2007 Season in Review
Sept. 15, 2008
The 2007 Yale volleyball season featured one of the most challenging schedules in program history. The Bulldogs took on six teams that reached the NCAA Tournament, including both national finalists and a Florida squad that advanced to the round of 16. A total of 13 All-Americans took the floor against a Yale team that finished 16-10 in 2007.
The Bulldogs opened the season in impressive fashion by sweeping three matches at the Yale Invitational. Yale posted 3-0 victories over Rhode Island, Sacred Heart and Maine en route to the tournament championship. The following weekend, the Bulldogs hosted the Yale Volleyball Classic, featuring perennial powers Penn State and Stanford along with Delaware State. Stanford defeated Penn State in five games to win the tournament in what would prove to be a preview of the National Championship match held in Sacramento, Calif. exactly three months later.
Yale's first road trip of the year was a weekend trek to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the Blackbird Invitational. The Bulldogs knocked off Binghamton and Towson before falling to host Long Island, the eventual Northeast Conference Champion, in the final match of the tournament.
After defeating Brown 3-0 to open the Ivy League slate, Yale hit the road for four straight. The Bulldogs suffered a 3-0 setback at Dartmouth before rebounding to beat Harvard. Yale was tripped up again at Princeton, and then knocked off Penn to improve to 3-2.
With another league loss most likely spelling the end of Yale's hunt for the Ivy championship, the squad responded with home victories over Cornell, Columbia and Harvard, and then came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Dartmouth in five games. The team won its sixth straight at Columbia, but fell at Cornell in another five-gamer. After beating Penn, Yale ended its home season with a 3-1 loss to Ivy champion Princeton. Yale beat Brown to finish 10-4 in conference play, its fourth straight season with 10 Ivy wins. The Bulldogs finished in second place behind Princeton, the first team in Ivy League history to go 14-0.
Yale concluded the campaign with three matches in Long Beach, Calif., at the Baden Thanksgiving Classic. After falling to host Long Beach State, the Bulldogs took a game off a Florida team that was ranked No. 8 in the final national poll. Yale ended the season with a five-game loss to California-Santa Barbara.
Four Bulldogs earned All-Ivy selections for their efforts in the 2007 season. Alexis Crusey was named First Team All-Ivy for the second straight season. She was the only Ivy player to finish among the top 10 in the cleague in both kills (fourth, 4.05) and digs (ninth, 3.93). Kelly Ozurovich set a Yale freshman record with 449 digs, the second-highest single-season overall total in school history. Her performance as libero earned her a place on the All-Ivy second team alongside Ally Mendenhall. Mendenhall distributed 1,087 assists and was named Ivy Player of the Week after finishing one kill shy of a triple-double in the win over Dartmouth. Senior Kali Nelson capped her career with an honorable mention All-Ivy nod.