Volleyball: Top-ranked Penn State to host undefeated Bulldogs in Classic

The volleyball team is ready to get back to business on the court after crushing its last three opponents.

With a decisive victory in the Yale Invitational last weekend, the Bulldogs (3-0) are looking to continue their winning streak in University Park, Penn. This weekend the Bulldogs will face No. 1 Penn State (9-0) as well as Saint Louis (6-3) and New Hampshire (3-8) in the Penn State Classic.

“We’re very excited to go down and compete against some great teams,” head coach Erin Appleman said.

Last weekend, the Elis didn’t lose a single set as they swept Boston College, Colgate and Hofstra at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The squad will be looking to carry that momentum on the road.

“We gained a lot of confidence from last weekend,” captain and setter Ally Mendenhall ’09 said. “Now we’re ready to play again.”

But the Elis will find tough competition in their opponents this weekend. Yale will face Penn State, the top team in the nation, to open the tournament Friday. The Nittany Lions are the defending national champions and have not lost a game thus far this season. Last year, the Bulldogs fell to Penn State, 3-0. Although this is the first meeting between Saint Louis and Yale, the Billikens upset No. 3 ranked Stanford earlier in the season at the Billiken Invitational.

“The teams we’re playing definitely have a few more notches under their belt than us,” outside hitter Alexis Crusey ’10 said. “But we’re looking to assert Yale volleyball as a top program.”

It’s clear that the Bulldogs aren’t intimidated by their opponents. Several players said they see this weekend as another chance to get better by playing the best competition in the nation.

“Every time that we play, we learn a little bit more about ourselves,” Mendenhall said. “The weekend is a great opportunity for us.”

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