Yale Honors Its Seniors, Then Clinches Ivy Crown
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale's seniors have made it four for four. Four years. Four Ivy League titles.
The Bulldogs swept Cornell tonight, won their 32nd straight Ivy home match and ended the night Ivy League champions for the fifth time in six years.
"Winning an Ivy League championship is a great achievement," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said. "It's a testament this group of seniors, our team and the Yale Volleyball program."
The Bulldogs' historic run through the Ivy League continued with a 3-0 win tonight to become the first team in the nation to punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament. The scores of the match were 25-21, 25-15 and 25-14.
In their final Ivy League regular season home match, the seniors the final result was the same as every other Ivy match in New Haven - a victory. The team's seniors completed a perfect 28-0 record against Ancient Eight opponents at the Lee Amphitheater.
It is Yale's seventh overall title in volleyball and the sixth during the Appleman era in New Haven.
Yale becomes the first team to win four consecutive League titles since regular season round robin play began in 1987 and only the second in Ivy League women's volleyball history. Yale is just the second team in the round robin era to win three consecutive titles outright, joining Cornell (1991-93).
The match was played with high intensity after an emotional pre-game ceremony to honor Carter, Polan and Reetz, along with their respective families. Yale didn't disappoint and offered an energetic effort for the crowd.
A pair of juniors had standout matches tonight -- Mollie Rogers and Maddie Rudnick. Rogers, a two-time first team All-Ivy selection, pounded a team-high 16 kills and added 11 digs. Rudnick, a second team All-Ivy honoree, came up with 20 digs to pace the Bulldogs to their 11th win in 12 conference matches this season.
Yale improved to 17-4 overall on the season and have a chance to win 20 matches in the regular season for the first time since 2009, when the Bulldogs went 21-4.
Polan collected 33 assists and served up her signature jump serve one last time for the fans in New Haven. Polan landed an ace to give Yale during a late run to give Yale a first-set victory.
Rogers provided three kills during a decisive 8-2 run in the second set and the momentum carried over to the third.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an 18-8 lead -- capped by Maya Midzik, who added eight kil tonight. Brittani Steinberg added nine kills for the Bulldogs, who will wrap up the Ivy League season next weekend at Princeton and Penn.
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity