The volleyball team followed a tight five-set loss to archrival Harvard with a triumph over Dartmouth in an up-and-down weekend.
The Elis (6–6, 2–1 Ivy) lost 3–2 to the Crimson (8–4, 1–2 Ivy) on Friday night, but ended the weekend on a positive note with a 3–0 sweep against the Big Green (11–3, 2–1 Ivy) on Saturday. The two matches marked the beginning of a 14-match marathon against Ivy foes.
“I would say the highlight of the weekend was definitely our win against Dartmouth,” captain Mollie Rogers ’15 said. “Coming back after a five-game loss and winning the next day says a lot about our team.”
Rogers delivered a season-high 21 kills against Dartmouth, hitting .340 overall. She said that she succeeded by blocking out the result of Friday’s match against Harvard and focusing on winning on Saturday.
Middle blocker Maya Midzik ’16 gave a steady performance throughout the weekend, contributing 15 kills against Harvard and another 10 against Dartmouth.
“I think the team did a great job of focusing on the match at hand and not letting the past bother us,” Rogers said.
Yale and Harvard took turns gaining an edge in the match, with each team winning alternate sets. The Crimson picked up the first set in large part due to a 10–2 run in the middle of the game, but the Bulldogs responded by taking the second. The third set was the closest, but Harvard edged Yale 25–23. The Elis were able to force a fifth set after Midzik closed out a 8–0 run with two service aces, but ultimately fell to the Crimson 15–9.
“We struggled to get into a groove,” assistant head coach Kevin Laseau said.
Laseau added that in the two games that the Bulldogs did win, they were able to put together strings of attacks and secure leads.
He echoed Rogers, saying that the team was able to regroup for the Dartmouth match with resilience.
“We know that once a match is over, it’s over,” he said. “And I think the seniors, Mollie and [libero] Maddie [Rudnick ’15], did a good job leading the team.”
Rudnick took control of the court over the weekend with 20 digs against Harvard and 13 against Dartmouth. Also dominant was outside hitter Kaitlyn Gibbons ’18, who hit .538 to deliver eight kills and contributed a team-high 14 digs.
As Yale sharpened its focus against the Big Green, Dartmouth failed to respond effectively. The Bulldogs’ margin of victory increased in each set, winning by scores of 25–21, 25–18 and 25–16, respectively.
“I thought the team bounced back really well and did what we needed to do,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “We got the split on the road.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Penn on Friday and to Princeton on Saturday to continue Ivy conference play. Yale volleyball is currently tied for second in the Ivy League with Dartmouth and Columbia. Princeton holds the first seat in the league.