September 7, 2013

Better Late: Bulldogs Outlast Seton Hall in Five

Johnson, Polan and Rogers Named to All-Invite Team

NEW HAVEN -- It took five sets, but the Bulldogs ended the evening on a high note.

Mollie Rogers led the Bulldogs with a match-high 17 kills, including three in the fifth set, in a 3-2 victory over Seton Hall on Saturday night.  

The scores of the match were 25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 23-25 and 15-9.

Kelly Johnson earned her first triple-double of the season for the Bulldogs, who finished the weekend 2-1 in the Yale Invitational. 

Yale's Rogers, Johnson and Kendall Polan earned spots on the All-Invitational Team.  See the complete team here.  

Brittani Steinberg had 13 kills for the Bulldogs, who took control of the first set with a 14-3 run started by consecutive kills from McHaney Carter (7 kills) and Brittani Steinberg.  Johnson followed with one of her four service aces in the match.

Yale had 11 aces in the match and improved to 2-1.  Johnson had 14 digs, 11 kills and 10 assists.

Defensively, Maddie Rudnick posted a match-best 29 digs, while Carter and Johnson both had a solo block and two block assists.

Down 11-10 in the third, the Bulldogs rallied again.  After a service error, Steinberg started another run - this time a 12-3 run to take a commanding 22-14 lead. 

The Pirates (1-5) did not make it easy.  Down 2-0 in sets and trailing 21-17 in the third, Seton Hall took eight of the last 10 points to force a fourth game.  

It was deja vu all over again in the fourth. Yale led 23-17 and the Hall stormed back to score the last eight points to push the match to a fifth and deciding set. 

Three straight Seton Hall errors gave Yale a 3-0 cushion to start the fifth.  After a kill from the Pirates' Shelbey Manthorpe, Johnson answered to give Yale a 4-1 lead.   

Ashani Rubin would bring Seton Hall within 6-4, and Rogers countered with another kill to give Yale a 7-4 edge.  Seton Hall would not get any closer. 

Yale returns to action in a unique venue and time on Friday.  Yale faces No. 2 Stanford at the Pentagon in Washington, DC at 10 a.m.  The Bulldogs will also face Army and Air Force next weekend.

NOTES:  It was the Bulldogs first five-set victory since October 1, 2011 in a home match against Columbia...Maddie Rudnick's 29 digs were the most in a match for her since Sept. 30, 2011 when she totaled a career-high 30...The Bulldogs hit double-digits in service aces for the first time since Nov. 10 of last season with 12 against Dartmouth...Missouri went 3-0 in the Invitational after victories over Colgate and Seton Hall on Saturday.  

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity