VOLLEYBALL | Bulldogs drop straight sets to Albany

Kendall Polan ’14 led the volleyball team with 34 assists in the Bulldogs’ loss on Wednesday to Albany.
Kendall Polan ’14 led the volleyball team with 34 assists in the Bulldogs’ loss on Wednesday to Albany. Photo by Max de la Bruyere.

The volleyball team traveled to Albany on Wednesday night, dropping the match to the Great Danes in straight sets, 3–0. In a match that was more highly contested than the final line might indicate, the Bulldogs finished their nonconference schedule and will now enter Ivy League play at 6–4, similar to last year’s 6–5 record outside of the Ivy League.

After capturing the Yale Classic last weekend, the Elis looked to build a four-match win streak against Albany and go into Saturday’s matchup with Brown on a roll. It was not to be, however, as Yale struggled to play consistently throughout the three sets and was unable to stage a comeback after losing a prolonged first set.

“I think we’re still finding our best lineup and still finding out who’s going to be good every night,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “Right now, different players are playing well every night.”

The first set was one of the season’s most exciting for the Bulldogs. They traded points with the Great Danes throughout the set but ultimately fell short, 33–31.

Facing a 24–21 deficit late in the set, the Bulldogs fought back behind four straight kills from Mollie Rogers ’15, taking a 25–24 lead and putting themselves one step away from taking the first set.

But after taking a time-out, Albany came alive as Yale failed to capitalize on set points at 26–25 and 27–26. Albany would go on to win the set, 33–31.

After a trying first set the Bulldogs came out flat in the second, allowing Albany to jump out to a 10–2 lead.

“[The first set] was exhausting but it was definitely a good experience,” McHaney Carter ’14 said. “I don’t think we let our tiredness get in the way in the second set.”

The Elis would go on to drop the set 25–13 as the Great Danes kept them off guard with high-quality services.

“They served very tough, that was one thing that really contributed to their win,” Rogers said.

The Bulldogs would rebound in the third set, however, taking an early 8–4 lead. With Albany up 22–17 the Elis surged, going on a 6-1 run to tie the score up at 23. But the Yale comeback would run out of fuel, as the Great Danes went on to take the set, 29–27, and the match, three sets to none.

Allie Frappier ’15 led the way with 10 kills and 13 digs while Kendall Polan ’14 had a team–high 34 assists and Erica Reetz ’14 contributed a team–high 17 digs.

The Bulldogs will play against Brown on Saturday in their first Ivy League match of the season.

The Bears are led by freshman sensation Maddie Lord, who is averaging nearly 16 kills per match on the season and was a crosstown rival of Rogers in high school.

“[Lord] went to Bishop’s, which was my high school’s rival in San Diego,” Rogers said. “They are both private schools in San Diego and are big rivals. Also, we played on the same club volleyball team. She’s a powerful hitter and has a strong arm. She has a good jump serve, a topspin serve. We need to work on our blocking and our services to contain her.”

The Elis spent most of the week preparing for Albany, however, and are focusing on their game going into the Brown match.

“We’ve been watching film, but we haven’t done anything different this week for Brown,” Appleman said. “I’m more worried about what we’re doing than our opponent. We need to play consistently. We’re very young and very up and down.”

The Bulldogs and the Bears face off Saturday at 4 p.m. in the John J. Lee Ampitheater in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

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