In its final tuneup before the Ivy League stretch run, volleyball (12-10, 6-5 Ivy) fell to Hofstra (23-5) Tuesday afternoon in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Pride cruised early and although the Bulldogs got closer in each game, Hofstra finished each set on top for a 3-0 (30-18, 30-21, 30-26) victory.
Hofstra’s defense made it hard for the Bulldogs to find their rhythm on offense, recording 13 team blocks and holding the Elis to a .040 hitting percentage. Outside hitter Jana Freeman ’05 led the Yale attack with 10 kills. Defensive specialist Joey Lee ’03 had 11 digs.
“They racked up strings of points on us,” Lee said. “They didn’t necessarily outplay us, but we would blank on three or four points in a row and instead of being tied we’d be down four and then instead of being down four we’d be down six.”
In the match, the Bulldogs tinkered with their lineup by moving Jacqueline Becker ’06, the team’s setter for the first 21 matches, to outside hitter. At outside hitter, Becker had five kills, eight digs and 14 assists while battling a fever. Setter Alison Lungstrum ’04 had 13 assists.
“Jacqueline did an admirable job, not only in switching positions but in playing while sick,” head coach Peg Scofield said. “It was really a flat match for everyone. If we bring it up to our normal level of performance, we should be very strong. In general it was fine, but obviously we have some things to work on.”
With the loss, the Bulldogs need one win in their final three matches to finish the season over .500 overall. With two wins in their last three games, the Elis will finish over .500 in the Ivy League, a modest accomplishment compared to the lofty preseason goal of a league championship but still a step in the right direction after last season’s 10-14 (3-11 Ivy) campaign.
The win will not come easily as the Bulldogs must face three teams they have already lost to this season — Princeton (15-5, 8-3) and the University of Pennsylvania (19-4, 10-1) on the road this weekend and then Brown (10-13, 6-5) Wednesday.
Lee said that the Bulldogs should be more prepared for the league matches this time.
“We need to work on showing up for every match 100 percent because against Hofstra we didn’t play with as much fire or intensity as we should have,” Lee said. “There were a lot of reasons we had the lull — it was our first midweek road match of the season, it was non-Ivy, it was a rainy day and peoples’ spirits were just not as high.”
Scofield said the two days of practice between Hofstra and Princeton should help stabilize the team.
“Against Hofstra, we had to play up to speed and get our rotations down with no glitches,” Scofield said. “We’re hoping to use what we did against Hofstra in getting our chemistry together in practice so we can work on the execution.”
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