VOLLEYBALL | Bulldogs record another sweep

With its second weekend sweep of the season, the Yale volleyball team raged past Hofstra, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Seton Hall this weekend while Elis set several personal best records.

Play opened Friday with an evening bout with Hofstra at the Seton Hall Invitational and continued on Saturday with a double-header against NJIT (9–4) and Seton Hall.

“It was great to see our team really click and play well together,” outside hitter Laurel Johnson ’10 said. “I’m excited for us to keep getting better as the season progresses.”

Outside hitter Cat Dailey ’10 hit 13 kills, including her career 500th, plus a season-high of 15 digs during the match against Hofstra (2–10). Setter Kerry Clavadetscher ’13 hit the first double-double of her college career with 32 assists and 10 digs.

Hofstra stole an early lead that the Elis (7–1) quickly extinguished. After locking the score at 8–8, the Elis ran ahead to a 18–13 lead and won 25–17.

In the second set, the Pride started off well and ran the score to 8–4 before the Bulldogs took a time-out. Afterwards, an intense duel raged to a 23–23 tie before the Elis salvaged a 26–24 win.

The third set was also back and forth with the Pride taking the lead early on to be traded to the Elis midway through the set. With a four-point lead going into the final stretch, the Bulldogs pulled off a 25–21 victory.

Against NJIT, the Bulldogs outblocked their opponent, 8–1, and hit .210 (41–11–143) and held their opponent to a .079 (35–23–151).

Johnson and Dailey lead the Elis with 12 kills apiece. Dailey took her second consecutive double-double with an additional 10 digs during the match. Opposite hitter Bridget Hearst ’12 and middle blocker Haley Wessels ’13 recorded seven and five kills, respectively. Libero Kelly Ozurovich ’11 finished with 28 digs including the 900th in her career.

From serve one, there was no stopping the Elis. The team took an immediate 7–1 lead before the Highlanders put up a fight, and although they tied the score at 16–16, they were never able to gain that critical lead point and fell 25–23.

“I think Laurel Johnson played extremely well,” Ozurovich said. “That was huge for us, getting Laurel and Kerry connected.”

The Highlanders took the first lead in the second set, but the Bulldogs returned in full force for a 25–18 win. The third set was a run-away for the Elis at 25–17.

At the South Orange, N.J., tournament, the Elis fought host Seton Hall last. In that match, Cat Dailey ’10 made her third double-double of the weekend with 10 kills and 13 digs on her way to the All-Tournament Most Valuable Player distinction.

Outside hitter Alexis Crusey ’10 passed the 1,000 dig mark with 1,009 career digs to now be ranked 10th in total digs in Yale history. She also currently ranks eighth in career kills at Yale with 1,091. She is the fifth player to make the top-ten of both lists.

“It’s a really big accomplishment for her,” Ozurovich said of her teammate. “Not only to play your best for your team, but to be the best for teams throughout history. It’s something that we all strive for — to beat a team record.”

The first set was split until the Elis rallied with an ace by Cordell and the Pirates never found their footing to fall, 25–16.

In the second set each team took the lead in the early stages of play, but with consecutive aces by Dailey, the Bulldogs soon developed a deep cushion and took the match, 25–17.

Refusing to roll over in the third set despite earlier losses, the Pirates kept the score dead even through 7–7, until the Bulldogs had a six-point rally. After lengthening the rally to a 13–3 scoring ratio, the Elis stole the set 25–13.

“I think we’re going to be excited to play at home,” Ozurovich added. “Seton Hall had a big crowd, and we’re ready to play with ours.”

Next weekend, the team returns to New Haven for its last out-of-conference play before taking on the Ivy League. The Elis will face Central Connecticut State at 7 p.m. Friday and Quinnipiac and Binghamton at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.

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