November 7, 2008

Balanced Attack Leads Bulldogs Past Columbia, 3-0

Nov. 7, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The location may have changed, but the result remained the same for the Yale volleyball team against Ivy League foe Columbia. After sweeping the Lions in New York 13 days ago, the Bulldogs were dominant in another straight set win over Columbia in New Haven at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday night. The Lions were never close to the Bulldogs, who took the match by set scores of 25-12, 25-15 and 25-9. The win was the fifth straight overall for Yale and its 12th in the last 13 matches.

The Bulldogs improved to 16-4 overall and maintained first place in the Ivy League at 10-1.

Nine Bulldogs recorded kills in match, led by a match-best 12 from junior Julia Mailander. As a team, Yale hit a scorching .407, committing only eight attack errors while hammering 45 kills in 91 attempts. Mailander hit .393 (12-1-28), freshman Taylor Cramm hit .429 (8-2-14) and junior Cat Dailey had seven kills on 16 errorless attempts for a hitting percentage of .438.

Junior Alexis Crusey had seven kills in two sets of action, senior Kristen Wilk hammered five kills and senior Ally Mendenhall and freshman Katie Cordell each registered two finishers. Freshman Paloma Pineda picked up her first career kill on her only attempt of the match, and sophomore Kate Parker ended the match with a stuff of a Columbia blocker to notch her first kill of the season.

"Everybody played hard tonight," said Head Coach Erin Appleman of her team's performance, "and we executed very well as a result of that."

Mendenhall ran the offense for most of the evening and distributed a match-best 27 attempts. Parker spelled the senior captain in two sets and recorded a career-high seven assists. Dailey also posted a career best in assists, dishing out six dimes as an outside hitter.

As well as the Bulldogs played on offense, the team proved just as dominant on defense. Columbia mustered a hitting percentage of just .101, including .000 marks in the first and third sets. The Bulldogs notched 43 digs, led by 10 from Crusey, to 30 from the Lions. Yale outblocked the visitors 6-0, and notched a season-high 11 service aces. Sophomore Kelly Ozurovich notched four aces to lead the way. Crusey, Mendenhall and Cordell each recorded two aces and Dailey served up one.

"Columbia has some strong attackers, but our serving and defense was on point all match," said Appleman.

Amalia Viti, the Ivy League kills leader entering Friday, and Monique Roberts led Columbia with six kills apiece. Alex Marchyshyn doled out 15 assists for the Lions, and libero Ellie Thomas chipped in with nine digs.

With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 33-3 all-time against Columbia. Yale has won the last 14 meetings dating back to 2002, including a perfect 12-0 mark in Appleman's six year tenure.

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow afternoon as Cornell visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater for the final home match of the 2008 season. Yale will honor its four player senior class prior to the 4 p.m. start.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity