Balanced Attack Guides Bulldogs to Sweep of Fairfield

Laurel Casey. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Laurel Casey. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Nine different players recorded at least one kill for the Yale volleyball team on Saturday afternoon en route to a clean of the visiting Fairfield Stags on day two of the 2009 Yale Invitational. Sophomore Bridget Hearst was the lone Bulldogs to reach double figures with 11 finishers as the home team took the match by scores of 25-22, 25-15, 25-15.

With the win, the Bulldogs move to 2-0 on the young season. The Stags fall to 2-3 in defeat.

“I thought we played at a very high level today,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman.

Hearst’s 11 kills came on 22 swings, with the just three errors, for a .364 hitting percentage. Senior Cat Dailey slammed eight kills at a .412 clip and added five digs. Junior Kelly Ozurovich fronted the defensive effort with 10 digs in a match that saw eight Bulldogs notch four or more digs. Sophomore Laurel Casey recorded nine digs in three sets of work, including one at libero. Sophomore Taylor Cramm led the Bulldogs, who out-blocked the Stags, 7-2, with four blocks. Freshman Kerry Clavadetscher saw most the action at setter in her collegiate debut and led all players with 22 assists. Sophomore Katie Cordell had three kills on five errorless swings as well as two assists, an ace and four digs.

“Kerry did a fantastic job of distributing the ball and keeping everybody involved,” said Appleman. “And Katie Cordell turned in a great performance in every aspect of the game.”

The Bulldogs outhit Fairfield .308 (37-9-91) to .106 (32-20-113) and notched six aces compared to two by the Stags.

Yale got out to a quick start in the opening set, piling up the first four points of the match behind the tough serving of senior Alexis Crusey. The Stags hung tough to prevent any more long runs by the Bulldogs, but would only put together consecutive points on one occasion in a stretch that saw Yale jump out to a 20-10 lead, its largest of the set. Fairfield would put together a seven-point run to close the gap and force a Yale timeout at 22-17, but the Bulldogs lead proved insurmountable as they claimed set one by a score of 25-22.

The Bulldogs hit .179 (12-5-39) in the frame as compared to a .070 (11-8-43) clip for the Stags. Yale out-blocked its opponent by a 3-1 margin for the set.

After dropping the first point of the second set, the Bulldogs rattled off seven straight points, a stretch that featured three kills from Crusey, to claim a 7-1 lead. Yale put together another run of six points later in the set, while the Stags never came closer than within five points of the Bulldogs as the set wrapped up, 25-15.
Yale hit a scorching .364 (15-3-33) in the set while Fairfield could only muster a .098 (10-6-41) average. All three blocks in the frame came from the home squad.

After the Stags took three of the first four points in set three, Yale strung together a four-point to grab a 5-3 lead and never looked back. A pair of 6-0 runs pushed the lead to double-figures at 20-10, and the two squads shared the final 10 points of the frame as the Bulldogs took the match with a 25-15 set three victory.

Yale swung with an even greater proficiency in set three, hitting .474 (10-1-19) while the Stags tallied a .172 percentage (11-6-29). Each team tallied a block in the set.

Fairfield’s Brianna Dixion led all players with 12 kills and added 10 digs for a double-double. Kara Reis also notched 10 digs for the Stags, and Lauren Balmert tallied 19 assists.

Earlier in the day, Colorado defeated Georgetown, 3-1, to move to 2-0 at the Yale Invitational. The 7 p.m. match between the Bulldogs and Buffaloes will determine the 2009 Yale Invitational Champion. Georgetown and Fairfield will square off to open the evening session at 5 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity