Back in New Haven, Bulldogs Look to Continue Home Court Dominance

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

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The Bulldogs have won five consecutive matches to begin the home portion of their 2010 schedule and own a nine-match win streak at the John J. Lee Amphitheater that started last season.  That streak will be put to the test this weekend with home matches against Cornell (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Columbia (Saturday, 6 p.m.). 

Last year, the Bulldogs swept both the Big Red and the Lions in New Haven.Yale, 8-7 overall and 2-2 in the Ivy League, also aims climb back over the .500 mark in conference play after two losses last weekend at Penn and Princeton.  In both matches, the Bulldogs took one set.

The Bulldogs dropped the first two sets, won the third and led late in the fourth last Friday in Philadelphia.  With the fourth set tied at 12, a Bridget Hearst kill and two Penn errors gave Yale a 15-12 lead and forced the Quakers to call a timeout.  Penn came back to tie the match at 18, but kills from Haley Wessels and Hearst (15 kills) gave Yale a 20-18 edge.  Penn rallied for a 7-2 run to close out the match.

On Saturday, Yale came from behind to win the first set at Princeton before dropping the next three.  Kendall Polan continued her impressive freshman season with 29 assists, 10 kills and seven digs while hitting .348 for the match for the Bulldogs.  Katie Cordell added a team-high 15 kills, nine digs and a .343 hitting percentage for the Bulldogs.

Kelly Ozurovich, Yale's all-time digs leader, added to her totals with 48 digs last weekend in Yale's two matches.  Entering the week, Ozurovich led the Bulldogs, ranked second in the Ivy League and 16th in NCAA Division I in digs per set (5.49).

Cornell comes to New Haven with a 3-10 overall mark and a 1-3 conference record after losses to Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend.  The Big Red are led by Kelly Hansen who ranks 8th in the Ivy League in kills per set (2.73), and leads the team in kills (130) and blocks (39).

Columbia, which leads the conference in blocks per set, features two of the top four players among hitting percentage leaders in the Ivy League.  Monique Roberts and Madeline Roberts are both own a .315 hitting percentage, while Megan Gaughn ranks third in the conference in kills per set (3.90) for Columbia, which entered the week 10-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.