Appleman Announces Volleyball Class of 2014

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

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Head Coach Erin Appleman has announced four new additions to the Yale volleyball team, beginning in the 2010 season. All four student-athletes have excelled on the national stage with high-profile club programs in addition to their stellar high school careers. The Class of 2014 features Kendall Polan, the first Under Armor High School All-America player in Yale history, as well as highly-touted scholastic and club players McHaney Carter, Gina Finke and Erica Reetz.

“This is one of the best recruiting classes that Yale has ever had,” said Appleman, who has previously mentored two recruiting classes that earned High Honorable Mention status from PrepVolleyball.com. “I expect the Class of 2014 to once again be nationally recognized as one of the top recruiting classes in the country.”

Polan, setter/opposite for La Costa Canyon High School- the No. 1 ranked high school volleyball team in the nation in 2008- has claimed three CIF Division I titles and a California State Championship running the Mavericks’ offense. She was named a PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace and earned the Avocado League Most Valuable Player award as a junior at La Costa Canyon. Polan also plays for the nationally-prominent Encinitas Wave club program, twice earning All-Tournament honors at the Junior Olympics in addition to winning a 2008 Gold Medal with the Wave in the 16 Open Division.

“It’s exciting to find a player with Kendall’s ability that is committed to an Ivy League education in addition to playing Division I volleyball,” said Appleman of her All-America recruit. “She can play anywhere on the court, and I expect her to make an immediate impact on our program.”

Carter, a 5’11 middle blocker, comes to Yale from a Carroll High School squad that won a pair of District Titles (2007 and 2008) during her tenure with the program. The Dragons’ 2009 team captain is also a varsity high jumper on the school’s track team. Carter, a native of Dallas, Texas, is a member of Skyline Juniors Volleyball, the current No. 2 ranked club in the nation that also produced current Bulldogs’ middle blocker Haley Wessels. Carter was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2008 Junior Olympics in which her team won the 16-1 American Division. Her 17-1 squad placed ninth in the Open division at the 2009 Junior Olympics.

“McHaney is a very athletic, agile middle blocker,” Appleman said. “She has the ability to compete at the Ivy League level right away.”

Gina Finke, an outside hitter out of Benet Academy, was team captain of the 2009 Redwings squad and earned a slot on the Chicago Tribune “20 Players to Watch” list. She was also named to the All-Area team for Dupage County, Ill. and was an All-State honorable mention in her senior campaign. The native of Naperville, Ill. was a three-year team captain with the Sports Performance Volleyball Club, during which time she claimed AAU 16’s All-America honors as her teams placed as high as fifth at the Junior Olympics. Most recently, her Sports Performance 18 Red team won the 18 Club title at the 2009 JVDA National Championships.

“In addition to being one of the best ball-handlers I have ever recruited, Gina has been a captain at every level of play,” said Appleman. “Her leadership ability will be a huge asset to our young team.”

Erica Reetz, a 6’0 outside hitter, is the reigning North Shore Conference Player of the Year for Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis. A first team All-Conference, All-Area and All-State selection, Reetz earned club experience with the Milwaukee Sting. Most recently, her 2009 17 Open team finished fifth at the JVA Championships in Louisville, Ky.

“The first thing I noticed about Erica was her tenacity on the court,” said Appleman. “She is a very skilled attacker who wants the ball and can finish consistently.”

The Class of 2014 joins a Yale team that finished with a 21-4 record in 2009, the best record in program history. The Bulldogs will enter the 2010 campaign with six returning letterwinners, including 2009 All-Ivy honorees Bridget Hearst, Kerry Clavadetscher and 2010 team captain Kelly Ozurovich.

“I believe that we have had the top recruiting class in the Ivy League for the past three years,” said Appleman. “The Class of 2014 will play a big role in keeping us among the elite teams in the league.”

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity