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Bulldogs Sweep Clemson; Wirth Named Invite MVP

Kelley Wirth.
Kelley Wirth.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- For the second straight season, the Bulldogs have opened the season with three straight victories.

Yale came out swinging, hit .361 in the first set and kept the momentum going throughout the match in a 3-0 win over Clemson.  The scores of the match were 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.  

Kelley Wirth led the Bulldogs with 12 kills, hit .435 and was named tournament most valuable player, while Franny Arnautou and Kathryn Attar also represented Yale on the all-tourney team. 

Tristin Kott provided the Bulldogs a spark early with six of her eight kills coming in the first set, including back-to-back points to tie the set at 19. Yale finished strong and scored eight of the final 10 points of the set.

In the second set, Yale scored nine of the first 13 points.  Attar pushed the lead to 15-9 with a service ace and closed out the set with a kill.

Yale controlled the third set and jumped out to a 13-7 edge after a kill from Izzy Simqu,

The Bulldogs return to action at a tournament hosted by UC Santa Barbara, which includes a matchup with No. 18 USC.

2017 Yale Invitational All-Tourament Team

MVP - Kelley Wirth, Yale

Franny Arnautou, Yale

Kathryn Attar, Yale

Marie Gillcrist, URI

Live Lunde Fossdal, URI

Kaylin Korte, Clemson

Maria Bellinger, Delaware

Bulldog Bites:

  • The use of instant replay review was used for all six matches of the Yale Invitational.  In the match's first set, three coach challenges were used to review calls -- two by Yale and one by Clemson.
  • Wirth hit .389 with a team-best 34 kills (3.40 per set average) and five blocks in three matches this weekend.
  • Attar wasn't the only first-year student-athlete to make a splash this weekend.  Classmate Chiara Spain led the team with 10 total blocks (1.25 per set average), and fellow first-year Destiny Daniel had eight.  The Bulldogs averaged 2.90 per set.
  • Simqu came off the bench and provided four kills on eight swings without an error.
  • After scoring eight of the final 10 points of the first set, Yale never trailed in the second.
  • This is the third straight year the Bulldogs have defeated a school from a "Power 5" conference.  In 2015 and 2016, Yale defeated Rutgers of the Big Ten prior to beating Clemson (ACC) tonight.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity