As the defending Ivy League champions, the Bulldogs are looking to extend their two-game winning streak and improve their conference record at their last home matchups of the month.

This weekend, the Yale volleyball team (9–3–0, 2–1–0 Ivy) is set to face Harvard (5–7–0, 2–1–0 Ivy) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Dartmouth (8–4–0, 0–3–0 Ivy) on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs are going into the matchups with significant momentum after sweeping Columbia and Cornell in straight sets just last weekend. Harvard sits fourth in the current Ivy League volleyball rankings, just after Yale, while Dartmouth sits at seventh place.

“We are looking forward to another good weekend of competitive matches,” outside hitter Bonnie Bostic ’24 wrote to the News. “Regardless of the competition we bring our best.” 

This will be the first time the Bulldogs face off against the Crimson and Big Green in almost two years. The last time the Elis faced Harvard was on Nov. 2, 2019, while the last time they faced off against Dartmouth was on Nov. 1, 2019. Both matches were away matches. 

During the 2019 matchup, Yale lost to Harvard 1–3. Prior to that, the Bulldogs swept the Crimson in straight sets in three consecutive matchups. Since 2007, Yale has won 20 matches and only lost seven. The Blue and White will be hoping to best the Crimson, who most recently fell in a 2–3 loss against Princeton.

“The rivalry between Harvard and Yale is the oldest rivalry in college athletics, so of course it’s important,” Yale volleyball head coach Erin Appleman told the News. “But you have to win more than you lose to win a championship. Every team counts the same.”

In contrast to their record against Harvard, the Bulldogs currently have a nine-game winning streak against the Big Green. The last match between the two teams ended in a 3–0 sweep in favor of the Elis. Dartmouth also currently has a losing streak, as they have fallen to Harvard, Princeton and Penn in the past two weeks.

“Our team chemistry has been beyond expectation,” outside hitter Kathryn Attar ’22 wrote to the News. “Everyone genuinely loves and supports each other, and just wants to see our team succeed.” 

In its quest for a repeat performance of last weekend, the Yale volleyball team will count on both their seasoned veterans and talented young core. As of Sep. 30, libero Maile Somera ’24 ranked third in the League in digs per set, while setter Carly Diehl ’25 ranked third in assists per set. Outside hitter Mila Yarich ’25 was recognized last week as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, while Bostic was named to the Honor Roll of the Ivy League Volleyball Weekly Awards. 

“I’m looking forward to being home again. Hopefully we’re getting a good crowd,” Appleman said about the matches this weekend. “And also [I’m looking forward to] just continuing to improve. That’s what we’re always trying to work on, [on] getting better every time we get out there.”
The last time Yale hosted the Crimson almost 700 people were in attendance.

Wei-Ting Shih covers volleyball and women's basketball as a staff reporter. Originally from Taiwan and Nicaragua, she is a sophomore in Grace Hopper College double-majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics and History.