September 3, 2013

Bulldogs Open Season With Yale Invitational This Weekend

Defending Ivy Champs Host Missouri, Colgate and Seton Hall to Open 2013 Season

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NEW HAVEN -- The Bulldogs begin the quest for a fourth straight Ivy League title with the Yale Invitational.  Yale returns all but one starter from last year's 18-5 season, including four All-Ivy selections and three seniors.

Opening Weekend

The Bulldogs open the 2013 season with a challenging non-conference schedule that starts with Missouri, Colgate and Seton Hall. Missouri went 10-10 in the SEC last year, while Seton Hall won 18 games and Colgate won the Patriot League.  

Yale's Winning Tradition

Yale head coach Erin Appleman begins her 11th season at Yale and has led the Bulldogs to the best Ivy League record during her tenure in New Haven.  The Bulldogs have a 112-28 conference regular season mark since 2003 - nine wins more than the next highest total.  In addition, Yale's current senior class - McHaney Carter, Kendall Polan and Erica Reetz - have plenty of on-court experience and wins.  The trio begins the season with a career overall record of 54-21 and three Ivy League titles.  

Bulldogs Return Top Players

The Bulldogs return four All-Ivy selections from 2012, including Ivy League Player of the Year Kendall Polan and conference rookie of the year Kelly JohnsonMollie Rogers was a All-Ivy First Team selection, along with Polan and Johnson, in addition to second-team pick Maddie Rudnick 

Polan Named Captain for 2013

Kendall Polan, the reigning two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, was elected captain of the Yale women's volleyball team for the 2013 season following a team vote. The Cardiff, Calif., native earned conference player of the year honors in the last two seasons and won Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2010.  Polan was also named a 2012 AVCA Division I Honorable Mention All-America and first team All-Ivy after last season. Polan follows former team captains Haley Wessels '12, Taylor Cramm '11 and Kelly Ozurovich '10. 

Welcome Freshmen

For the fifth year in a row, PrepVolleyball.com has recognized the Bulldogs for having one of the nation's best recruiting classes.  Yale is the only Ivy League school to be recognized for the past five years.  This year's class includes Claire Feeley (MB), Tori Shepherd (L), Brittani Steinberg (OH) and Lucy Tashman (MB).

Scouting the Opponents

Missouri has started the season 4-0 after sweeping South D Missouri akota, Pitt, Idaho State and Arkansas State in the Tiger Invitational last weekend.  Mizzou was picked to finish third in the SEC East this season behind Florida and Kentucky.  The Tigers are led by two preseason All-SEC Team picks - seniors Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning.  

Colgate, the defending Patriot League champs, opened the year last weekend with victories over Central Connecticut, St. John's and Binghamton.  The Raiders return preseason All-Patriot League selections Lindsay Young, Diane Seely and Kaylee Fifer.  

Seton Hall, of the Big East, went 1-2 last weekend in West Point, N.Y. The Pirates won 18 matches last year and return four starters, including three all-league performers in 2012 - Shelbey Manthorpe, Alyssa Warren and Stacey Manthorpe.  Warren was named the 2012 Libero of the Year in the Big East. 

Yale Invitational Schedule

Friday, September 6

 Colgate vs. Seton Hall, 5 p.m.

YALE vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. 

Saturday, September 7

Missouri vs. Seton Hall, 11 a.m.

YALE vs. Colgate, 1 p.m.

Missouri vs. Colgate, 5 p.m.

YALE vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m.