For four consecutive seasons, the Yale women’s volleyball program has brought the Ivy League Championship title back to New Haven. A new class of Bulldogs will now have a chance to do the same.
The women’s volleyball class of 2018 features four new faces: Kelsey Crawford ’18, Kaitlyn Gibbons ’18, Meaghan Truman ’18 and Megan Rasmussen ’18. While the freshman class has only been part of the program for a few weeks, several returning players interviewed said that the class of 2018 has integrated seamlessly with last year’s Ivy Champions.
“One of the great things about the freshmen is that they have already fit into the team dynamic very well,” Captain Mollie Rogers ’15 said. “One of our greatest strengths as a team is our chemistry, and this year’s incoming class has made the transition to college volleyball smoothly.”
Part of the freshmen’s clean transition to Division I volleyball is due to their versatility, according to Rogers and Maddie Rudnick ’15.
They said members of the class of 2018 are capable of playing multiple positions, which raises the intensity of practices and simultaneously develops the skills of both new and veteran members of the Eli squad.
“The freshmen bring countless strengths to the program, from offensive capabilities to defensive strengths,” Rudnick said. “All of them have potential to be a pivotal part of the team.”
Individually, the incoming Elis have the talents to keep Yale at the top of the Ivy League.
Crawford was a PrepVolleyball.com All-America selection and was the starting setter for the two-time California Division-II state champion Archbishop Mitty Monarchs.
Gibbons was captain and starting outside hitter during her senior season with Orange Lutheran in Orange County. They were the Trinity League champions and semifinalists in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championships.
Truman was named Most Improved Player her junior year at Notre Dame Academy in California, where she also helped her team finish third in the Royal Tournament as a senior.
Rasmussen played at Clear Lake, where she was named a Greater Houston Area All-Star and won the Texas 24-5A Offensive Player of the Year award.
As each of the four fresh faces have bountiful talent and the past performances to prove it, the Yale volleyball coaching staff, as well as fellow teammates, expect nothing but the best from the new recruits.
“Coaches and current members of the team always have high expectations for incoming freshman,” Rudnick said. “Each one of the freshmen has the potential to be a key factor this season, and I believe all members of the team have full confidence in them.”
Crawford, Gibbons and Truman come from the Golden State, while Rasmussen hails from Houston, Texas. The composition of this class is not uncommon — two-thirds of the roster is taken up by Californians.
The Elis will have their first three matches at the Yale Invitational and will take opposing sides of the net against Minnesota, Albany and Boston College on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6.