Volleyball team’s Freeman secures tourney honors

Yale volleyball outside hitter Jana Freeman ’05 probably didn’t expect to have the performance she had last weekend at the Maine Invitational.

Freeman was already sick before getting on the bus for the seven-hour trip, but she showed few signs of her illness on the court. By the end of the invitational, she earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team and Ivy League Player of the Week honors earlier this week.

Over the course of Yale’s three matches against Maine, Connecticut and Denver, Freeman had 53 kills for an average of 4.42 kills per game. She also put up 45 digs in one of the better defensive showings of her career.

“She impressed me more defensively than offensively,” assistant coach David Fortes said. “To get that out of her [on defense] is a bonus for us.”

In the Bulldogs’ five-match win over Maine last Friday, Freeman contributed 17 digs and had a season-high 20 kills. The next day against Denver, her season-high 20 digs helped Yale defeat the Pioneers, 3-1.

Despite her health, teammates and coaches were not surprised by her dominance on the courts.

“That’s her — she’s an amazing player,” outside hitter Christy Palluf ’06 said last Saturday. “That’s the performance I can expect out of her every game.”

With a number of her 129 assists going to Freeman, setter Jacqueline Becker ’06 was also named to the All-Tournament team and should be a candidate herself for the league’s Player of the Week honor.

“[Freeman] was sick all week and didn’t get to practice, but she went really hard for everything and really hit the ball well,” Becker said.

Freeman’s 100 kills in her first six matches this season have her on pace to crack the program’s top five leaders for kills in a season.

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