Ozurovich Eclipses 1,000 Career Digs, Bulldogs Breeze Past Brown in Ivy League Opener

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Junior libero Kelly Ozurovich had a match-best 15 digs to become the 12th player in Yale volleyball history to reach 1,000 for her career, as the Bulldogs swept visiting Brown on Friday night in the Ivy League opener for both teams. At 11-1, Yale matches the best start in program history, sharing the mark with the 2005 squad that finished 20-4 overall and 11-3 in the Ivy League. The Bulldo gs took the match by set scores of 25-15, 25-11 and 25-11.

With the win, the Bulldogs remain perfect at home with a 7-0 tally. Dating back to 2008, Yale has won nine straight matches in the Elm City. The Bulldogs, now 1-0 in Ivy League play, have won their Ivy League opener in five straight seasons and defeated Brown in seven consecutive encounters. The Bears fall to 4-8 overall and 0-1 in the Ancient Eight in defeat.

“We played with a lot of energy and executed very well tonight,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “This was a great start to the Ivy League season.”

The 15 digs for Ozurovich not only push her past the 1,000-dig plateau, but also move her past Shannon Farrell ’07 and into 11th place all-time with 1,010 digs in her career. The junior is 11 digs shy of the top ten, trailing Leigh Brezler ’97, and 37 digs short of teammate Alexis Crusey, who added nine more digs tonight to raise her total to 1,047.

Senior Cat Dailey, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, had a match-high 10 kills and nine digs for Yale, while freshman setter Kerry Clavadetscher led all players with 21 assists. Dailey amassed her 10 kills on 21 swings with just two errors to post a .381 hitting percentage. Seniors Crusey and Laurel Johnson each notched eight kills while hitting .467 and .316 respectively. Sophomore Bridget Hearst chipped in seven kills on 10 errorless swings to post a .700 percentage, and sophomore Taylor Cramm added three finishers. Senior Lydia Mailander and sophomore Haley Wessels both contributed a pair of kills, while senior Julia Mailander and junior Kate Parker each tallied one kill to round out the offense. Parker also saw time at setter, distributing 13 assists.

As a team, Yale hit .379 (42-9-87) while keeping Brown in the negative at -.009 (22-23-110). The Bulldogs also won the blocking battle, 7-2, led by two blocks apiece from Clavadetscher, Cramm and Hearst.

Brown took the first point of the set one, one of just two leads it would hold in the contest, and the score in settled at 2-2 in the early stages of the match. Yale then took three of the next four points to jump out to a 5-3 lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs held steady with a three-point cushion over the ensuing stretch of action, before a 4-0 run on the back of Katie Cordell’s tough serve extended the advantage to six points at 12-6. A 5-0 spurt later in the frame, fueled by four consecutive Brown errors, put the set out of reach at 18-8. Yale coasted the rest of the way, and a Dailey kill made it official, with the Bulldogs grabbing a 25-15 set one victory.

A 5-0 run to begin the second frame put Yale firmly in command of the action. Another 6-0 spurt gave the Bulldogs a 12-3 edge, and Yale ran away with the set to a 25-11 victory. The Bulldogs hit a scorching .433 (16-3-30) in the stanza, while the Bears swung in the negative for the second straight set at -.024 (6-7-42).

The opening points of set three marked the stiffest competition that Brown would provide, as the squad’s battled to a 4-4 tie. The deadlock was short-lived however, as the Bulldogs erupted with a 14-4 run, fueled by an eight-point surge during captain Julia Mailander’s service. Brown managed to post consecutive points just once after the 4-4 stalemate as Yale closed out the match with another 25-11 thrashing.

Christina Berry led the Brown attack with five kills. Alexandra Ilistad dished out 14 assists and libero Carly Cotton fortified the Bears’ back row with nine digs.

The Ivy League schedule continues next weekend from the familiar confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Princeton Tigers, who will host Penn tomorrow for the Ivy League opener for both teams, come to New Haven on Friday, Oct. 9 for a 7 p.m. tilt. After a match at Brown on Friday, the Quakers from Penn descend upon the Elm City on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

 

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