Bulldogs Best Brown in Ivy Opener

Oct. 3, 2008

Box Score

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior Alexis Crusey registered match- and season-highs in both kills and digs, 23 and 18 respectively, to lead the Yale volleyball team to a 3-1 victory at Brown on Friday night. The match was the fourth consecutive win in Ivy League openers for the Bulldogs.

Yale is now 7-3 overall and 1-0 in Ivy League play. The Bears fell to 8-5, 0-1 in league matches, with the loss.

"It was very important for us to start the Ivy season with a win," said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. "I'm very pleased with our performance tonight."

Junior Cat Dailey also notched a double-double for the Bulldogs with 10 kills and 14 digs. Junior Laurel Johnson tallied double figure kills for the first time this season with 12. Senior Ally Mendenhall posted a season high in assists with 43.

"Ally continues to run the offense extremely well," said Coach Appleman of her setter and captain.

The first set started as a back-and-forth affair, with the two teams splitting the first eight points. From that point on, Yale put together a five point run to jump out to a 9-4 advantage. After a Brown timeout, the two squads traded points again, with the Bulldogs' lead remaining between three and six points. Brown called their second and final timeout of the set with Yale holding a 20-14 lead. The stoppage in play did not deter the Bulldogs, who put together a 5-2 run after the timeout to put the first set away by a score of 25-16. Yale hit .200 (13-5-40) in the first set, while Brown his .047 (10-8-43).

In the second set, the teams battled to a 9-9 deadlock, with neither team establishing a lead larger than two points in that time. A quick 3-0 run by Brown pushed the score to 12-9 and forced Coach Appleman to call her first timeout. At that point, the Bulldogs chiseled away at the Bears' lead until they eventually knotted the score at 17-17. A kill by freshman Taylor Cramm gave the Bulldogs a lead at 18-17 and induced a Brown timeout. Brown tallied the first point after the timeout to tie the score at 18-18 and continued to put pressure on the Bulldogs, running the score to 23-21. Yale's second timeout failed to quell the Bears' momentum as they took the second set by a score of 25-22. The hitting percentages were relatively even in the frame, with Yale posting a .297 (16-5-37) mark compared to Brown's .294 (13-3-34). Crusey notched nine kills in the second set with a .571 hitting percentage to lead the Bulldogs.

"I thought we came out very nervous", said Coach Appleman of the first two sets. "We had four freshman- five new players in all- on the court at the start. We definitely settled down after the intermission."

Once again neither team established an early advantage, as the third set started with a 6-6 deadlock. Yale rattled off the next five points, but Brown answered with three straight points of their own to keep the score close at 11-9 in favor of the Bulldogs. A kill by Johnson ended the Bears' run, and the squads then fought to a 15-13 tally in favor of the Bulldogs, at which point Brown Head Coach Diane Short called her first timeout of the set. Yale kept its rally going after the stoppage, and Coach Short was quickly forced to burn her second timeout with the Bulldogs now leading, 19-14. The Bulldogs maintained their edge after the timeout and put the set away by a score of 25-18. Yale posted identical hitting numbers in the second and third sets, as they once again attacked at a clip of .297 (16-5-37). The Bears posted a percentage of .176 (10-4-34) in the frame.

The fourth set marked the first time that either team would jump out to a quick lead, as Yale notched five of the first seven points to establish a 5-2 lead. The Bears quickly would tie the score at 5-5 with three quick points, but the Bulldogs immediate rattled off three points of their own to maintain an 8-5 lead. Yale pieced together a 4-2 run at this point to push the lead to five points at 12-7 and force a Brown timeout. Another 4-2 run by the Bulldogs pushed the score to 16-9 and induced the second timeout called by the home team in the set. Yale refused to let Brown back in the set after the stoppage and eventually put the set and match away with a 25-15 fourth set victory. Johnson notched six kills in seven attempts in the frame without committing an error. The Bulldogs hit a stellar .484 (16-1-31) in the deciding stanza, while the Bears attacked at a clip of .229 (13-5-35)

The Bulldogs and Bears will wrap up their home-and-home season series tomorrow in New Haven. First serve at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is scheduled for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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