Seniors Lead Yale to Sweep of Crimson

Alexis Crusey (photo by Don Clark)
Alexis Crusey (photo by Don Clark)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Seniors Alexis Crusey and Cat Dailey each slammed double-figure kills- a match-best 12 kills from Crusey and 10 for Dailey- to guide the Yale volleyball team to a sweep of historic rival Harvard at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon. Crusey added nine digs to fall just short of a double-double as the Bulldogs took the match by set scores of 25-23, 25-18 and 25-21.

With the win, the Bulldogs move to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League. Harvard falls to 8-11 on the season with an even 4-4 mark in Ancient Eight play.

“We came out with great intensity and played at a very high level today”, said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman.

Freshman Haley Wessels added eight kills for Yale, and sophomore Bridget Hearst contributed seven. Hearst also landed five service aces, including four straight to spark a Yale run in the first set. Sophomore Taylor Cramm notched four finishers on eight errorless swings, and freshman Kerry Clavadetscher added three kills from the setter slot. Clavadetscher, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, dished out a match-best 38 assists.

Defensively, junior libero Kelly Ozurovich shared the team high in digs, matching Crusey’s nine. Dailey had seven digs, and Clavadetscher and sophomore Laurel Casey each notched five digs. Senior Lydia Mailander picked up two digs, and Hearst and Wessels had one apiece. Wessels had a hand in a match-best five of the Bulldogs’ six blocks.

“It was great to see everybody contributing in so many different ways”, said Appleman. “Lydia Mailander and Taylor Cramm came off the bench and brought tremendous energy to the court.”

Anne Carroll Ingersoll led Harvard with nine kills. Lily Durwood shouldered the setting duties for the Crimson and dished out 30 assists. Libero Christine Wu had the match high with 14 digs.

The match started as a back-and-forth affair, with the Bulldogs and Crimson splitting the first 18 points to a 9-9 deadlock. At that point, Wessels slammed home a kill and Hearst landed four straight service aces to give Yale a 14-9 advantage and force a Harvard timeout. A four-point surge out of the stoppage brought the Crimson back to within striking distance, and the score would eventually be knotted up again at 20-20. The stalemates held up to 22-22, and a Wu service ace gave the Crimson its first lead of the frame and forced Appleman to call a timeout. A Hearst kill tied the score at 23-23, and a pair of Harvard attack errors off of tough serves from Hearst gave the Bulldogs set one, 25-23.

Set two saw the Bulldogs jump to an early lead, fueled by a 6-0 run, at 9-4. Harvard fired back at that point with a 7-2 spurt that tied the score at 11-11. A kill and an ace from Crusey stopped the Crimson’s streak and started a five-point Yale rally that saw the Bulldogs take a 16-11 run. Harvard did not have an answer this time, as Yale maintained its lead to take set two, 25-18, and earn a 2-0 edge in the match.

The beginning of set three was more of the same, as each team put together multiple-point runs to a 13-13 deadlock. Once again, it was Yale that broke the tie with a four-point surge to take a 17-13 lead that they would not relinquish. The Bulldogs would extend their lead as far as six points at 24-18. Harvard would break three consecutive match-point opportunities to force a Yale timeout, but the Bulldogs closed out the contest out of the stoppage courtesy of a Hearst kill to claim the match with a 25-21 victory.

At the halfway point of the Ivy League calendar, the Bulldogs sit in second place with a 6-1 tally. Yale is back in action next weekend with a chance to avenge its lone league defeat and, more importantly, move into a tie for first place on Oct. 30 at 7-0 Penn. The Bulldogs close out the weekend on Saturday afternoon at Princeton.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity


Video has no source Url in width="425" height="344">

Video by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity