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Yale to Play Syracuse in NCAA Tournament on Friday

The Bulldogs found out their NCAA First-Round opponent on Sunday evening.
The Bulldogs found out their NCAA First-Round opponent on Sunday evening.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- After winning their ninth Ivy League title in the last 15 years, the Bulldogs will face Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in State College, Pa. The match is set for 5 p.m.

The winner of the Yale-Syracuse match will advance to face the winner of the Penn St.-Howard match on Saturday at 7 p.m.

"We are honored to represent the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament and super excited about our seed," said Yale head coach Erin Appleman, who is in her 16th season guiding the program. "This team has worked very hard all year to represent Yale and our championship tradition. Personally, I'm thrilled to be returning to Penn State. It's a fantastic environment and makes the playoffs that much more exciting."

Prior to Yale, Appleman spent eight years as an assistant coach at Penn State. During her tenure, the Nittany Lions reached the NCAA Final Four five times (1993-94, 1997-99) and won five Big Ten championships.

This marks the seventh NCAA appearance for the Bulldogs, who with two wins are the only Ivy League program in its history with multiple victories in the Big Dance. 

Yale earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning its second straight Ivy League championship.  The Bulldogs finished the regular season 19-4 overall, 13-1 in Ivy League play and have won 11 straight matches entering the tournament.

Syracuse (18-8, 14-4 ACC) received one of 32 at-large berths to the tournament. The Orange is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. Stanford earned the top seed followed by No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Illinois and No. 4 BYU.
First- and second-round matches will be played Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at 16 campus sites.  Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play Dec. 7 and 8. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced after play concludes, on Dec. 1. At each site, four teams will compete in single-elimination regional semifinal competition.
The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final hosted by Minnesota on Dec. 13 and 15 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The national semifinal matches will be broadcast on ESPN and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity