August 31, 2012

Polan's Triple-Double Not Enough to Overcome SEC's Texas A&M

NEW HAVEN -- Kendall Polan's triple-double and a raucous crowd weren't enough to overcome Texas A&M on Friday night in Yale's season-opener.  

Texas A&M, which advanced to the second round of the NCAAs last season, defeated Yale, 3-1, on day one of the Yale Classic.  The scores of the match were 25-20, 35-33, 22, 25, 25-18. 

"We had a fantastic crowd tonight and it was our first match of the season, and I'm sure that made us a little nervous to start," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "But, we settled down and I was pleased with the level of volleyball that we played tonight."

Polan, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, produced 18 assists, 17 kills and 15 digs. Kelly Johnson, making her Yale debut, added a near triple-double: 21 assists, 16 digs and nine kills.    

After dropping the first set, the Bulldogs pushed the Aggies to the brink during a marathon second set that included 18 ties.  Yale took a 23-20 lead following a Polan kill.      

The Aggies (3-1) tied the set at 23, then Mollie Rogers gave Yale the lead again to begin a back-and-forth stretch.  Lindsey Miller responded to tie the match at 24 before Rogers gave the Bulldogs the lead again.  

Miller re-tied the match on the next point.  Eighteen points later, Allie Sawatzky ended the set with a kill for the Aggies. 

Down 2-0, the Bulldogs came out strong in the third set. Rogers (6 kills, 17 digs) notched two kills to start and Yale later capitalized on three straight errors to take an 8-4 lead.  

McHaney Carter and Polan delivered back-to-back points to stretch the lead to 16-10.  A&M scored 11 of the next 16 points to tie the set.  

After trading points, Wessels gave the Bulldogs the lead, and Johnson finished off the set with two straight kills to bring the John J. Lee Amphitheater crowd to its feet.

The Bulldogs play two matches tomorrow.  Yale faces Stony Brook at 1 p.m. and takes on American at 7 p.m.