Yale Athletics

The Yale women’s volleyball team (11–1, 3–1 Ivy) is on fire, having won every game since an early loss to Florida State University (11–5, 3–2 ACC) in September. 

Last weekend the Bulldogs traveled to New York to play Cornell (3–9, 1–2) and Columbia (3-9, 0-3), returning to New Haven with two victories. This weekend they will turn north to match up against Harvard (2–9, 1–2) and Dartmouth (10–3, 2–1).

Recapping the weekend against Columbia and Cornell, I’m really proud of how the team is playing,” Captain Renee Shultz ’23 told the News. “We have a lot to be proud of, as well as a lot to keep working on. Looking ahead to Harvard and Dartmouth this coming weekend, we will continue to work hard and aim to keep hitting the standard we’ve been setting for ourselves.”

Playing at Columbia on Friday night, Yale set the tone early with a 25–11 win in the first set. They went on to win 25–17 in the second and 25–19 in the third. 

The match leaders were Audrey Leak ’24 with 12 kills, Cara Shultz ’25 with 9 digs, Fatima Samb ’25 with 3 blocks and Carly Diehl ’25 with 35 assists. 

The Bulldogs did not have much time to recover, facing off against Cornell less than 24 hours later.

Against Cornell, Yale had a more competitive first set. They eked out a 25-23 win in the first set, then found dominant footing and won 25–18 in the second and 25–15 in the third. 

In the close match, Gigi Barr ’25 had 13 kills, Maile Somera ’24 had 15 digs, Mila Yarich ’25 blocked twice and Diehl, once again, had the most assists with 38.

“We have always had a talented and competitive team, but we lacked experience coming off of [the pandemic-shortened season],” Somera said. “Now, we have a year under our belt and have found a rhythm where we can come out confident in ourselves and the work we have put in.”

The two wins bump the Bulldogs win streak up to nine and have the squad locked into a tie for first place in the Ivy League with rival Princeton. Shultz described how the team will attempt to continue their winning ways this weekend.

To hold their position atop the league standings, the Blue and White will need to beat Harvard and Dartmouth. Although the Crimson are 1–2 in Ivy League play, they will nevertheless come out in full force to compete for the rivalry. 

And with a 2–1 record, Dartmouth has found success so far in league play. The Big Green should be a formidable match up for the Bulldogs this weekend. 

Head coach Erin Appleman attributed much of her squad’s early success to their teamwork.

“Team chemistry is really good right now,” Appleman said. “Our focus is on our own team — better connection, better passing — and improving ourselves by getting better every day.” 

The Bulldogs and Crimson will square off on ESPN+ at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the Malkin Athletic Center in Cambridge.

Henry Frech is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College majoring in history and hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. He covers volleyball and women's basketball for the YDN. This semester, he is studying abroad in Mérida, Mexico.