NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball team dropped a match to league-leading Yale Friday, as the Bulldogs downed the Lions, 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 27-25). With the loss, the Lions now stand at 15-9 overall and 7-6 in the Ivy League, while Yale improves to 17-7 overall, and 11-2 in the Ivy League. The match was a rough one for Columbia, as the Lions struggled offensively, hitting just .077, the team's lowest hitting percentage of the season.
In the first set, the two teams seemed to be evenly matched. Though the Lions opened with an error to give Yale an early lead, Columbia would come back and tie it up at 3-3. The two teams would see the score tie nine more times before the stanza was over. With the score tied at 10, Columbia was able to take its first real lead of the day, on kills from sophomores Megan Gaughn and Heather Braunagel, followed by an ace from Gaughn to put the Lions up, 13-10. But Yale would rally back to tie it up at 13. Columbia continued to fight. With the score tied at 13, Braunagel notched another kill, followed by a Yale error and a service ace from first-year Katherine Keller, to put Columbia up, 16-13. But again, Yale would stick with the Lions, and the Bulldogs eventually tied it up at17 all. That's when Yale went ahead for the first time, and there they stayed. In the end, Yale took the first set 25-21, going up 1-0 early in the match.
The second set was more in Yale's favor, as the Bulldogs used the momentum from the first set win to go up early, and stay there. Though Columbia was able to pull within one on a block by Monique Roberts and Gaughn, 11-10, it would not be enough. Yale would pull away again, and in the end, the Bulldogs had it, 25-19, leading the match, 2-0.
The third set was closer in pace to the first, as the two teams stayed close. Columbia took an early lead on an ace by first-year Madeline Rumer, and a kill from Gaughn made it 3-1. Another ace by Rumer gave the Lions one of their biggest leads of the day, 4-1. But Yale would chip away at Columbia's progress, eventually tying the set up at 7-7. A ball handling error gave the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead, and from there, Yale ran with it. Though Columbia would stage a brief rally in the end of the set, it would not be enough, as Yale took the third set, 27-25, and the match, 3-0.
Gaughn had another strong performance for the Lions, as she had 10 kills and 12 digs, along with four blocks in the loss. Junior Cindy Chen led the team on defense, with 18 digs, while Keller had 17 digs and two service aces. First-years Christina Campbell and Madeline Rumer also contributed offensively, as Campbell had eight kills and Rumer had six.
Up next for the Lions is the last game of the 2010 season. Columbia will host Brown, Saturday, November 13 at 5 p.m., on Senior Day. The team will honor lone senior co-captain, Martina Kajanova '11BC, for her four years of loyalty and dedication to the Columbia volleyball team.