Match With Defending National Champions Highlights 2008 Volleyball Schedule

Aug. 20, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--Defending National Champion Penn State University, as well as five other opponents that qualified for the 2007 NCAA Tournament, headline the Yale volleyball team's schedule for the 2008 season. Head Coach Erin Appleman and company are prepared for the challenge as they look to contend for the Ivy League championship in the program's 30th Anniversary season.

The 2008 season kicks off in New Haven as Yale hosts Boston College, Colgate and Hofstra in the Yale Invitational at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Yale will play Boston College on Friday, Sept. 12 and will play a pair of matches with Colgate and Hofstra on Sept. 13.

The following weekend, the Bulldogs head to Happy Valley for the Penn State Invitational. Host and 2007 National Champion Penn State welcomes the Bulldogs on Friday, Sept. 19. The Nittany Lions, ranked No. 1 nationally in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, were the No. 3 team in the nation when they defeated Yale 3-0 in New Haven last season. The Bulldogs will wrap up the Penn State Invitational with matches against Saint Louis and New Hampshire on Sept. 20.

There will be no rest for the weary as the Bulldogs spend the next weekend in Albany, N.Y. at the University of Albany Invitational. All three opponents that weekend--Albany, Dayton and Long Island--qualified for the 2007 NCAA Tournament, with Albany and Dayton both advancing to the second round. Yale plays host Albany on Friday, Sept. 26 and challenges Dayton, who received votes but was unranked in the preseason poll, and Long Island on Sept. 27.

Though the Bulldogs are faced with perhaps the toughest non-conference schedule among Ivy League teams, Head Coach Erin Appleman believes that her team is up to the task. "I'm very excited about this year's schedule", Appleman said. "It has everything we need in order to prepare for the always competitive Ivy League".

October brings about the Ivy League schedule, as the team faces Brown in a home-and-home series on Oct. 3 and 4. The next weekend, Dartmouth and Harvard trek to the Elm City for the official celebration of Yale's 30th Anniversary season. The Bulldogs will be at home the following weekend as well, hosting Princeton, the defending Ivy League champion, and Penn on Oct. 17 and 18.

After two weeks on the road at Ivy League opponents Cornell (Oct. 24), Columbia (Oct. 25), Harvard (Oct. 31) and Dartmouth (Nov. 1), Yale will wrap up its 2008 home schedule on Nov. 7 and 8 against Columbia and Cornell.

The champion of the Ancient Eight may not be decided until the final weekend of league play, as the Bulldogs will travel to Penn on Nov. 14 and Princeton on Nov. 15 in a clash of the top three teams in the Ivy League in 2007.

For the second consecutive year, the Bulldogs will travel to California to close out the regular season. 2007 NCAA Tournament participant San Diego, the No. 22 team in the country in the preseason poll, will host Yale on Tuesday, Nov. 25. After a Thanksgiving break in the Golden State, the Bulldogs will travel to Los Angeles for a match against Loyola Marymount in the regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Schedule Notes

• The Bulldogs were 16-10 overall and 10-4 (T-2nd) in the Ivy League in 2007

• Aside from the Ivy League schedule, Yale will play two repeat opponents from last season: Penn State (L, 3-0) and Long Island (L, 3-1)

• The Bulldogs will play one team to which they have never lost (New Hampshire, 4-0), and one team that they have never beaten (Penn State, 0-5)

• Saint Louis, Dayton, San Diego and Loyola Marymount are all first-time opponents for Yale

• The Sept. 19 match at Penn State will be the first time that Yale has played the defending National Champion. If the preseason rankings hold true, it will also mark the first time that the Bulldogs have played the top-ranked team in the nation.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity