Photo courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Making its third consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, Yale will face Utah in the tournament's first round Friday night at Penn State's Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.
The Bulldogs enter the match with a mark of 20-4. The Utes, out of the Pac 12 Conference, are 20-12 this season. Yale's RPI rank sits at 39, while Utah's is 26. Last year, Yale entered the tournament with an RPI rating of 66. This season, however, three of Yale's four losses have come at the hands of teams ranked in the RPI Top 10 (Penn State, Missouri, Stanford).
It will be the second time in three years that Yale faces a Pac 12 team in the opening round. Two years ago, Yale drew Southern California for its first round match.
Utah is making its first NCAA appearance since 2008 and 11th all-time. The Utes are 10-10 all-time in NCAA action. In 2008, Utah made it to the Round of 16 for just the second time in school history, defeating Furman and Clemson on the opening weekend. The Utes lost to Washington the following weekend in the regional semifinal.
The other half of the opening weekend draw has Penn State taking on LIU Brooklyn. The Nittany Lions, 28-2 this season and champions of the Big Ten, are the No. 2 overall seed in the bracket and have the top RPI in the nation. The Blackbirds, champs of the Northeast Conference, are 23-7 this season and have an RPI rank of 88.
This will be Yale's second straight trip to Happy Valley for the NCAA Championship. Last year, the Bulldogs lost to Bowling Green in a thrilling five-setter.
Friday will mark the second ever meeting between Yale and Utah. The Utes defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1, on Sept. 3, 2011 in New Haven.
Yale lost to Penn State in the regular season, 3-0, in the final match of the Penn State Invitational back in September. The Bulldogs defeated Eastern Kentucky and Albany in the other two matches that weekend, all of which were played at Rec Hall.
All-session tickets for the 2013 NCAA Tournament first and second rounds at Penn State are on sale now and priced at $12 for adults and $10 for students and youth ages 12 and under. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY.
Single-match tickets will only be sold at the door the night of each match. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and youth ages 12 and under. Doors will open at 4 pm Friday, Dec. 6 and 6 pm Saturday, Dec. 7.
THE IVY LEAGUE IN THE NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
• Prior to this season, the Ivy League has made 19 all-time appearances in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship:
Brown (1996, 1998), Cornell (1993, 2005, 2006), Penn (2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010),
Princeton (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007), Yale (2004, 2008, 2011, 2012)
• Ivy League teams hold a combined 3-19 record in NCAA Championship play. Two of the three wins have come at PSU's Rec Hall.
• Yale earned the League's first NCAA win, a 3-0 win over Albany in 2004.
• Yale also earned a first round victory in 2008, a 3-2 win over Ohio (at Rec Hall).
• Penn owns the League's third NCAA victory, a 3-1 win over Army in 2009 (at Rec Hall).
YALE BULLDOGS IN THE NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
• 2013 marks Yale's fifth all-time NCAA Championship appearance.
• Yale's last appearance in the NCAA Tournament came in 2012, a 3-2 loss to Bowling Green.
• Yale is 2-2 all-time in the first round of NCAA Tournament action, with wins over Albany (2004) and Ohio (2008).
• The Bulldogs are 2-4 all-time in Championship play:
2004 – Yale def. Albany, 3-1, first round (30-28, 30-21, 31-33, 30-22)
– Minnesota (eventual runner-up) def. Yale, 3-0, second round (30-17, 30-18, 30-19)
2008 – Yale def. Ohio, 3-2, first round (25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 17-25, 16-14)
– Penn St. (eventual champion) def. Yale, 3-0, second round (25-18, 25-11, 25-12)
2011 – Southern California (eventual national semifinalist) def. Yale, 3-0, first round (25-13, 25-13, 25-18)
2012 - Bowling Greeen def. Yale, 3-2 (16-25, 25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 15-11)
Player of the Year: Kendall Polan, Yale (Sr., S - Cardiff, Calif.) *
Defensive Player of the Year: Dani Shepherd, Penn (Sr., L - Los Angeles)
Rookie of the Year: Corinne Bain, Harvard (Fr., S/H - Manhattan Beach, Calif.)*
First Team ^
Kelly Johnson, Yale (So., S/H - Palos Verdes, Calif.)*
Mollie Rogers, Yale (Jr., OH - San Diego)
Cara Mattaliano, Princeton (Fr., OH - Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
Thea Derrough, Brown (Sr., OH - La Jolla, Calif.)
Kathleen Wallace, Harvard (So., OH - San Francisco)
Grace Weghorst, Harvard (Fr., OH - Austin, Texas)
Elisa Scudder, Dartmouth (Sr., MB - Ashburn, Va.)
Corinne Bain, Harvard (Fr., S/H - Manhattan Beach, Calif.)*
Kendall Polan, Yale (Sr., S - Cardiff, Calif.) *
Dani Shepherd, Penn (Sr., L - Los Angeles)
Second Team ^
Breanna Wong, Cornell (So., OH - Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Kristen Etterbeek, Penn (Sr., OH - Holland, Mich.)
Bailey Springer, Columbia (So., OH - Ft. Worth, Texas)
Maddie Lord, Brown (Jr., OH - La Jolla, Calif.)
Alexis Genske, Penn (So., OH – Altenda, Calif.)
Brittani Steinberg, Yale (Fr., OH - Glenview, Ill.)
Rachel D’Epagnier, Cornell (Sr., MB - Coopersburg, Pa.)
Caroline Walters, Harvard (Jr., MB - San Mateo, Calif.)
Alex Caldwell, Penn (So., S - San Jose, Calif.)
Maddie Rudnick, Yale (Jr., L – Encinitas, Calif.)
Paige Caridi, Dartmouth (So., OH – Austin, Texas)
Susan Stuecheli, Penn (Sr., MB - Troy, Mich.)
Tiana Woolridge, Princeton (Jr., MB - Sherman Oaks, Mich.)
Natasha Rowland, Cornell (Jr., L - Palm Harbor, Fla.)
^ there are 10 selections on both the first and second teams due to multiple ties in the balloting
NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Through Dec. 1):
TEAM (Top 30)
Aces Per Set: 8. Yale, 1.73
Assists Per Set: 30. Yale, 13.13
Hitting Pct.: 22. Yale, .266
Kills Per Set: 30. Yale, 14.05
Winning Pct.: 18. Yale, .833
INDIVIDUAL (Top 50)
Aces Per Set: 6. Corinne Baine (Harvard), 0.54; 30. Kendall Polan (Yale), 0.4; 50. Elisa Scudder (Dartmouth), 0.37
Digs Per Set: 12. Dani Shepherd (Penn), 5.52, 34. Natasha Rowland (Cornell), 5.06
Friday, December 6
1- Yale vs. Utah, 5 pm
Saturday, December 7
1 - Yale/Utah winner vs. (2) Penn State/LIU Brooklyn winner, 7:30 pm
NCAA Tournament pairings announced Dec. 1, 9:30 pm (ESPNU)
*Ivy League match
1 - NCAA Championship at Rec Hall, University Park, Pa.
[IVY] match to be streamed on The Ivy League® Digital Network
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
September 10 - Kelly Johnson, Yale
September 17 - Breanna Wong, Cornell / Paige Caridi, Dartmouth
September 24 - Thea Derrough, Brown / Jesse Ebner, Yale
October 1 - Kendall Peterkin, Princeton
October 8 - Thea Derrough, Brown / Jesse Ebner, Yale
October 15 - Kelly Johnson, Yale
October 22 - Corinne Bain, Harvard / Brittani Steinberg, Yale
October 29 - Kendall Polan, Yale
November 5 - Kathleen Wallace, Harvard
November 12 - Alexis Genske, Penn / Mollie Rogers, Yale
November 19 - Mollie Rogers, Yale
ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
September 10 - Corinne Bain, Harvard
September 17 - Brittani Steinberg, Yale
September 24 - Grace Weghorst, Harvard / Emily Astarita, Dartmouth
October 1 - Lauren Miller, Princeton
October 8 - Cara Mattaliano, Princeton
October 15 - Molly Kornfeind, Dartmouth
October 22 - Corinne Bain, Harvard / Brittani Steinberg, Yale
October 29 - Emily Astarita, Dartmouth / Sarah Kramer, Cornell
November 5 - Corinne Bain, Harvard / Cara Mattaliano, Princeton
November 12 - Corinne Bain, Harvard
November 19 - Corinne Bain, Harvard
WEEKLY AWARD HISTORY
|Player of the Week
|Brown||October 8, 2013*
|Columbia||October 23, 2012*||Megan Gaughn|
|Cornell||September 17, 2013*
|Dartmouth||September 17, 2013*||Paige Caridi
|Harvard||November 5, 2013
|Penn||November 12, 2013*
|Princeton||October 1, 2013
|Yale||November 19, 2013
|Rookie of the Week
|Brown||September 6, 2011||Maddie Lord
|Columbia||September 18, 2012*
|Cornell||October 29, 2013*||Sarah Kramer|
|Dartmouth||October 29, 2013*||Emily Astarita|
|Harvard||November 19, 2013
|Penn||October 2, 2012
|Princeton||November 5, 2013*
|Yale||October 22, 2013*