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Comeback Halted in Fourth Set

Kendall Polan and McHaney Carter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kendall Polan and McHaney Carter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Carter Leads Yale With 10 Kills and Five Blocks

College Park, Md. – Yale's comeback fell short in a 3-1 loss to Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. 

McHaney Carter had a team-high 10 kills and five blocks for the Bulldogs, who lost the first two sets.  Yale won the third and held a lead late in the fourth before the Pioneers halted the run.

The scores were 25-17, 15, 20-25 and 25-23.  The Bulldogs finished the weekend 1-2 at the Terrapin Invitational.

"We have a young team and are working to become more consistent," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "But, give credit to Sacred Heart.  They played very well."

After dropping the first two sets, Yale refused to quit in the third.  Katie Cordell's service ace gave Yale a quick 7-3 lead to open the third.

The Pioneers (8-2) kept it close and closed to within 18-16 following a service error.   Allie Frappier extended the Bulldogs lead with a smooth tip at the net, and then two points later, Kendall Polan smashed an attack into two Sacred Heart defenders to give Yale a 21-16 lead. 

Sacred Heart couldn't recover.

Momentum carried over to the fourth for Yale, who jumped out a quick lead thanks to kills from Mollie Rogers and Haley Wessels.

With a 13-10 edge, Yale ran off six of the next seven points and appeared to have the set in hand.  Erica Reetz and Rogers provided kills on the next two points.

After a Pioneers' error, Polan added consecutive aces – one down the right sideline, the next in the back row.  Polan also had 14 digs – one of three Bulldogs with at least 10 digs.   

Dianis Mercardo followed with a kill for Sacred Heart and Rogers answered to give Yale a 19-11 lead and cap the run.

But Sacred Heart, who defeated host Maryland earlier in the day, eventually tied the match at 20.  To keep with the trend of the back-and-forth match, Yale struck for the next three points that included two kills from Carter. 

Alissa Young, Mercado and Elise Sage responded with kills for the Pioneers to tie the set, then ended the match with the last two points.

Yale played from behind most of the first set and came within 13-12.  Sacred Heart went on a 6-1 run to take the opener.  In the second set, Rogers began the frame with a booming kill before the Pioneers took six of the next eight points to build a lead they would never relinquish.

The Bulldogs return to the court next weekend as they host the Yale Classic in New Haven.  The Classic begins on Friday as Yale hosts New Hampshire at 7 p.m., then hosts Army and Quinnipiac on Saturday.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity