VOLLEYBALL | Elis look to defend their Ivy League title

After nearly nine months away from the court, the women’s volleyball team will be back in action this weekend.

The Elis will open their 25-game season by hosting Georgetown (1-2), Farfield (2-1) and Colorado (1-2) in the Yale Invitation on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re excited,” captain and outside hitter Julia Mailander ’10 said. “It’s nice to open the year with a fresh start.”

But the Bulldogs will look to do nothing more than repeat the tremendous success they enjoyed last season.

Coming off a historic 2008 season, in which Yale won the Ivy League championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Elis are eager to pick up where they left off.

On Friday night, the Elis will face Georgetown. The two teams have met four times in the past, with the Bulldogs winning three of the four matchups. In their last meeting in 2005, the Bulldogs topped the Hoyas in straight sets at the Georgetown Classic.

The next day, Yale will face off against Fairfield in the afternoon before returning to the court at night to play Colorado.

Of the three teams that Yale will face, the Bulldogs have competed against the Stags the most. In their 15 contests, the Elis have posted a 9–7 record against Fairfield. When the two teams last met in 2002, Yale won in a 3–1 victory, ending a five-game losing streak to Fairfield.

Finally, the Bulldogs will end the tournament when they face Colorado on Saturday night. This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Like last year, the Elis will look to see the stands packed and have the crowd support that often made the difference in close games.

“We definitely have the best fans in the Ivy League. They’re very loyal to us,” Mailander said. “It’s good to have them in our corner, and they’ll definitely have a good time this weekend.”

Play tips off at 7 p.m. on Friday in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

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