October 10, 2008

Volleyball Notches First Ivy Win

Oct. 10, 2008

Box Score

Providence, R.I. - The Brown volleyball team (9-6) snapped a five-game losing streak with an emphatic win over Ivy League rival Harvard (7-8) at the Pizzitola Center on Friday night. Sophomore Brianna Williamson (Cincinnati, OH) led the charge for the Bears in the 3-1 victory with one of her best matches of the season, notching 15 kills with a .350 attack percentage. Williamson also added three assists, a service ace, and five block assists, displaying her superb all-around skills.

Knowing that the evening provided a terrific chance to pick up the team's first Ivy win, the Bears came out swinging in the first game, racing out to a 10-4 lead behind torrid offensive play. Though Harvard was able to get back in the game, eventually closing to within 22-19, Brown was able to weather the storm and answered by ripping off three consecutive points to take the opener 25-19.

Having been taken somewhat by surprise in the first game, the Crimson came out determined not to repeat their mistake in the second, and took an aggressive approach in building an early 14-6 lead. The Bears continued to show their resiliency, however, and after finding themselves in a 20-14 hole they were able to close the gap to 23-20. Bruno continued coming back, but Harvard was barely able to get the last two points in time, evening the match at 1-1 with a 25-23 second-set win.

As the teams entered the third game it was apparent that neither would go down easily, as both sides had shown tremendous energy. Brown jumped out to a quick 10-6 lead before extending it to 19-13. Harvard then seized the momentum, however, and went on a run of its own to tie the game at 24. Needing to win by two, each side pushed the intensity up even further, as the rallies became longer and longer and the crowd grew louder with every point. After several tense points though, the Bears were finally able to take control of the match and gain a critical 2-1 game lead with a 30-28 victory in the third game.

Although Harvard fought hard in the fourth set with their backs against the wall, the momentum of the overtime third game seemed to give Brown new energy. After trading points for much of the game, the Bears buckled down and went on a 7-2 run to close out the match with a 25-19 win. In the final game Brown hit an impressive .389 from the field while their stifling defense held the Crimson to only .154, their worst game of the match.

Brown had a number of noteworthy performances on the night, including several from normally unsung players that stepped up in the crunch. Playing in place of injured libero Annika Gliottone (Warwick, R.I.), freshman Spencer McAndrews (Los Angeles, CA) had a terrific match, tallying a team-high 20 defensive digs. Seniors Natalie Meyers (Seal Beach, CA) and Lyndse Yess (Eugene, OR) also provided their usual strong play. Meyers had five kills, 49 assists, three aces, and 12 digs while Yess tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs, while adding two assists and three aces. Junior Ann Cowell (Santa Barbara, CA), who had played in only 12 games coming into the night, appeared in all four games and notched seven kills with a team-high .500 attack percentage and also led the team with five total blocks, including a solo stop at a critical point in the final game.

The Bears will be in action again on Saturday afternoon, when they will host Ivy League rival Dartmouth at 4 p.m.