Fifth-Set Spurt Lifts Bulldogs to Victory

Erica Reetz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Erica Reetz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep of Brown

Haley Wessels and Erica Reetz both slammed 14 kills and each hit .355 for Yale in a 3-2 (25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 27-25, 15-8) victory over Brown on Saturday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  The Bulldogs, who improved to 8-5 overall and 2-0 in Ivy play, scored the final six points in the deciding fifth game to complete a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Bears. 

Kendall Polan, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, almost notched her second triple-double of the season for Yale, which is now 5-0 at home.  Polan posted 37 assists, 11 kills, nine digs with a .292 hitting percentage. 

After dropping their first five-set match of the season last Saturday at Albany, the Bulldogs didn't let this one slip away.  Tied at 6 in the fifth game, the Bulldogs scored back-to-back points thanks to a hitting error and a Katie Cordell ace. 

With the score 9-8 in favor of Yale, the Bulldogs took control.  It started with a kill from Reetz, and followed with an emphatic kill from Wessels, who returned a ball sent over following Polan's serve.

Bridget Hearst and Wessels closed out the match with block assists off an attack from Brown's Emma Pastore, who had a match-high 17 kills.

"We played tough tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "We were just determined to win."

Down 2-1 in the fourth game, Brown went up 20-14 after a 7-0 run capped by a Danielle Vaughan kill set up by Alexandra Rieckhoff assist.  The Bulldogs recoved to tie the game at 25 after a Hearst kill.  Brown took the next two points with block assists and an attack error.

Wessels controlled the third set with five kills and a .625 hitting percentage, while Katie Cordell and Kelly Ozurovich both tallied 10 kills in the set.  Ozurovich had a team-best 28 digs.

 Brown (6-8, 0-2 Ivy) bounced back after a first-set loss.  Annika Gliottone ended the set with consecutive aces and Pastore had five kills in a 25-20 win for Brown, which hit .407 for the game.

In the first set, the Bulldogs hit .303, thanks in part to Reetz's four kills and .500 hitting percentage, and Polan's three kills in three attack attempts.  McHaney Carter added one block solo and three block assists.

While Yale is off to an undefeated start in Ivy play, next weekend promises to be just as competitive as tonight's five-set match.  The Bulldogs travel to Penn, the defending Ivy champs, on Friday and then play at Princeton the following night.

"It's nice to be 2-0 in conference," Appleman added.  "But, we have a tough weekend ahead of us."