Bulldogs Host Princeton, Penn With First Place At Stake

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 begin the week in third place in the Ivy standings and will host the two teams ahead of them – Penn and Princeton.  This weekend, Yale has a chance to avenge its only two conference losses of the season, move up in the conference standings and extend its current four-match win streak.  The Bulldogs (12-7 overall, 6-2 Ivy) take on the Princeton Friday night at 7, and host the defending conference champs Penn on Saturday at 6 p.m. 

Last weekend, the Bulldogs swept a weekend road trip to Harvard and Dartmouth and kept pace in the Ivy League title race.  On Tuesday, the Ivy League Office announced that Yale swept the individual weekly awards.

Kendall Polan won her third Ivy Rookie of the Week award, while Bridget Hearst captured the player-of-the-week honors for the conference. 

In the win over the Crimson, Kendall Polan had seven kills, hit .583 and set up a team-best 37 assists, while Bridget Hearst slammed 15 kills for the Bulldogs.  Haley Wessels notched a season-high 17 kills and hit .577, while Erica Reetz, last week's conference rookie of the week, added 14 kills and 15 digs. 

The next night, Yale came from behind to win a five-set thriller against Dartmouth in Hanover.  Hearst posted a match-high 21 kills and hit .410, while Polan just missed a triple-double with 39 assists, 21 digs and nine kills.   Reetz had 18 kills and Kelly Ozurovich added 23 digs to her all-time lead in Yale history.

Princeton (11-7, 6-1 Ivy) beat Yale, 3-1, on Oct. 9.  After a come-from-behind victory in set one, the Bulldogs dropped the next three to the Tigers.  Polan had a standout performance with 29 assists, 10 kills and seven digs while hitting .348 for the match.

The Tigers lost their first conference match of the season last weekend – a five-set loss at Columbia.  Lydia Rudnick, a three-time Ivy Player of the Week, leads the Tigers and the Ivy League with 4.35 kills per set average.

Despite 15 kills from both Hearst and Reetz, Yale's comeback attempt fell short against the Quakers (10-9, 6-1 Ivy) in a 3-1 loss in Philadelphia on Oct. 8.  Down 2-0 in sets, the Bulldogs won the third and led late in the fourth before the Quakers rallied for a 7-2 run to close out the match.

Penn enters the weekend on a six-match conference win streak.  Their last Ivy loss was at home to Princeton on Oct. 1. 

Penn features Megan Tryon, who leads the conference in assists per set (10.54), and Madi Wojciechowski, the Ivy League leader in digs per set (5.78).