Volleyball extends streak to six with 0-2 weekend
In its final two away matches of the 2014 season, the women’s volleyball team suffered back-to-back sweeps to the University of Pennsylvania, 25-22, 25-16, 25-21, and Princeton University, 25-18, 25-19, 28-26, to extend its losing streak to six.
This has been a season of streaks for the Big Green (13-10, 4-8 Ivy), who raced out to a 11-2, 2-0 Ivy start before dropping eight of its last 10 contests, including a 1-6 record on the road.
The Big Green struggled with kill percentage and floor defense this weekend, posting a combined .195 kill percentage over both contests.
“We don’t convert digs to points as well as other teams,” captain Paige Caridi ’16 said. “If we can capitalize on good passing, our offense runs like it should.”
The Big Green began its weekend play Friday with a game against the Quakers (8-15, 5-7 Ivy), who defeated Dartmouth 3-1 earlier this season in Leede Arena.
“I was disappointed we weren’t able to have a better showing,” head coach Erin Lindsey said. “The team competed hard but ultimately we had too many unforced errors to win.”
A kill by Emily Astarita ’17 put the women up 0-1 in the first set before Penn went on a 3-0 run off of Dartmouth errors that Astarita ended with her second kill of the night. The Big Green had a 3-0 run of its own to tie the game at 6-6 with a kill by Caridi and a combined block by Sara Lindquist ’18 and Kaira Lujan ’16. Astarita’s fourth kill and a service ace by Stacey Benton ’17 put Dartmouth in the lead, 11-9. The Quakers quickly caught up and regained a one-point lead before Alex Schoenberger ’15 slammed two consecutive kills to give the Big Green a slight edge once more at 13-12. The teams took turns scoring and tied the game six more times before Penn closed the set.
Hoping to bounce back, Dartmouth scored first in the second set off of another service ace by Benton. The Quakers responded with an early 3-0 run that Schoenberger ended with her sixth kill of the contest. Penn dominance characterized the second set as the Quakers went on a 7-0 run to bring the score to 20-13 before Caridi answered with a kill. The Big Green could not catch up, and Penn claimed the second set, 25-16. Kill percentage made the difference — the Big Green killed at a rate of .100 while the Quakers converted .429.
Emily Patrick ’17 opened the third set with a kill, and, like the first set, the Big Green and the Quakers traded points and had several early ties before Penn found success in the closing points off of a 4-0 run, ending at 25-21.
The Big Green finished with 40 kills, including 11 from Schoenberger, nine from Astarita and five from Caridi.
“The coaches told us to stay aggressive,” Caridi said. “We needed to take advantage of free balls from our opponents and set up good plays for ourselves.”
Looking to bounce back after Friday’s loss, the women focused on upsetting the Tigers (13-9, 8-4 Ivy) at their own Dillon Gymnasium after defeating them, 3-2, only two weeks before in Hanover for the team’s last win.
Princeton started the first set with a 3-0 run before a combined block by Morgan Dressel ’18 and Lindquist put the Big Green on the board. Dressel teamed up with Astarita for the next point to bring the score to 3-2. But the Tigers did not let up. A kill by Lindquist brought the Big Green within four points of Princeton, but the Tigers made a 3-0 run late in the set to increase the gap, closing it at 25-18.
Princeton only improved in the second and third sets. Both featured lengthy runs by the Tigers that the Big Green could not answer. A late surge by the women in the third set, however, tied the score at 21-21 after kills by Schoenberger and Caridi as well as a service ace by Linquist. Seeking a chance to extend the match, Dartmouth momentarily seized the lead at 22-21 after an attack error. The teams exchanged points and tied five more times before Princeton closed the game, 28-26, off of a 3-0 run.
“We didn’t play to our potential, which was disappointing,” Benton said. “But we have to move forward.”
The team returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. against Cornell University and Saturday at 5 p.m. versus Columbia University, with an additional slot to honor the team’s seniors. Both will be played in Leede Arena. Columbia ranks seventh in the Ancient Eight and Cornell is last. Earlier this season, the Big Green fell to Columbia in four sets before beating Cornell in straight sets the next night.