The volleyball team will end a five-game homestand this weekend with matches against Harvard and Dartmouth.
The Bulldogs will take on Dartmouth Friday night and follow up with a match against Harvard on Saturday evening. These will be the Bulldogs’ final matches in New Haven until November 4, when they will return to Payne Whitney Gymnasium to take on Penn.
“I think we got a fortunate schedule being young and being home for the first [five] Ivy games,” head coach Erin Appleman said. “If you want to accomplish something great you have to take care of winning at home.”
The Bulldogs have certainly done that to date, compiling an 8–1 record in the John J. Lee Ampitheater, including three straight conference wins at home to open up Ivy League play.
The Elis (9–4, 3–0 Ivy) have won six out of their last seven matches and look to stay hot against Dartmouth (9–5, 1–2) Friday night at 7 p.m. The Big Green is looking to rebound after losses to Penn and Princeton last weekend.
Yale will face a challenge in containing Dartmouth’s senior outside hitter Madeline Baird. A reigning second team All-Ivy selection, Baird leads the Ivy League with 3.6 kills per set and recorded 25 kills in a home loss to Yale last season.
Despite their troubling history with Baird, Yale has dominated Dartmouth in recent years. The Bulldogs have overcome the Big Green 10 times in the teams’ past 12 meetings, including a sweep of the series last season.
The Bulldogs will follow up on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. with a match against the Harvard Crimson (8–5, 1–2). Harvard is coming off a 1–1 weekend, which included a win over Penn and a loss to Princeton.
Reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Kendall Polan ’14 will lead the Bulldogs against Harvard. Polan, leading the Ivy League with 10.35 assists per set, has already received the honor twice this season. In matches against Cornell and Columbia last weekend, Polan accumulated 84 assists, 10 kills, four block assists and three service aces.
But Yale will not be the only team with a great passer. Harvard junior setter Beth Kinsella is second in the Ivy League with 9.82 assists per set. Kinsella’s top target is junior outside hitter Taylor Docter, who leads the team with 151 kills.
The Bulldogs’ match with Dartmouth Friday night will be part of the Side-Out Foundation’s Dig Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness event. Thousands of teams across the country will be participating in an effort to spread knowledge about breast cancer and raise funds for cancer research. All fans are asked to wear pink to participate and donations can be made at the match. In addition, Dig Pink T-shirts will be sold for $20 with all proceeds going to the organization.