekend 0-3, the season brought experience and some impressive individual performances. Libero Kelly Ozurovich ’11 ended the season with 449 digs in total, the second-highest season total in Yale’s history. Crusey slammed down over 300 kills in back-to-back seasons and Mendenhall’s 1,087 season assists is the fifth-highest in school history for a single season.

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