Bulldogs Sweep Dartmouth, Complete Perfect Ivy Season

Kendall Polan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kendall Polan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Finishes 14-0 in Ivy Play With Win Over Big Green

NEW HAVEN -- Kendall Polan slammed a match-high 14 kills and the Bulldogs wrapped up their first undefeated Ivy League season with a 3-0 win over Dartmouth on Saturday night.

The scores of the match were 25-13, 25-10 and 25-18.

The Bulldogs finish the regular season 18-5 overall and 14-0 in the Ivy League. Yale is the second volleyball team to go unbeaten in conference play since the Ivy League moved to a 14-game schedule in 2001.   

"I am so proud of this team," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "They closed out the season playing hard, and playing team volleyball.  And do it in front of so many alumnae who have helped build this program over the years makes it even more special."  

Team captain Haley Wessels delivered 10 kills in her final regular season match as a Bulldog.  Wessels was honored before the match with her family.  

The Bulldogs produced their best four-year stretch in confernence play during Wessels' career.  Yale went 49-7 in Ivy League regular season matches from 2009 to 2012.  

Wessels started a 9-1 run in the first set with a kill that gave the Bulldogs a 15-7 lead.  Dartmouth cut the deficit to six before Yale scored seven of the final eight points of the set -- beginning with a Kelly Johnson kill and ending with another from Wessels.

"I'm so happy for Haley," Appleman said.  "She's put together a great season and continues to be a great leader for this team."

Wessels finished the regular season with 162 kills, a .332 hitting percentage and 67 total blocks. 

The Bulldogs hit .375 in both the first and second sets tonight against Dartmouth.  

Yale used a 12-2 to take control of the second with Wessels once again involved in the spurt.  Wessels provided four kills in those 12 points -- including the first point with a kill to tie the set at five.  

At the end of the run, Polan smacked a kill followed by a Dartmouth attack error to give the Bulldogs a firm grip on the set.  Polan served up the final seven points of the set and fired off six aces.

Polan also added 18 assists and seven service aces tonight.   

The Bulldogs served a season-high 12 aces.  The previous team high for the year was seven aces -- accomplished twice this season at Dartmouth on Oct. 5 and at home versus Cornell on Oct. 27.

In the third set, Wessels snapped a 6-all tie to begin a quick 4-0 run that included kills from Maya Midzik and Mollie Rogers, and ace from Gabby Bird-Vogel.  Yale's lead didn't fall below four points the rest of the way.  

Up next, the Bulldogs will make its fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament.  The tournament's 64-team field will be announced during a selection show on ESPNU, Sunday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. ET.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity