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Second Half of Ivy Season Starts at Brown

Kate Swanson.
Kate Swanson.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Bulldogs have surged ahead in the Ivy League standings and enter the second half of the conference season in first place with a 6-1 league mark.  On Friday night, Yale travels to Brown for a 7 p.m. start.

The Bulldogs defeated the Bears, 3-0, in New Haven on Sept. 22.  On that night, Yale held a 47-31 edge in digs and received 13 kills from Kelley Wirth

Brown enters the match on Friday with a record of 6-12 overall and 1-6 in league play.

In a year of numerous go-to performances, the Bulldogs had even more student-athletes step up and lead the team to victory.  

Tristin Kott, an All-Ivy selection last season, went for a season-high 15 kills in a 3-0 win at Dartmouth.  Kott averaged 3.86 kills per set in the two victories last weekend and earned a spot on the league's weekly honor roll.  

The next night, first-year Chiara Spain had season-highs with six kills and six blocks with a .417 hitting percentage to lift the Bulldogs to their first win at Harvard since 2014.  Yale had a total of 16 block assists against Harvard last Saturday -- its largest total since matching that amount against USC on Sept. 9.  

Additionally, Kate Swanson averaged 5.29 digs per set against Harvard and Dartmouth.  She currently leads the league in digs per set in Ivy League matches.  She is also approaching 1,000 digs for her collegiate career, entering the weekend with 948.  

Izzy Simqu set a league mark with seven service aces in the victory over Harvard.  Yale averaged 1.7 aces per set last weekend, while its opponents averaged 0.6.

Several Bulldogs continue to be among the league leaders in conference matches.  Swanson leads the conference in digs per set (5.12), Wirth ranks seventh in kills per set (3.08) and Simqu is seventh in hitting percentage (.339).  

As a team, Yale leads the conference in kills per set  (14.88) and assists per set (14.00).  

Yale continues to spread the wealth in hitting against Ivy opponents.  Five Bulldogs average at least two kills a set:  Wirth (3.08), Attar (2.75), Kott (2.62), Simqu (2.00), Kaitlyn Gibbons (2.00).   

Bulldog Notes:

  • Over the last four-plus seasons, the Bulldogs are 43-7 overall in New Haven and 31-2 against Ivy League teams at home.
  • Yale has won five Ivy League championships in the last seven years, and seven of the last 13.
  • Kathryn Attar earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Oct. 9. for the second straight week.  
  • Junior Kate Swanson leads the conference in Ivy League-only matches with a 5.12 digs per set average.  For the entire season, she leads the Bulldogs with a 4.06 average.  
  • The Bulldogs lead the league in digs per set (17.00) in conference-only matches. 
  • Team captain Kelsey Crawford surpassed the 2,000 assist mark for her Yale career on Sept. 22 against Brown.  Crawford now has 2,111 assists and ranks ninth all time in program history.
  • Several Bulldogs in the junior class are reaching lofty career totals in several statistical categories.  Kate Swanson (948 digs), Franny Arnautou (910 assists) and Kelley Wirth (627 kills).
  • Junior Kelley Wirth entered the week ranked among the leaders in the Ivy League in kills per set (7th) and points per set (6th).
  • Simqu is having a breakout season for the Bulldogs.  Simqu ranks first on the team in total blocks (48) and third on the team in points per set (2.77) while hitting .359 over her 181 attacks. 
  • The Bulldogs finished their non-conference schedule with a 6-3 mark, with two of the losses coming to ranked teams  (No. 2 Penn State and then-No. 18 USC).  Over the last three years, the Bulldogs are 18-9 against teams outside the Ivy League.
  • First-year student-athletes Kathryn Attar and Destiny Daniel are off to standout starts.  Attar is averaging 2.90 points per set, and over two kills (2.42) and digs (2.47) per set. Daniel is averaging 1.50 kills per set.  Daniel has gone for six blocks in a match twice -- the highest total for a Bulldog this season.
  • Four Bulldogs are averaging over two digs per set, led by Kate Swanson who leads the team at a 4.06 clip.  Kathryn Attar is averaging 2.47, Gray Malias is at 2.22 and Franny Arnautou is averaging 2.02.  
  • Yale has defeated a Power 5 opponent in each of the past three seasons, including two this year.  Yale beat Clemson in New Haven on September 2, and swept Wake Forest on September 16 in University Park, Pa.
  • Yale head coach Erin Appleman is in her 15th season at the helm of the Bulldogs.  She has a career record of 266-100.  In her time at Yale, the Bulldogs own the best conference record against other Ivy League volleyball programs -- 163-40.