Bulldogs Make Big Plays, Defeat Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. --  Yale delivered timely serves, swings, digs - and ultimately a win -- in a 3-1 victory at Dartmouth on Friday night.

The Bulldogs won their 23rd straight Ivy match, including their 11th consecutive victory on the road, to improve to 9-0 in league play and 15-3 overall.  

The scores of the match were 25-23, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-20. 

Kendall Polan, the reigning league player of the week, dished out a season-high 50 assists to a variety of hitters.  Five Bulldogs struck for at least nine kills.   

Maya Midzik smashed a career-high 13 kills and teammate Kelly Johnson matched the total.  Midzik hit .333 with five blocks and four digs. 

Brittani Steinberg had 12 kills, while Mollie Rogers added 11 and McHaney Carter added nine.  Carter surpassed the 400-kill mark for her Yale career tonight and now stands at 402.  

On defense, Maddie Rudnick came up with a team-high 22 digs - her second straight match with at least 20.  Rudnick leads the team with a 4.81 digs per set average.  

The Bulldogs held a 72-61 edge in digs and a 15-8 advantage in blocks.  

Polan added 14 digs, five kills and an ace.  

Down 16-10 in the fourth, Yale stormed back to score seven of the next eight points before finishing off the Big Green.  Midzik and Johnson produced kills to give the Bulldogs brief one-point leads

Yale delivered the knockout punch with six of the final seven points. 

With a 21-20 edge, Tori Shepherd extended Yale's lead with back-to-back sinking, line-drive aces to give Yale a 23-20 lead.   After an attack error, Midzik finished off the match. 

Midzik started a rally in the third with offense and defense.  She started with a kill to make it 6-4, then came up with a diving dig that led to a point and made a pass to Polan, who set up Johnson.  

Later in the set, Johnson rattled off three kills to give Yale a commanding 22-15 lead. 

Yale started off the night with an impressive first-set victory.  

The Bulldogs rebounded from an early 14-8 deficit and seized control of the set.  Yale closed out the set on a 9-4 run.  

Carter tied the set at 21, and after capitalizing on a Dartmouth error, Johnson pushed Yale's lead to 23-21.  Johnson closed out the set with Yale's final two points - both kills.   

The Bulldogs maintained their three-match lead in the standings and face second-place Harvard tomorrow in Cambridge.  First serve is set for 5 p.m. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity