Weekend Road Tests Await Upstart Bulldogs

The Yale volleyball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale volleyball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Travels to Penn, Princeton for Ivy Showdowns

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Fresh off a weekend home-and-home sweep of Brown to open their Ivy season, the Bulldogs continue their conference schedule on the road this weekend.  Yale plays at Penn, the defending Ivy League Champions, in a 7 p.m. start.   The next day, the Bulldogs travel to Princeton for a 4 p.m. match. 

The Bulldogs, now 8-5 overall and 2-0 in league play, needed five sets to defeat Brown in their latest match.  Haley Wessels and Erica Reetz smashed 14 kills each and both hit .355 to help lead the Bulldogs past the Bears.   Yale used a 6-0 run, which was started by a kill from Reetz, to close out the fifth set.

Kendall Polan almost posted her second triple-double of the season with Polan posted 37 assists, 11 kills, nine digs with a .292 hitting percentage for the Bulldogs, who are 5-0 at home this season.

The Quakers (4-9, 0-1 Ivy) have lost four in a row, including a five-set match to Princeton last Friday in the conference opener for both teams.  Last month, Penn played at the same Cal State Fullerton Invitational as Yale.  Over that weekend, Penn lost to UCLA, Cal State Fullerton and Liberty, but did defeat West Virginia in three sets. 

Yale, who lost both matches to Penn last season, will have to contend with the Quakers' offensive duo of Julia Swanson, who ranks fifth in the Ivy League in kills per set (3.27) and Megan Tryon, who leads the Ivy League in assists per set (10.11). 

Princeton (6-6, 1-0 Ivy) overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Quakers last Friday.  Sophomore Lydia Rudnick, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, delivered a career-high, and 2010 Ivy League high, 26 kills in the match, including the final two kills of fifth set to put the match away. Rudnick added 12 digs, giving her five double-doubles on the year. She also had a pair of blocks and hit an even .300, which marked the fifth time this season she has hit .300 or better in a match.

Rudnick's numbers boosted her season averages as well, pushing her kills per set average up to a League-leading 4.12, which is also good for No. 30 nationally.

Yale beat Princeton twice last season.