November 18, 2010

Yale and Penn Play for NCAA Bid in New Haven on Sunday

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After 14 regular season matches, it will take one more to decide which Ivy League team will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament.  Yale, which has won 10 straight and clinched a share of its third Ivy League title in the last seven years, will host Penn in a one-match playoff with an NCAA bid on the line at the John J. Lee Amphitheater this Sunday at 1 p.m.  Both teams finished the regular season at 12-2 in Ivy play. 

The Bulldogs completed the regular season with an 18-7 overall record after winning a pair of road matches last weekend at Columbia and Cornell.  Penn won in five sets at Princeton on Wednesday to force one more match. 

In Yale's two wins last weekend, Kendall Polan posted a team-best 55 assists and 41 digs en route to being named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fifth time this season.  In both matches last weekend, Bridget Hearst led the Bulldogs in kills with 14 against Columbia and 11 versus Cornell.  

The Bulldogs dominated on defense and added to their nation-leading digs per set average (19.40).  Yale held dig advantages of 78-59 over Columbia and 66-50 against Cornell last weekend.

The Quakers, 16-10 overall, fought off several match-point situations at Princeton last Wednesday.  Julia Swanson had a team-high 18 kills and earned Ivy League Player of the Week following her performance.

Yale and Penn split a pair of matches this season, with each team winning on their home court.                

On Oct. 8, Penn won the first two sets and held off a Yale comeback in a 3-1 win at the Palestra in Philadelphia.  Erica Reetz and Hearst had 15 kills each for the Bulldogs, while Lauren Martin had 14 kills and Megan Tryon had 48 assists for the Quakers.

Yale swept Penn on Oct. 30 in New Haven.  Hearst had a match-best 18 kills, hit .517 for the match and four different Bulldogs had at least 12 digs in the 3-0 win.