2017 Yale Invitational
The Bulldogs host the Yale Invitational to open the 2017 season. Yale will face Delaware (Friday, 7 p.m.), Rhode Island (Saturday, 10 a.m.) and Clemson (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Last season, the Bulldogs defeated Albany, Iona and Rutgers to win all three matches of the Yale Invitational. In recent years, Yale's season-opening tournaments have attracted some of the nation's top programs, such as Stanford, Penn State, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah.
Here's the schedule for this weekend:
Friday September 1, 2017
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Yale Volleyball Notes
Challenging 2017 Schedule
The Bulldogs in 2017 will face programs such as USC, Penn State, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Ohio and Clemson in one of its toughest non-conference schedules. After hosting Delaware, Rhode Island and Clemson this weekend, the Bulldogs travel to California to play No. 18 USC, host UC Santa Barbara and Arkansas. The next weekend, the Bulldogs travel to No. 5 Penn State to face the Nittny Lions, Ohio and Wake Forest before starting the always challenging Ivy League schedule.
Crawford Named Captain
Senior setter Kelsey Crawford was named team captain prior to the start of the 2017 season. Crawford enters this season ninth all-time at Yale in total assists with 1,888. Her 8.43 assists per set average is fifth all time.
Arnautou Earns Spot on U.S. Junior National Training Team
Yale sophomore setter Franny Arnautou this summer became the first Bulldog and was the only Ivy Leaguer to earn a spot on the 16-player U.S. Women's Junior National Training Team. In 2016 as a freshman, Arnautou led the Bulldogs in assists per set (7.30). She also hit .378 attacking the ball. Arnautou last March joined sophomore teammate Kate Swanson and 2010 Yale grad Cat Dailey at the 2017 United States Women's National Team Open Tryouts.
The Bulldogs continued their home dominance in 2016. The Bulldogs went 11-0 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Over the last four seasons at home, the Bulldogs are 36-6 overall and 27-1 against Ivy League teams.
Class of 2021 Receives National Recognition
Yale's freshmen class has been recognized as one of the nation's best by Prepvolleyball. The Yale Class of 2021 — Kathryn Attar (outside hitter),Yurika Boyd (libero), McKenzie Cooke (outside hitter), Destiny Daniel (middle), and Kiki Spain (middle) — received Highest Honorable Mention from the online website, making it one of the top 55 recruiting classes in the nation. Other programs receiving the same honor include defending national champion Stanford, Washington, Florida, and Pepperdine. All five freshmen have significant experience competing against the nation's top volleyball teams in the Open divisions of USA Volleyball's Junior Nationals.
Appleman Leads the Way
Erin Appleman in her first 14 years at Yale has guided the Bulldogs to a record-setting five straight Ivy League championships and seven total conference titles (2004, 2008, 2010-2014), six NCAA Tournament appearances (2004, 2008, 2011-2014), four 20-plus win seasons (2005, 2008, 2009, 2013) and became the first coach in conference history to win an NCAA match -- a feat she has accomplished twice (2004 and 2008). In 14 years at Yale, Appleman has produced the best winning percentage -- .726 -- in program history with an overall record of 254-96 entering the 2017 season.
Scouting the Opponents
Clemson - The Tigers come to New Haven with a 3-1 overall record. After starting the season 3-0, Clemson lost to Kennesaw State on Tuesday. Junior outside hitter Kailey Harvell was named tournament MVP last weekend after averaging 3.58 kills per set, while hitting .366. Sophomore Kaylin Korte with a 3.40 kills per set average.
Delaware - The Blue Hens opened up the season at the West Virginia Invitational last weekend and dropped three matches, including one to then-No. 6 Penn State. Maria Bellinger leads the team with a 3.55 kills per set average and 105 swings through three matches.
Rhode Island - The Rams played at the Golden Dome Invitational last weekend hosted by Norte Dame and lost all three matches. The Rams were picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference preseason poll, and have four hitters with at least 10 kills through their first three matches.
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publcity