Women's volleyball closes season with a .500 record

by Nate Niparko | 11/14/05 6:00am

The Big Green volleyball team closed out its season with a strong showing against Yale on Friday and a win over Brown on Saturday.

With the split of the weekend's matches, Dartmouth finishes with a 12-12 overall record, with a mark of 5-9 in Ivy League play. This season marks the first since 1999 in which the team has finished with a winning percentage of .500 or better.

Sarah Nadler '06, the team's only graduating senior, brought her Dartmouth volleyball career to a close in good form, totaling 28 kills and 20 digs over the two matches.

She will leave a large hole for the team to fill, as the four-year starter is third in Dartmouth's record books for both kills and digs.

Setter Katie Hirsch '08 said of Nadler, "She brought a lot of mature confidence to the team. We could look to her to calm us down in difficult situation. As a setter I could give her the ball and she would end the point."

In Friday night's match, the Big Green looked to avenge their October loss to Yale. While Friday's match played to the same result as their first meeting, Dartmouth showed the Bulldogs a different attitude.

When the teams met in New Haven, Yale swept the Big Green and held Dartmouth to less than 20 points in two out of the three games.

The Big Green brought intensity from the opening points of the match and claimed the first game of the match. In a game characterized by rallies by both sides, Dartmouth jumped out to an early lead and braved the Yale surge, ultimately winning 30-28.

The following three games were less successful as the Big Green's serve receive became less predictable. The Bulldogs ultimately prevailed, winning the match three games to one with game scores of 28-30, 30-20, 30-21 and 30-24.

On Saturday, Dartmouth got its rematch with Brown. The Bears, too, had beaten the Big Green earlier in the season. Their first meeting was a virtual deadlock, as the match required five games to determine a winner, with Brown winning the final game by two points.

This time around, Dartmouth earned a decisive victory. The team, usually not a strong blocking group, banded together and registered 13 blocks.

The blocking efforts were lead by Frances Samolowicz '08 (five blocks), while Cecily Kaya '09 put together another strong passing performance.

The Big Green won games one and two by scores of 30-27 and 30-26 respectively. They allowed the Bears to rally in game three and could not recover from the surge, losing 30-27.

Brown carried momentum into game four, but it was Dartmouth that would claim the decisive game.

The final kill of the season came bitter-sweetly from the hands of Nadler, as the Big Green won game four 34-32 to win their season finale. Nadler had 14 kills in the match to accompany her versatile back row play.

Setters Katie Hirsch and Elise Krieger '08 were able to capitalize on the passing they received. The duo assisted 36 kills and 24 kills, respectively.

For Hirsch, it was an all-around contribution, as she had 15 kills and three blocks to accompany her setting performance.

With its .500 win percentage, this year's team made definite progress with regards to the volleyball program.

With the further development of freshman stars Cecily Kaya, Jess Thomas and their sophomore setters, the future of the Dartmouth volleyball program looks bright.

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