For the 11th year in a row, two-time defending Ivy League champion Yale volleyball's incoming class, which includes the 3-time Rhode Island High School Gatorade Player of the Year, a 3-time AAU National Champion, and numerous Junior National Open Division medalists, has been recognized as one of the nation's best by PrepVolleyball.
The Yale Class of 2023 — Bonnie Bostic, Amelia Browne, Tiffany Pedersen-Henry, Maile Somera, and Zoie Stewart — received High Honorable Mention from the online website. Other programs receiving the same honor include Arizona, Michigan State, and Maryland.
Yale is the only Ivy League program to be recognized for 11 straight years.
"I'm super excited about the 2023 class, " Appleman said. "(This class has) a ton of experience playing high level volleyball. Their volleyball IQ is one of the highest we've recruited and their athleticism is really great."
Under the direction of Appleman, Yale has won nine Ivy League titles and has never been either lower than second in the Ivy League, or one game out of first place, in the past 15 years.
The winningest Ivy League volleyball program of the last 15 years, Yale's five newcomers come from three states: California (Browne, Pedersen-Henry, Stewart), Indiana (Bostic), and Rhode Island (Somera).
The Class of 2023
Bonnie Bostic, a 6'1 outside hitter from Carmel, Indiana, plays for Munciana, the same club where associate head coach Kevin Laseau worked for many years.
As a player for Munciana, Bostic won AAU National Championships in the 14-under, 15-under, and 16-under Open divisions in successive years, with a silver medal coming last summer in the 18-under Open division. Her 18s team also won the Triple Crown tournament in Salt Lake City.
Bostic was an AAU All-American in 2017 and 2015, as well as a PrepVolleyball All-American in 2017. The Indiana native was also recognized by PrepVolleyball as a Senior Ace 150; Potential Impact Freshman; and Frosh 59 Honorable Mention.
Her first year in high school also saw Bostic named an AVCA Phenom, which she followed up with by being named 2016 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference All-Conference.
Amelia Browne, a 6'1 outside hitter from Los Gatos, California, has competed for Vision Volleyball for the past six years, collecting a gold medal at USAV Junior Nationals in 2017. As a player for Branson High School, she was varsity captain her junior and senior years, and First Team All-League her sophomore, junior, and senior years.
As a sophomore and senior, Browne helped lead Branson to the North Coast Section championship, finishing second in her junior campaign, the same year the team was Division 1 Norcal semifinalists.
Browne was Marin Independent Journal Player of the Week in September of her junior year.
Tiffany Pedersen-Henry, a 6'1 outside hitter from Murrietta, California, has elite playing experience for two of the top volleyball clubs in the nation -- Coast and more recently Wave -- both located in San Diego. Playing for Coast in 2016, Pedersen-Henry helped her team take home the silver medal at USAV Junior Nationals for the 15 Open Division.
After helping Coast take 11th in the 16 Open Division of Junior Nationals in 2017, Pedersen-Henry's Wave squad finished 9th the following year in the 17 Open Division.
As a starter for Vista Murrietta High School, Pedersen-Henry was named 2nd Team All Southwestern League in 2016 and 2017, before being named 1st Team in her senior year when her team won the league title.
During her senior campaign, as captain for Vista Murrietta, Pedersen-Henry was named all-tournament at the prestigious Dave Mohs Invitational, as well as all-tournament for the SoCal Invitational.
Pedersen-Henry was named to the All Scholastic team for all four years of high school and was a member of the Gold honor roll (4.0 or above GPA) in her first year through junior years at Vista Murrietta.
Maile Somera, a 5'9 libero from Barrington, Rhode Island, is one of the most decorated volleyball players to ever come from the Ocean State.
Somera was named Rhode Island's Gatorade Player of the Year three years in row from her sophomore through senior years at Barrington High School. She is the first volleyball player to win the award three times.
Somera was also Rhode Island Interscholastic League Volleyball Player of the Year, and part of PrepVolleyball's Defensive Dandies, Sophomore 79, Top 50 Watch List, and Senior Aces.
In addition, she was Words Unlimited Rhode Island Female Athlete of the Year for 2019.
Raised in a volleyball household, Somera's mother Nancy is head coach at Johnson & Wales in Providence, and her father Ben is the head coach at Wesleyan (Conn.).
Zoie Stewart, a 6'2 middle hitter from Chatsworth, California, competes for Sunshine Volleyball and Sierra Canyon High School.
Heading into her senior year, Stewart was named a PrepVolleyball Senior Aces Top Volleyball Recruit for the Class of 2019. That season she also served as Sierra Canyon co-captain, and was selected Gold Coast League 1st Team and an Under Armour All-American Honorable Mention.
Stewart was selected to the 2018 Under Armour All-American Watch List after helping lead her high school to the CIF and State Division 2 Championship in 2017. She was also All-CIF Division 3, All League 1st Team, as well as a PrepVolleyball High School All- American Special Mention for the second year in a row. To top it off, Stewart was a PrepVolleyball 2017 National Junior of the Year finalist.
As a high school first year, the SoCal native made a splash with Gold Coast All League 2nd Team honors, which was followed by a Highest Honorable Mention on PrepVolleyball's "Best Varsity Playing Freshmen in America". Her team captured the CIF Division 3 title.
As a player for Sunshine Volleyball, Stewart was a starter for the Sunshine Westside team that took bronze in the 17 Open Division of the 2018 USAV Junior Nationals, 5th in 16 Open in 2017, and 9th in the 15 Open division in 2016.