Although the volleyball team lost their first game of the season Saturday, they quickly recovered to defeat their next opponents on the same day.
The Bulldogs (5–1) swept the New Jersey Institute of Technology (1–6) on Friday before losing to Georgetown (5–5) in four sets Saturday afternoon. The Elis, though, bounced back to sweep Long Island University (1–8) to end the Long Island Tournament with two wins and a loss.
“There was some nice growth from our players this weekend,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “We did have our ups and downs though.”
The Elis started the weekend with a sweep of the Highlanders by set scores of 25–18, 25–16, and 25–21.
Yale struggled early in the game though, falling behind 12–11 in the first set before battling back with a 13–7 spurt to win the set.
The Bulldogs finished the second set strongly as well, scoring 10 of the last 15 points of the frame. Opposite hitter Bridget Hearst ’12, who had four kills during the run, finished the second set off a pass from setter Kendall Polan ’14.
In the third set, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 17–7 lead and did not relinquish it en route to victory.
Polan had 42 assists in the match while Hearst and outside hitter Erica Reetz ’14 combined for 25 kills.
“They [Polan and Reetz] have been able to smoothly fill important roles this season as freshmen,” Appleman said.
Libero and captain Kelly Ozurovich ’11 contributed a season-high 27 digs to anchor the defense.
The next day the Blue resumed play once again against Georgetown. The Hoyas handed the Elis their first loss of the season in four sets (25–20, 22–25, 17–25, 16–25).
In the first set, the Elis closed out the frame with a 7–0 run to win the set. It would be the only set win of the match for the Bulldogs, as Georgetown won the next three.
With the score tied at 21 in the second set, the Hoyas won four of the next five points to take the set.
“We probably should have won the second set,” Appleman said. “We had some missed opportunities.”
A kill from Reetz gave Yale a 11–10 lead in the middle of the third set, but Georgetown scored eight of the next nine points to ensure a set victory. The final set was determined by a critical 12–6 Hoya run that sealed the match.
Middle blocker Haley Wessels ’13 led the Elis with 12 kills while Hearst contributed 10 kills.
“We had a rough time controlling the pace of the Georgetown game,” outside hitter Katie Cordell ’12 said. “The game got away from us, but we were able to learn from it and forget about it for the Long Island match later that day.”
Despite the loss, it would only take the Bulldogs a few hours to recover, as the team suited up later that afternoon and dominated the Long Island Blackbirds (25–15, 25–12, 25–22).
Yale won the first two sets handily, but the Blackbirds fought back in the third set as Yale led 14–13. The Elis, however, followed with three straight kills from middle blocker Taylor Cramm ’12, Hearst, and Cordell.
Wessels, who had a team-high 12 kills, led a balanced scoring attack for the Blue, which included contributions from Reetz (10 kills), Hearst (8 kills), Cordell (8 kills), and Cramm (7 kills). Ozurovich and Cordell combined for 38 digs to lead the defense.
“I think it shows how strong we are as a team that we were able to bounce back that same day,” Cordell said.
The Bulldogs will travel to Fullerton, California next weekend when they take on Liberty, West Virginia, and Cal St. Fullerton.
“We will be facing some formidable opponents, but we are ready for the challenge,” Appleman said.