W. VOLLEYBALL | It all comes down to this

After every game this season, the volleyball team has looked to improve for the next match.

This weekend, top-ranked Yale (17-4, 11-1 Ivy) has the chance to take home the Ivy League championship in its final conference games.

Not since 1978 have the Elis been the outright Ancient Eight champions, though they were co-champions with Princeton (16-3, 10-1) in 2004.

But taking home the title is easier said than done. In the Bulldogs’ way lie away games at Penn (12-11, 8-3) and Princeton.

On Friday night, the Bulldogs will look to extend their winning streak while playing on the road. The Elis are a perfect 5-0 against Ivy opponents on the road this season, and they hope to continue that trend when they take on the Quakers. In their last meeting, Penn defeated the Elis in a five-set thriller, handing the Bulldogs their only conference loss of the season.

On Saturday, Yale will play Princeton in their final Ivy match in 2008. The Tigers will be celebrating their senior night against the Bulldogs.

Last time the two squads met, the Elis swept their opponents in three straight sets.

But Princeton has one of the strongest offenses in the league, topping conference standings with 14.27 kills per set.

The Tigers are led by Lindsey Ensign and Cathryn Quinn, who are the top two hitters in the league. Additionally, their roster includes the most recent Ivy League Player of the Week, Sheena Donohue, who recorded double-doubles in both of her games last weekend.

“They are a much better team than the last time we played them,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “But we’ve also improved since then.”

The Elis have risen to the top of the league due to their strong defense which they will be able to rely on that when they face the hard-hitting Tigers. The Bulldogs lead all Ivies in service aces (1.69 per set) and digs (16.54 per set).

The Elis will also have a fan bus to take students to the game. The bus leaves for Princeton from Payne Whitney Gymnasium at 1 p.m. Saturday and will bring students back that night.

Yale plays its first match at 7 p.m. Friday at Penn.

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