November 2, 2013

Polan Eclipses 3,000 Career Assist Mark; Yale Drops Dramatic Five-Setter

 Loss Snaps Yale's Historic 23-match Ivy League Win Streak 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- It took nearly two years - 721 days to be exact. Yale's 23-match Ivy League win streak ended Saturday night -- and it took an intense five-set match to snap it.  

Despite Kendall Polan's season-high 60 assists, which included surpassing the 3,000 mark for her collegiate career, Yale lost 3-2 at Harvard.  

Kelly Johnson added a team-high 19 kills - one of four Bulldogs to reach double figures - Yale lost 3-2 at Harvard.   The scores of the match were 26-24, 26-28, 27-25, 23-25 and 15-9.

Harvard beat Yale for the first time since Oct. 22, 2004 and also marked Yale's first loss in conference play since Nov. 12, 2011.  The match also broke Yale's 19-match win streak against Harvard.  

Johnson added 11 kills, three aces, an assist and a solo block.  

After dropping the first set, Yale broke through in the second.  Johnson smashed seven kills in the set and hit. 500.  

McHaney Carter, who finished with 13 kills and hit .417, gave Yale a 23-22 lead.  The teams traded points and with the set tied at 26, Maya Midzik turned the tables.  

Midzik elevated her game to another level Saturday night and re-established her career high with 14 kills, including giving the Bulldogs a 27-26.

Mollie Rogers closed out the set, one of her 12 kills on the evening.  

The third set was another nail-biter.  Johnson's kill gave Yale a 25-24 lead, however Harvard scored the next three points and took a 2-1 lead in sets.

Yale struck back in the fourth.  Yale used a quick-hitting 4-1 run, started by a Carter kill and extended by three Harvard errors.   

WIth a 23-20 lead, Johnson put the finishing touches on the set with two kills - both set up by Polan, who needs 157 assists to tie for third all time at Yale.   In addition, Polan had 11 digs and needs three more to tie for 10th all time at Yale.  She'll enter next weekend with 1,145 digs in her career. 

Yale scored three straight to take a 6-5 lead in the fifth - thanks to kills from Brittani Steinberg and two from Midzik.  Harvard scored the next four points.

The Bulldogs fought back - tallying the next two points on a kill by Midzik and an error - to tie the set before Harvard put together one last run.  

Yale holds a two-match lead in the Ivy standings with four matches left in the regular season.  The Bulldogs host their final two home matches of the season next weekend - against Cornell and Columbia.  

The Bulldogs still hold another impressive streak -- a 30-match home Ivy League regular season win streak.  And have a chance to add to it next week. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity

 

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