The Yale volleyball team (7–4, 1–0) began its defense of the Ivy League title with a dominant 3–0 victory over Brown on Saturday in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The Bulldogs came out strong in the first set, capturing the first three points, and holding that lead en route to a 25–12 victory.
“As a team we played very well against Brown,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “We played at a high level and maintained it throughout the match.”
Leading by a score of 14–10 in the first, the Bulldogs began pulling away with a 9–1 run to take a commanding 23–11 advantage.
Mollie Rogers ’15 recorded an emphatic kill to cap the set. Brown played sloppy volleyball and often looked overwhelmed, committing nine errors, which set the tone for the rest of the match. The Bears went on to commit 31 total errors to Yale’s 19.
“We definitely used our home court to our advantage,” Erica Reetz ’14 said. “It was great to come out in our own gym and take control.”
After falling behind 5–4 early in the second set, the Bulldogs returned to their sharp play, beginning a 12–2 run to take a 16–7 lead. Allie Frappier ’15 placed a cross-court shot on the sideline for a kill that would mark the end of the Elis’ run. The Bulldogs went on to take the set 25–13, giving them exactly twice as many points as the Bears through the first two sets.
Brown stayed within striking distance of the Bulldogs throughout the third set.
Yale was unable to pull away late in the set as Brown recorded a service ace to pull within three points of the Bulldogs, 20–17. But after a quick Yale timeout the Bears’ momentum ended. The visitors served out of bounds, making the score 21–17 as Yale went on to win 25–20.
“It’s nice to have the first win on our backs and be able to keep going and keep pushing,” Kendall Polan ’14 said.
Rogers clearly came out on top in a matchup with fellow frosh sensation Maddie Lord of Brown. The two were club teammates in high school and have both taken home Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors this season. Yale was able to contain Lord throughout the match, holding her to only two kills after she averaged nearly 16 through the Bears’ first 11 contests. Meanwhile, Rogers recorded 12 kills and eight digs.
Polan led the way for the Bulldogs, recording 32 assists, while Maddie Rudnick ’15 had a team-high 12 digs to anchor the defense.
The Bulldogs will continue a five game home-stand against Cornell on Friday at 7 p.m. and Columbia on Saturday at 5 p.m.