Oct. 16, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn.- Hoping to ride the momentum of a thrilling, five-set victory over arch rival Harvard last weekend, the Yale volleyball team takes a 4-0 Ivy League record into a match with the defending Ivy Champions, the Princeton Tigers, on Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. The Bulldogs are 10-3 overall and have won their last six matches.
The Bulldogs are led offensively by a pair of junior outside hitters, Alexis Crusey, a 2007 first team All-Ivy selection, and Cat Dailey, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week. Crusey is the team leader in kills with 3.93 per set and ranks second in digs with 3.33. She is hitting .267 on the season. Dailey is second in kills with 3.22 per set (.212 hitting percentage) and third in digs with 2.84 per set. She also shares the team high of 13 service aces and ranks second on the Bulldogs with 22 blocks.
Senior setter Ally Mendenhall, the captain of the 2008 Bulldogs, has run the offense at a clip of 10.32 assists per set, ranking her third in the Ivy League. Mendenhall is on pace to move up to third all-time in Yale history in assists this weekend. The captain is currently fourth all-time with 2669 assists, 27 shy of the third place tally of 2696 assists shared by Cathy Bell '91 and Aileen Daly '01.
Princeton joins Yale as the only remaining unbeaten teams in Ancient Eight play. Princeton is 3-0 in the league with road wins at Columbia and Cornell and Penn. The Tigers, 9-2 overall, are led seniors Parker Henritze, the unanimous 2007 Ivy League Player of the Year, and Lindsey Ensign, a 2007 first team All-Ivy selection. Henritze and Ensign are seventh and eighth in the Ivy League with 3.14 and 3.11 kills per set respectively. Henritze leads the league with 0.41 service aces per set. Bailey Robinson, the Tigers' senior setter, has distributed 11.22 assists per set to lead the Ivy. Princeton swept the season series with Yale in 2007 en route to running the table in the Ivy League at 14-0.
There will be no rest for the weary as Penn, who tied the Bulldogs at 10-4 in Ivy League play last season, visits the Elm City on Saturday afternoon. The Quakers, 1-2 in the league, are paced offensively by 3.31 kills per set by Julia Swanson, the 2007 Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The Bulldogs have won eight straight meetings with Penn, dating back to the 2003 campaign.
Looking ahead to next week, the Bulldogs hit the road for a pair of Ivy League contests in the Empire State. The Bulldogs trek to Ithaca for a showdown at Cornell on Friday, Oct. 24 and then head to the heart of New York City for a Saturday afternoon match with Columbia.
Yale Schedule (contains links to GameTracker live stats and streaming video)
Payne Whitney Gym information
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity