Bulldogs to Host Texas A&M, Northwestern; Will Compete in University of San Diego Invite
NEW HAVEN – The two-time defending Ivy League champion Yale volleyball team today released its 2012 schedule that features four NCAA Tournament qualifiers from last season, an appearance at the University of San Diego Invitational and non-conference matchups with teams from several of the nation's top conferences.
"This is the most challenging non-conference schedule we've had in my 10 seasons here," Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman said. "It gives our student-athletes an opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the country and at the same time help prepare us for the always demanding Ivy season."
The Bulldogs, who last year captured their third Ivy League title in four years, host the Yale Classic on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 to open the 2012 season.
The Classic includes two other NCAA tournament teams from a year ago – Texas A&M (Big 12) and American (Patriot League) – and also Stony Brook of the American East Conference. The Big 12 had three teams ranked in the final 2011 AVCA Top-25 poll.
On Sept. 7 and 8, the Bulldogs host the Yale Invitational, which includes matches against Northwestern of the Big Ten and Villanova of the Big East. Northwestern defeated then-No. 2-ranked Nebraska to close out its 2011 season in a conference that had eight teams in the RPI's top 40.
The next weekend, Yale travels to California to compete in the University of San Diego Invitational. The Bulldogs will face San Diego, who won the West Coast Conference and advanced to the NCAA's second round, and also play University of California Santa Barbara (Big West) and Fresno State (WAC).
The Bulldogs close out their non-conference schedule with a home match against Albany, the defending American East champions, on Sept. 19.
Yale begins its Ivy League season at Brown on Sept. 22. The Bulldogs play their first five conference matches on the road – at Cornell (Sept. 28), at Columbia (Sept.29), at Dartmouth (Oct. 5) and at Harvard (Oct. 6).
The Bulldogs kickoff their home Ivy League slate against Princeton (Oct. 12) and Penn (Oct. 13). Brown visits Yale on Oct. 20, and the Bulldogs host Columbia (Oct. 26) and Cornell (Oct. 27) the following weekend.
Yale heads to Penn (Nov. 2) and Princeton (Nov. 3) for its final Ivy road matches of the season before completing the regular season schedule at home against Harvard (Nov. 9) and Dartmouth (Nov. 10).
The Bulldogs finished the 2011 season with an 18-7 overall record, a 12-2 conference mark and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time since 2004. The Bulldogs lost to then No. 1-ranked USC in their NCAA opener in Los Angeles.
Report Filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity