Nov. 24, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn.- As the Yale volleyball team awaits the Nov. 30 announcement of its NCAA Tournament destination, the 2008 Ivy League Champions head out to California for a pair of non-conference matches. The Bulldogs will play at No. 16 nationally-ranked San Diego on Tuesday, Nov 25 and, after a short Thanksgiving recess in the Golden State, will wrap-up the regular season at Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Nov. 29. Despite traveling over 3,000 miles from the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, the week will be a homecoming for the nine Yale players who, along with Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman, hail from southern California.
The Bulldogs enter the week at 19-4 overall, and wrapped up the Ivy League season at 13-1, the best league record in school history since the 14-match format was instituted in 2001. Yale is led offensively by a trio of first team All-Ivy selections. Junior outside hitter Cat Dailey, the unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year, is averaging 3.77 kills and 3.15 digs per set this season. The Newport Beach, Calif. native has recorded 12 double-doubles this season and has broken the 20 kill plateau in four matches. Junior Alexis Crusey, who was selected to the All-Ivy first team for the third time in three collegiate seasons, led the Bulldogs with 3.84 kills per set and also tallied 3.62 digs per frame this season. Crusey, a native of San Diego, was a unanimous choice for the first team.
Running the offense for Yale is another unanimous All-Ivy first team honoree: senior captain Ally Mendenhall. Mendenhall ranked third in the Ivy League with 10.69 assists per set. She has also added 2.83 digs per frame during the 2008 campaign. The Yale captain cracks the first team after earning second team laurels in her sophomore and junior seasons.
A fourth All-Ivy player, honorable mention libero Kelly Ozurovich, averaged a team-best 4.39 digs per frame in her sophomore season. Ozurovich, who calls Playa del Ray, Calif. home, was a second team All-Ivy selection as a freshman in 2007.
The San Diego Toreros (22-4) are led by 4.24 kills per set from Amy Degroot. Jessica Nyropp runs the office to the tune of 11.44 assists per set, and Andrea Csaszi leads the squad in digs with 4.20 per set.
Loyola Marymount (13-15) is led by Emily Day with 4.22 kills per set. Renee Horton has dished out 9.33 assists per set, and Whitney Leonard has tallied 3.17 digs per stanza.
Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Nov. 30. The first two rounds of the tournament will be held on the weekend of Dec. 5.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity