Volleyball takes hits from Yale and Brown
Dartmouth was handed 3-0 losses from both of its conference opponents this weekend, entering the Ivy tournament seeded fourth.
Courtesy of Emma Engstrom
Last weekend, the Big Green came out on top against two Ivy League teams, Cornell University and Columbia University, at Leede Arena. Continuing its Ivy League play this weekend, the Big Green suffered unfortunate losses against Yale University and Brown University — both 3-0 sweeps —marking the end of its regular season. Dartmouth will face off against Yale this upcoming Friday in the Ivy tournament semifinals.
Dartmouth took the road this weekend, driving to New Haven, Connecticut to face the Bulldogs. The Big Green had previously taken on Yale on Oct. 8 and fell 3-1. This weekend, the Big Green lost 3-0, keeping a short distance in points with Yale until the last moments of each set.
The Big Green took the lead in set one after Piper Stevens ’25 and Taite Ryan ’23 made a terrific block. Although the first set was close, Yale came away with the 27-25 win. Even after losing two sets — the second finished 25-19 — the Big Green kept up its momentum and started with the lead during the third set. Dartmouth pushed hard at the beginning to secure a score of 14-12, when Yale proceeded to win eight consecutive points and finished out the set with a kill.
With the Ivy tournament looming in the near distance, head coach Gilad Doron said that the team is feeling prepared for the next time Dartmouth takes on Yale.
“[Yale will] be a tall task but the team has played well on the road this year and I know we will be ready,” said Doron. “I got to give our players so much credit for finding ways to balance finals with Ivy championships as we head to the end of the term.”
Despite the loss against the Bulldogs, the Big Green dominated the match in terms of blocks. At the end of the match, the Big Green came away with nine blocks whereas Yale had six. Bomi Ogunlari ’24 led the team in blocks with a total of five. Emma Engstrom ’25 came out with a team-leading 11 digs.
“I’m very excited to play Yale again and show them who Dartmouth volleyball is,” Engstrom said. “I’m confident that if we can play our game this coming weekend we can take on any team.”
After the tough loss on Friday, the Big Green packed its bags and traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to take on the Brown Bears. Dartmouth started the game strong with the first point, but Brown slowly increased its lead and ended up winning the first set 25-8.
As the Big Green started the second set, the team played with grit and found the lead at 8-5. Emma Sinclair ’25 helped the Big Green stay in the set with her powerful kills, leading the Big Green in kills with a total of seven kills during the game. The set was close until Brown found its rhythm with a four-point streak and won, 25-16. In the third set, Dartmouth was neck and neck with the Bears at 16-16 despite falling behind by five points early on. Even with the Big Green’s efforts to keep up, Brown pushed on to win the set by a score of 25-21.
“[The Big Green] got contributions from so many players which show how [we] build depth and trust that [we] have strength in numbers,” Doron said.
With the end of its season marked by the loss of the Bears, Dartmouth still has improved from its standings last season — notably jumping from 7-7 in its conference record last season to its 8-6 conference current standing. In the 2022 season, the Big Green’s performance earned the no. 4 seed in the Ivy League tournament, all while welcoming four new members to its team. Molly Power ’26 said as a first-year volleyball player, she is excited for Dartmouth to take on opponents in the Ivy tournament.
“This past weekend was a great chance for [the team] to continue to get better, and even though it was not the outcome we wanted, [we] will use these losses as fuel for the tournament,” Power said.
The Big Green face top-ranked Yale again next Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in New Haven to mark the start of the Ivy League championship tournament. If Dartmouth wins its match against Yale, the team will take on either no. 2 Princeton or no. 3 Brown in the final on Saturday, Nov. 9.