Courtesy of David Schamis, schamisshots.com
In another weekend of Ivy League play, Yale’s volleyball team (18–1, 10–0 Ivy) swept Cornell University (4–15, 2–8) and Columbia University (4–15, 1–9).
With the two victories, they extended their win streak to 16 and overall record to 18–1, bringing their winning percentage up to .947, the third-best mark in the nation.
“This team has got to be one of my favorites of all time,” head coach Erin Appleman said about this year’s team. “Our defense this past weekend was exceptional. We have great chemistry.”
The Bulldogs’ first set — a Friday night matchup against Cornell — was competitive until the midway point of the period. Both teams battled back and forth, as the Blue and White clawed to a 14–11 lead. After a successful six-point streak, the Bulldogs surged to 20–11.
The Blue and White ended the set with a kill by Mila Yarich ’25 to take the period by a score of 25-17.
The Big Red, unfazed by the Bulldogs’ late first-period momentum, opened the second set with a renewed competitive spirit, fighting to stay close. With just a 16–15 lead, Cara Shultz ’25 landed a kill to shift momentum in the Bulldogs’ direction.
The Elis went on to have another six-point streak with two kills, a service ace and a block, and they cruised comfortably to a 25–20 victory in the set.
The third set followed a similar script to the first two sets, as the Big Red remained competitive for the first half before the Bulldogs pulled away late, this time taking the set by a score of 25–18.
While the Bulldogs have been winning by wide margins recently, losing just five sets total across 10 conference games, members of the team noted the importance of staying locked in on each game and not getting too comfortable.
“Every single game matters when it comes to trying to win a championship and when it comes to getting better as a team,” Shultz told the News. “We can’t take anybody lightly. Correlation is not causation. The win streak is a product of how hard we’re working. The win streak isn’t causing us to work hard. It’s the other way around.”
On Saturday night, Yale swept Columbia in three relatively comfortable sets.
The Elis set the tone early, as the first set was never in doubt. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 14–4 lead, and never let the Lions get close after that, winning 25-10.
During the second set, Columbia surged to an early 5–1 lead. However, after a kill by Carly Diehl ’25, the Bulldogs rallied to win five points in a row and reclaim the lead. Neither team could gain any breathing room for most of the set, but the Bulldogs ended the period with a kill by Yarich to win it 25–20.
The third set followed a similar manner to the first set, as the Yale squad trailed for just one point on their way to a 25–18 victory. A service ace from Maile Somera ’24 punctuated the game, the set and the weekend.
The Bulldogs’ weekend wins improved their league record to 10–0 and secured the team a spot in the league tournament.
“I feel really proud of this team and what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this season,” captain Renee Shultz ’23 said. “We’re constantly raising the bar and challenging ourselves to keep getting better. We still have lots of work to do in the coming weeks, so we’ll keep working hard.”The next Bulldogs home game will be against Dartmouth on Nov. 11 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at 7 p.m.