Serving, Timely Hitting Lead Yale Over Brown in Conference Opener

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

Rogers Smashes Team-High 14 Kills in Road Win

PROVIDENCE -- Five different Bulldogs served up aces as Yale held off a comeback in a 3-1 win over Brown on Saturday afternoon.   

The Bulldogs (5-5, 1-0 Ivy) won the first two sets, including the second in dramatic fashion, and halted a comeback by the Bears.  The scores of the match were 25-15, 28-26, 20-25 and 27-25.

It was the conference opener for both teams. 

Mollie Rogers smashed a team-best 14 kills and was one of four Bulldogs to reach double-figures.  Kendall Polan added her fourth triple-double of the season and her second straight.

After dropping the third set, the Bulldogs faced set point in the fourth and came from behind. 

Brown (3-7, 0-1) raced to a 10-4 lead in the fourth until Polan delivered one of her 10 kills.  

Rogers served two straight aces and a Brown error cut the deficit to 10-8.  Later, down 14-12, the Bulldogs overcame the Bears with four straight points with two kills from Kelly Johnson and one from Rogers. 

Amanda Nickel, who tallied a match-best 15 kills for Brown, tied the set at 22.  Jesse Ebner responded with a kill and a Brown error extended the set to match point.

Consecutive Yale attack errors and a kill from Kathryn Glickman put Brown ahead 25-24. A Brown service error tied the set.

Ebner, who hit .348 with 11 kills, followed with an ace and on the next point passed to Polan, who setup Rogers for the match-winner.  Yale matched a season-high with six aces on the day and only committed one service error in the final three sets.

Polan notched a match-best 31 assist and team-high 20 digs, and added 10 kills.  Johnson just missed a triple-double with 24 assists, 13 kills and seven digs. 

Yale used a 13-4 run midway through the first set to take early control of the match.  Johnson's cross-court pass set up Rogers to make it 20-12, and Polan knocked down a freeball on the next point to extend Yale's lead to nine. 

The Bulldogs rallied and needed extra points to take the second set.  Down 19-12, Yale scored 10 of the next 13 points to tie the set and force a timeout.  

Erica Reetz broke a 25-all tie, and Brown's Maddie Lord (13 kills) came back with a kill to tie the set.  A bad set by Brown put Yale at set point. 

On the next play, Ebner curled around a set from Polan to slam a kill down the right side.

Brown seized momentum in the third set after the Bulldogs tied it at 16 after one of  Haley Wessels' nine kills.  Brown scored five of the next six points and never trailed the rest of the set.

Yale continues its five-match road swing to start the Ivy season next weekend in New York.  The Bulldogs travel to Cornell for a 7 p.m. match on Friday, and visit Columbia on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity