After two years in Cornell’s clutches, the Cayuga Cup finally returned to Yale on Saturday as the women’s crew varsity eight defeated the No. 18 Big Red in a head-to-head race for the first time in three years.

The No. 10 Bulldogs traveled to the Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca, N.Y., to face off against Cornell and came away with victories in four out of five races, including a close five-second win by the varsity eight.

“We raced hard and were pleased to come away with a win,” said captain Eliza Hastings ’13, who rowed in the second seat of the varsity eight.

After losing to Columbia last week, the varsity eight rebounded to finish with a mark of 7:03.6, while Cornell crossed the finish line in 7:08.5.

The Bulldogs also won the second varsity, varsity four and second varsity four races in an overall dominating effort.

“Being a fairly young team, we’re looking to improve every week,” Hastings said. “On Saturday, we definitely accomplished that and took a step in the right direction.”

The varsity four crew came away with the most convincing victory of the day, finishing with a time of 8:09.2 to Cornell’s 8:20.

Both of the second boats set the tone for the varsity races, besting their Cornell competition by nearly 10 seconds.

The second varsity eight opened the regatta with a win for Yale, crossing the finish line with a time of 7:08.6. Two races later, the second varsity four followed up that performance with another impressive victory to set up the varsity four’s 10.8 second win.

“We rowed a more aggressive race this week and took a step forward as a team,” head coach Will Porter said. “Cornell is a good team, and it was a tough weekend of racing.”

In the final race of the day, Cornell’s third varsity eight defeated Yale’s boat with a time of 7:35.3 to avoid a Bulldog sweep.

Although pleased with its results, Porter emphasized that his team still has work to do.

“Next week will be a big test,” he said. “We will need to get faster this week.”

The Elis have five more competitions between now and the Ivy League championships on May 19.

Next weekend, the team races Boston University, Dartmouth and Clemson in the Class of 1985 Cup on Boston’s Charles River.