Bulldogs Remain Unbeaten at Home, Snap Princeton's 14-match Win Streak

Kelley Wirth (photo credit: Steve Musco)
Kelley Wirth (photo credit: Steve Musco)

Brittani Steinberg Post-Game Comments (Press "Play" button below)

Steinberg Delivers 18 Kills, 19 Digs as Bulldogs Pick Up Ground in Ivy Standings

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Bulldogs made senior weekend a little more memorable with a thrilling, 3-2 win over Princeton on Friday night.  Yale won its ninth in a row at home, snapped the Tigers' 14-match winning streak and pulled within one match of first place with three to play.

Yale (16-4, 9-2 Ivy) delivered big play after big play in a victory that required it.  The scores of the match were 18-25, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24 and 15-11.

In fitting fashion, it was a senior who led the way.  Brittani Steinberg had 18 kills -- including the final three in the fourth set extra-point win and four kills on seven swings in the fifth.

"Brittani was great tonight and played like senior when we needed it," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.

The Bulldogs have now won 47 of their last 48 Ivy League home matches and will face Penn tomorrow night in their Ivy League home finale.

With Yale clinging to a 10-9 lead in the final set, Steinberg blasted a kill and force a Princeton timeout.  After the break, Kate Aitkenhead gave Yale a three-point lead.  

Aitkenhead had eight kills and hit .636 with five blocks. 

Princeton (16-4, 10-1 Ivy) got a point back on a Maggie O'Connell kill.  Steinberg all but put the match away with back-to-back kills to put Yale at match point.

Kelley Wirth (12 kills) finished off the match with a kill off an assist from Kelsey Crawford, who had 44 on the night.

Tristin Kott hit .345 with 13 kills for the Yale and three in the final set.  She hit .345.

The fourth set featured 17 ties in a pulsating volleyball classic.  Yale fell behind 19-17, but came back thanks to a kill from Kott, who followed with a block assist with Aitkenhead. 

Later in the set, Wirth tied the set at 23 before Princeton regained the lead.  Enter Steinberg, who put together three straight kills to take the set.

The Bulldogs benefitted from timely defense with a season-best 90 digs -- their highest total since they had 101 on Oct. 30, 2015 in a five-set win at Cornell. 

"We needed an 'A' game effort tonight to win, and we had our 'A' game," Appleman added.

Kate Swanson had 23 digs to pace Yale, while Steinberg had 19, Crawford had 15 and Franny Arnautou had 10.  

The Bulldogs will face Penn on Saturday at 5 p.m.  The Quakers lost 3-1 to Brown on Friday night and fell to 5-6 in league play.

Before tomorrow night's match the Bulldogs will honor their four seniors on the roster -- Claire Feeley, captain Tori Shepherd, Steinberg and Lucy Tashman.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity