The Yale volleyball team kept busy over fall break by doing the only thing it seems to know how to do: win.
In a rare single-match weekend, the Elis (14–3, 8–0 Ivy) overcame a slow start to sweep the Bears (8–11, 4–4) in three sets, extending their winning streak to eight games.
After they fell behind by seven early in the first set, the Elis fired off an 11–4 run to even things up. With the set tied at 15, two kills by outside hitter Mollie Rogers ’15 and a service ace from setter Kelly Johnson ’16 forced a Brown timeout. From there the Elis rallied to take the set 25–21.
Captain Kendall Polan ’14 pointed to playing in a different gym as part of the reason why the Elis were unable to get going right away.
“They came out really strong in the first set,” Polan said. “Things weren’t really clicking for us yet. Luckily, we were able to get out of it and win.”
In the second set, Yale seemed to regain its firepower, scoring almost twice as many kills (17) as in the first set (nine). The team was led by Polan, who recorded 14 assists in the set, and Johnson, who had six kills. The Elis pulled away early, establishing a double-digit lead as they went on to take the set 25–14.
“We were making mistakes [early in the match],” Rogers said. “We were trying to come together and just let our defense do the work. When we started doing that is when we started to turn it around.”
In the final set, a focused Brown team kept the contest close, never falling behind by more than six. The Elis were eventually able to take the set behind a collective team effort. Polan dished out 10 assists, but the rest of the offensive load was divided evenly behind Rogers, Johnson, and middle blocker Maya Midzik ’16, who each recorded three kills. The diversified offense proved too much for Brown and Yale prevailed 25–21.
Johnson led the team with 11 kills in the match. Midzik and Rogers were right behind Johnson, with nine and eight kills, respectively. Polan recorded a match-high 31 assists and libero Maddie Rudnick ’15 delivered 20 digs for the Bulldogs.
The Elis will now head to Hanover, NH this weekend to take on Dartmouth before traveling to Cambridge, MA to face off against the Crimson. A revitalized Harvard team sits second in the conference just ahead of the Big Green, who are tied with Cornell and Columbia for fifth.
“Playing [Harvard and Dartmouth] is going to be a challenge,” Rogers said. “I think we’re all very pumped up. Harvard is Harvard, but Dartmouth really gave us a run for our money last time, so I think both matches should be really fun.”
The Elis will take on Dartmouth 7 p.m. on Friday.