Yale Rallies to Down Villanova

Jesse Ebner. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jesse Ebner. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Johnson, Polan Post Triple-Doubles in Comeback Win

NEW HAVEN -- Jesse Ebner had a team-high 15 kills, and Kendall Polan and Kelly Johnson struck for triple-doubles in a come-from-behind 3-1 Yale win over Villanova on Friday night at the Yale Invitational.

The Bulldogs (3-1) dropped the first set and came back to win the next two.  Down 12-3 to start the fourth, Yale scored 14 of the next 19 points to tie the set at 17 after a Villanova error.  

Yale mounted one more comeback to complete the match.  With Villanova ahead 23-21, team captain Haley Wessels (13 kills  pounded consecutive kills to tie the set.  

Mollie Rogers, who added 11 kills tonight, gave Yale the lead on the next point.  Villanova's CeCe Twitty retied the match on the next point before Polan nailed her 11th kill of the match to give Yale the lead for good. 

The scores of the match were 23-25, 25-15, 26-24 and 26-24.

Earlier today, Northwestern swept Brown in the other Invitational matchup.

Polan, the reigning Ivy Player of the Week, had 30 assists, 11 kills and 10 digs for her second triple-double of the season.  Johnson notched her first collegiate triple-double with 30 assists, 13 digs, 12 kills and added five block assists. 

Ebner became the fourth different Yale hitter in four matches to lead the team in kills.  

"Jesse had a wonderful match," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said. "And overall, we made plays when we had to make them."

Despite the first set loss, Yale made plays early too.  The Bulldogs let an 18-12 lead slip away in the first.

Yale didn't let the first carry over to the second.  Ebner tallied six kills in the second and broke a 4-all tie to begin a rally.  

Ebner's kill was followed by three straight Villanova errors.  Polan pushed the lead to five at 16-11 and forced a Villanova timeout.

In the third set, Rogers blasted seven kills, including six in Yale's first 15 points.   Ebner served one of her three aces to give Yale a 17-11 lead -- its largest of the set.

Carly Edwards capped a 10-4 run for 'Nova to tie the set.  Villanova took a 23-22 lead after another Edwards kill.

After back-to-back Villanova errors, Twitty tied the set one more time at 24.  Rogers, who also added a team-high 17 digs, followed with a kill.

On the next point, Erica Reetz passed to Johnson who set up Wessels to close out the set. 

The Bulldogs host Northwestern on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the final match of the Yale Invitational. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity