Bulldogs Close 2009 With Sweep at Brown

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In the final match of her collegiate career, senior Alexis Crusey took sole possession of third place on the Yale all-time kills list as the Bulldogs swept Brown in Providence, R.I. on Tuesday evening to close out the 2009 season. Senior Cat Dailey led all players with 13 kills and 25 digs, her 12th double-double of the season and third in a row, to lead Yale to victory by set scores of 29-27, 25-13 and 25-18.

With the victory, Yale concludes the 2009 campaign at 21-4, setting a new program record for winning percentage at .840. The Bulldogs also finished second in the Ivy League at 11-3, marking the sixth consecutive campaign in which Yale has posted double-digit wins in the Ancient Eight. Brown wraps up its season at 6-19 overall and 2-12 in league play.

Crusey had seven kills in her collegiate finale to bring her career total to 1,286, the third-most in Yale history and the most ever by a Bulldog in the rally scoring era (2001-present). She also added 15 digs to finish seventh all-time with 1,219.

Senior Laurel Johnson closed out her career with six kills (6-1-11, .455) and two blocks, bringing her career total up to an even 200. Johnson was one of three Bulldogs with six kills, as sophomores Taylor Cramm and Bridget Hearst each slammed home a half-dozen finishers. Freshman Kerry Clavadetscher dished out a match-best 32 assists from the setter slot, and junior libero Kelly Ozurovich had 18 digs in the season finale to move past Lesley Coben ’00 into fifth place all-time at Yale with 1,241 digs in her career.

Katrina Post (12 kills, 16 digs) and Brianna Williamson (10 kills, 10 digs) each had double-doubles for the Bears. Annika Gliottone and Spencer Andrews shared setting duties and doled out 18 and 15 assists, respectively, while Carly Cotton led the Brown back row with 20 digs.

The first set was the most competitive of the three, as neither squad scored more than two consecutive points en route to a 13-13 deadlock. At that point, it was Brown that took control with a 3-0 run to force a Yale timeout. The Bulldogs would chip away at the lead over the next stretch of action, until a kill from Cramm knotted the score once again at 21-21. The Bears proved to be resilient, however, as they were the first team to gain a set-point opportunity, leading 24-23. A kill from Crusey thwarted that chance and, after a Post kill, a big swing by the senior squashed another opportunity to steal set one. After a Brown attack error, the Bulldogs were off-target on their first set-point chance, and the score landed at 26-26. A Dailey kill gave Yale another opportunity, but Post answered to know the score for the 17th time in the set at 27-27. Dailey’s seventh kill of set one gave Yale a third crack at set point, and this time the Bulldogs delivered as a Brown attack error gave Yale a 29-27 set-one victory.

Set two picked up where the first set left off, as Brown led 6-4 after the first 10 rallies. The Bears began to unravel at that point, however, as four Brown errors led to a 5-0 run that saw Yale claim the lead at 9-6. Another four-point spurt ensued, and the Bulldogs soon had a bit of a cushion, leading by six points at 13-7. Brown would never get closer than four points through the remainder of the set as Yale ran away with a 25-13 victory to claim a 2-0 lead in the match.

Set three raced out to a 7-7 stalemate before the Bulldogs made the first run of the frame. Two kills from Crusey highlighted a four-point spurt that gave Yale a lead it would not relinquish. The Bears cut the lead down to one with a run of their own, but another four-point Yale run followed to give the Bulldogs a 15-10 edge. A string of five straight points later in the set put the Bulldogs out of reach, leading 23-14, as they walked away with a 25-18 victory to close out the sweep.

The Yale Class of 2010, which consists of Crusey, Dailey, Johnson, Lydia Mailander and captain Julia Mailander, finishes its career with a record of 74-24 (.755), the best winning percentage for a Bulldog class to play four varsity seasons. That group also posted an impressive 45-11 (.804) Ivy League record in four seasons in the Elm City.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity