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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Volleyball falls to Brown and Yale, stands 2-3 in Ivy play

The Big Green fell to both Brown University and Yale University 1-3 on Friday and Saturday, losing the last three sets of each game.


Courtesy of Emma Engstrom

Big Green volleyball continued  Ivy League play this weekend as the team took on Brown University on Friday, followed by Yale University on Saturday in Leede Arena. Dartmouth lost the last three sets in both games, leaving them 2-3 in Ivy League play. 

Going into the weekend, volleyball had come off a 3-1 win against the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to the Brown and Yale games, Dartmouth’s libero, Emma Engstrom ’25 said that Brown and Yale presented tougher challenges than their previous opponents. 

“[I hope our team] plays better against stronger opponents [which] is really exciting for us to test where we are at right now,” Engstrom said.  

On Friday, the Big Green took on the defending Ivy League champions, Brown. Dartmouth lost in a four set game where they won the first set with a score of 25-21, fell short in the second set at 19-25, finished the third set at 15-25 and ended the final set at 19-25. 

“We just need to work on keeping that energy for the entirety of the match,” Engstrom said. 

Last week, head coach Gilad Doron mentioned the team aimed to focus on their blocks during these two games, as Brown and Yale were described as “physical teams.” 

Dartmouth came in strong against Brown with a total of seven blocks. Bomi Ogunlari ’24 led the Big Green in  blocks with four. In her sophomore year, she had a total of 27 blocks. 

In addition, Engstrom kept the momentum high for the Big Green as she led the team in aces and digs. Against Brown, she had a total of two aces and 28 digs — more than any Brown player.

Although the Big Green did not come away with the win against Brown, the players had impressive individual performances. Amelia Gibbs ’24 came away with 13 kills while first-year members Kauany Gutz ’26 and Ava Roberts ’26 had a solid eight kills. In addition, Makenzie Arent ’23 and Karen Murphy ’24 kept the team morale high while leadingthe Big Green in assists. In the fight against Brown, Arent and Murphy had a total of 22 and 20 assists, respectively. 

Arent is a key player for the Big Green, especially when it comes to her assists. She had 1,121 assists during her sophomore season — the eighth highest number of assists in Dartmouth’s all-time record. After the weekend, Arent said  that, although the results of the weekend were not desirable, the outcome only brings their team more motivation. 

“We saw sparks of really great things this weekend, playing these really competitive teams,” Arent said. “Hopefully we can use that feeling going into practice this week and take care of things on our side of the net with one another.”

After the loss on Friday, the Big Green got ready to face their next opponent, Yale. The team fell to Yale in a four-set game, winning the first set 25-23 and then falling short in the final three by scores of 19-25, 20-25 and 17-25. Even with the loss, the Big Green dominated Yale in their blocks. Yale finished the game with a total of seven blocks whereas the Big Green came out with 12. Ogunlari, Grace Wiczek ’23 and Gutz all led the Big Green in their dominance with blocks. Ogunlari finished the game with nine — the highest number of blocks from an individual player during the match. 

Other players who helped the Big Green stay in the match included  Taite Ryan ’23, who had a total of 16 digs, Murphy with 19 assists, Wiczek with 12 kills and Engstrom, who came away with an ace. 

“We know we are capable of beating anyone and this weekend showed that we just need to execute better [in] coming up [games],” Engstrom said.

As the Big Green gets ready to face the second half of teams in Ivy League play, the team  finds confidence in their mentality and variety of talent. 

“We have the support from each other and while on the road it is always tough, I think we are hungry for a win and know what we have to do to be successful,” Arent said. 

Although Doron said he was disheartened by the outcome of the weekend, he is ready to see what the Big Green has in store for next weekend’s  Ivy League matches. 

“We battled hard in both matches and got lots to learn from both matches — to work on and get better going forward,” Doron said. “We need to play better for longer periods in order to overcome tough opponents who continue to play consistently throughout the match.”

Next weekend, Dartmouth will continue conference play with two away games, facing Columbia University on Oct. 14 and Cornell University on Oct 15.