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Big Weekend On Tap As Bulldogs Host Princeton, Penn

Yale celebrates a point. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yale celebrates a point. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale And Princeton Enter Friday's Match Undefeated In League Play

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After five straight road wins to start the Ivy League season, the Bulldogs return home to face Princeton and Penn with first place at stake in the conference.

Yale (9-5, 5-0 Ivy) defeated Dartmouth, 3-1, and swept Harvard last weekend.

Hot hitting continues to be a staple of the Bulldogs, who enter this week ranked fourth in the nation in kills per set.  Yale leads the Ivy League in kills per set (14.83) and hitting percentage (.236). 

Last weekend, the Bulldogs kept up their blistering pace.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs hit .365 for the match and tied a team season-high with 56 kills in a three-set match in a win over Harvard.  Yale closed out the match after hitting .512 in the third set with 23 of its 25 points coming on kills.

Freshman Kelly Johnson hit a season-best .722 with 13 kills against the Crimson and earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on Tuesday.  Johnson added 20 assists and nine digs. 

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

On Friday against Dartmouth, Yale hit .372 in the first set and started the match on a 16-5 run.  Team captain Haley Wessels had 13 kills and hit .458 for the match. 

Wessels enters the week ranked third in the conference with a .356 hitting percentage.

Rogers added her sixth double-double of the season with 18 kills and a match-high 14 kills.  Rogers begins the week among the Ivy League leaders in kills per set (3.00, 4th) and digs (4.25, 5th).

Johnson just missed a triple double with 24 assists, 10 digs and nine kills against the Big Green.

On Friday, Princeton (8-7, 5-0 Ivy) will play the Bulldogs with first place in the Ivy standings on the line.  The teams split a pair of matches last season, with each team winning on its home court.

The Tigers feature Lydia Rudnick, the conference leader in kills per set (4.25) and sister of Yale's Maddie Rudnick, who ranks third in the conference in digs per set (4.67).

The nation's top two teams in digs per set average square off on Saturday.  Penn (8-8, 3-2 Ivy) comes to New Haven as the nation's leader with a 21.45 average, while the Bulldogs rank second with at 19.73.

The Quakers play at Brown (5-10, 1-4 Ivy) on Friday and begin the weekend alone in second place in the Ivy League behind Yale and Princeton.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity