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Bulldogs Fight Back for 3-1 Win Over Albany

Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

After Dropping First Set, Yale Takes Next Three

Bridget Hearst slammed a season-high 21 kills and the Yale women's volleyball battled back from a first set loss to defeat Albany 3-1 (25-27, 25-22, 27-25, 25-13) on Friday night at the Lee Amphitheater.  With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 6-4 on the season and travel to Albany, N.Y. on Saturday night for a rematch.

Haley Wessels posted nine kills and a .400 hitting percentage, while Kendall Polan added 45 assists, 21 digs and nine kills for the Bulldogs, who snapped a three-match losing streak.

Hearst had nine kills and hit for a .500 percentage in a match-changing third set in which the Bulldogs recovered from a 25-24 deficit and scored the final three points of the set.  Erica Reetz (16 kills, 18 digs), Hearst and Katie Cordell (9 kills, 12 digs) struck for consecutive kills to give the set victory.  

Yale lost the first set 27-25, similar to several sets the team played at the Fullerton Classic last weekend.  Tonight, the Bulldogs won two sets by close margins – a three-point edge in the second and two in the third.

"We didn't finish some sets in California (at the Fullerton Classic) last weekend," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "We were able to do it tonight."

Once the Bulldogs captured the third set, they took control of the match.  Back-to-back kills by McHaney Carter capped an 11-1 spurt as the Bulldogs, who scored 15 of the first 20 points of the set.

"We really battled hard tonight," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "It was hot in the gym tonight, but we played through it." 

Traci Vandegrift led the Great Danes (8-5) with 17 kills, while Laurie Gonzalez added a match-high 31 digs.

The Bulldogs, who entered with the highest hitting percentage in the Ivy League, hit .262 for the match.  

Saturday's match at Albany marks the home opener for the Great Danes and the final non-conference match for the Bulldogs before Ivy play begins next weekend.