Bulldogs Close Out Ivy Regular Season at Cornell, Columbia

Izzy Simqu. (photo credit: Steve Musco)
Izzy Simqu. (photo credit: Steve Musco)

The Bulldogs enter the final weekend of the regular season in the mix to win their sixth Ivy League title in the last eight seasons.  

Yale is tied for first place with two road matches in New York left to play this weekend.  The Bulldogs are tied with Princeton, who plays at Harvard and Dartmouth.  

The Tigers and Bulldogs each control their own destiny. Should both sweep the weekend, they would share the Ivy League title and force a one-match Ivy League Volleyball Playoff to be contested the following weekend.

Matches at Cornell and Columbia await the Bulldogs with a league title on the line.  The trip starts on Friday night at Cornell, and continues at Columbia Saturday evening.

While Yale (15-6, 9-3 Ivy) beat both teams in New Haven earlier this season, the Big Red and Lions are a combined 9-1 in Ivy League home games this season.  Yale is 4-1 in road matches in the Ivy League and have won 14 of 19 sets.  

Last weekend, the Bulldogs split a pair of matches at home. Harvard outlasted the Bulldogs in a match that was tied 34 times, including 10 different points in the fifth set.  

Kate Swanson, the league leader in digs, finished with 38 -- the highest mark for any Ivy Leaguer this season and a career-best. Swanson also surpassed the 1,000-dig mark for her collegiate career during the match.  

Kathryn Attar had a team-best 19 kills for the second straight match.  In her rookie season, Attar ranks fifth in the conference in kills per set (3.05). 

Franny Arnautou passed the 1,000-assist mark in her Yale career in a win over Dartmouth the next night.  Arnautou had 16 assists, eight digs and three aces, and Attar had 11 kills and 11 digs in the 3-0 victory over the Big Green.

The Bulldogs lead the conference during league play in digs per set (17.16) and rank second in blocks (2.33).  Yale's first-year Chiara Spain ranks second in the Ivy League in blocks per set.

Scouting the Opponents

Cornell (10-11, 6-6) -- The Big Red is led by sophomore middle blocker Jenna Phelps and senior libero Kiley McPeek. Phelps averages .51 service aces per set to rank sixth nationally, while McPeek registers 4.90 digs per set to sit 46th in NCAA Division I.  As a team, Cornell tallies 17.30 digs per set, which is 24th in NCAA Division I.

Columbia (9-12, 4-8) -- The Lions average 1.71 aces per set to rank eighth in the nation.    Anja Malesevic leads the conference in kills per set (4.27) and points per set (4.84).

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity