Bulldogs Sweep Hofstra to Win 2008 Yale Invitational

Sept. 13, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Junior Cat Dailey posted a double-double, and junior Alexis Crusey and freshman Bridget Hearst each tallied nine kills as the Yale volleyball team completed its sweep of the 2008 Yale Invitational by defeating Hofstra 3-0. The Bulldogs also bested Boston College on Friday night and Colgate earlier this afternoon to run their overall season record to 3-0. Hofstra fell to 4-5 with the loss.

Dailey racked up 11 kills and 10 digs to notch her first Yale double-double. She also posted two service aces and four blocks to round out her stat sheet. Senior captain Ally Mendenhall dished out a match-high 31 assists and also contributed nine digs.

"I am very happy with the way Ally ran the offense," said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. "She distributed the ball evenly and kept every player on the floor involved."

The Bulldogs ran away with the first set, 25-16. The squad broke an 8-8 tie with a kill from Dailey and never relinquished that lead. Crusey and Dailey each recorded four kills in the opening frame to lead the Yale attack.

It appeared that Yale would coast through the second set as well, as the team jumped out to a 20-14 lead, led by four kills apiece from Dailey, Crusey and Hearst. The Pride however, quickly closed the gap with a 6-1 run. With the score now sitting much tighter at 21-20 in favor of the Bulldogs, the home team thwarted the Hofstra rally and prevailed 25-21.

Yale maintained its momentum in the third set, as the team took a 5-4 lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs ended the set on a 6-0, sparked by two service aces from junior Lydia Mailander, and won the deciding game by a score of 25-14.

"I told the team in the locker room that we had to come out strong in the third set," said Coach Appleman, "and I was extremely pleased with the result."

Harmonie Calinda posted a match-best 12 kills for the Pride. Junior Chrissey Cruz notched a double-double with 23 assists and 10 digs.

Alexis Crusey was named Most Valuable Player of the Yale Invitational. The junior notched 35 kills (3.89 per set) with a .329 hitting percentage. She also had 22 digs for a 2.44 digs per set average, and filled out her stat sheet by adding six assists, three services and three blocks over the three game tournament. Cat Dailey and Ally Mendenhall were named to the All-Tournament Team for their efforts.

Harmonie Calinda and Lauren Engle were selected from Hofstra for the All-Tournament Team. Colgate's Katrina Zawojski and Taylor Williams from Boston College rounded out the elite sextet.

"This tournament was fiercely competitive," said Appleman of the 2008 Yale Invitational. "I think it's a great way to start the season."

The Bulldogs continue their non-conference schedule next weekend at the Penn State Classic. Yale will challenge the No. 1 nationally-ranked tournament hosts, the Penn State Nittany Lions, on Friday, Sept. 19. The squad will wrap up the tournament with matches against Saint Louis and New Hampshire on Sept. 20.

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