2009 Season Begins With Yale Invitational
Match Notes as PDF
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After 272 days to revel in the most successful season in program history, the defending Ivy League Champion Yale volleyball team goes back to work on Friday, Sept. 4 for the start of the 2009 campaign. The Bulldogs, who went 21-6 in 2008 and advanced to the NCAA Championship Second Round, will host Georgetown, Fairfield and Colorado as a part of the 2009 Yale Invitational. Live stats will be available for all six matches this weekend, and streaming video will also be available for the matches featuring Yale.
In Season Openers
The Bulldogs are 21-5 all-time in season openers, including a 5-1 mark in Erin Appleman’s six seasons as Head Coach. Yale has won its last four season openers. The Bulldogs have won their first home match of the season in 22 of 26 varsity campaigns. They have claimed victory in their last six home openers, a streak spanning the entirety of Appleman’s tenure in New Haven.
Scouting the Hoyas (Sept. 4 – 7 p.m.)
Selected to finish 11th out of 15 teams in the Big East Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Georgetown Hoyas finished 14-13 overall and 7-7 in conference play in 2008. The Hoyas dropped five-set decisions on neutral courts to both George Washington and George Mason to open 2009 and closed out their weekend with a 3-1 victory at American to bring their record to 1-2. Junior Vanessa Dorismond led Georgetown offensively this past weekend, notching a team-best 3.21 kills per set while swinging for a .351 percentage. She also tallied 12 blocks in 14 sets of work. The offense is run through sophomore setter Ashley Malone, who distributed 9.71 assists per set through the Hoyas’ first three matches of 2009. Sophomore libero Tory Rezin heads the back row with 3.93 digs per set.
Bulldogs vs. Hoyas
Yale is 3-1 all-time against Georgetown. The Bulldogs won the most recent encounter, a 3-0 sweep of the Hoyas to kick off the 2005 season in the only meeting of the two squads under Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. The Bulldogs also won showdowns in Washington, D.C. in 1996 and at the Drexel Invitational in 1991, while dropping a neutral site contest to the Hoyas at James Madison University in 1995.
Scouting the Stags (Sept. 5 – 1 p.m.)
The Fairfield Stags enter the weekend at 2-1 after a pair of victories at the Army Invitational. The Stags defeated Eastern Michigan and Sacred Heart, but fell to the host Black Knights in straight sets. The 2008 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season champions (20-13, 16-2 MAAC) share the preseason favorite tag with Siena in the coaches’ poll. Senior Katie Mann, who was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Team, has racked up 3.70 kills and 1.70 digs per set through three matches this season. Freshman Brianna Dixion has averaged 4.70 kills and 3.70 digs thus far in her young collegiate career. Sophomore setter Lauren Balmert runs the offense to the tune of 7.70 assists per set.
Bulldogs vs. Stags
The Bulldogs are 9-7 all-time against Fairfield. Yale won the most recent meeting, a home sweep in the 2002 season. This will be the first encounter between the two squads with Erin Appleman as Head Coach for Yale.
Scouting the Buffaloes (Sept. 5 – 7 p.m.)
Coming off of a 13-16 season in 2008, the Colorado Buffaloes were selected to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Colorado began its 2009 campaign at in the Campus USA Credit Union Invite hosted by the University of Florida. The Buffaloes knocked off Valparaiso in a hotly-contested three-set match (31-29, 25-22, 25-21) and fell in straight sets to the host Gators, the No. 8 ranked team in the nation to wrap up their stay in Gainesville. Most recently, Colorado fell at intra-state rival Northern Colorado in three sets. The Buffaloes has been led offensively by sophomore Becah Fogle (4.22 kills/set) and freshman Kerra Schroeder (3.00 kills/set). The offense has primarily been run through freshman setter Megan Cyr (6.11 assists/set), with junior Ellen Henry heading the effort in the back row with a team-best 4.00 digs per set.
Bulldogs vs. Buffaloes
This will be the first meeting between Yale and Colorado.
Cat Led the Dogs
Outside hitter Cat Dailey made a big splash in 2008, her first season donning a Yale uniform. The Newport Beach, Calif. native led the Bulldogs into the NCAA Championships with 3.73 kills per set and ranked third on the squad with 3.10 digs per frame. Dailey also led Yale with 23 service aces and rated second with 47 total blocks. After posting a league-best 4.24 kills per set in Ivy League play, Dailey was a first team All-Ivy selection as well as the unanimous choice for Ivy League Player of the Year and an AVCA All-Northeast Region Honorable Mention.
On Crusey Control
One of the most dominant players in the Ivy League for the past three seasons, outside hitter Alexis Crusey returns for her senior campaign in 2009. Crusey, a three-time first team All-Ivy honoree, was the only player to rank in the conference top ten in both kills and digs in 2007 and 2008. The unanimous 2006 Ivy League Rookie of the Year ranks eighth in Yale history with 1,033 kills and enters 2009 needing 63 digs to reach 1,000 for her career. Crusey is the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player of the Yale Invitational.
High School Heroines
PrepVolleyball.com, the Internet’s first and only website dedicated to covering club and high school volleyball on a national level, selected the Yale Class of 2013 as a High Honorable Mention in its annual rankings of the nation’s top recruiting classes, as determined by a panel of over 100 collegiate coaches. The Yale class of 2013 consists of Anya Cekauskas, Kerry Clavadetscher, Julia Cortopassi and Haley Wessels. Two of the four Ivy League recruiting classes to ever receive High Honorable Mention status have been Yale squads. The Bulldogs’ Class of 2010 (current seniors Alexis Crusey, Laurel Johnson, Julia Mailander and Lydia Mailander) also earned the distinction in 2006.
On the Court and in the Classroom
The American Volleyball Coaches Association has announced that the Bulldogs are among the recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award. The award has been presented annually since 1993 to collegiate and high school volleyball teams that have displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average.
Yale is the only Ivy League volleyball program to notch a win in the NCAA Championships. The 2004 Bulldogs, the first Ancient Eight squad to host an NCAA Championship match, knocked off Albany in five sets to tally the first postseason win in conference history. The 2008 Yale team then defeated Ohio in the University Park (Pa.) Subregional to become the first Ivy League team to win an NCAA Championship match away from its home court.
Beginning the Defense
The defending Ivy League Champion Bulldogs will kick off the 2009 Ancient Eight schedule on Friday, Oct. 2 against Brown. Action from the John J. Lee Amphitheater begins at 7 p.m.
Beaten By the Best
The Bulldogs record-setting 2008 season ended in the NCAA Championship Second Round at the hands of No. 1 Penn State. The match, which was held on the Lady Lions’ home court, was the 34th consecutive sweep for the eventual national champions, who dropped only two sets all season en route to a 38-0 finish.
2009 Schedule Notes
The 2009 schedule consists of 13 home matches and 12 road matches…The Bulldogs’ non-conference slate includes four opponents to whom they have never lost (Binghamton, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech), and an opponent they have never beaten (American)…Colorado and New Jersey Institute of Technology are both first-time opponents for Yale…Under Coach Appleman (2003-present), Yale has only played five of its 2009 non-conference opponents (Binghamton, Central Connecticut State, Georgetown, Hofstra, Quinnipiac). The Bulldogs are a combined 7-0 in those matches…Hofstra (Sept. 18) is the only repeat opponent from the 2008 non-conference schedule…Yale will only play two matches at the American Volleyball Classic (American and Virginia Tech). The fourth team at the event, NJIT, will challenge the Bulldogs the following weekend at the Seton Hall Invitational… Last season, Yale and Brown played a home-and-home series to open Ivy League play. This year, the series is split as the first and last matches of the Ancient Eight schedule…The Bulldogs will play three in-state opponents (Central Connecticut State, Fairfield, Quinnipiac), the most Nutmeg State foes they have challenged since 2005. Yale did not face any Connecticut squads in 2007 or 2008.
Beach Blanket Broadcast
The Bulldogs relocated their morning practice on Friday, Aug. 28 from the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater to scenic Hammonasset Beach in Madison, Conn. The defending Ivy League Champions hit the sand at Meig’s Point with the crew of the Fox 61 Morning News as a part of the “Zip Trip” segment, which highlights Connecticut-based attractions. Coach Appleman and members of the Yale team fielded questions from anchor Jeff Valin, while host Logan Byrnes took a few practice swings with the team.
Face the Nation
The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday, Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C. as a part of the American University Volleyball Classic. Yale challenges the host Eagles on Friday at 7 p.m. and will face Virginia Tech on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Bulldogs will play Seton Hall, Hofstra and the New Jersey Institute of Technology at the Seton Hall Invitational the following weekend before returning to the Elm City for the Yale Classic on Friday, Sept. 25.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity