Swanson Sets Dig Mark in Loss to Harvard

Kate Swanson.  (photo credit: Steve Musco)
Kate Swanson. (photo credit: Steve Musco)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. --  The race for an Ivy League title got a little tighter on Friday evening.  

Yale and Harvard went the distance, and the Crimson got the last point.  And now the Bulldogs are tied with Princeton atop the Ivy League standings with three matches left in the season.  

In a match that was tied 34 times, including 10 different points in the fifth set, the Crimson paid back the Bulldogs for a loss last month in Cambridge.  

The scores of the match were 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 26-24 and 20-18.  

Kate Swanson, who entered the match the league leader in digs, put on a display.   Swanson finished with 38 digs -- the highest mark for any Ivy Leaguer this season and a career-best.

Swanson also surpassed the 1,000-dig mark for her collegiate career during the match.  

The Crimson (12-8, 7-4 Ivy) turned away four match points in the fifth set and turned a near defeat into a victory.

Senior Megan Rasmussen (nine kills) had four kills in the final set, with two putting Yale at match point.  Harvard had an answer each time.  

Harvard had a 18-17 lead, and Chiara Spain and Kelley Wirth combined on a block to tie the match one last time.  Spain finished with a match-high eight blocks.

Jocelyn Meyer delivered the final point to give Yale its third loss at home to a conference team since 2009.

The fourth set was just as close and needed extra points.  The set featured 24 tied scores.  

Despite holding a 23-15 edge in digs, the Bulldogs never took complete control of the fourth.  Meyer again closed out the set with an ace.  

After losing the opening set, the Bulldogs won the next two.  Kelley Wirth had seven kills on 17 swings without an error between the second and third.

Wirth finished the match with 17 kills and hit .395.  

Kathryn Attar had a team-best 19 kills for the second straight match.  

The Bulldogs (14-6, 8-3) return to action to host Dartmouth tomorrow at 5 p.m.  Before the match, seniors Kelsey Crawford, Kaitlyn Gibbons and Rasmussen will be honored.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity