Five Talented Freshmen Set To Join Roster Next Fall
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Coach Erin Appleman, whose Yale volleyball teams have claimed five of the last seven Ivy League Championships and seven of the last 13, announced the addition of five talented freshmen -- Kathryn Attar, Yurika Boyd, McKenzie Cooke, Destiny Daniel, and Chiara Spain -- who will join the Bulldogs in the fall of 2017.
"This is one of the best classes we've ever recruited here," Appleman said. "All of these athletes were highly sought-after recruits and ultimately chose to earn a degree from Yale University."
All five freshmen have significant experience competing against the nation's top volleyball teams in the Open divisions of USA Volleyball's Junior Nationals.
"I think that experience is invaluable, and I believe they will all compete immediately for starting positions. The 2021 class will elevate the level of play in our gym," Appleman said.
Attar, a 6-foot outside hitter from Tampa, was honored a number of times by PrepVolleyball.com, including being named one of the top 50 junior recruits in 2015, and one of the top 150 "Senior Aces" in 2016. A four-year varsity letter winner for Wharton High School, Attar was named team captain and MVP in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, she was First Team All-Hillsborough Conference, All-Tampa Bay Conference, and All-Western Conference her sophomore through senior years of high school. Attar was also named to the USA Volleyball High Performance National Youth teams in 2013 through 2016.
Boyd, a 5-foot-6 libero from Los Angeles, has played for one of the top high school and top club volleyball programs, Marymount High School and Sunshine Volleyball, the same programs that Yale Captain Tori Shepherd '17 hails from. Boyd was named Most Valuable Senior and "Hardest Worker" for the Sailors in 2016 after being the starting libero for a Marymount program ranked fifth in California and 21st in the nation. Named to the 2016 Under Armour AVCA Watch List, Boyd was named to the All-Tournament Team for the Redondo High School Tournament. Named to the USAV 16 American All-Tournament team here sophomore year, Boyd has competed at every Junior Nationals since her 12-under season.
Cooke, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Mill Valley, California, has competed for Encore Volleyball and most recently Absolute Volleyball Club, attending USAV Junior Nationals every year dating back to sixth grade. In 2015, her team was the bronze medalist in the 16 Open division. Cooke was named Second Team Marin County Athletic League as a junior and First Team as a senior. While competing for Redwood High School, Cooke helped the team finish second in the North Coast Section and advance to the second round of the CIF state playoffs.
Daniel, a 6-foot-3 middle from Pottsboro, Texas, has had a great deal of success in the very competitive Dallas metro area volleyball scene. As an eighth grader, her Mad Frog 14s team finished second in the USAV Junior Nationals 14 Open Division. As a freshman in high school on her school's varsity squad, she was named Athlete of the Month by American Bank of Texas as well as Academic All-District, MVP of the Whitesboro Tournament, and her high school's Offensive MVP. As a sophomore, Daniel was MVP of two high school tournaments; Academic All-District and First Team All-State; and her team's Offensive MVP once again. Playing for nationally-ranked Dallas Skyline Volleyball, Daniel finished the season with the second-highest blocking percentage for the entire club, and the fourth highest hitting percentage. As a junior Daniel had the most blocks out of the entire club.
Spain, a 6-foot-3 middle from San Diego, has competed at the highest levels in high school and club, competing for Torrey Pines High School and at the prestigious Wave and Coast volleyball clubs. A starter her sophomore through senior years at Torrey Pines, Spain helped the Falcons secure three straight CIF Championships, all years that they were ranked nationally by Prepvolleyball.com. Additionally, Spain has been a starter for nationally-ranked teams at Wave since 2013, with top 10 finishes in 16 and 17 Open.
Coming off a 19-5 record in the 2016 season, and second place in the Ivy League, the Bulldogs begin the 2017 campaign to win another Ivy Championship with the Yale Invitational September 1-2.