HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Columbia in Ivy League action on Friday evening inside Leede Arena. The Green and White jumped out to a commanding 2-0 lead, before dropping the next three sets to the Lions. Dartmouth fell to the Columbia, 26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 21-25, 5-15.
With the loss, the Big Green (7-9, 0-4 Ivy League) have now lost six straight matches overall and seven in a row versus the Lions (4-9, 2-2 Ivy League).
Head coach Erin Lindsey’s squad took the edge late in the first set with Columbia leading, 24-22. Dartmouth rallied, scoring the sets final four points to take the wind out of the Lions’ sails. During the 4-0 run, freshmen Emily Astarita powered the Big Green to the lead with three kills.
Dartmouth got off to a quick start in the second set, opening on a 7-3 run. The Big Green’s offense and defense were dominant throughout the set as they never surrendered their lead en route to a 2-0 lead. Columbia showed signs of life late, rallying to pull within four at 24-20, before Kaira Lujan ended the set with kill off a nice set by Stacey Benton.
The momentum shifted in third set as the Lions controlled the ball and took advantage of some digging and attack mistakes by the Big Green. The team from the Upper Valley battled throughout both the third and fourth sets, but the Lions won each, 25-21.
In the fifth set, Columbia jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back. After an attack error by Alex Reale brought Dartmouth within one at 2-1, the Lions reeled off six straight points.
Offensively, Dartmouth had four players register double digit kill totals for the second time this season. Senior co-captain Elisa Scudder led the way with 14 while Molly Kornfeind, Astarita and Lujan added 13, 12 and 10, respectively. Freshman Stacey Benton had another strong game setting, dishing out a match-high 44 assists. Lujan continues to make the most of her opportunities as she had an attack percentage of .304 in 23 attempts.
The loss at home was the seventh conference defeat in a row in Hanover for the Big Green. Scudder continues to re-write the record books for Dartmouth, as she now has 288 career blocks. The Class of 2017 continues to impress during their first year on campus as a trio of attackers combined for 28 kills. The Big Green are 0-3 this season in five-set matches.
The Big Green return to action tomorrow, Oct. 12, squaring off with Cornell in Ivy League action inside Leede Arena. The match is set for 5 p.m. as Dartmouth looks to avenge a 3-0 defeat to the Big Red a year ago in Hanover.