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Johnson, Rogers Lead Yale Over Penn

Kelly Johnson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kelly Johnson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Maintains Grip on First Place in Ivy Standings

PHILADELPHIA -- Mollie Rogers provided the kills and Kelly Johnson did a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs who defeated Penn 3-1 on Friday night at the Palestra.  

Johnson posted a triple-double and Rogers smashed a season-high 16 kills to extend the Bulldogs' winning streak to 12 and remain unbeaten in Ivy League play.  Yale improved to 15-5 overall and 11-0 in conference play.

"Kelly and Mollie were outstanding and made big plays throughout the night for us," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  

The scores of the match were 25-23, 19-25, 25-17 and 25-17.

Penn fell to 12-10 and 7-4 in the Ivy League, and Princeton maintained second place in the Ivy standings after a sweep of Brown tonight.  Yale holds a two-match lead over Princeton with three matches left.

Yale plays at Princeton tomorrow with a chance to wrap up the conference title.

Defensively, Johnson came up with a season-high total in digs with 26 -- surpassing her previous best of 16 against Texas A&M on Aug. 31.  In addition, Yale edged out the nation's top team in digs per set, 95-93, for the match.  

Three more Bulldogs had at least 11 digs -- Maddie Rudnick (22), Kendall Polan (20) and Erica Reetz (11).

With the match tied at one set each, Haley Wessels came through with five kills during a critical 10-3 stretch midway through the third.  Wessels finished with 10 kills and five block assists.  

After Penn cut the deficit to 23-17, Rogers smacked a kill and Kendall Polan followed with two in a row to give Yale the set.  Polan ended the night one kill short of a triple-double.  

Yale capitalized on five Penn errors early in the fourth set, and mixed in kills from Polan and Wessels to take an 8-3 lead.  Rogers capped the run with an ace.  

Penn chipped away and closed the gap to 15-13 following a kill from Susan Stuecheli.  Johnson took the momentum back with a kill on the next point.

After a Penn error on the next rally, Rudnick lofted her 11th service ace of the season to push Yale's lead to 18-13.  The Bulldogs had four service aces in the match.

The Bulldogs increased their lead to eight after a Jesse Ebner kill and an attack error to make it 22-14.  Reetz, Rogers and Polan accounted for the last three Yale points.    

Yale won a hard-fought first set.  Rogers snapped tied scores at 22-22 and 23-23.  On set point the Bulldogs won following an attack error.

With the second set tied at 10, Penn scored 10 of the next 12 points to take control.  Johnson remained consistent throughout the match and had six digs, five kills and four assists in the second despite the loss.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity