Strong Start Leads Yale Past Cornell

Mollie Rogers (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity
Mollie Rogers (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity

Bulldogs Improve to 6-0 in the Ivy League This Season

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Bulldogs started fast and didn't stop in a 3-0 sweep at Cornell on Friday night.  

Kelly Johnson, fresh off her second Ivy Player of the Week award this season, led Yale with a match-high 12 kills to lift the Bulldogs to their 20th straight conference win.  The scores of the match were 25-12, 25-18 and 25-22.

Yale improved to 6-0 in the Ivy League, 12-3 overall and maintained a two-match lead in the standings going into play on Saturday.  

In their first Ivy road match of the season, the Bulldogs raced out a 12-5 lead in the opening set following blocks from Mollie Rogers and McHaney Carter.  The Bulldogs hit .333 in the opener and finished the set strong.  

Yale scored the last five points capped by a kill from Kendall Polan, who continued to provide an all-around effort with a season-best 32 assists in a three-set match and added 11 digs.  Maddie Rudnick provided a team-high 16 digs and added a season-high three aces. 

After falling behind 3-2 in the second set, Yale rebounded quickly.  Johnson tied the set at 3 and the Bulldogs followed with five of the next six points that included two kills from Brittani Steinberg.

Steinberg finished with 11 kills and committed only two errors in 18 swings for a .500 hitting percentage.  In her freshman season, Steinberg reached double figures in kills for the third time in four matches and the seventh time this season. 

Cornell (6-10, 2-4 Ivy) bounced back in the third set.  The Big Red scored three straight points to tie the set at 22-22.

The Bulldogs capitalized on a Cornell error and followed up with a Mollie Rogers kill to get to match point. Rogers had 11 kills and tallied double figures for the fifth straight match.  

Yale returns to action tomorrow in New York City to face Columbia at 5 p.m. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity