VOLLEYBALL | Bulldogs take to the road

The volleyball team will take its perfect Ivy League record on the road this weekend for matches against Princeton and Penn.

After straight set wins over Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend, the Bulldogs have only dropped two sets in five Ivy League matches this season. But the Bulldogs (11–4, 5–0) will face new challenges as they leave behind the comforts of the home crowd and theirshiny 10–1 record in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

“Things are tough on the road because we’re not playing in our gym, we don’t have our home crowd and we have to deal with other teams’ crowds,” Mollie Rogers ’15 said.

Much of theirdominance last weekendcouldbe attributed to captain Taylor Cramm ’12, who anchored Yale and was named Ivy League Player of the Week. This is the second consecutive week a Bulldog has earned the title, with setter Kendall Polan ’14 taking home the honors last week.

Cramm contributed in nearly every stat category, notching 14 kills, six digs, five block assists, two solo blocks and one assist in the matches against Dartmouth and Harvard. She committed no hitting errors and recorded an impeccable .538 hitting percentage in the two matches.

“Taylor has really made the most of her senior year,” head coach Erin Appleman saidin a press release. “She works really hard, and it’s nice to see it rewarded with Player of the Week honors.”

Yale hopes to stay hot on Friday night as it travels to Princeton (11–6, 4–1) for its first match of the weekend. The Tigers are coming off a 1–1 weekend that included a loss to Columbia in straight sets and a victory over Cornell. The Tigers are led by senior outside hitter Cathryn Quinn who is third in the Ivy League in kills per set. Within that category, she trails only Brown’s Maddie Lord and Dartmouth’s Madeline Baird, two players that the Bulldogs have successfully contained this season.

In their two matches against Princeton last season, the Elis took the home match but struggled at Princeton, falling 3–1.

The Bulldogs will then head an hour down I-95 for a Saturday match against the Penn Quakers (6–9, 2–3). After winning the Ivy League title in 2009 and sharing it with Yale in 2010, the Quakers have struggled this season, already dropping more Ivy League matches than they did in all of last season. All three losses have been close for Penn, falling 2-3 to Princeton, Harvard and, most recently, Columbia.

Last year Yale and Penn split two regular-season matches and finished with identical 12–2 records to share the Ivy League crown. A one-game playoff determined which team would take the Ivy League champion’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Quakers came out on top, defeating Yale 3–2 in five sets. But Appleman stressed that last year is completely in the past.

“We’re a completely different team, they’re a completely different team,” she said. “I think honestly we’re just focusing on Princeton right now and we’ll focus our attention on Penn after Friday night.”

The Bulldogs begin play at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Princeton and finish the weekend with a 5 p.m. match Saturday at Penn.

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