Yale relinquishes Ivy lead in loss to Cornell

By Ruiyan Wang | Posted on, 9:12 p.m.
Courtesy of Yale Athletics

The Yale volleyball team entered the weekend on the cusp of its first Ivy League title in three years. But within less than two hours, nearly all that hope was shattered, as the Elis dropped a stunner while Princeton cruised to a 3–0 victory over Harvard. With the Tigers taking on a middling Dartmouth team in their regular season finale tomorrow, Yale likely come up just short of the conference crown.

The Bulldogs were swept by Cornell on Friday night to fall a game behind Princeton in the standings. A traditionally stout Yale defense struggled throughout the contest, as the Elis fell in straight sets to a Big Red team that they had defeated 3–1 earlier this year.

Cornell took the first set 27–25 in a hotly contested frame that included 12 tied score lines, finally sealing the deal after three missed game-point opportunities. The Bulldogs struggled to set the ball into motion with 12 unforced errors in the set, including six missed serves. Cornell’s right side hitters Kit McCarty and Kara Rogers dominated, each registering four kills at a 0.200 efficiency.

Shaken, the Elis struggled to rally at the start of the second frame, allowing the Big Red to jump to a 6–0 lead. Yale never recovered from this deficit, ultimately losing the set 25–21. Due to uncharacteristically shaky defense, the Bulldogs struggled to put their offense in good positions. Still, outside hitters Kathryn Attar ’21 and Kelley Wirth ’19 registered five and three kills in the set, respectively, but nevertheless fell short of overcoming Cornell’s 15 kills for the set.

In the third frame, the Big Red quickly took control of the game once again with an early eight-point lead off of a six-kill run. Unable to get the ball to their hitters, Yale finished the match with a meager 37 kills at a 0.154 efficiency. The Elis also racked up 11 missed serves, losing the last set 25–19.

Yale takes on Columbia on Saturday in the season finale at 5 p.m. in New York.