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NOTEBOOK: Rudnick Keeps It Going Out West

Maddie Rudnick. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Maddie Rudnick. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Set for Two Matches Today

SAN DIEGO -- Sophomore libero Maddie Rudnick didn't disappoint in front of her hometown fans on Friday night.  Rudnick, who grew up in nearby Encinitas, produced a season-high 24 digs against UC Santa Barbara in day one action at the University of San Diego Tournament.  It was the second straight 20-plus dig performance for Rudnick, who had 22 last Saturday against Northwestern in New Haven.  Entering play on Saturday, Rudnick was tied for second in the Ivy League with a 4.73 digs per set average.  

SPREADING THE WEALTH:  Yale begins Saturday ranked first in the Ivy League in kills per set with a 14.32 average - with five different players averaging at least 2.30 kills per set.  Sophomore outside hitter and San Diego native Mollie Rogers leads the team with a 2.73 kills per set average.  Right behind Rogers are Kelly Johnson (2.64), Kendall Polan (2.59), Jesse Ebner (2.45) and Haley Wessels (2.30).

DOUBLE TROUBLE:  Kendall Polan and Kelly Johnson both distributed at least 20 assists for the third straight match last night against UCSB. Johnson had 23 assists, while Polan had 21 against the Gauchos.  The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League with a 13.41 assists per set team average.

SERVIN' UP ACES:  Freshman Christine Wu served up two aces on Friday night against UCSB and now has four on the season.  Wu became the second Bulldog to notch at least two aces in a match in 2012.  Ebner had three in a win over Villanova and had two in a victory over American.  Ebner leads the team with six, while Rogers, who also had an ace Friday, has five total through six matches.  

HOT START:  Yale hit .364 in a first set victory on Friday night against UCSB.  That marked the third-highest percentage the team has hit in a set this season.  Yale's season-best was its third set against Texas A&M (.424) and a .400 mark against American -- also in the opening set.

FAMILIAR FOE:  Before last night's match, Yale last faced UCSB on Nov. 24, 2007 in a 3-2 loss to close out the season.  The match was played in Long Beach, Calif., and featured a 20-20 performance from Alexis Crusey, who finished with 24 digs and 21 kills.  Crusey finished third all-time at Yale with 1,286 kills.  

UP NEXT:  The Bulldogs return to the court to face host and 17th-ranked University of San Diego at 3 p.m. ET and later today against Fresno State at 8 p.m. ET.  USD defeated Fresno State 3-0 on Friday night.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity