Volleyball Dropped by Yale in Straight Sets

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman setter Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) logged a double-double with 12 digs and 12 assists, but the Brown volleyball team suffered a 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-21) setback to league-leading Yale in Ivy League action at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Saturday. The Bears drop to 8-11 overall and 4-4 in the Ancient Eight, while the Bulldogs run their win streak to eight matches to improve to 14-3 overall and 7-0 in league play.

 

Kelly Johnson smashed a match-high 11 kills to help Yale stretch its streak to 21 consecutive Ivy League wins. Kendall Polan distributed 30 assists and Maddie Rudnick hustled for 20 digs for the Bulldogs, who outhit the opposition .202 to .082.

 

For Brown, senior Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.) had a team-best six kills while junior Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) recorded five. Junior Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, Cailf.) tallied 11 digs, while freshman Payton Smith (Atherton, Calf.) finished with four kills and three block assists.

 

The Bears played their strongest volleyball from the opening serve, working an 11-4 lead over the top team in the league. Yale quickly reversed the tides, however, and went on an 11-4 run to tie the set at 15-15. Mollie Rogers cracked back-to-back kills to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the match, and the visitors were the first to 20 on Polan's spike. Lord and senior Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) each managed kills in the closing stretch, but four Brown errors in the final five points handed Yale a 25-21 decision.

 

The Bulldogs took full control midway through the second set and won 25-14 while holding the Bears to just four kills in the frame. Despite struggling to find the empty floor among Yale's back row, Brown stayed within two points up until a 10-8 score. Johnson then found her swing and, paired with Brown miscues, powered Yale to an 8-4 run to end the set.

 

Polan took the team on her back in the opening rallies of the third set, notching a kill and two aces to help Yale build an 8-2 lead. Derrough and Lord continued to attack for Bears and kept the hosts within three points until the Bulldogs broke the 15-point mark on a pair of Brown errors.

 

A rare Yale miscue prompted a timeout and Lord exited the huddle with an authoritative kill to make it a 20-18 game. The squads exchanged errors but Rogers and Mya Midzik both found the floor to force match point.

 

An errant Bulldogs serve got the ball back in Brown's hands facing elimination, but McHaney Carter put the finishing touches on Yale's second victory over the Bears this season.

 

Brown heads to Cambridge, Mass., next Friday to take on Harvard in Ivy League play at 7 p.m.