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For Second Straight Weekend, Bulldogs to Face Nationally Ranked Team

Captain Kelsey Crawford (left) and Kelley Wirth.
Captain Kelsey Crawford (left) and Kelley Wirth.

This Weekend's Schedule

Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Yale at No. 2 Penn State - Live Stats | Video

Saturday, 1 p.m.

Yale vs. Ohio - Live Stats

Saturday, 7 p.m.

Yale vs. Wake Forest - Live Stats

Weekend Notes

  • The Bulldogs close out their non-conference schedule at the Penn State Classic this weekend with matches against No. 2 Penn State, Ohio and Wake Forest.  
  • This marks the second straight weekend the Bulldogs will face a nationally ranked opponent after facing then-No. 19 USC on Sept. 9.  
  • The Bulldogs defeated UC Santa Barbara last weekend to mark their fourth straight win to open the season.  Yale lost later in the weekend to then-No. 19 USC and Arkansas, and stand at 4-2 overall entering play this weekend.
  • Yale's Kelley Wirth was named to an all-tournament team for the second time this season.  Wirth last weekend was named to the UC Santa Barbara Thunderdome All-Tournament team after leading the team with 32 kills in 10 sets and added nine block assists. She was named Yale Invitational MVP the prior week.
  • Yale leads the Ivy League and entered the week ranked 19th in the nation in blocks per set (2.85).
  • Six Bulldogs average at least one kill per set -- Kelley Wirth (3.30), Kathryn Attar (2.30), Tristin Kott (2.00), Izzy Simqu (1.67), Destiny Daniel (1.50) and Kaitlyn Gibbons (1.38).
  • Yale head coach Erin Appleman is in her 15th season at the helm of the Bulldogs.  She has a career record of 258-98.  In Appleman's time at Yale, the Bulldogs own the best conference record against other Ivy League volleyball programs -- 157-39.  Prior to her time at Yale, Appleman was an assistant coach at Penn State with current head coach Russ Rose and was a part of the 1999 National Championship team and five Final Fours. 
  • Yale has defeated a Power 5 opponent in each of the past three seasons, including its victory over Clemson in New Haven on September 2.
  • Kate Swanson leads the team with 63 digs on the season and ranks ninth in the Ivy League.  A junior, Swanson has 792 digs in her Yale career (3.94 per set).  
  • Izzy Simqu and Destiny Daniel both had solid weekends at the net last week.  Daniel had 14 blocks, while Simqu had 11 over three matches. 
  • The Bulldogs continued their home dominance to start the season with a 3-0 weekend to win the Yale Invitational on Sept. 1-2.  Over the last four-plus seasons, the Bulldogs are 39-6 overall and 27-1 against Ivy League teams.

Scouting the Opponents

No. 2 Penn State (7-0) - The Nittany Lions moved up to No. 2 in the latest ACVA national poll.  Penn State is No. 3 in the nation in hitting percentage at .340 as a team.  All six starters from the 2016 season and a total of 17 letter winners return to the court for Penn State.

Ohio (6-5) - The match against Ohio will be a rematch of Yale's five-set win in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.  The Bobcats were picked to finish in second place in the East Division in the 2017 MAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches.  Three Bobcats average at least three kills per set -- Jamie Kosiorek (3.92), Lizzie Stephens (3.50) and Tia Jimerson (3.19).

Wake Forest (7-2) -  The Deacs represent the second ACC team Yale will face this season.  Yale defeated Clemson, 3-0, back on September 2.  The Deacs swept the Wake Forest Invitational last weekend and are off best start since 2014.  Sophomore Caroline Rassenforss leads the ACC with 15 service aces.