In another solid weekend on its home court, the Yale volleyball team swept the Yale Classic while recording no set losses against Central Connecticut State, Quinnipiac and Binghamton.
The team played around with its usual roster this weekend, spreading playing time among new players.
“I thought it was great,” Julia Mailander ’10 said of the weekend’s play. “Especially getting everyone from the team to get some game time.”
Play began on Friday night when the Elis (10–1) faced the Blue Devils at 7 p.m. The first set began with a 6–6 deadlock that was eased when an ace and a kill took the Bulldogs ahead by two. Even play held the two-point difference before Yale reasserted its dominance with a five-point rally to win, 25–20.
The Elis leapt to an early lead in the second set, but the Blue Devils fought back to tie the score, 6-6. The Elis never flinched and within moments were on their way to a 25-15 victory. The third set was dominated completely by the Bulldogs, and CCSU lost, 25–18.
“This weekend we were gearing up for the Ivies,” outside hitter Alexis Crusey ’10 said. “The teams we were playing weren’t as competitive as the teams we had played earlier.”
Saturday morning, the team returned to Payne Whitney Gym for the second of what was to be three weekend matches. The Elis had no trouble disposing of local rival Quinnipiac in three straight sets. The Bobcats were unable to break 20 points, and the Bulldogs won 25–19, 25–18 and 25–16.
In their final competition of the weekend, the Elis bested Binghamton to complete a flawless sweep of the Yale Classic. Outside hitter Cat Dailey ’10 earned her fifth double-double of the season in this match, and Crusey reached 13 kills. This is the third consecutive contest in which she has reached double figures in kills.
Crusey took the weekend’s top individual honors as the most valuable player of the tournament.
“We played pretty well against Central Connecticut but not that great against Quinnipiac,” middle blocker Haley Wessels ’13 said. “We stepped it up a lot Saturday night against Binghamton.”
In the first frame, Yale gave away the first two points of the match before streaking with an 11–1 run to grab an eight-point lead. A second run took the Elis to 19–5, and even with a late Bearcat rally, Yale took a 25–16 win.
“I was really happy with how everyone played,” Crusey said. “We have a very deep bench, and everyone was able to contribute.”
Once again the Bearcats (6–8) took an early lead, but Yale caught up to tie the score, 3–3. Still tied at 5–5, play heated up as Binghamton held the Elis to a six-point lead. With a final kill by Crusey, Yale earned a 25–21 victory.
The third set was a quick beating that set Yale ahead, 25–12. The Elis opened with a three-point rally and only let the Bearcats score consecutive points twice in the frame.
The Elis hit .202 (39–16–114) for the match against Binghamton’s .009 (24–23–110). The Blue bested Binghamton’s blocking 10–4 and serving with four aces to two.
“They were the strongest competition we faced in the weekend,” Mailander said. “It was great going out so strong with Binghamton.”
This is the second consecutive year that the Elis have swept their home non-conference competition. Next weekend, however, the Bulldogs return to the John J. Lee Amphitheater to open their Ivy season against Brown.
“I expect us to play our best,” Wessels said. “If we are on and are playing up to our potential and really clicking as a team, we can give anyone good competition.”
Play begins Friday at 7 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.