HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking home loss on Friday to Columbia, 3-2. The Big Green won the first two sets, but the Lions responded to win the last three. The loss dropped Dartmouth to 10-7 overall and 2-4 in the conference. Columbia improved to 11-5 and 5-1 in the Ivy League.
The Big Green had their opportunities to upend one of the top teams in the conference, but could not close out an early lead in the match. After winning the first two sets, the Lions won the third and fourth to push the match to a deciding fifth.
In the fifth, the squads went back and forth through the first 10 points to remain deadlocked at 5-5. Dartmouth won the next three points on two attack errors by Columbia and a kill by senior Annie Villanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif.) to take an 8-5 lead. The Lions called a timeout, and then won five of the next seven points to tie the score at 10.
The Big Green regained the lead on a kill by freshman Lucia Pohlman (Mill Valley, Calif.), but again Columbia responded on a kill by Savannah Fletcher. Dartmouth took a 12-11 lead on another kill by Pohlman, but the Lions won the next three points to give themselves two match points at 14-12. The Big Green fought off the first on a kill by freshman Alex Schoenberger (Corte Madera, Calif.), but Columbia ended the match on a kill by Madeline Rumer to win the set, 15-13.
Dartmouth had four players with at least 14 kills. Schoenberger led the team with 16, senior Madeline Baird (Austin, Texas) and Villanueva each had 15 and Pohlman totaled 14. Baird also recorded a double-double with her 24 digs. The outside hitter was one of three Big Green to have 10-plus digs. Junior Alissa Santa Maria (Yorba Linda, Calif.) recorded 16 digs and senior Amber Bryant (Libertyville, Ill.) had 14.
The Big Green won the first two sets by hitting at a high percentage. In the first, Dartmouth hit .273 with 13 kills to take the set, 25-21. The team was even better in the second, hitting .316 with 15 kills to win the set, 25-21.
Columbia turned the tide after the 10-minute intermission by coming out strong in the third and the fourth. The Lions hit .382 in the third to win the set, 25-21, and used a late run in the fourth to win the set, 25-20.
For the match, the Lions hit .235, while the Big Green hit .213. The Columbia front line caused all kinds of trouble for the Big Green, tallying 13 total blocks. Fletcher led the team with six block assists. Megan Gaughn led all players with 17 kills. Charlee Dyroff recorded 24 digs to lead the team.
The Big Green look to bounce back when they host Cornell on Saturday at 5 p.m.