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Bulldogs Host Princeton and Penn This Weekend; Friday's Match on ESPNU

Kate Swanson, left, and Ellis DeJardin.
Kate Swanson, left, and Ellis DeJardin.

The Weekend Schedule

Friday, October 26, 2018

Princeton at Yale, 6 p.m.  Watch ESPN (Televised on ESPNU) | Live Stats

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Penn at Yale, 5 p.m.  Video on ESPN+ | Live Stats

Bulldogs Continue Homestand on National TV

The Bulldogs (13-4, 7-1 Ivy League) will close out their five-match homestand this weekend and look to keep pace in the Ivy standings with matches against Princeton and Penn.  Friday's match against Princeton will air on ESPNU at 6 p.m.  Yale extended its win streak to five with a win over Brown last weekend to remain tied with Princeton for first place in the conference standings. The two teams tied for the league title last season and the Tigers won a playoff against the Bulldogs to earn the Ivy League's automatic bid.  On Saturday, the Bulldogs will face off against Penn at 5 p.m.

Last Time Out

The Bulldogs hit .500 for match in a 3-0 win over Brown last Saturday.  Yale had only three attack errors over the final two sets, including a .706 clip as a team in the second set with only one error on 17 swings. The Bulldogs followed that up with a .562 hitting percentage in the final set.  Samantha Bray had 10 kills on 16 swings without an error and hit .625.  Bray added four blocks to help the Bulldogs to a 9-1 edge in total team blocks.  

Bray Earns Rookie of the Week Honor

First-year middle blocker Samantha Bray was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday. Bray had 10 kills on 16 swings without an error in a 3-0 win over Brown on Saturday and hit .625 for the match.  With four block assists on Saturday, Bray leads the team with 48 total blocks this season. The honor marks the fourth time this season a Bulldog rookie has won the award -- Ellis DeJardin has won the award three times. 

Bulldogs Serving Up Aces

Yale enters the week leading the Ivy League in service aces per set.  The Bulldogs average 1.60 service aces per set.  In conference play, senior Gray Malias leads the confernce with a 0.50 average with 13 aces in 26 sets.

Spain and Bray Among Blocking Leaders

Chiara Spain and Samantha Bray both rank in the Ivy League top 10 in blocking.  Entering the weekend, Spain and Bray are tied for sixth in the conference play with 1.08 blocks per set average.

Home Court Advantage

Since the start of the 2013 season, the Bulldogs home record is 50-9 overall and 35-4 against Ivy League teams.  Yale opened the 2018 home schedule with six straight wins.

League Leader

Senior libero Kate Swanson enters the weekend leading the Ivy League with 5.19 digs per set average in conference play. Swanson, the team's captain, has 289 digs on the season and is averaging 4.98 digs per set overall. The 4.98 average would mark the fifth highest single-season mark in program history. 

Arnautou Does It All

Over the last four matches, junior setter Frances Arnautou has averaged 35.5 assists, 11 digs, 4.25 kills, and 3.25 blocks per match.

Balanced Attack

The Bulldogs have four student-athletes averaging over two kills per set -- Ellis DeJardin (3.00), Kelley Wirth (2.59), Samantha Bray (2.32) and Kathryn Attar (2.13).

Scouting Princeton and Penn

Princeton (14-5, 7-1 Ivy League) defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1, on Sept. 29.  The Tigers have two of the top three kills per set leaders in the Ivy League (Devon Peterkin and Maggie O'Connell) and lead the conference in hitting percentage, kills per set and assists per set.  Penn was scheduled to play at Brown on Friday and entered the weekend 5-14 overall and 2-6 in league play.  The Bulldogs won 3-0 at Penn on Sept. 28.

Bulldogs Welcome Back Cat Dailey Minyard ' 10

Former Yale volleyball standout and Ivy League Player of the Year Cat Dailey Minyard '10 who helped lead the program to a conference title and went on to play professionally is back with the Bulldogs as a volunteer assistant coach. Minyard transferred to Yale in 2008 after two seasons at Cal-Berkley and went on to earn All-Ivy First Team honors her two years with the Bulldogs.  In 2008, she was named an AVCA All-Northeast Region Honorable Mention in addition to being named unanimous league player of the year to begin a stretch of six conference titles in a seven-year stretch for the Bulldogs. More details.

Get to Know the Bulldogs

The Bulldogs' website features a brief video with each student-athlete on the volleyball team.  Visit the team's roster webpage and select a name to see the bio video.  The videos were produced by the team's associate head coach Kevin Laseau.  

Ivy League Preseason Media Poll

Yale earned three first-place votes and were picked to finish second this season in the conference's inaugural volleyball preseason media poll.  See complete poll here

Welcome Back

After winning its sixth Ivy title in the last eight seasons, Yale returns five All-Ivy selections, including the league's defensive player of the year (Kate Swanson) and rookie of the year (Kathryn Attar).  Swanson and Attar both were also awarded spots on the first team.  In addition, Frances Arnautou and Tristin Kott earned second-team honors, while Kelley Wirth was a honorable mention. 

Swanson Named 2018 Captain

Senior libero Kate Swanson was named team captain for 2018.  The Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., native was named 2017 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Ivy First Team.  In each of her first three seasons, her digs per set average has increased from 3.76 digs in 2015 to 4.64 this past season.

Appleman Leads the Way

Yale head coach Erin Appleman, in her 16th season, has a 281-108 overall record at Yale with a 172-44 mark in the Ivy League.  She is joined by associate head coach Kevin Laseau (15th season at Yale) and assistant coach Brendan McGourn (5th season at Yale) and volunteer assistant Cat Dailey Minyard '10 (1st season).

Up Next

The Bulldogs next weekend travel to Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday.  The matches mark the final two Ivy road matches of the season for Yale.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity