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Yale Cruises Past Harvard, Finishes 11-0 At Home This Season

Bridget Hearst and Haley Wessels. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bridget Hearst and Haley Wessels. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Victory Keeps Yale in First Ahead of Penn and Princeton

NEW HAVEN, Conn.  -- The Bulldogs completed an undefeated home season and sustained their first-place position in the Ivy League with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-18) win over arch-rival Harvard at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday night.  Erica Reetz notched 13 kills, hit .414 and tallied 11 digs for Yale, which honored senior team captain Kelly Ozurovich prior to the match.    

With the win, Yale improved to 16-7 overall and 10-2 in conference play.  Also on Saturday, Penn (9-2 in Ivy play) defeated Cornell to maintain second place, however Columbia defeated Princeton, 3-1, to drop the Tigers into sole possession of third place with an 8-3 conference record.

Bridget Hearst added 11 kills and hit .713 for the match, while Kendall Polan posted 23 assists, nine digs and eight kills for the Bulldogs.  Ozurovich, who went 8-0 in her Yale career against Harvard, finished with 12 digs and contributed to her program-best career total of 1,685. 

"I couldn't be more proud of our team to finish the home season without a loss," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said. 

On Saturday, the Bulldogs took control of the match with pinpoint hitting, aggressive attacks and stingy defense.  Yale hit .361 as a team and out-dug the Crimson 63-51.

The match started off the way most games have begun in New Haven this season, with an early Yale lead.  The Bulldogs hit .419 in the first set and used a 10-4 run, capped by a Kerry Clavadetscher service ace.  

Later in the opening set, Reetz increased Yale's lead to 21-12 with a kill and gave the team firm control of the set.

Down 6-5 in the second set, Yale scored eight straight points with the help of three kills from Reetz, two from Polan and one from Taylor Cramm.   Moments later, Haley Wessels gave Yale its largest lead of the set with a kill to make it 20-9.

Harvard (8-16, 5-7 Ivy) led 11-10 in the third set before Yale went on a 10-2 spurt, which was capped by Polan's eighth and final kill of the night.  Reetz eventually ended the match with a kill.

Anne C. Ingersoll led the Crimson with eight kills, while Beth Kinsella added 21 assists.

The Bulldogs close out the 2010 regular season next weekend with road matches on Friday night at Columbia and Saturday night at Cornell.   

Report by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity