Despite having matches scheduled in both New Haven and Providence, R.I., this weekend, the volleyball team showed its dominance over the Brown Bears this weekend.
Yale (8–5, 2–0 Ivy) began Ivy League play Friday night at Brown (6–8, 0–2 Ivy) and swept the Bears in three sets (25–20, 26–24, 25–18). The next day’s five-set match in New Haven was closer, but the result was the same(25–19, 20–25, 25–19, 27–25, 15–8).
It was an all-around impressive offensive performance by the Bulldogs on Friday, led by Bridget Hearst ’12, who had a team-high of 10 kills.Three of her teammates, McHaney Carter ’14, Erica Reetz ’14, and Haley Wessels ’13 hit .400 or higher, with the team hitting .233 for the match.
“Our setters are doing a good job of evenly distributing swings,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “That causes problems for the opponent because they don’t know who to double up on.”
The Elis came off jittery in the first set, but after being down 8–3, Hearst rallied back with a momentum-changing kill shot and the team never looked back.
Despite a hot start, Brown never found an offensive rhythm, hitting only .116 on the night.
To complete the home-and-home series, Brown visited Yale at John J. Lee AmphitheaterSaturday, where Reetz and Wessels continued their offensive streak, both slamming for 14 kills and a .355 hitting percentage in a five-set match victory for the Elis.
Although the Bulldogs are 5–0 at the Amphitheater through the season, they found a tougher match on home turf than they had in Providence.After losing the first set, the Bears regrouped in the second with back-to-back kills from Katrina Post, which helpedher team to a 13–10 lead.Top Ivy League ace-hitter Annika Gliottone hit for consecutive service aces to eventually secure the Bears’ first set win of the weekend.The third set went to Yale, but with an error-plagued fourth set from the Bulldogs, Brown was back in the match with another set win.
“I think we faltered in the second set,” Appleman said.“We didn’t play well as a team and let some easy points get away from us. The fourth set was more of a battle. Teams are going to keep coming at us and we have to be better-prepared for that.”
With the game on the line, Yale used a 9–2 run and a big service ace from Katie Cordell ’12 in the fifth and deciding set to extinguish the Bears’ hopes and finish 2–0 in conference play.
“The final set was kind of back and forth,” Appleman said. “We had a couple of really tough serves in a row and threw them off-balance. The girls followed up with some good offense.”
One of the girls was Kendall Polan ’14, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, who struck for 11 kills, 37 assistsand 9 digs, nearly earning hersecond triple-double in a week.
“Playing Brown was a good matchup for us, but this weekend is going to be a lot tougher,” Appleman said.
Yale continues their Ivy League schedule next weekend as they go on the road to meet Penn and Princeton.