Yale Sweeps Harvard, Five-Match Homestand to Start Ivy Season

Mollie Rogers. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mollie Rogers. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Rogers Leads Team Effort Victory Over Crimson

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Six different Bulldogs had at least four kills in a 3-0 victory over Harvard on Saturday afternoon at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

The scores were 25-17, 25-21 and 25-20.

Mollie Rogers had a match-high 14 kills – including six in the final set for Yale, which improved to 5-0 on the Ivy season and 11-4 overall.   Rogers added eight digs, two block assists and a solo block. 

In a true team effort, the Bulldogs hit .306 for the match and spread attacks to different sides and players.  The unselfishness, led by reigning Ivy Player of the Week Kendall Polan, started in the first set for Yale. 

"Everyone contributed tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "We played great defense and that led to great hitting."

Yale had a 66-57 edge in digs and 8-0 advantage in blocks.

Allie Frappier (six kills, 12 digs) started a 6-1 run in the opener with an ace.  McHaney Carter (eight kills) followed with a kill down the middle of the court.

After Erin Cooney delivered a point for Harvard, Rogers struck for back-to-back kills.  Polan finished off the run with a thunderous attack into two Harvard defenders to give Yale a 7-3 lead.

The Crimson would play catch-up the rest of the set.   Yale's lead grew to six at 17-11 before Harvard scored four straight.

Rogers and Erica Reetz (nine kills) responded with kills, then Polan pounded her signature jump serve that bounced on the backline to give Yale a 20-15 lead and force a Crimson timeout.  Frappier would eventually end the set with a kill.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the second and hit .324 as a team.  Carter and Reetz both had four kills during the frame.

It seemed every time Harvard began a comeback, Yale had an answer.  Late in the set, Taylor Docter smashed one of her team-high 12 kills for Harvard to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 19-16. 

Reetz came back with a kill along the right side.  Harvard would stay close at 21-19 before Frappier struck from the left side. 

Again with the score still within two at 23-21, Rogers pounded a kill and then combined with Taylor Cramm for a block assist to end the set.

Another spurt broke open the third set for the Bulldogs.  Again Yale created distance early in the set after Carter and Frappier kills gave the Bulldogs a 5-2 advantage. 

With the score 8-6 Yale, the Bulldogs scored six of the next nine points – thanks to three kills from Rogers and an ace from Polan.  The ace from Polan capped the run and sailed along the right side over the head of the back row defender, then dropped a foot inside the backline.

The Bulldogs lead never fell below four points and the set was capped by Maddie Rudnick's team-leading 17th dig that went to Polan who set up Reetz along the right side.

The Bulldogs take to the road next weekend with matches at Princeton on Friday and Penn on Saturday.  Princeton won in four sets at Cornell on Saturday and is now tied with Columbia for second place in the Ivy League behind Yale.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity