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First-Place Yale Wraps Up Regular Season in New York This Weekend

The Yale volleyball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale volleyball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Travels to Columbia on Friday, Cornell on Saturday

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Heading into the final weekend of the Ivy League regular season schedule, the first-place Bulldogs put their eight-match win streak on the line with matches at Columbia and Cornell.  Yale begins play this weekend with a 16-7 overall record and not only leads the Ivy standings with a 10-2 mark, but it also leads the conference in kills per set, assists per set and hitting percentage.  The Bulldogs, who defeated Columbia and Cornell earlier this season in New Haven, also lead the nation in digs per set. 

Yale plays Columbia at 7 p.m. on Friday, and Cornell at 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

The Bulldogs completed an undefeated home season with its 11th win at the John J. Lee Amphitheater last Saturday in a 3-0 victory over Harvard.  For a fourth straight week, a member of the Yale volleyball team earned a weekly Ivy League honor as Erica Reetz won her third rookie of the week award of the season.

Kendall Polan has won the award four times this year and a Yale player has won the honor seven times in 2010, the most of any Ivy League team.  

Last weekend, Reetz totaled a team-best 22 kills in wins over Dartmouth and Harvard.  In addition to averaging 3.67 kills per set, Reetz added 20 digs, six total blocks and two service aces.

In the win over Harvard, Bridget Hearst smashed 11 kills and hit .713 for the match, while Polan added 23 assists, nine digs and eight kills.  The Bulldogs dominated at the net and beat the Crimson, 8-1, in total team blocks – led by Haley Wessels who had one block solo and three block assists.

Against Dartmouth, six different Bulldogs had at least four kills in a 3-0 victory.  Wessels had six kills and hit .400, while Polan finished one kill short of a triple-double.

As for Yale's opponents this weekend, Columbia (15-7, 7-5 Ivy) played tight matches against Penn and Princeton last week.  The Lions lost a five-set match to the Quakers, but defeated the Tigers in four games. 

The Big Red enter this weekend with a 4-18 mark and 2-10 league record. 

The Bulldogs will be challenged at the net this weekend.  Columbia and Cornell rank first and second respectively in blocks per set in the conference.

Earlier this year at home, Reetz and Katie Cordell each produced kill-dig double-doubles in a sweep of Cornell.  One night later, Hearst had a match-high 16 kills and Kelly Ozurovich posted a season-best 32 digs in a 3-1 over Columbia.

Hearst currently ranks fourth in the Ivy League in kills per set and ninth in hitting percentage, while Ozurovich began the week ranked second in the conference and 21st in the nation in digs per set.

As a team, Yale also ranks sixth in assists per set and eighth in kills per set among all Division I teams.