VOLLEYBALL: Bulldogs dominate at Stony Brook Invitational
Last weekend, the Yale volleyball team won all three of its games at the Stony Brook Invitational, the first away tournament of the season.
Lulas Flippo, Photo Editor
The Yale volleyball team (5–1–0, 0–0–0 Ivy) won every match at the Stony Brook Invitational in New York this weekend, their first away tournament of the season.
The Bulldog’s offense stood out throughout the tournament. In their matches against Stony Brook (4–6–0, 0–0 AEC) and Tarleton State (4–5–0, 0–0 WAC), the Elis lost the first set of each before bouncing back with renewed vigor and winning their games. In their opening match of the tournament against the University of St. Thomas (1–7–0, 0–0 MIAC), the Bulldogs swept.
“Every game gets better,” outside hitter Bonnie Bostic ’24 wrote to the News. “We are playing great as a team and working really hard for our first Ivy game. Overall it was a great showing.”
Despite having never played the Tommies before, the Elis dominated on Friday with a 3–0 sweep. Yale won each set with significant point margins of 25–15, 25–18 and 25–15. The Elis’ hitting percentage of .230 for the match also completely overshadowed St. Thomas’s .032. Bostic pulled off 13 kills and hit .455, pushing the team to success. Libero Maile Somera ’24 kept up her solid performance from last week with 14 digs this game.
Both Tarleton State and the University of St. Thomas made their Division I debut this year, after receiving invitations to reclassify in early 2020 and late 2019, respectively.
The next two matches tested the Bulldogs’ mettle. Yale bounced back after a shaky start against Stony Brook, where the Bulldogs lost the first set 25–13. They won the second set in a close 30–28 battle and smoothly wrapped up the next two sets, 25–18 and 25–15.
The Shultz sisters, outside hitter Cara Shultz ’25 and setter Renee Shultz ’23, were outstanding against Stony Brook. Cara hit .375 against the Seawolves, while Renee had 13 digs, 27 assists and four ace serves — one of which was the match point.
During the second set, outside hitter Mila Yarich ’25 struck a kill, leaving the Bulldogs up 7–1, and the Blue and White never looked back. Somera also kept up her stellar weekend performance with the highest number of digs, 18. Renee Shultz trailed closely with 13, and Cara Shultz wrapped up the game with 12.
Head coach Erin Appleman told the News that the consistent work the team is putting forward shows in the great performances the team has made since the start of the season.
“We’re very deep,” Appleman told the News in a phone interview. “I think that’s going to be extremely useful throughout the season.”
Yale wrapped up their successful participation in the Stony Brook Invitational with another 4–1 match. The Bulldogs fell short in the first set against Tarleton State, losing 25–17. However, they quickly recovered to win their next sets 25–22, 25–18 and 25–21.
Bostic and Yarich were named to the all-tournament team. Middle hitter Gigi Barr ’25, who was part of the all-tournament team at last week’s Yale Invitational, was named the Stony Brook Invitational MVP. Other noteworthy offensive performances came from outside hitter Tiffany Pedersen-Henry ’23 and middle blocker Sam Bray ’23.
The Bulldogs will travel to Storrs, Connecticut next weekend to participate in the UConn Challenge, their last non-conference tournament before they take on the Ivy League.