Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Yale women's volleyball team defeated Harvard, 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-13), and clinched the Ivy League championship on Friday night at the Malklin Athletic Center. With the win, the Bulldogs earned the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The victory marks the Bulldogs third Ivy League title in the last four years. Yale improved to 18-5 overall and 12-1 in Ivy League play.
"Our defense was really good," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said. "I couldn't be more proud of this team."
Yale's Mollie Rogers smashed a match-high 17 kills and hit .515 to help the Bulldogs win their seventh straight match. The Bulldogs close out their regular season tomorrow at Dartmouth.
Harvard kept the first set close until Yale struck for a 7-0 run to take control of the set, and eventually the match.
Erica Reetz started the run and was followed by a Rogers kill. On the following point, Katie Cordell kept a rally alive with a diving dig that led to another blast from Rogers.
Cordell and Rogers connected again with the same result on the next point. Yale's defense held a 62-53 edge in digs, led by Maddie Rudnick's 20.
Haley Wessels and Kendall Polan joined together for block assists, then Wessels pounded a kill at the middle of the net on the next point. Harvard never recovered. Wessels (6 kills, 4 total blocks) capped an 8-3 spurt to open the second set. With the Bulldogs up 15-9, Rogers displayed her versatility.
Rogers chased down a ball, kept the ball in play and later completed the point with a solo block to give Yale a seven-point edge. On the next point, Rogers delivered an ace. Frappier, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, supplied a kill on the next point to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the set – 19-10. McHaney Carter closed out the set with back-to-back kills.
The Bulldogs dominated the third set. Cordell capped a quick 5-0 run with an ace that tipped the top of the net before falling straight down. Wessels' solo block gave Yale a 17-8 lead. Four points later, Polan (39 assists) teamed with Wessels for a pair of block assists to extend Yale's lead to 20-9. Yale's seniors would help end the match and clinch a title.
Senior team captain Taylor Cramm notched a kill to give the Bulldogs a 23-11 lead. Bridget Hearst, another senior, contributed a kill for the Bulldogs' next point. Yale's senior class, which includes Cordell, went 8-0 against Harvard in their four-year career. Rogers used a tip for her final kill to finish off the match