Polan's Near Triple-Double Lifts Yale to Sweep of Princeton

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Kendall Polan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Remain Undefeated at Home, Host First-Place Penn on Saturday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Kendall Polan had nine kills, 15 digs and 20 assists and the Bulldogs came from behind to take the first two sets in a sweep of Princeton on Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  With the victory, Yale extended its win streak to five and will host first-place Penn on Saturday at 6 p.m.    

The Bulldogs improved to 13-7 overall and 7-2 in conference play.  The Tigers, who entered the night in a tie at the top of the Ivy League standings with Penn, fell to 12-8 and 6-2 in the conference.

"We battled well at the end of the first two sets tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "We pushed through and had a strong finish. 

Erica Reetz and Bridget Hearst added nine kills, while Haley Wessels and Katie Cordell both had seven kills for the Bulldogs, who remain undefeated at home with an 8-0 record. 

On the defensive end, Reetz posted 15 digs, while Cordell and Kelly Ozurovich had 10 each.

"Our defense was very good tonight," Appleman added. 

Cathryn Quinn led Princeton with 10 kills. 

Princeton took a 4-1 lead to begin the third set, however the Bulldogs continued their theme of the night: comeback.  Yale responded with a 12-2 run, capped by Polan, who took a block attempt and smashed it into the center of the Princeton side to give Yale a 13-6 lead.  Yale increased its lead to 17-7 after a kill from Reetz. 

The Tigers called a timeout, but the Bulldogs kept the pressure on. Kills from Reetz and McHaney Carter increased Yale's the lead 19-7 en route to a 25-10 set win.      

Princeton scored 10 of the first 14 points of set two, Yale battled back to tie the set at 15 with the help of two kills each from Wessels, Reetz and Hearst.

After a back-and-forth stretch, Princeton pulled ahead.  Rudnick slammed a kill along the left side, then McStravick and Venuti block assists gave the Tigers a 24-21.

The Bulldogs wouldn't quit.  Hearst responded with a kill.  On the next point, Cordell and McHaney added block assists to cut the deficit to 24-23.

Cordell placed a diagonal kill to tie the set and a set error gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the set. 

Yale capped its comeback with a nifty dig.  Polan dove and used a one-handed dig to keep a Rudnick attack in the air.  Reetz took the ball next and set up Cordell for the clinching point for a 26-24 win.

With the first set tied at 20, Princeton utilized block assists from Liz McStravick and C.C. Lobben to take the lead, then capitalized on two Yale errors to take a 23-20 lead.  Reetz responded with a kill along the left side and McHaney followed with back-to-back kills to tie the set.

Block assists by Polan and McHaney, and a Wessels ace ended the set for the Bulldogs.

Penn defeated Brown, 3-0, in Providence on Friday and stand in first place with a 7-1 record in conference play.