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In Quick Turnaround, Bulldogs Down URI on Saturday Morning

Gray Malias (left) and Destiny Daniel.  (Credit: Steven Musco)
Gray Malias (left) and Destiny Daniel. (Credit: Steven Musco)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Kelley Wirth had a match-high 16 kills -- including five in the deciding set -- as the Bulldogs defeated Rhode Island on Saturday morning at the Lee Amphitheater. 

Wirth delivered big points, including match point, and hit .361 for the match.  The scores of the match were 25-23, 25-18, 21-25 and 28-26.   

Fresh off last night's win over Delaware, the Bulldogs grabbed the first two sets of the match that started at 10 a.m.

In the first set, Wirth tipped the ball over the net to give the Bulldogs a 22-20 lead and the Bulldogs didn't trail the rest of the set.  Gray Malias put Yale at set point with a well-placed attack that led to an error and gave Yale a 24-23 lead. 

Kathryn Attar followed up an impressive first collegiate match last night with four kills in the second set.  Attar and Kaitlyn Gibbons went back-to-back on kills to give Yale a 20-17 edge.  

From there, Yale scored five of the final six points, including set point off block assists from Malias and Destiny Daniel.   Malias finished with a team-high five block assists. 

After URI (1-4) won the third set, Yale's frontline produced 10 block assists to maintain an edge.  Kate Aitkenhead had three, while Malias and Daniel had two each.  Wirth hit .455 in the final set with five kills on 11 swings. 

Bulldog Bites:

  • Kate Swanson had 17 digs and led the Bulldogs in digs for the second straight match.  She's averaging 4.57 per set.
  • Wirth is hitting .367 on 49 swings this weekend.
  • Franny Arnautou assisted on 32 of Yale's 43 kills.
  • This was the second time in three years Yale defeated URI.  The Bulldogs defeated the Rams, 3-1, in 2015. 
  • Through two matches, the Bulldogs are averaging 2.86 blocks per set.  Yale averaged 1.88 last season.  This is thanks, in part, to first-year student-athletes Destiny Daniel (8 total blocks), Kathryn Attar (6) and Chiara Spain (5).  
  • Yale will face Clemson tonight at 7 p.m. This is the first of two meetings with teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Yale plays Wake Forest on Sept. 16 in a neutral site match at Penn State. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity