The Yale volleyball team dominated Ivy League play this past weekend against Dartmouth and Harvard at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Friday, the Bulldogs (16–2, 6–1 Ivy) hit at a sizzling .368 hitting percentage to trounce the Big Green (7–11, 3–5) in three sets by scores of 25–12, 25–15 and 25–14. The Elis swept the Crimson (8–11, 4–4) by set scores of 25–23, 25–18 and 25–21 on the following day.
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Against Dartmouth, Yale played with a very high energy level en route to victory.
“I was very pleased with my team’s intensity,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “Things that we’ve been working on have been improving.”
In that game, outside hitter Cat Dailey ’10 slammed home a match-high 11 kills, while setter Kerry Clavadetscher ’13 recorded a double-double with 32 assists and 11 digs. Opposite hitter Bridget Hearst ’12, following up on a 27-kill performance against Columbia the previous weekend, added nine kills. Libero Kelly Ozurovich ’11 added 13 digs and a career-high seven assists.
The Bulldogs followed the dominant performance against Dartmouth with another strong performance against a tough Harvard team.
“The Yale-Harvard rivalry got our team excited,” Appleman said. “It’s exciting to play a talented team.”
Outside hitter Alexis Crusey ’10 had a match-best 12 kills and nine digs, while Dailey added 10 kills and seven digs. Middle blocker Haley Wessels ’13 contributed eight kills and a match-best five of the team’s six blocks. Clavadetscher, the reigning Ivy League rookie of the week, dished out a match-high 38 assists.
“I’d say we’re playing the best [of the season] now,” outside hitter Lydia Mailander ’10 said.
Teammates said Clavadetscher has been an instrumental part of the Bulldogs’ success, coming through in the clutch time and time again.
“She’s starting to settle down in her role,” Appleman said of the rookie setter. “It has shown on the court.”
“She’s really stepped up,” Mailander added.
The Yalies are certainly determined to prepare this week as they approach one of the biggest road weekends of the season, facing first-place Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.
Against Penn, the Bulldogs anticipate avenging their previous and sole Ivy League loss this season. The Quakers took sole possession of first place with the Oct. 10 win.
“We’re all looking forward to the opportunity to get back at them,” captain and outside hitter Julia Mailander ’10 said.
Appleman said the squad has improved since that narrow loss to Penn and is confident as the next game nears.
“We didn’t execute very well back then,” Appleman said. “We’re executing much better now.”