The Yale women’s volleyball team dominated Brown 3–0 this weekend, scoring a third consecutive sweep over the Rhode Island team for the Elis.
The Bulldogs (5–5, 1–0 Ivy) have returned to their home court in full swing following some hard-fought losses during the preseason. On Saturday, the Elis showed the class and know-how of a reigning Ivy championship team against the Bears (8–3, 0–1 Ivy), defeating them in three straight sets 25–18, 25–11, 26–24. The Ivy opener extends Yale’s win streak to five and sets their home record at 4–0.
“I think overall we played really well and took care of what we needed to do,” captain and outside hitter Izzy Simqu ’20 said. “Everyone played steady and did their job. We had some great moments where we really got better as a team. We also had a few messy moments, but we’re going to take those and work hard this next week in practice.”
The first set started slowly for the Bulldogs as the two teams remained tied at 16–16. However, two four-point runs pulled Yale ahead to close the frame 25–18. Outside hitter Kathryn Attar ’21 notched five kills in the first set alone, leading to an ultimate tally of 10. The Bears dropped off heavily in the second set, only securing three of the first 13 points. Taking advantage of this slump, the Bulldogs clinched the set with a staggering score of 25–11.
Ellis DeJardin ’22 posted a double-double in kills and digs with 13 and 11 respectively. The 2018 Rookie of the Year is just one point behind team leader Attar for total kills this season. DeJardin has so far posted 94 kills to Attar’s 95. The California native also comes up right behind Yurika Boyd ’21 in total digs.
“It’s super promising to start off league play with a win, but we have a long road ahead of us to focus on,” outside hitter Ashley Dreyer ’22 said.
Yale was comfortably positioned at 21–15 in the third set when Brown rallied to accrue six consecutive points. The Bears matched the Bulldogs point-for-point thereafter until Yale clinched the set and match.
Notably, the Bears and the Bulldogs stayed neck-and-neck for kills throughout the match, with Brown tallying 37 to Yale’s 38. Nevertheless, the Elis’ strengths shone in other areas: Yale served seven aces and put up nine blocks against their opponents, who totaled three blocks and a single ace.
Despite having a significantly better season record than Yale, Brown has not played any nationally-ranked teams this year and has only traveled outside New England once during the preseason. In contrast, Yale has played two weekend tournaments in Indiana and California.
“We’ve been working really hard at practice and throughout preseason to prepare ourselves for conference play, so it’s super rewarding to have won our first Ivy League game and start the season 1–0,” outside hitter Tiffany Pedersen-Henry ’23 said.
The Elis play each Ivy League team twice over the course of the season, once away and once at home. Their next match against Brown is on Oct. 26 in Providence, where the Bulldogs will hope to claim their second win against the Bears.
Yale resumes Ivy play next weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
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