VOLLEYBALL: Tigers break Bulldog’s 17-game winning streak
After the Bulldogs secured a win against the Quakers, Princeton defeated Yale to break their winning streak.
This weekend, Yale’s volleyball team (19–2, 11–1 Ivy) swept the University of Pennsylvania (2–20, 1–11) before falling to Princeton University (19–3, 11–1), breaking their historic winning streak.
The victory on Friday extended the team’s winning streak to 17, adding to one of the best win records in program history in over a decade. The match was played in five close sets in Philadelphia. On Saturday, the Bulldogs were only able to clinch one set out of four, resulting in a loss. Yale’s record now stands at 19–2 and the team is tied with Princeton for first in the League.
“It’s not about the wins or losses, it’s about the performance,” Head Coach Erin Appleman said regarding the team. “It was a tough weekend, but the one thing that I am proud of the team is that we kept fighting. We never gave up.”
The Bulldogs’ first game against Penn was a competitive five-set thriller. Through all five sets, both teams battled with back-and-forth wins. The Blue and White won the first set at 25-20. Cara Shultz ’25 and Gigi Barr ’25 ended the back-and-forth exchange between the two teams with a definitive block.
During the second set, Penn made a comeback and beat the Bulldogs to take the period with a score of 25-20.
The Elis, unfazed by the Quakers’ late second-period momentum, opened the third set with aggressive play. After a successful five-point streak, the Bulldogs surged to 19–8. With some back and forth, Fatima Samb ’25 sealed the set 25–16 with a kill.
The Quakers took the fourth set 25–23 with a five-point streak and a kill by senior Autumn Leak, sister of Yale volleyball player Audrey Leak ’24.
Despite the tied score, the Bulldogs rallied for the fifth set. While Penn started off the set strong, the Blue and White took the lead 9-8 with a six-point streak. After a few backs and forths, Yale secured the set and the game with a service ace from Carly Diehl ’25.
Despite the tough game the team had at Penn, the win brought Yale’s winning streak to 17. This was the first time since a Sept. 23 victory over Brown that the Bulldogs were forced to five sets.
“The team played hard and I’m proud of how we fought through our games,” Cara Shultz told the News.
On Saturday night, the Bulldogs squared off against Princeton in four intense sets that ultimately snapped Yale’s winning streak. Despite the Bulldogs’ efforts and tight gameplay, The first and second sets followed a similar script as the Tigers won both with a score of 25–20.
During the third set, the two teams battled back and forth for points. However, after a kill by Barr, the Elis made a comeback with a four-point streak, giving them a 15–8 lead. Neither team gained any breathing room for the rest of the set, but the Bulldogs ended the period with a kill by Mila Yarich ’25 to win it at 25–21.
Princeton secured the fourth set with a score of 25–23.
The Elis’ weekend play concluded in an end to their winning streak, shifted their league record of 11–1 and placed the Bulldogs first in the league with Princeton. With only two games left in the conference play, the loss to Princeton marks the Bulldogs’ first loss of the regular Ivy League season.
“Our record doesn’t define us as a team or as a program,” captain Renee Shultz ’23 said. “I’m proud of this team and I know we will continue to improve where we need to and be back at it again this coming weekend. We’re not done yet.”
The Bulldogs’ next game will be at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney Gymnasium against Dartmouth on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.