PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Yale (7-5, 1-0) and reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week Kendall Polan came out strong and played fast against Brown (6-7, 0-1) in the conference opener for both teams, as the Bulldogs topped the Bears 3-0 (20-25, 24-26, 18-25). Polan racked up a double-double with 23 assists and 17 digs while Ivy League Player of the Week Kathryn Glickman (San Francisco, Calif.) helped lead the charge for Brown with six kills and three blocks.
The first set started off on a good note for the Bears as freshman Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, Calif.) picked up two-straight service aces to start the game. The set continued with the two teams trading points until the 16-all mark. A quick 3-1 run by the Bulldogs keyed by a kill from Bridget Hearst helped Yale take control of the set.
Game number two was as close a set had been this season for the Bears. Yale grabbed a quick 2-0 lead but Brown countered with a kill from senior Megan Toman (Newport Beach, Calif.), which tied the game at seven. Points were exchanged until a block from Yale's McHaney Carter and Polan forced the Bears to take a timeout with the score 20-18 in favor of the Bulldogs. It was the first time either team went up by two since the first points of the set.
Brown regrouped and foiled set point for Yale when freshman Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) slammed home a kill to close within one, and forced an attack error on the next play to tie the game at 24. However, the Bulldogs remained poised and took the next two points to close out the set.
Yale road its momentum from a thrilling second set, jumping out to an early 9-3 lead in the third game. Brown closed the gap with a 5-0 run which included kills from Glickman, Toman and freshman Emma Pastore (Los Angeles, Calif.). In the next sequence, the Bulldogs doubled up Brown with a 10-5 stretch. Brown traded points with Yale but could not cut into the deficit.
Toman led the Bears with eight kills in the match while Rieckoff made it 13-straight games in which she has led Brown in assists. Both junior Annika Gliottone (Warwick, R.I.) and senior Brianna Williamson (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied double-digit digs.
The second game of this home-and-home series will be played tomorrow night at 6 p.m. on the campus of Yale.
Pictured: Brianna Willamson '11