Bulldogs Host Brown Saturday to Open Ivy Schedule

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- After two straight weekends on the road, the Bulldogs return to New Haven to open their Ivy League schedule against Brown.

Yale stands at 6-3 overall against one of the most competitive non-conference schedules in program history, with losses coming to No. 1 Penn State, No. 7 Stanford and undefeated Missouri, which has opened the season 15-0 and has lost only two sets all season - one was to Yale. 

The Bulldogs entered the week 45th in the latest Pablo Rankings, a nationally recognized rating system published by RichKern.com.   It's Yale's highest national rating since finishing 30th in the NCAA RPI at the end of the 2008 season.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs went 2-1 and defeated Eastern Kentucky and Albany at the Penn State Classic.  Jesse Ebner and Mollie Rogers earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

Ebner also won co-Ivy League Player of the Week with 27 kills and a .321 hitting percentage during last weekend's matches. In the 3-1 win over Eastern Kentucky, Ebner posted a double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs to go along with four aces and four blocks.

Ebner becomes the third different Yale player to earn an Ivy weekly honor this year. Kelly Johnson was the Player of the Week on Sept. 10 and Brittani Steinberg earned Rookie of the Week honors on Sept. 17.

Entering this week, Ebner leads the Ivy League with a .393 hitting percentage, while teammate McHaney Carter ranks third in the conference at .364.

Maddie Rudnick leads the Ivy League in digs per set with a 4.62 average.  

The Bulldogs also rank among the nation's best in aces per set.  Entering the week, Yale ranked sixth in the country with a 1.97 aces per set average.  

Yale team captain Kendall Polan ranks fifth in the nation and leads the Ivy League with a 0.62 aces per set average.  

The Bulldogs have featured balance on offense.  Eight different players average at least one kill per set -- Rogers (2.88), Ebner (2.41), Steinberg (2.39), Johnson (2.00), Carter (1.96), Polan (1.22), Karlee Fuller (1.00) and Maya Midzik (1.00).

Scouting The Opponent

Brown went 2-1 last weekend at the Temple Invitational with wins over Hofstra and Delaware State.  The Bears are 4-6 overall and also open their Ivy League season with Saturday's match.  

The Bears' senior outside hitter Thea Derrough shared Ivy League Player of the Week honors with Ebner and became the first Brown volleyball player to take home the weekly award since Kathryn Glickman on Sep. 28, 2010. Derrough hit .328 at the Temple Invitational. Derrough was steady throughout with 28 kills and seven blocks, including a 10-kill, six-block outing in a win over Delaware State.

Brown freshman Payton Smith landed on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll.  Smith had 22 kills and a .319 hitting percentage over three matches while controlling the net with 13 blocks.

Brown and Yale will square off again on Oct. 26 in Providence.  

Dig Pink!

Saturday is "Dig Pink" night in New Haven.  Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support the fight against Breast Cancer.  There will be a raffle, the popular tee-shirt serving contest, and a donation bucket in which all proceed go to Dig Pink.   Dig Pink® is The Side-Out Foundation's trademark name for its fundraising events. The Side-Out Foundation is a support and advocacy organization dedicated to making a significant and identifiable difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and their families by supporting clinical trials, increasing patient support services and educating communities.

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