The Yale women’s volleyball team secured another win before suffering their first Ivy League loss of the season this weekend.
Exhibiting mixed performances, the Bulldogs (8–6, 4–1 Ivy) defeated Penn (8–6, 1–4 Ivy) easily in three straight sets, but were unable to clinch the win against Princeton (8–6, 4–2 Ivy). The Elis defeated the Quakers 25–18, 25–21, 25–20, beginning their travel weekend with success. Their stint against the Tigers, however, proved to be less fortunate as the Bulldogs fell 3–0 with a box score of 25–19, 25–14, 25–17. Despite the loss, the Blue and White hope to learn from this match-up and carry their intensity into the next two home games.
“We played with so much fire and energy for a great win against Penn,” captain and middle blocker Izzy Simqu ’20 said. “Unfortunately, the Princeton game was a tough loss, and we didn’t play like we had hoped we would. We’re going to get back into the gym this week with the same intensity that we brought to Penn and take care of what we need to do for our [coming] matches.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to eight and set their conference record to 4–0 after defeating the Quakers. Trading blows for the first several points, the two Ancient Eight foes exchanged leads five times and were tied on 10 occasions. Picking up speed, the Elis soon scored a 10–4 run which led them to a 25–18 win over the first set to set the tone for the rest of the game. Outside hitters Kathryn Attar ’21 and Ellis DeJardin ’22 led Yale in kills with 11 each, while setter Franny Arnautou ’20 added four kills and 36 assists.
The two teams tied with seven blocks apiece, yet the Bulldogs surpassed the Quakers in every other aspect of play. Most significantly, Yale outscored Penn in aces — boasting four to the Quakers’ one. As a team, the Elis hit .344 while the Quakers hit .245.
“I thought it was kind of a mixed bag,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “I thought we played pretty excited, pretty focused against Penn, and I just think we didn’t come out with the same intensity we needed to play a team like Princeton — we needed to match their intensity and just fell flat.”
After claiming the first three points with kills, Princeton led the entire first set, never letting Yale edge closer than one count down after the first six points. The Tigers boasted 18 total kills to the Elis’ 11. The Bulldogs rallied for the second set, tying the score at 10–10 and 11–11 before the Tigers took control — winning seven consecutive points to establish a strong margin over the Blue and White and finally securing the second set 25–14.
Unwilling to relent, Yale led the third set until Princeton edged them out 12–11 with a kill by Devon Peterkin. The Ivy foes played point-by-point until the Tigers managed to steal two consecutive marks, pushing the score to 15–13. From there, the score favored Princeton, and the Tigers came away with a 25–17 win over the third and final set.
“We came out strong against Penn with a lot of energy after a good week of practice, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to perform against Princeton,” libero Maile Somera ’23 said. “We will be getting right back into the gym to work even harder to get the results we want coming ahead.”
Outside hitter Bonnie Bostic ’23 and middle blocker Samantha Bray ’22 showed strength in the game against the Tigers. Bray put up a .375 hitting percentage and added two solo blocks while Bostic posted a .250.
Yale’s loss against Princeton represents the Bulldogs’ first Ivy League defeat and first 0–3 loss of the 2019 season.
“This weekend gave us the opportunity to see the areas of our game which we still need to work on,” Attar said. “Losses can be tough, but luckily we’re all determined … This weekend was a learning experience that will only motivate us to go harder.”
Columbia, the Elis’ next competitor, currently holds a 3–2 conference record, while Cornell remains atop the league with a 5–0 record.
The Bulldogs will square off against the Lions on Friday at 7 p.m. and against the Big Red on Saturday at 5 p.m., both at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
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