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Volleyball opens Ivy schedule versus Yale

The volleyball team opened league play with a home-and-home series against Yale last weekend — after a tough loss to the Bulldogs at the Pizzitola, Bruno traveled to New Haven, where they delivered a valiant performance but ultimately fell.

Yale (8-5) visited Providence for the first game of the series on Friday night, but despite the impressive crowd, Bruno (6-8) lost 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-18). The first two sets were highly contested, and the hometown fans let their presence be known. In the first set, the score was tied at 16 before Yale pulled ahead. In the second frame, the Bears battled back from an early deficit to tie it at 24 before coming up short.

"Really, the first two games could have gone either way," said Head Coach Diane Short. "If we had won those first two games, it would have been a whole different match. Because those two games were so close, the fan support was almost like having another player on the court."

A pregame injury weighed heavily on the team's mind, as Carly Cotton '13 suffered a concussion before the game. Cotton will be out for a couple of weeks, Short said.

"Sometimes, psychologically, just having a change like that or being worried about a teammate can make you lose a little energy, so because of that I think we came out a little bit flat," Short said.

In the second game of the weekend, Bruno traveled to New Haven where they took Yale to a fifth set in a 3-2 loss (25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-8). One major difference between the two games was Bruno's level of defense on Saturday. The players succeeded in making digs that they missed on Friday and put together a better team performance.

"Defensively, we just played a lot better and we were tracking the ball," Short said. "We were kind of sitting back on Friday night."

Bruno also learned from its loss the night before and made adaptations that allowed the team to be more successful.

"Yale has a lot of tendencies with where they hit on the court, what their blockers do and where their setters are going to set," said Jessica Gandy '12. On Friday, "we just kind of went out there and played, but on Saturday, we paid more attention to detail."

After coming off a tough loss, the team felt the need to prove itself on the court.

"On Saturday, we had that fire, sort of like redemption," said Bailey Wendzel '13. "We had that hunger and fire, so I think that really helped us close out a lot of games that we couldn't close out on Friday."

The team also had a more personal motivation during Saturday's match.

"We just hate Yale, so we wanted to beat them in their own gym because their fans are pretty rowdy," Gandy said.

Despite the losses, Short said she believes the team learned a valuable lesson last weekend that the players will take with them as they travel to Princeton on Friday and Penn on Saturday.

"It was a heartbreaking loss, but we also got confidence out of it because we could see how we could play," she said.

Gandy said she has little doubt about how the team will perform in its upcoming matches.

"Total domination," she said. "We're going to Princeton and Penn, and we're not coming back with anything less than two W's."


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