HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s volleyball team fell to defending conference champion Yale, 3-1, in Ivy League action on Friday night inside Leede Arena. The Big Green battled the Bulldogs throughout the match, becoming just the second team in league play to win a set at home.
With the loss, the Big Green (10-11, 3-6 Ivy) have now dropped seven of their last eight to the Bulldogs (15-3, 9-0 Ivy). The Ancient Eight rivals played a tight match as Yale produced 63 kills to Dartmouth’s 46. The Bulldogs had 72 digs and eight blocks while the Green and White had 61 and 6, respectively.
In the first set, after surrendering two of the first three points, Dartmouth rallied to take a 6-3 lead thanks to a trio of service aces by freshman Stacey Benton. After stealing momentum, the Big Green held the advantage for a majority of the game, building their lead to as many as six at 14-8 via an ace from senior co-captain Elisa Scudder. Yale would answer scoring six of the next seven points to pull within one at 15-14. The Bulldogs battled back to tie the game at 19 after a Kelly Johnson kill. Down the stretch, Yale would end on a 6-4 run to take a 1-0 advantage.
In set two, the team from the Upper Valley came out strong scoring eight of the first 13 points to hold an 8-5 edge. Once again the Big Green would build an early lead and hold it for a majority of the match. This time, Dartmouth held off a late Bulldog charge scoring four of the final five points to knot the match at one. Trailing 21-20, Dartmouth took the lead and never looked back thanks a three straight kills from sophomore Paige Caridi.
After the 10-minute intermission, Yale showed why they haven’t lost a conference game in nearly two years, jumping out to an early 5-2 lead. The Bulldogs never trailed in the set as they took a 2-1 lead.
The first half of the fourth set belonged to the Big Green, however the second half was all Bulldogs as Yale rallied for the victory. Dartmouth raced out to a 16-10 lead thanks to a trio of 3-0 runs. From there, Yale went on a 5-0 run and scored eight of the next 10 point to knot the set at 18. Down the stretch, the Bulldogs closed on a 7-2 run to earn their ninth league win of the season.
Offensively, Caridi registered a double-double to lead the attack for the Big Green. The outside hitter registered a match-high 17 kills and produced 10 digs. Fresh off being named Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week, Emily Astarita had 14 kills for Dartmouth. Stacey Benton continued her strong play dishing out 36 assists to go along with a quartet of kills and 11 digs.
Dartmouth returns to the court on Saturday, Nov. 2, facing Brown in Ivy League action. The Big Green look to avenge a five-set loss that came earlier in the year in Providence.