Heading into Saturday night, the Yale volleyball team seemed destined to finish a game short of the Ivy League title. Needing a win against Columbia and a Princeton loss in order to share the crown with the Tigers, the Bulldogs’ chances continued to sour as they dropped two of the first three sets to Columbia.
But after 25–19 and 15–8 victories in the fourth and fifth sets and Princeton’s stunning five-set loss to Dartmouth, Yale climbed back atop the Ivy summit for the first time in three years. With both teams finishing conference play with the same record and a share of the title, Yale (16–7, 10–4 Ivy) and Princeton (17–7, 10–4) will meet next weekend to determine the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Outside hitter Kathryn Attar ’21 was stellar throughout Saturday’s match, registering an astonishing 28 kills on 61 attempts to account for a 0.361 hitting percentage. Attar’s counterpart, Tristin Kott ’20, also hit her way to an outstanding 0.385 hitting percentage by putting down 16 kills on 29 attempts. Outside hitter Megan Rasmussen’s ’18 performance was another key component of the Bulldogs’ title-winning match, as the veteran not only registered 22 digs for the Elis’ backline, but also tallied 15 kills. The Bulldogs setters, Kelsey Crawford ’18 and Franny Arnautou ’20 also had spectacular performances on Saturday night, notching 35 and 26 assists respectively.
Yale started the match with a 25–17 victory in the first set, taking an early 12–5 lead and never looking back. But Columbia responded, challenging Yale to two of both teams’ most thrilling sets of the season. The second and third sets both required extra points, and Columbia narrowly topped the Bulldogs 30–28 and 33–31, respectively.
Although Yale was facing its fourth loss in five matches, the Bulldogs were not phased, opening the fourth set on a three-point run that propelled them to a 25–19 win. Yale left no doubt in the fifth set, jumping out to a 14–6 lead. After surrendering two points to Columbia, Attar finished the match with the title-winning kill.