Hearst’s Career Day Propels Yale Past Columbia, 3-1

Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Sophomore Bridget Hearst had a career-high 27 kills, the most in a single match tallied by any current Bulldog, and seniors Cat Dailey and Alexis Crusey both recorded double-doubles as the Yale volleyball team won its 10th straight Ivy League road match with a four-set victory at Columbia on Saturday afternoon. Crusey’s 13 kills move her into fifth place all-time at Yale with 1,174 in her career.

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 14-2 overall and 4-1 in the Ivy League. Columbia falls to 11-8 overall and 2-4 in the Ivy League with the loss.

“Road matches are so important in the Ivy League, these were big wins for us.” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman.

Hearst’s 27 kills came on 35 swings with four errors for a .657 hitting percentage. Her previous career mark, which she has reached three times in her career, was 11 kills.

“It was great to see Bridget have a breakout match,” said Appleman, , who is a perfect 13-0 against Columbia in her Yale career. “She was a solid leader in an all-around team effort”.

Dailey, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, had 18 kills and 15 digs to tally her seventh double-double of the season. Crusey’s double-double was comprised of 13 kills and 20 digs. Freshman Kerry Clavadetscher ran the offense and dished out a career-high 56 assists. Junior Kelly Ozurovich had 21 digs out of the libero slot, sharing the match high with Columbia libero Ellie Thomas.

The Lions started the match on the offensive, taking five of the first six points, but the Bulldogs soon rallied to tie the score, 8-8. In total, Yale went on a 5-0 run to claim its first lead of the contest at 10-8. The action remained tight to a 16-16 deadlock before Columbia rattled off three straight points to claim a 19-16 advantage and force a Yale timeout. The Lions were undeterred by the stoppage, however, as they soon led by four points at 22-18, at which point Coach Appleman took her second timeout of the frame. The Bulldogs would come to within two points at 22-20, but Columbia was soon at set point leading 24-20. The Lions cashed in on the set-point chance with an ace by Sarah Thompson to take set one, 25-20.

Columbia took the first two points of the second set, before a series of tough serves by Dailey stifled the Lions’ attack and propelled Yale on 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. After a Columbia timeout, the Bulldogs kept the pressure on the home team as they extended their lead to as many as seven points at 17-10. The Lions came to life at that point, winning six of the next seven rallies to cut the margin to two points at 18-16 and force a Bulldogs’ timeout. The two-point cushion held to 20-18, at which point Dailey slammed home two straight kills to give the Bulldogs a four-point lead, 22-18, and force Columbia to burn its second timeout of the set. Yale kept the streak alive after the stoppage as they ran off three consecutive points, punctuated by a Hearst kill, to win set two, 25-18, and tie the match at 1-1 entering the intermission.

The pivotal third set went to a quick 6-6 deadlock, and the squads continued to trade points to a 10-10 tie. At that point, another kill by Hearst and a Clavadetscher ace gave the Bulldogs a 12-10 advantage and forced a Columbia timeout. Hearst continued to dominant with three more kills in the next stretch of action, as the Lions were soon taking another timeout, now trailing by five points at 16-11. Columbia controlled the tempo out of the timeout, and took advantage of three Yale errors to come to within a point at 18-17 and force Appleman to take her first timeout of the set. The two teams traded points to a 22-21 Yale lead, at which point two straight Bulldogs’ points brought the score to set point at 24-22. On the ensuing point, Hearst drove home her ninth kill of the set and 22nd of the match to give Yale a 25-22 win and a 2-1 edge in the match.

With their backs against the wall down 2-1, the Lions ran out to a 4-1 lead in the early stages of set four. The Bulldogs then began to control the net and stormed out to a 10-7 lead to force Columbia to burn a timeout. Yale maintained its momentum out of the stoppage and soon led by five points at 17-12 to force another Lions’ timeout. The Bulldogs would continue to roll in the frame, however, as they finished off the Lions with a 25-18, set-four win.

The Bulldogs return home next weekend, as they continue the Ivy League slate with matches against Dartmouth and Harvard. Both matches will feature live stats and will be streamed live via Yale All-Access.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity