The women’s volleyball team rebounded from a blowout loss to Brown last week by securing two shutout wins over Iona and Holy Cross at the Yale Classic. But the Bulldogs found themselves on the wrong side of the net Friday as interstate rival Fairfield ended their winning streak in a closely contested four set match.
Despite jumping out to early leads in each set, the Elis (5-3, 0-1 Ivy) were able to steal just one from Fairfield (6-6), falling 3-1 (27-30, 28-30, 30-26, 27-30).
Captain Carissa Abbott ’02, outside hitter Dana Loberg ’03 and setter Alison Lungstrum ’04 led the Bulldogs in their unsuccessful effort to topple the Stags.
Fairfield — which has been playing two weeks longer than the Bulldogs — used its early-season experience to its advantage, coming from behind to win in three sets.
The match was the fourth in as many years that the Bulldogs dropped to the Stags, but Abbott believes there is a significant upside to the loss.
“Fairfield has always been one of the strongest teams in Connecticut,” Abbott said. “This is the closest we came to beating them in my four years here. We thought if we could take it to five we could beat them.”
A questionable net violation, called on Lungstrum when she tried to block a ball at the net, handed Fairfield the final set.
“It was not a good way to end a hard-fought match,” Abbott said.
Poor passing in the first two sets plagued the Bulldogs, as they were unable to get clean deliveries to the setter, allowing Fairfield’s blockers to anticipate Yale’s spikes before they happened.
“We needed to pick up our passing,” head coach Peg Scofield said. “If we had, we could have taken the first two sets.”
Fairfield had played against significantly harder competition earlier in the season, including the University of Connecticut and the University of Masachussetts. The Bulldogs’ main competition before Fairfield was supposed to be at the Kangaroo Classic Sept. 14-15, but the tournament was cancelled because of the terrorist attacks.
Following the Fairfield loss, the Bulldogs took to the practice courts Saturday and Monday to prepare for the Brown Invitational Oct. 5-6. Brown will be the Bulldogs’ first opponent at the Invitational, affording the Elis a chance to redeem their previous shutout loss to the Bears.
“No one likes to lose their Ivy opener, and we know we can beat Brown,” Abbott said. “If we can get our passing going early, then we should be good to go.”