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Bulldogs Host Cornell, Columbia This Weekend to Wrap Up Regular Season

Team captain Kate Swanson.
Team captain Kate Swanson.

The Weekend Schedule

Friday, November 9, 2018

Cornell at Yale, 7 p.m.  Video on ESPN+ | Live Stats

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Columbia at Yale 5 p.m.  Video on ESPN+Live Stats

Bulldogs Wrap Up Regular Season This Weekend

Yale (17-4, 11-1 Ivy) is in position to capture its ninth Ivy League title in the last 15 years as it closes out the regular season with home matches against Cornell and Columbia this weekend.  The Bulldogs have a one-match lead in the standings with two matches left to play. 

Celebrating This Year's Seniors 

Yale seniors Kate Aitkenhead, Shreya Dixit, Gray Malias, Kate Swanson and Kelley Wirth will be honored prior to Saturday's match against Columbia.  This year's senior class has continued the program's winning tradition and entered this weekend with a four-year record of 67-26 overall and 41-13 in Ivy League play, including a conference title last season.

Championship Teams from 1978, 2008 and 2013 to be Honored Friday

The Yale Women's Volleyball program -- winners of nine Ivy League titles in its history -- will be honoring the anniversaries of the 1978, 2008 and 2013 conference championship-winning teams during Friday's home match against Cornell.  Between sets two and three, the Bulldogs will honor the three championship teams. Alumnae from the 1978, 2008 and 2013 teams will be recognized.

  • The 1978 team won the first ever women's volleyball Ivy League championship for Yale after a 28-9 season.  Yale, Penn and Princeton tied for 5-1 records after round-robin play. In sudden-death, one-game playoffs, the Bulldogs defeated Penn, 15-9, and defeated Princeton, 15-10, to win the title. 
  • In 2008, the Bulldogs went 13-1 in league play and went 21-6 overall to capture the program's third Ivy title.  Yale went on to earn a first-round NCAA Tournament victory over Ohio and became the only program in conference history to win at least two NCAA matches. 
  • The 2013 team took home Yale's fourth straight conference title at the time and marked the program's seventh overall.  The Bulldogs went 13-1 in the league that year, finished 20-5 overall and went on to face Utah in the NCAA Tournament.  The Bulldogs would go on to win an Ivy League-record fifth straight conference title in 2014.  

Last Time Out

Yale extended its win streak to nine matches and maintained its lead in the conference standings with an impressive road sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth.   Frances Arnautou dished out a season-best 44 assists in a three-set match against the Crimson and the Bulldogs scored nine of the final 12 points of the match in a 3-0 win. Kelley Wirth had a team-best 14 kills, while Ellis DeJardin had 10 kills and hit .533.  Kathryn Attar had 10 kills on 22 swings.  The next day, DeJardin and Attar both posted double-doubles and Kate Swanson finished with 20 digs in a three set win against the Big Green.

Kate Swanson on last weekend's sweep:

Arnautou and DeJardin Sweep Ivy League Weekly Awards

Junior setter Frances Arnautou and first-year outside hitter Ellis DeJardin earned the Ivy League's weekly awards, the conference office announced Monday.  Arnautou won Ivy League Player of the Week after averaging 13.5 assists per set and 4.33 digs per set in Yale's two victories last weekend.  DeJardin was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season after averaging 3.67 kills, 2.33 digs and hitting .383 in two matches.  DeJardin enters the weekend ranked seventh in kills per set in league play.

Scouting Cornell and Columbia 

Cornell (13-9, 8-4 Ivy) needs just one win this weekend to amass the most Ivy wins in a single season since its 2008 team went 9-5 in conference.  The Big Red are led by Carla Sganderlla's 3.71 kills per set that also leads the Ivy League in conference play.  Columbia defeated Penn last Saturday at home and entered this weekend 10-12 overall and 4-8 in league play.  Emily Teehan ranks second in the conference in kills per set and leads the conference with 158 total kills in Ivy League matches.  

Yale Among National Leaders

The Bulldogs entered the weekend ranked 16th in the country in opponent's hitting percentage at .158.

Bulldogs Serving Up Aces

Yale enters the week leading the Ivy League in service aces per set.  The Bulldogs average 1.45 service aces per set.  In conference play, senior Gray Malias ranks fourth in the conference with a 0.35 average with 14 aces in 40 sets.

Home Court Advantage

Since the start of the 2013 season, the Bulldogs home record is 52-9 overall and 37-4 against Ivy League teams.  Yale is 8-0 in 2018 at home.

League Leader

Senior libero Kate Swanson enters the weekend leading the Ivy League with 5.12 digs per set average in conference play. Swanson, the team's captain, has 359 digs on the season and is averaging 4.99 digs per set overall. The 4.99 average would mark the fifth highest single-season mark in program history. She currently ranks third all-time in Yale volleyball history with 1,464 digs. 

Balanced Attack

The Bulldogs have four student-athletes averaging over two kills per set -- Kelley Wirth (2.88), Ellis DeJardin (2.86), Samantha Bray (2.30) and Kathryn Attar (2.26).

Bulldogs Welcome Back Cat Dailey Minyard ' 10

Former Yale volleyball standout and Ivy League Player of the Year Cat Dailey Minyard '10 who helped lead the program to a conference title and went on to play professionally is back with the Bulldogs as a volunteer assistant coach. Minyard transferred to Yale in 2008 after two seasons at Cal-Berkley and went on to earn All-Ivy First Team honors her two years with the Bulldogs.  In 2008, she was named an AVCA All-Northeast Region Honorable Mention in addition to being named unanimous league player of the year to begin a stretch of six conference titles in a seven-year stretch for the Bulldogs. More details.

Get to Know the Bulldogs

The Bulldogs' website features a brief video with each student-athlete on the volleyball team.  Visit the team's roster webpage and select a name to see the bio video.  The videos were produced by the team's associate head coach Kevin Laseau.  

Ivy League Preseason Media Poll

Yale earned three first-place votes and were picked to finish second this season in the conference's inaugural volleyball preseason media poll.  See complete poll here

Welcome Back

After winning its sixth Ivy title in the last eight seasons, Yale returned five All-Ivy selections, including the league's defensive player of the year (Kate Swanson) and rookie of the year (Kathryn Attar).  Swanson and Attar both were also awarded spots on the first team.  In addition, Frances Arnautou and Tristin Kott earned second-team honors, while Kelley Wirth was a honorable mention. 

Swanson Named 2018 Captain

Senior libero Kate Swanson was named team captain for 2018.  The Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., native was named 2017 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Ivy First Team.  In each of her first three seasons, her digs per set average has increased from 3.76 digs in 2015 to 4.64 this past season.

Appleman Leads the Way

Yale head coach Erin Appleman, in her 16th season, has a 285-108 overall record at Yale with a 176-44 mark in the Ivy League.  She is joined by associate head coach Kevin Laseau (15th season at Yale) and assistant coach Brendan McGourn (5th season at Yale) and volunteer assistant Cat Dailey Minyard '10 (1st season).

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity