October 2, 2008

Weekend Series with Brown Kicks Off Ivy League Schedule

Oct. 2, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After posting a 6-3 mark in three non-conference tournaments to begin the 2008 season, the Yale volleyball team now focuses its attention on the season within a season: the Ivy League schedule. First on tap for the Bulldogs in the Ancient Eight is a two-game weekend series with Brown.

The weekend starts in Providence, R.I. on Friday night with the Bears playing hosts. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Pizzitola Gymnasium. John J. Lee Amphitheater is the site of Saturday night's match, as both teams trek to New Haven to wrap up the home-and-home series. The action begins at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live via Yale All*Access.

Most recently, the Bulldogs posted a 2-1 record at the UAlbany Invitational this past weekend. Yale fell to host Albany in five sets on Friday night and swept Dayton and Long Island in a pair of matches on Saturday. Senior Ally Mendenhall ran the offense to the tune of 10.65 assists per set on the weekend en route to earning a slot on the all-tournament team. The captain of the 2008 Bulldogs also had 10 kills on 23 swings (.435 hitting percentage) and three service aces while averaging 2.82 digs per set. Mendenhall was selected as the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performance. On the season, the Lincoln, Neb. native paces Yale in assists with 9.93 per set and ranks third in digs with 2.66 per set.

Junior Alexis Crusey also earned all-tournament honors at the UAlbany Invitational, as well as a slot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll. Crusey averaged 4.45 kills per set for the weekend to bolster her season average to a team-best 3.68 kills per set. Her .268 hitting percentage leads the Bulldogs in the 2008 campaign. The junior outside hitter is second on the squad in digs with 3.11 per set.

Junior Cat Dailey has been an all-around asset in her first season donning a Yale uniform. Dailey ranks second on the team in kills, assists and blocks. Her nine service aces tie her with Mendenhall for the team high, and she ranks fourth in digs with 2.62 per set.

After posting a 5-9 record in the Ivy League in 2007, good for sixth place in the league, the Brown Bears enter 2008 Ancient Eight play with an overall record of 8-4. Most recently, the Bears dropped a 3-1 match to in-state rival Rhode Island on Wednesday night. Brown has now lost three straight matches.

Senior Lyndse Yess leads Brown with 3.07 kills and 2.76 digs per set this season. Senior Natalie Myers, the lone 2007 All-Ivy player on the Bears' roster, runs the offense to the tune of 9.79 assists per set. Annika Gliottone paces Brown in digs with 3.78 per set.

The Bulldogs lead all-time series with Brown 29-18, with Yale claiming victory in the last four head-to-head meetings. The Bulldogs have won three straight Ivy League openers and five consecutive Ivy League home openers.

Looking ahead, Yale will host two more Ivy League matches next weekend. Dartmouth, 8-6 in league play last season, comes to the Elm City on Friday, Oct. 10 for a 7 p.m. match. The official Yale volleyball 30th Anniversary Celebration will be in full swing on Saturday, Oct. 11, highlighted by a match with Harvard at 4 p.m.

Yale 2008 Statistics
Gametracker Live Stats for Yale vs. Brown, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Yale All*Access streaming video for Yale vs. Brown, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Payne Whitney Gymnasium

Brown 2008 Statistics
Pizzitola Gymnasium

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity