Yale Begins Weekend 8-1 at Home This Season
The Bulldogs wrap up a five-match homestand to open the Ivy League season against Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend.
So far, Yale (9-4, 3-0 Ivy League) has enjoyed the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater with an 8-1 overall home mark. Last weekend, the Bulldogs defeated Cornell and Columbia.
Kendall Polan, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, continued her stellar play last weekend. Polan earned conference player of the week for the second time this season after her performance against the Lions and Big Red.
In a three-set sweep of Cornell, Polan had 37 assists, six kills, hit .462, posted 14 digs and tallied three block assists and an ace. The next day against Columbia, she contributed 47 assists, 18 digs, two aces and a block assist.
In the deciding fifth set, Polan assisted on the most important points of the match for Yale. First, Polan set up Erica Reetz for back-to-back points to tie the score at 8. With the set tied at 10, Polan lined up three straight kills to give the Bulldogs a commanding three-point lead.
In only her second season, Polan has already moved into eighth place in all-time assists at Yale. This year, she ranks first overall in assists per set in the Ivy League.
The Bulldogs' freshmen have been a key to success – last weekend provided two more examples. First-year student-athletes Allie Frappier, Mollie Rogers and Maddie Rudnick were major contributors in the victories.
Frappier posted a match-best 12 kills, Rogers added 10 more, and Rudnick was a defensive stopper against Cornell. Rudnick had 30 digs – a total that marks the highest total in a three-set match this season among Ivy League teams.
Against Columbia, Rogers had a double-double (10 kills, 21 digs), Frappier just missed a double-double (15 kills, 9 digs) and Rudnick offered a team-high 22 digs.
Reetz, a sophomore, added a double-double (team-high 16 kills, 13 digs) against the Lions. For her efforts last weekend, Taylor Cramm now ranks first among Ivy Leaguers in hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs rank ninth in the country in digs per set with an 18.00 average. Dartmouth, Yale's opponent on Friday, rank 11th at 17.79.
Dartmouth (9-5, 1-2 Ivy League) plays Yale on Friday, which is also "Dig Pink" night in New Haven to raise awareness for breast cancer.
The Big Green lost at Penn and Princeton last weekend. After being swept at Penn, the Big Green took Princeton to five sets.
Madeline Baird of Dartmouth leads the Ivy League with a 3.60 kills per set average. Baird was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Sept. 13.
Annie Villanueva ranks second in hitting percentage in the league behind Cramm.
On Saturday, Harvard comes to New Haven. The Crimson entered this weekend with an 8-5 overall record and a 1-2 Ivy mark before facing Brown on Friday.
The Crimson won 3-2 at Penn last Saturday for their first conference win of the season. Kristen Casey had 19 kills and 22 digs to lead Harvard, which trailed 11-7 in the final set.
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity