After convincingly snapping a two match losing streak against Cornell (4–12, 2–4 Ivy) and Columbia (11–5,3–3) last weekend, the volleyball team (10–7, 4–2) is preparing for two important games this upcoming weekend against Harvard (5–13, 2–4) and Dartmouth (12–5, 3–3).
“Our game plan has been the same since the beginning,” Kelly Ozurovich ’11 said. “We are working harder to get better each and every day without radically changing our strategy”
Despite a sixth place ranking in the Ancient Eight, Harvard has shown that they can keep up with the top teams, but finishing has been a problem for the Crimson. The team faced Princeton last week and took a 2–1 set lead, but the Tigers came back to win two straight games for the match. The Elis lost 3–1 to the Tiger 3–1 earlier in the season.
Harvard is lead by Taylor Docter with 131 kills this season and Beth Kinsella who has 318 assists.
Dartmouth sits in fourth place and is one spot below Yale. Last weekend, they fell to Penn in a close five set battle. They were subsequently beaten by Princeton in straight sets last Saturday.
Amber Bryant, who is fifth in the nation with 5.73 digs per set, has been strong for the Big Green, while Madeline Baird has notched double digit kills in every contest thus far with the exception of one.
While the Bulldgs sit in third place in the conference, Dartmouth and Columbia are close behind, both with 3–3 records, and a loss could cause that ranking to drop. Moreover, in the past three years, the teams that have won the Ivy League Championship only lost a maximum of two games. The Bulldogs have already dropped two this season.
“There is a lot of pressure for every team and we need to win on the road,” Ozurovich said. “If we can keep winning, we will be right there with them.”
The small group, with only 10 active players after injuries, has had many breakout performances thus far this season.
Ozurovich set an all-time dig mark record at Yale early in the season with 1,414 digs. She and others continue to lead the team alongside a young group.
The Bulldogs have developed depth with the addition of Erica Reetz ’14 and Kendall Polan ’14 who have made a big impact on the team this season. Both players have won the Ivy League Rookie title twice, and Reetz was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Long Island Invitational.
“We are young,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “The freshmen and sophomores are doing a great job.”
Play begins at Harvard at 7 p.m. while Saturday’s game at Dartmouth is slated for 5 p.m.