Bulldogs Head to Texas This Weekend

Franny Arnautou (photo credit: Steve Musco)
Franny Arnautou (photo credit: Steve Musco)

The Bulldogs have won five of their first six matches and travel to Houston to compete in the Rice Invitational II on Friday and Saturday.

Steinberg Leads Way:  Steinberg was named to the University of Connecticut Dog Pound Challenge All-Tourament team and led the Bulldogs in kills in all three matches. She averaged 3.56 kills and 3.44 digs as the Bulldogs won two of three matches over the weekend.  She posted her third double-double in a 3-0 victory over St. Francis-Brooklyn and narrowly missed another with a 10-kill, eight-dig performance in a win on Saturday against Loyola (Md.). Through six matches, Steinberg leads Yale in total kills (58) and digs (65).

Hot Hitting:  Through the first two weekends, Yale leads all Ivy League teams in hitting percentage (.241) and kills per set (13.05).

It Takes Three: All of Yale's matches last weekend took three sets to complete. Five of the Bulldogs' six matches have been three-setters.

Flyin' Solo:  The Bulldogs hit their high mark for solo blocks in their match against UConn on Sept. 9.  Yale had six solo blocks, including four from Brittani Steinberg and one each from Shreya Dixit and Claire Feeley.  

Welcome Home:  When the Bulldogs travel to Texas this weekend, junior Megan Rasmussen and freshman Rebekah Nemeth will be returning to their home state.  Rasmussen is from Houston, while Nemeth is from Kingwood.

Presidential Move:  Yale's first match of the weekend on Friday was moved from Tudor Fieldhouse to Fox Gym due to Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the Rice campus.      

Honor Roll: Brittani Steinberg, Claire Feeley, and Tristin Kott were named to the Ivy League weekly honor roll.  Steinberg and Feeley were both named to the UConn Dog Pound Challenge all-tournament team, while Kott averaged 2.40 kills in two matches last weekend.  

Big Numbers:  Franny Arnautou's 36 assists in the win over St. Francis last Friday was the second-highest individual total in a three-set match among all Ivy League teams.  Teammate Kelsey Crawford holds the top mark with 37 set the previous week against Albany.

This Weekend 

Here's a breakdown of Yale's opponents:

Rice (Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET) - Rice is 4-7 overall, 2-3 at home, and have lost to No. 13 BYU, No. 24 USC, Utah and Missouri.  Leah Mikesky (3.45 kills per set) and Chelsey Harris  (3.25) are the two primary hitters for the Owls.  The Owls play in Conference USA.

Houston (Saturday, 11 a.m. ET) -- The Cougars enter the weekend with a 5-4 record following a five-set win over Louisiana-Monroe after losses to San Jose State and Houston Baptist earlier in the weekend. Junior Sarah Afflebaugh leads the team with 111 kills and a 3.08 per set average.  The Cougars play in the American Athletic Conference. 

Texas-Corpus Christi (Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET) - The Islanders (5-4), winners of the Southland Conference last season, begin the weekend 5-4 overall.  Morgan Carlson is the lone senior on the team.  

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity