Hot Hitting Leads Yale Past Harvard

The 2012 Ivy League Champion Yale Volleyball Team. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The 2012 Ivy League Champion Yale Volleyball Team. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Hit .406 to Extend Win Streak

NEW HAVEN -- Six days after clinching their third straight Ivy League title, the Bulldogs played like a championship team on Friday night.  

Yale extended its win streak to 14 games with a 3-0 victory over Harvard on Friday night.  The scores of the match were 25-19, 25-10 and 25-10. 

The Bulldogs improved to 17-5 overall and 13-0 in the conference, while Harvard fell to  9-16 and 6-7.  

"I really impressed with the way we came out and played tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "We played hungry, and we played like Ivy League champions tonight."

With the win, the Bulldogs have not lost a conference regular season match at home since October 10, 2009 -- a span of 24 straight matches.  Yale closes out its regular season against Dartmouth on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Following the match tonight, the Bulldogs were awarded the Ivy League championship trophy and were joined by alumnae from previous Yale volleyball teams.

Mollie Rogers led the Bulldogs in kills for the third straight match.  Rogers, the reigning Ivy League player of the week, had 13 kills, hit .480 and had one error in 25 swings tonight.

Team captain Haley Wessels, playing in her final home weekend, added 12 kills and hit .478 against the Crimson.  Wessels enters Saturday's season-ending match ranked sixth in the conference with a .331 hitting percentage.

While the Bulldogs cruised in the final two sets, the first set was close.  With the score at 11-9, Kelly Johnson and Erica Reetz increased Yale's lead to 13-9.  Wessels followed with two straight kills to push Yale's lead to six.

Harvard scored five of the next six points and kept its deficit at two points.  With the Bulldogs still leading at 21-19, Rogers delivered a kill to increase Yale's lead to three.  

After two straight Harvard attack errors, McHaney Carter closed out the set with a kill.

Wessels capped a 10-1 run early in the second set to give Yale an 11-3 lead.  Yale built its lead to 12 after a Johnson kill and Maddie Rudnick ace.

In the second set, Yale had 13 kills without an error in 22 attempts and hit .591.  The Bulldogs hit. 406 for the match.  

The third set featured a similar Yale spurt.  Kendall Polan's kill completed an 11-3 run to give the Bulldogs a commanding 16-5 lead. 

Polan was one of four Bulldogs with at least 12 digs.  Rudnick had a match-high 15, while Rogers and Reetz had 13 each.  

Before Saturday's match, Yale will honor Wessels, the only senior on the 2012 roster.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity