GAME NOTES: Yale and Utah Square Off in NCAA First-Round Match
Match 25: vs. Utah (20-12, 9-11)
NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament
Friday, Dec. 6, 2012 - 5 p.m.
Rec Hall - University Park, Pa.
Share in the excitement of the Selection Show last Sunday:
Yale will face Utah in a NCAA First Round match today. It marks the second-ever match between the two schools. The Bulldogs (20-4, 13-1) won its fourth straight Ivy League title to earn an automatic NCAA berth, while the Utes (20-12, 9-11) earned an at-large bid from the Pac-12 Confernce. Yale won 14 of 15 matches to end the season, while Utah won at UCLA in four to close out their schedule.
PENN STATE FACES LIU-BROOKLYN
Five-time national champion Penn State (28-2, 19-1) represents the tournament's No. 2 overall seed after winning its 16th Big 10 title and will take on LIU-Brooklyn in the other first-round match this weekend. The Blackbirds (23-7, 14-0) won their fourth Northeast Conference title and finished the season on a 10-match win streak. The winner of the Penn St.-LIU match will face the winner of the Yale-Utah on Saturday.
YALE WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT IVY TITLE; FIFTH IN SIX YEARS
Yale President Peter Salovey, along with Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, on Nov. 14 presented the Bulldogs with the 2013 Ivy League Championship trophy at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs became the first team to punch a ticket to this year's NCAA Tournament. It is Yale's seventh overall title in volleyball and the sixth during the Appleman era in New Haven. Yale becomes the first team to win four consecutive League titles since regular season round robin play began in 1987 and only the second in Ivy League women's volleyball history. Yale is just the second team in the round robin era to win three consecutive titles outright, joining Cornell (1991-93).
FIVE BULLDOGS EARN ALL-IVY STATUS; POLAN SETS RECORD
Kendall Polan became the first three-time Ivy League Volleyball Player of the Year award winner in conference history today and joined four Yale teammates to earn All-Ivy honors. Polan, Yale's senior captain, joined junior Mollie Rogers and sophomore Kelly Johnson, on the All-Ivy First Team, while junior Maddie Rudnick and freshman Brittani Steinberg were named All-Ivy Second Team selections.
APPLEMAN WINS 200TH AT YALE
Bulldogs head coach Erin Appleman earned her 200th victory at Yale on Nov. 15 at Princeton. Appleman enters today with a 201-73 (.734) in her 11th season at the helm of the program. Her record in Ivy League regular season matches is 125-29 (.812). The Bulldogs have won six Ivy League titles during Appleman's tenure, along with two NCAA Tournament matches.
BULLDOGS DOMINATE IVY LEAGUE AWARDS
Mollie Rogers won her second straight Ivy League Player of the Week award on Nov. 19. Rogers became the fifth different Bulldog to win a weekly league award. Yale has won at least one Ivy League award in nine of the 11 weeks. Kelly Johnson and Jesse Ebner have won two player of the week awards, while Kendall Polan and Brittani Steinberg have both won the honor once. Steinberg has also won rookie of the week twice.
YALE SETS CONFERNCE RECORD WITH 23 STRAIGHT IVY WINS
Earlier this season, the Bulldogs set an Ivy League record with their 23rd straight conference victory. Yale won at Dartmouth on Nov. 1, 2013, to set the mark. At the time, it was the third-longest active streak in the country. The Bullldogs lost the next night in five sets at Harvard, marking the first time Yale had lost an Ivy League match since Nov. 12, 2011.
KENDALL POLAN PASSES 3,000-ASSIST MARK
Kendall Polan became the fourth player to surpass the 3,000-assist mark in Yale volleyball program history. Polan accomplished the feat during a season-high, 60-assist performance at Harvard on Nov. 2. Polan begins today with 3,217 assists and stands at third on Yale's all-time list. She needs four assists to pass Ally Mendenhall for third. In addition, Polan moved into ninth all-time at Yale with 1,191 digs and needs one more service ace to tie 10th in program history.
MOLLIE ROGERS NEARS 800 KILLS
Three-time, first team All-Ivy hitter Mollie Rogers continues to be Yale's leader with 3.05 kills per set. Rogers enters today with 789 career kills. Rogers has struck for at least 10 kills 14 times this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Yale has won 32 straight Ivy League regular season home matches. The Bulldogs went 9-1 this season at the John J.Lee Amphitheater with a 3-1 loss to Missouri, which clinched the SEC title and entered the week ranked 4th in the nation with a 34-0 overall record.
The Bulldogs enter the week hitting .266 - the top percentage among Ivy League teams and rank 30th in the nation. Yale averages a league-best 14.05 kills per set and has hit over .300 six times this season - including a .441 performance in a win over Army on Sept. 14. Entering the week, Jesse Ebner leads the team with a .422 hitting percentage, while McHaney Carter ranks fourth in the conference at a .317 clip.
BULLDOGS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Yale ranks 39th out of 332 teams in the latest NCAA's RPI ranking. In addition, the Bulldogs rank 53rd in this week's latest Pablo Ranking, a nationally-recognized ratings system published by the website RichKern.com.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Seven different Bulldogs average at least one kill per set. Mollie Rogers leads the team with a 3.05 average, with Kelly Johnson averaging 2.85 and Brittani Steinberg averaging 2.72. Jesse Ebner produces 2.26 kills per set, while Maya Midzik averages 2.07, McHaney Carter averages 1.74 and Kendall Polan averages 1.06.
Four Bulldogs average over two digs per set, led by junior Maddie Rudnick. An All-Ivy Second Team member this year and last, Rudnick averages 4.46 digs per set and ranks third in the conference. Kendall Polan (2.99 digs per set), Kelly Johnson (2.35), Mollie Rogers (2.20), Tori Shepherd (1.57) and Brittani Steinberg (1.22) have also provided solid numbers.
Senior McHaney Carter leads the team with 68 total blocks, including a season-high seven in Yale's win at Princeton on Nov. 15. Carter leads the team with 14 solo blocks and produced at least five total blocks in a match five times this season. Carter had 21 block assists last season and has already surpassed that output with 54 this year.
COMING UP ACES
The Bulldogs enter the week ranked eighth in the nation and lead the Ivy League in aces per set with a 1.73 average. Individually, Yale's Kendall Polan ranks 30th in the nation a 0.40 aces per set average.
KICKIN' IT WITH KENDALL
Yale senior captain Kendall is not only the first-ever three-time Ivy League Player of the Year - she has her own YouTube TV show. The show, entitled Kickin' It With Kendall, is co-hosted with Yale associate head coach Kevin Laseau. The show offers a student-athlete perspective of the team on and off the court.
RUDNICK LEADS DEFENSE
Junior libero Maddie Rudnick led the Bulldogs with 379 on the season and earned All-Ivy Second Team honors for the second straight season. The libero ranked second overall in the conference with a 4.46 per set average in digs.
YALE PLAYS INSIDE THE PENTAGON
The Bulldogs competed inside one of America's most symbolic buildings - the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. As part of the Armed Services Challenge, Yale defeated Army and Air Force, and lost to nationally-ranked Stanford during the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14.
CARTER EARNS NATIONAL ACADEMIC HONOR
Yale senior middle blocker McHaney Carter has been recognized as one of the nation's top student-athletes for her combined performance on the court and in the classroom. Carter has been named to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District I Volleyball First Team. District I includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
HEAD COACH ERIN APPLEMAN
In her 11th season at the helm of the Yale volleyball team, Erin Appleman has established herself as one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of Ivy League volleyball. She has won six Ivy League Championships (2004, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013) and was the first volleyball coach in league history to guide a team to victory in an NCAA Championship match, a feat she accomplished in both 2004 and 2008.
Appleman is the second-winningest coach in Yale history at 202-72 and her .737 winning percentage is the best all-time at Yale. In 2013, Yale won set an Ivy League record with its 23rd straight conference victory. In 2012, the Bulldogs completed the Ivy League regular season at 14-0 and became only the second school in conference history to do so. Appleman also earned her 100th conference victory after Yale's second conference match in 2012 and has a career Ivy League mark of 125-29 with an .812 winning percentage.
In 2011, the Bulldogs went 18-7 and finished 12-2 in conference play. Yale made its third-ever appearance in the NCAA and faced then No. 1-ranked USC in Los Angeles, Calif. In 2010, the Bulldogs finished with a 12-2 conference mark and tied for first place in the Ivy League standings. At one point during the season, the Bulldogs won 10 straight Ivy matches and forced a one-match playoff against Penn. Five members of the team earned all-Ivy status, including Kendall Polan, who earned conference rookie of the year honors. Appleman led Yale to a 21-4 mark in 2009, the best record in program history and the first time the Bulldogs posted back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1995-96. The 2009 Yale team produced five All-Ivy players, including first team honorees Alexis Crusey and Cat Dailey, en route to claiming second place in the Ivy League at 11-3. Prior to Yale, Appleman was an assistant coach at Penn State for eight seasons. During her tenure at Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions went to five Final Fours and won the national title in 1999.
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH KEVIN LASEAU
Kevin Laseau is in his 10th season on Erin Appleman's staff and the Bulldogs have won four straight Ivy League titles and six overall. Last year, the Bulldogs went 18-7 overall, finished 12-2 in Ivy play and faced then No. 1-ranked USC in the NCAA First Round. During 2010, the Bulldogs finished 12-2 in the Ivy League, won ten straight confernce matches at one point and tied for first in the confernce standings. Laseau helped coach five all-Ivy student-athletes that year. In 2009, Laseau helped lead the Bulldogs to the best record in program history at 21-4. Laseau has been on the sidelines for the Bulldogs' 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Ivy League Championships, along with its two NCAA Championship First-Round victories.
Yale is 176-63 (.736) during Laseau's tenure, and has won at least 10 Ivy League matches in all 10 of his seasons in New Haven. Laseau was promoted to associate head coach at Yale in 2008. Laseau came to the Elm City with over 20 years of national club coaching experience, which includes a National Junior Championship and three bronze medals in the 16-open division with the prestigious Munciana (Ind.) Volleyball club. As an assistant coach, Laseau helped guide the Munciana 16-open squad to a national title in 1997, a bronze medal in 1999, and a second-place finish at the AAU Nationals in 1989. Laseau became head coach in 2000 and led the team to back-to-back bronze medals in 2000 and 2001. In addition, he coached in all but one Junior Olympics tournament from 1987-2003.