September 3, 2011

Bulldogs Drop Hard-Fought Match to PAC 12's Utah in Yale Invite Finale

Freshman Rogers Leads Yale in Kills and Digs 

NEW HAVEN – Despite double-digit-kill performances from three players, the Bulldogs could not overcome the front line of the PAC 12's Utah and lost 3-1 (25-19, 28-30, 25-20, 25-22) in the final match of the 2011 Yale Invitational.  Both teams finished the invite with a 2-1 mark

Despite the loss, Yale's Kendall Polan was named co-MVP of the invitational and split the award with Utah's Morgan Odale.

For the second time in three matches, freshman Mollie Rogers led Yale in kills with 15 and digs with 16.  Fellow freshman Allie Frappier slammed 14 kills and sophomore Erica Reetz added 11. 

Reetz and Rogers also earned all-invitational status for their play this weekend.

Almost every point was hotly contested during the 2-hour, 6-minute match before a raucous John J. Lee Amphitheater crowd.  In the end, Utah's held a 9-3 edge in total team blocks and hit .341 for the match.

"We got better this weekend," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said following her team's 2-1 start with wins over Colgate and the ACC's Boston College.  "This competition will help us prepare for the Ivy League."

After dropping the opening set, Yale showed its mettle with a hard-fought 30-28 victory in game two that brought fans to their feet.  The end of the second set could be summed up in one word – dramatic.

Down 24-23, Rogers tied the match with a kill set up by Polan, who finished with 47 assists and 14 digs.  The team traded points to tie the heart-pounding set at 28.

McHaney Carter (seven kills) broke the deadlock with a kill down the middle of the Utah side.  Reetz, who also had 16 digs, provided her only service ace of the night to give the Bulldogs the set.

"Despite the loss, this was our best overall performance of the season," Appleman said.  "We fought for every point."

Utah bounced back in the third set.

After a service error trimmed Utah's lead to 11-9, the 6-foot-1 Odale took control at the net.   The Utes went on a 7-1 run that was fueled by four kills from Odale.

Yale refused to quit in the deciding fourth-set.

Trailing 18-15, Frappier responded with back-to-back kills to cut the deficit to one, but never get any closer.  Rogers and Reetz blasted kills to counter Utah points and bring the Bulldogs within one, but Utah's Erin Redd finished off the match with her 14th kill of the evening.

The Bulldogs return to action next weekend on the road in College Park, Md.  Yale will face Maryland on Friday night at 7, and will play Delaware and Sacred Heart on Saturday.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity

The 2011 Yale Invitational All-Tournament Team Members:

Co-MVP - Kendall Polan, Yale

Co-MVP - Morgan Odale, Utah

Tsvetelina Dureva, Boston College

Kaylee Fifer, Colgate

Mollie Rogers, Yale

Erica Reetz, Yale

Erin Redd, Utah

Chelsey Schofield, Utah