Bulldogs Finish Strong, Sweep Hartford

(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Hit Season-Best .404 in Rout of Hartford

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- After earning their 19th win of the season Tuesday night, the Bulldogs' future looks bright for next season. 

Sophomore and two-time all-Ivy selection Kelley Wirth closed out the year with 15 kills and hit .480 as Yale swept Hartford at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  The scores of the match were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-22. 

The Bulldogs hit a season-best .404, while freshman Rebekah Nemeth had a season-high eight kills and hit .583 and sophomore Kate Aitkenhead had six kills and hit .500.   

"We had a great hitting night, and it was nice to finish the season on a strong note," Yale head coach Erin Appleman said. "We saw a glimpse of the future and the talent we have returning." 

Trailing 5-4 in the first set, the Bulldogs scored seven of the next eight points and were off to the races.  Wirth had two straight kills, followed by another from Aitkenhead and an ace from Shreya Dixit.  

Yale (19-5, 11-3 Ivy) stretched its lead to 19-12 after another kill from Aitkenhead.

In the second set, the Bulldogs pieced together a 13-3 run, capped by a Kate Swanson service ace.  Swanson had two aces and led the Bulldogs with nine digs. 

The third set ended in fitting fashion. The Bulldogs scored the final three points and left match point up to their captain.

Kaitlyn GIbbons (10 kills) broke a 22-all tie, Dixit (three kills) added the next point off a set from Franny Arnautou, and senior captain Tori Shepherd closed out the season and her career with an ace.

Notes 

The Bulldogs surpassed the 18-win mark for the fifth time since 2003, the season Erin Appleman took over as head coach...Senior Lucy Tashman had four kills in her final collegiate match tonight...Yale went undefeated at home this season with an 11-0 mark...Yale hit .467 in the second set (18 kills, four errors, 30 swings)...Sophomore Gray Malias had a productive two sets -- three kills on 10 swings without an error with six digs and two blocks...junior Kelsey Crawford had 26 assists over the first two sets.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity