By David F. Pendrys [Official Box Score from Yale Athletics]
NEW HAVEN, CT – The Yale Bulldogs volleyball squad picked up a needed win Saturday evening over the Dartmouth Big Green on Senior Night. Despite a strong attempt to avoid it from the visitor’s Yale was able to come back from a set 3 deficit to complete a sweep.
Kathryn Attar led Yale with 11 Kills as she hit for a .345 hit percentage. Tristin Kott and Kelley Wirth also had 8 Kills, Izzy Simqu whapped 6 while hitting for .455, Senior Kaitlyn Gibbons had 4 and fellow Senior Megan Rasmussen had 2. Yale also picked up points from 3 service Aces from Franny Arnautou, 2 from Senior Kelsey Crawford and 1 each from Attar, Yurika Boyd, and Kate Swanson. Crawford had 21 Assists, and Arnautou had 16 to help setup the flexible Yale attack. The team hit for .227 overall.
Dartmouth found offense from Mallen Bischoff’s 9 Kills, Carly Tower’s 8, and Samanath Bozoian and Tori Dozier’s 6 apiece, as well as from other players. Tower hit for .438 on the day. Dozier had the lone service Ace for the Big Green on the night. The visitor’s only hit for .148 on the day.
Chiara Spain shared 3 blocks, and Attar, Gibbons, Wirth, Kott, and Shreya Dixit all shared Blocks on the night too. Dartmouth’s Tola Akinwumi had 5 shared Blocks, Dozier and Tower had 4 shared Blocks apiece, and Sara Lindquist and Bozoian had 2 each.
Defensively Swanson had 19 Digs as Libero, Attar contributed 11, and a cadre of other Yale players picked up several. Dozier had 15 for Dartmouth, Libero Zoe Leonard had 13, and others were spread out across their teammates.
The first set started out Yale’s way as they pushed to a 5-1 lead only to have Dartmouth battle back to a 7-7 tie. The two teams would continue to trade points and momentum all the way to an 18-18 score. Yale took the lead again thanks to a cross court Kill from Wirth and a Dartmouth error to follow. Tower responded with a spike off the blockers, but Kott answered for Yale to keep the lead at 2. Lindquist cut it in half with her Kill, but Simqu tapped the ball over the blocking line and no one the big green could get it back over. Bozoian and Akinwumi teamed up to block a Bulldogs attack, but that was last point they would get as Attar struck twice, including after a nice defensive save by Wirth. With the set on the line Attar and Spain’s tandem block ended it 25-21. Yale’s hit percentage was .140 and Dartmouth hit for .089.
Set 2 also started out in Yale’s favor as they swept to a 7-0 lead mainly with Arnautou serving. Dartmouth regrouped and gave chase but the Bulldogs kept a healthy lead throughout reaching a 20-12 advantage. A kill from Mallen Bischoff, was returned out of bounds, and she followed that with a Kill through the opposing Blockers. Tower then had a Kill of her own, and a Yale attack into the net put their lead at only 20-16.
Wirth however smacked a kill to stop the run, and she then used a tactical approach to set the ball to the back gap in the Big Green area. Dartmouth committed an error to bring things to 23-16. An errant Yale serve gave Dartmouth their last point of the set, but Spain had a Kill, and an error from their opponents ended the set 25-17. Yale hit .312 to Dartmouth’s .094.
Dartmouth stole the initiative in set 3 by getting out to a 6-2 lead, only for Yale to catch right back up to 6-6. The Big Green however kept rolling and picked up a 17-10 lead. Usually this would be a difficult deficit to make up, but Yale did just that. With the score at 18-12, the Bulldogs went on a run touched off by a Wirth kill caused when she desperately hit it up and it dropped in on the Dartmouth side surprising both the Big Green and the Yale line. Dixit and Kott then shared a Block, and Dartmouth attacked out of bounds. The Big Green called time but it didn’t help as Dixit spiked a Kill in between two opponent’s errors. With the score tied Rasmussen slashed a cross court kill just in bounds to take the lead.
Dartmouth wasn’t going away quietly and Akinwumi and Lindquist had a Block, before Dozier served up an Ace, and Bozoian sent the ball off the blockers and out of play to gain a 21-19 lead. Yale called time and Dixit came out of it with a Kill to cut the lead, only to have Dartmouth hit the ball into the net and the set was tied.
Rasmussen’s spike popped off a Dartmouth dig, but Akinwumi unleashed a smash of a Kill to keep it tied. Kott responded, but Bozoian crushed an attack. Simqu however landed a kill just inside the lines to take a 24-23 lead and Attar landed the final blow to seal the set and match. Yale had a .261 hitting percentage to Dartmouth’s .244.
The Yale Seniors spoke after the game.
Attar and Kott also provided their perspective.