NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Bulldogs (19-4, 13-1 Ivy) wrap up the regular season on Tuesday at Stony Brook with a chance to reach the 20-win mark for the fourth time in the Erin Appleman head coaching era.
Yale Wins Fourth Straight Ivy Title; Fifth in Six Years
Yale President Peter Salovey, along with Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, on Nov. 14 presented the Bulldogs with the 2013 Ivy League Championship trophy at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs became the first team to punch a ticket to this year's NCAA Tournament.
It is Yale's seventh overall title in volleyball and the sixth during the Appleman era in New Haven. Yale becomes the first team to win four consecutive League titles since regular season round robin play began in 1987 and only the second in Ivy League women's volleyball history. Yale is just the second team in the round robin era to win three consecutive titles outright, joining Cornell (1991-93).
Five Bulldogs Earn All-Ivy Status
Kendall Polan became the first three-time Ivy League Volleyball Player of the Year award winner in conference history today and joined four Yale teammates to earn All-Ivy honors.
Polan, Yale's senior captain, joined junior Mollie Rogers and sophomore Kelly Johnson, on the All-Ivy First Team, while junior Maddie Rudnick and freshman Brittani Steinberg were named All-Ivy Second Team selections.
Last Time Out
Yale swept Penn and completed the Ivy League with a 13-1 mark and a five-match lead in the standings on Nov. 1. Mollie Rogers continued her torrid hitting with 14 kills and a .394 percentage to lead Yale to its fourth straight victory. Kendall Polan, in her final Ivy League match, dished out 36 assists and added 11 digs to give Yale its sixth straight win over the Quakers. Polan tonight moved into ninth place all-time at Yale with 1,172 digs. Yale's seniors -- McHaney Carter, Polan and Erica Reetz - finished off the winningest four-year stretch in conference history with a 51-5 mark.
Appleman Wins 200th at Yale
Bulldogs head coach Erin Appleman earned her 200th victory at Yale on Nov. 15 at Princeton. Appleman enters today with a 201-73 (.734) in her 11th season at the helm of the program. Her record in Ivy League regular season matches is 125-29 (.812). The Bulldogs have won six Ivy League titles during Appleman's tenure, along with two NCAA Tournament matches.
Bulldogs Dominate League Awards
Mollie Rogers won her second straight Ivy League Player of the Week award on Nov. 19. Rogers became the fifth different Bulldog to win a weekly league award. Yale has won at least one Ivy League award in nine of the 11 weeks. Kelly Johnson and Jesse Ebner have won two player of the week awards, while Kendall Polan and Brittani Steinberg have both won the honor once. Steinberg has also won rookie of the week twice.
Kendall Polan Passes 3,000 Career Assists
Kendall Polan became the fourth player to surpass the 3,000-assist mark in Yale volleyball program history. Polan accomplished the feat during a season-high, 60-assist performance at Harvard on Nov. 2. Polan begins today with 3,170 assists and stands at fourth on Yale's all-time list. She needs four assists to pass Ally Mendenhall for third. In addition, Polan moved into ninth all-time at Yale with 1,172 digs and needs one more service ace to tie 10th in program history.
Mollie Rogers Nears 800-Kill Club
Three-time, first team All-Ivy hitter Mollie Rogers continues to be Yale's leader with 3.04 kills per set. Rogers enters today with 782 career kills after averaging 3.86 kills in her last two matches. Rogers has struck for at least 10 kills 14 times this season.
Home Sweet Home
Yale has won 32 straight Ivy League regular season home matches. The Bulldogs went 9-1 this season at the John J.Lee Amphitheater with a 3-1 loss to Missouri, which clinched the SEC title and entered the week ranked 4th in the nation with a 33-0 overall record and 17-0 conference mark.
The Bulldogs enter the week hitting .265 - the top percentage among Ivy League teams and rank 22nd in the nation. Yale averages a league-best 13.99 kills per set and has hit over .300 six times this season - including a .441 performance in a win over Army on Sept. 14. Entering the week, Jesse Ebner leads the team with a .422 hitting percentage, while McHaney Carter ranks fourth in the conference at a .314 clip.
Bulldogs' in National Rankings
Yale ranks 43rd out of 332 teams in the latest NCAA's RPI ranking. In addition, the Bulldogs rank 57th in this week's latest Pablo Ranking, a nationally-recognized ratings system published by the website RichKern.com.
Spreading the Wealth
Seven different Bulldogs average at least one kill per set. Mollie Rogers leads the team with a 3.04 average, with Kelly Johnson averaging 2.84 and Brittani Steinberg averaging 2.71. Jesse Ebner produces 2.30 kills per set, while Maya Midzik averages 2.04, McHaney Carter averages 1.73 and Kendall Polan averages 1.04.
Four Bulldogs average over two digs per set, led by junior Maddie Rudnick. An All-Ivy Second Team member this year and last, Rudnick averages 4.46 digs per set and ranks second in the conference. Kendall Polan (2.90 digs per set), Kelly Johnson (2.27), Mollie Rogers (2.25), Tori Shepherd (1.48) and Brittani Steinberg (1.21) have also provided solid numbers.
Senior McHaney Carter leads the team with 65 total blocks, including a season-high seven in Yale's win at Princeton on Nov. 15. Carter leads the team with 13 solo blocks and produced at least five total blocks in a match five times this season. Carter had 21 block assists last season and has already surpassed that output with 52 this year.
Coming Up Aces
The Bulldogs enter the week ranked fifth in the nation and lead the Ivy League in aces per set with a 1.77 average. Individually, Yale's Kendall Polan ranks 23rd in the nation a 0.42 aces per set average.
Scouting Stony Brook
The Stony Brook (16-17 overall, 9-5 America East) volleyball team received strong efforts from its all-conference selections senior Kaitlin Costello and sophomore Stephanie McFadden but came up short, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17), against top-seeded UNH in the America East Semifinals. Costello had a match-high 10 kills to go along with nine digs, while McFadden posted nine kills, three blocks and a team-best two aces. Yale leads the all-time series 8-1 against the Seawolves.
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity