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Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep; Wirth Named MVP

Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep; Wirth Named MVP

Bulldogs Down Iona, Rutgers on Saturday to Win Invitational

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Kelley Wirth blasted a career-high 24 kills to cap a 3-2 win over Rutgers and complete a weekend sweep of all three matches in the Yale Invitational.

The scores of the match were 25-13, 25-21, 22-25, 17-25 and 15-10.

After the Bulldogs' win over Albany last night, they defeated Iona and Rutgers on Saturday.

"We had a great effort this weekend and it paid off with three victories," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said.  "It's a great way to start the season."

Wirth was named tournament MVP and averaged 4.20 kills per set in three victories for the Bulldogs.  Kaitlyn Gibbons and Brittani Steinberg were also named to the all-tournament team.

Steinberg added a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs, while Tristin Kott (11) and Gibbons (10) went for double figures in kills in the win over Rutgers. 

It was Steinberg who came on strong in the fifth set.  Steinberg tied the set at five, and came up with two more kills before ending the match with an ace on match point.

The Bulldogs hit .361 as a team with 17 kills in the first set.  Yale stormed out on a 15-6 run capped by block assists from Wirth and Shreya Dixit.  

"Kelley was stellar today, and came up big in big spots for us," Appleman said of Wirth.

Steinberg and Dixit broke a 17-all tie in the second set with block assists.  Dixit finished the match with eight kills and three block assists. 

Kelsey Crawford had 27 assists, while Franny Arnautou had 22.  

The Bulldogs held an 63-52 edge in digs over Rutgers. Kate Swanson had 14. 

Earlier in the day, Yale defeated Iona in three sets.  Wirth smashed a match-high 13 kills and hit .476.

Yale hit .316 as a team.  Steinberg added six kills, while Kate Aitkenhead chipped in five with two solo blocks.  

Rebekah Nemeth had two kills and two block assists for the Bulldogs.

Albany finished 2-1 in the tournament with wins over Rutgers and Iona.  Rutgers defeated Iona for their lone victory of the weekend.  

Up next for Yale is the Dog Pound Challenge at the University of Connecticut next weekend.  The Bulldogs will face Loyola (Md.), St. Francis-Brooklyn and UConn.  

2016 Yale Invitational All-Tournament Team

MVP - Kelley Wirth - Yale

Kaitlyn Gibbons - Yale

Brittani Steinberg - Yale 

Laini Leindecker - Albany

Nicole Otero - Albany

Mikaela Matthews - Rutgers

Claire Archibald - Iona

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity