Johnson Leads Yale in Win Over Harvard

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Kelly Johnson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Hit .365, Improve to 5-0 in Ivy League

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Kelly Johnson not only hit .722 and matched a season-high with 13 kills, she also provided big points to lead the Bulldogs to a sweep of Harvard on Saturday night.

Johnson didn't commit an attack error and just missed a triple-double with 20 assists and nine digs as the Bulldogs won their sixth straight match and improved to 5-0 in Ivy League play.

"Kelly was great on offense and sparked a tremendous team effort," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  

The Bulldogs (9-5, 5-0 Ivy) tied a season-high for kills in a three-set match this season and hit .365 as a team. The scores of the match 25-19, 25-18 and 25-15.

Mollie Rogers added nine kills and 14 digs, while Erica Reetz and Jesse Ebner had eight kills each.

However, it was serving that put Yale ahead in the first set.  Maya Midzik served two straight aces to give Yale an early 5-1 lead in the first.

Kathleen Wallace followed with a kill, and Kendall Polan responded for the Bulldogs.  Ebner added another ace to give Yale a 7-2 lead and force a Crimson timeout.

Yale increased its lead to 10-3 before Harvard went on an 11-4 run to tie the set.

Kendall Polan (28 assists) set up Johnson to break the tie, then Rogers and Ebner added kills to put Yale's lead back to three.  The Bulldogs never trailed again in the set.

Yale needed to comeback in set two. 

Harvard led 12-4 before the Bulldogs came alive.  Yale scored nine of the next 10 points -- a run capped by kills from Haley Wessels and Rogers.

Wallace put Harvard back in front.  Johnson delivered a big kill and tied the set.

Two kills from Ebner and one from Reetz put Yale ahead to stay.

The Bulldogs came out on fire in the third set and hit .512.  Yale broke a 7-all tie with seven straight points capped by a kill from Johnson.  

After a kill from Wallace, Reetz and Ebner increased Yale's lead again.  Reetz slammed back-to-back kills, and Ebner followed with another to give Yale a 17-8 lead.

Yale returns home on Friday to host Princeton, which is tied with the Bulldogs in the Ivy League standings.  The match begins at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity