Thevolleyball team hasn’t dropped two consecutive regular season games on the road for at least the lastthree years — but that streak was snapped this weekend.
The Bulldogs (8–7, 2–2 Ivy) fell to Ancient Eight foes Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday. Yale entered the weekend coming off a pair of wins against Brown, but was unable to maintain that momentum against other league opponents.
“Both games Friday and Saturday were very up and down sort of matches for us,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “I thought at times we played really well, and then we would just give up points in bunches.”
The Quakers (6–9, 2–1) earned their 3–1 win (25–21, 25–19, 20–25, 25–22) in the fourth set, ending a rally that seemed to beginwhen Yale took the third game and led for much of the fourth.
Penn recorded a .343 team hitting percentage in the first set, with 15 kills on35 total attempts. The Elis nearly matched the Quakers with 14 kills that game, but trailed in hitting percentage withonly.206. Yale led the second set 17–16 after back-to-back kills from outside hitterKatie Cordell ’12 and opposite hitterBridget Hearst ’12, but Penn scored nine of the next 11 points to win the match.
Things turned around in the third set. The Elis hit .295 and posted 15 kills to top the Quakers. The Blue looked like they would continue the comeback in the fourth game, opening up a 15–12 edge after the score was tied at 12, but Penn evened the score again at 18 and ultimately closed out the match on a 7–2 run.
Hearst and outside hitterErica Reetz ’14 racked up 15 kills apiece against Penn, and setterKendall Polan ’14 notched a team-high 37 assists.
“Penn has a lot of different options,” Appleman said. “They played defense.”
Yale’s luck wasn’t much better against the Tigers (8–6, 3–0) who topped the Elis 3–1(23–25, 25–20, 25–20, 25–21).
After falling to a 9–3 deficit early in the first set, the Bulldogs fired back to tie the game 11-11.The Elis and the Tigers struggled for the lead,but with the score tied 23–23, Yale scored the next two points to win the set.
But that game was the only win Yale would get.
Princeton came out to an early lead in the second setbeforeYale evenedthe score at 9–9. The teams tied the score again at 12–12, but the Tigers pulled ahead for the remainder of the set. Down 13–11 in the third set, Cordell produced five kills, part of a Yale rally to score six of the next eight points. But the Elis couldn’t hold on to the momentum. The Tigers pulled off a 6–1 run to reclaim the lead for the rest of the game.
Yale never led in the fourth and final set, despite often coming within two points of Princeton.
Polan hit .348 for the match, tallying 10 kills, 29 assists and seven digs. Cordell earned a team-best 15 kills en route to posting a .343 hitting percentage.
Appleman attributed the pair of losses to a combination of Penn’s and Princeton’s strong showings, and Yale’s struggle to perform.
“We’ve got to work on people being able to step up,” Appleman said. “I think we played hard, we just didn’t play efficiently.”
The Elis return to action at home against Cornell on Friday.