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Gameday Central: Bulldogs Set To Tip 2013-14 Season At Monmouth

The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs tip off 2013-14 with high expectations.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs tip off the 2013-14 season with a trip to face Monmouth at the Multipurpose Athletics Center on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Yale welcomes back three starters and 11 letterwinners from last season's squad. Junior Sarah Halejian was the team's leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and returns after earning All-Ivy League First Team honors. Senior captain Janna Graf led the team in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and added 12.1 ppg to earn Honorable Mention All-Ivy League. The Bulldogs posted a 13-15 campaign overall and a fourth-place finish in the Ivy League with an 8-6 mark, which included wins in six of the final eight contests.

Scouting Monmouth
• All-Time Series Record: First Meeting
• Head coach Jenny Palmateer has guided the Hawks to a 34-28 record in three seasons at the helm. A 1993 graduate of North Carolina State Universith, she was previously an assistant at Seton Hall University (2010-11), N.C. State (1999-2009), University of Virginia (1996-99) and Meredith COllege (1994-96).
• Monmouth is coming off a 15-15 season, which included a third-place finish in the Northeast Conference with a 12-6 mark.
• The Hawks enter 2013-14 in their inaugural campaign in the MAAC and were picked ninth in the coaches preseason poll. Saint Peter's, another Yale opponent, was picked 11th.
• Senior Chevannah Paalvast, MU's top returnee, was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Third Team. Paalvast is the lone returning starter and averaged 11.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The 6-foot guard/forward also had 27 steals and 22 blocks last season.
• In addition to replacing four starters, the Hawks will look to replace a total of six letterwinners. With just eight returning letterwinners that accounted for less than half of last season's offensive output, MU will look to a group of six newcomers this season.
• The Bulldogs and Hawks share common opponents in Boston University and Saint Peter's this season.

Preseason Ivy League Predictions
• Yale was selected fourth in the Ivy League's preseason poll after posting an 8-6 mark and fourth-place finish in 2012-13.
• The Bulldogs collected 91 points in the poll of media and head coaches. Yale has finished among the top four in the league in each of the past four seasons and with 11 returning letterwinners will be looking to challenge for a league title this season.
• Princeton collected 13 first-place votes and 130 points and was picked to win a fifth-straight league title. Harvard (120 points) was second and had three first-place votes, while Penn (98) was third and collected the other first-place vote.
• Dartmouth (55 points), Cornell (52), Brown (45) and Columbia (21) rounded out the preseason poll.
Strength of Schedule
• Yale once again has a non-conference schedule that will prepare it for the Ivy League's 14-game slate to close out the season.
• The Bulldogs will face opponents from nine leagues, including foes from the ACC (Miami), Big 12 (Kansas) and Big East (Georgetown).
• In total, Yale will face seven opponents that appeared in the postseason in 2012-13, including NCAA Tournament participants in Miami, Kansas and Ivy League champion Princeton. Boston University, Sacred Heart and Fordham all appeared in the WNIT, while Penn played in the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Oh Captain, My Captain
• Senior Janna Graf takes over for Allie Messimer '13 as Yale's captain for the 2013-14 seasons. She is the 36th captain in the program's 41 seasons.
• Graf started in 76 games during her career and was named to the All-Ivy League Rookie Team in 2010-11 and earned All-Ivy League Honorable Mention honors last season.
• The 6-foot guard has averaged 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in her career and needs just 117 points to reach 1,000 for her career.
• Graf was named Yale's Most Improved Player last season, while also collecting Bulldog Basketball Awards for Charges Taken and Rebounds at last season's team banquet.

Follow the Bulldogs
• For more information on Yale women's basketball visit
• The Bulldogs are also on Twitter (@YaleWBBDawgz) and on Facebook (YaleWBB).

Next Up
• Yale returns to action on Nov. 12 when it hosts UMass Lowell at 7:00 p.m. in John J. Lee Amphitheater for its 2013-14 home-opener.
• It will be the first meeting between the schools as the Riverhawks are embarking on their inaugural season at the NCAA Division I level.
• UMass Lowell went 18-9 overall, 15-7 in Northeast-10 Conference play, in its final season of Division II competition.