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Bulldogs Extend Win Streak to Six, Defeat Second-Place Princeton

Kaitlyn Gibbons.
Kaitlyn Gibbons.

The Bulldogs created some distance in the standings Friday night, and did it in impressive fashion on the road.

Yale swept second-place Princeton, won its sixth straight match and ended the Tigers' 16-match Ivy home win streak -- and had plenty of standout performances.  The scores of the match were 25-22, 25-21 and 25-15.

Senior Kaitlyn Gibbons put up her best numbers of the year, with season highs in kills (10) and digs (13), Tristin Kott had a match-high 12 kills and Franny Arnautou had 22 assists and a season-high six service aces.  

"We had a lot of players step up tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  Yale improved to 14-4 overall and 8-1 in league play.

Winning its fourth straight road match in league play, Yale showed poise in the first set.  Down 15-11, the Bulldogs rattled off eight of the next 11 points with Gibbons and Kott scoring consecutive points on kills to give Yale a 19-18 lead.  

"Kaitlyn had a great match and really passed well all night long," Appleman added.  

Izzy Simqu and Kelley Wirth combined on block assists to give Yale a two-point cushion at 21-19 and Princeton didn't recover. Simqu finished with four blocks.

It was blocking that started a spurt in the second for Yale.  With the set tied at 9-9, Kott and Chiara Spain joined for block assists to propel five straight points for force a Princeton timeout.  

"Izzy and Kiki were solid at the net," Appleman said.  

The Tigers (13-6, 6-3) pulled within one point twice late in the set.  Wirth and Kott pushed the lead back up to two both times.

Spain capped a run of nine straight points in the final set with a solo block to give Yale a 12-3 lead.  Kott closed out the set with three straight kills, all set up by Arnautou.

"Franny controlled the match in different ways," Appleman added.

Harvard lost on Friday night at Columbia in five sets to give Yale a two-match lead in the conference standings with five matches left in the season. The Bulldogs play at Penn on Saturday at 5 p.m. to wrap-up a stretch of five straight matches on the road.  

Bulldog Notes:

The Bulldogs held the league's top kill-producing team well below its season average tonight...Princeton entered the match leading the Ivy League with 14.45 kills per set, and were held to 10.33 per set tonight...Kathryn Attar had 10 kills and reached double figures for the fourth time in Ivy League play...Yale has won 18 of its last 21 sets...The Bulldogs had a 47-36 edge in digs, led by Gibbons with 13 and Kate Swanson with 12...Swanson, a junior, now has 960 digs for her collegiate career. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity