Missouri Holds Off Yale Before Electric Home-Opener Crowd

(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Steinberg Produces 15 Kills in Yale Debut

NEW HAVEN - Mollie Rogers and Brittani Steinberg produced 15 kills each, while Kendall Polan posted a triple-double in a 3-1 loss in to the SEC's Missouri.

The scores of the match were 25-23, 15-25, 25-19 and 25-20.  

Steinberg, in her Yale debut, electrified a packed John J. Lee Amphitheater with eight kills on 12 swings through the first two sets and hit .500 for the match. 

"This was the most exciting environment we've ever had for a match at home," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "The level of play was high."

Both teams hit over .300 for the match.  

After dropping a close first set, the Bulldogs rallied for a 25-15 win to tie the match. 

Yale scored six of the first seven points in the second set and never trailed.  Steinberg made the score 6-1, and the Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-7 after a tense sequence. 

Polan dropped to her knees for a dig and passed the ball to Kelly Johnson, who set up Rogers for the kill.  Johnson had a team-high 26 assists, 10 digs and eight kills.

Freshman Carly Kan led the Tigers (6-0) with 16 kills with a .424 hitting percentage, including several key points throughout the match.

Kan picked up an important point in the third to give Missouri a 21-18 lead. The Tigers scored four of the next five points to take the set.

The fourth set featured 10 ties until an attack error and a kill from Missouri's Emily Wilson gave the Tigers an 18-16.  Yale would not get any closer.  

Polan, the two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, picked up where she left off.  She finished with 22 assists, 19 digs and 10 kills while hitting .316.

Earlier in the evening, Colgate defeated Seton Hall in five sets. Day two of the Yale Invitational continues tomorrow with four matches.

Here's the schedule:

Missouri vs. Seton Hall, 11 a.m.

YALE vs. Colgate, 1 p.m.

Missouri vs. Colgate, 5 p.m.

YALE vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m.

NOTES: Kendall Polan jumped two spots and now stands sixth all-time with 2,438 assists at Yale...Tonight's match marked the second straight season Yale opened against an SEC opponent at home...Yale lost 3-1 to Texas A&M on Aug. 31, 2012...Maddie Rudnick finished with 18 digs and needs nine more to reach 800 in her Yale career...The Bulldogs set a program single-season record and finished second in the nation in digs last season, and led 63-56 in digs tonight against Missouri.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity