Balanced Bulldogs Sweep Central Connecticut State

Kerry Clavadetscher. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Eleven different players recorded kills, led by 13 from senior Alexis Crusey, and junior Kelly Ozurovich tallied a match-best 22 digs to lead the Yale volleyball team to a sweep of intra-state rival Central Connecticut State in day one action of the Yale Classic. Freshman Kerry Clavadetscher played two sets at setter and piled up a match-best 30 assists. The baker’s dozen of kills by Crusey ran her career total to 1,104 and pushed her into sixth place on the Bulldogs’ all-time kills list.

With their fourth consecutive win, the Bulldogs improve to 8-1 on the season. Yale has now won six straight matches at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, dating back to the final two home contests of 2008. Central Connecticut State has lost four of its last five matches, and now sits at 4-8.

“This was a great effort all-around,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “Kelly Ozurovich continues to play outstanding defense for us”.

Freshman Haley Wessels recorded seven kills, while Laurel Johnson, Julia Mailander and Katie Cordell all finished with six finishers. Taylor Cramm and Kate Parker, who took over setting duties in the third frame, each racked up three kills, while Clavadetscher and sophomore Paloma Pineda notched two kills apiece. Lydia Mailander and Anya Cekauskas rounded out the Bulldogs’ offense with one kill each.

“Everybody really contributed to this win,” said Appleman. “I was very pleased that our younger players got the opportunity take some swings”.

As a team, Yale hit .313 (50-14-115) for the match, led by a .355 (13-2-31) mark from Crusey and a .357 (7-2-14) clip by Wessels. Julia Mailander hit .500 on 12 errorless swings. The Bulldogs outblocked the Blue Devils, 5-4, and landed six service aces as compared to two from the visitors. Central Connecticut State swung at a .147 (27-12-102) clip in the contest.

The match began as a tightly-contested affair, as the two teams split the first 12 points of set one to a 6-6 deadlock. An ace from Ozurovich and a kill by Wessels gave Yale the first multiple-point lead of the set at 8-6, and a long stretch of back-and-forth play kept the Bulldogs’ advantage intact up to a 14-12 tally. Yale would rally to extend its lead to five points at 19-14, aided by two kills and a block from Wessels, and never looked back en route to a 25-20 win.

Wessels led all players with five kills in the opening frame. Clavadetscher doled out 16 assists in set one, and Crusey had a set-best seven digs. Sara Delacey was the lone Blue Devil with multiple kills, notching a pair of finishers in the set.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in set two, taking a 3-2 advantage and never trailing again. After Central Connecticut State forced a 6-6 tie, Yale went on a three-point run to regain a lead that they would not relinquish. The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points en route to winning by that double-digit margin, 25-15.

Crusey notched a set-high five kills, while Clavadetscher was again tops in assists with 14. Ozurovich amassed nine digs to lead all players. Jamie Baumert slammed four kills for the Blue Devils.

Set three was over as soon as it began, with Yale rattling off the first four points of the set. The Bulldogs’ cushion never shrank to less than three point in the frame, and grew as large as seven points, and Yale coasted to a clean sweep with a 25-18 victory.

Crusey led all players again with four kills in the set. Kate Parker stepped in a doled out eight assists, and Ozurovich once again racked up nine digs. Blaike King and Emily Coachran each had four kills to lead Central Connecticut State.

The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow, hosting a pair of matches. Yale hosts Quinnipiac at 11 a.m. and challenges Binghamton at 7 p.m. The Bearcats will also play Central Connecticut State in a 1 p.m. contest as a part of the Yale Classic.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity