Bulldogs Blitz Cornell, 3-1

Kelley Wirth (photo credit: Steve Musco)
Kelley Wirth (photo credit: Steve Musco)

Wirth Hits .391 and Delivers Big Kills Late in the Match

Ithica, N.Y. -- The Bulldogs know how to bounce back, and it happened this time against Cornell. 

A night after dropping a tough five-setter at Columbia, the Bulldogs tonight blitzed the Big Red, 3-1, to get back over .500 in league play.  It was the third time this season Yale nipped a potential losing streak and won a decisive victory.  

The scores of the match were 25-19, 19-25, 25-23 and 26-24.  

Brittani Steinberg continued to be a go-to hitter for the Bulldogs and notched 15 kills, while Kelley Wirth exploded in the deciding fourth set with six kills, hit .391 and finished with 12.  

Wirth kept the Bulldogs within striking distance with a key side out on a kill setup by Franny Arnautou., and Kelsey Crawford followed with an ace to tie the set at 22.  The Bulldogs took advantage of two Cornell error to eventually a 25-24 lead before Steinberg closed out the match with a kill. 

Steinberg reached double figures in kills for the seventh time this season.

Yale (9-3, 2-1 Ivy League) led through nearly all of the third set, but faced a 23-all tie before Kelsey Crawford set up Steinberg for a kill and give the Bulldogs a one-point lead.  On the next point, Wirth and Kate Aitkenhead combined on a block to give the Bulldogs a win. 

Aitkenhead led the Bulldogs with four block assists and added three kills. 

Steinberg and Wirth weren't the only hitting stars on Saturday evening. Shreya Dixit who provided key points in the first with two kills that pushed the Bulldogs' lead to three on two different occasions.  Dixit had seven kills and hit .333.

Izzy Simqu was perfect with five kills on five swings.

On defense, Kate Swanson led the way in digs for a second straight night.  She finished with 17 digs, while Crawford had a double-double with 10 assists and 10 digs. 

After a hard-fought match last night, Steinberg and the Bulldogs took control of the opening set.  Steinberg produced Yale's first point on a kill, and shortly after served the Bulldogs to five straight points, including two aces, to give her team an early 7-2 lead.

After nine straight road matches, the Bulldogs return to New Haven next weekend to face Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity