The volleyball team escaped its first weekend of Ivy play with a 3–1 win over a feisty Brown squad in Providence, R.I.
The Bulldogs (5–5, 1–0 Ivy) prevailed following a tightly contested fourth set during which Brown mounted a formidable comeback. Although they faced set point at 25–24, the Bulldogs pulled through for a 27–25 triumph and a 3–1 match win. Outside hitter Mollie Rogers ’15 said that it was a character-building win for the team.
“Starting [Ivy League play] with a loss is not ideal,” she said. “The fact that we were able to play those tough games says a lot about our team. It’s great practice to pull off those types of matches.”
Brown (3–7, 0–1 Ivy) won the third set to pull within 2–1 and built early 5–0 and 10–4 leads in the fourth set. Yale responded with an offensive spurt to pull within 13–12 and eventually held a 24–22 lead.
But on the cusp of victory, Rogers and Kelly Johnson ’16 made consecutive attack errors, and Brown’s Kathryn Glickman notched a kill to give Brown a 25–24 lead. With set point in hand, Brown’s Kathryn Conner bailed out the Elis with a service error to tie the score at 25. On the next point Jesse Ebner ’16 logged a service ace, and Rogers finished the match with a kill.
That was not the first time in the match that the Elis faced set point. Down 1–0, Brown pushed Yale to the brink in the second set and led 24–23 following a kill from Shannon Frost. Following ties at 25 and 26, Yale put a 28–26 win away with a kill by Ebner. Ebner said that although the team struggled at times throughout the match, it pulled it together during the high-pressure situations.
“I thought that our performance overall was a little shaky,” she said. “But at the end of games we snapped back into it. At the end of those close games we had so much energy, and we played as a team.”
After the first set it looked like history would repeat itself and Yale would sweep the Bears for a third straight time. With just a 10–9 lead in the first set, something clicked for the Bulldogs, and they took off on a 15–6 run to capture a convincing 25–15 opening victory.
Brown went on to drop the second set as well, but bounced back for a 25–20 victory in the third game. Amanda Nickel led the Bears in their only win of the afternoon with five of her match-high 15 kills. Maddie Lord, who was Brown’s primary offensive threat heading into the match, notched 13 kills herself, including two of the final three points of the third set. Rogers said that Brown provided a stiff challenge to the Bulldogs.
“Brown played pretty well, and it was our first Ivy match so there was probably some nerves,” she said. “They came out solid, and we had a little trouble handling that.”
On Yale’s side of the net, Rogers led the offense. She had a team-high 14 kills and also added 15 digs. Setter Kendall Polan ’14 recorded her second straight triple-double with 10 kills, 31 assists and 20 digs, and Ebner led the squad with a .348 hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs hit the road again this weekend to take on Columbia and Cornell.