VOLLEYBALL: Senior night, playoff seeding and Harvard-Yale rivalry: Big weekend ahead for Bulldogs
The Yale women’s volleyball team will wrap up the regular season this weekend with home games against Dartmouth and Harvard.
The Yale women’s volleyball team (19–2, 11–1 Ivy) has a big weekend ahead of them.
On Friday, before Yale plays Ivy League third place Dartmouth (16–6, 8–4 Ivy), the team will commemorate Carly Diehl ’25 for surpassing 1500 career assists this season. On Saturday, before the game against Harvard (5–15, 4–8 Ivy), the Bulldogs will honor their graduating players with a senior night celebration. This weekend wraps up their regular season. If Yale wins both games, they will secure the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Ivy League playoffs.
“We would love [the Yale community’s] support as we try to win a championship.” said head coach Erin Appleman. “It should be a good weekend, so I’m hoping that we have a good crowd and to honor this remarkable senior class.”
There are five seniors on the team this year: Tiffany Pedersen-Henry ’23, Amelia Browne ’24, Sam Bray ’23, Zoie Stewart ’23, and team captain Renee Shultz ’23. During their time at Yale, the Bulldogs have won two Ivy League championships and 69 total games.
Saturday’s senior night will recognize the group’s contributions to the team over the past four years.
“It’s about honoring all the hard work and effort they put in for four years of being a student athlete,” said head coach Erin Appleman. “They’re super dedicated to this program. In particular Renee Shultz has done a fabulous job of being captain, getting this team on the same page, and so much… wonderful leadership.”
Outside hitter Cara Shultz ’25 had high praise for the seniors who helped build the team culture which the players credit for their success.
“The five seniors on our team have been incredible leaders and even better friends,” said Shultz. “They should be super proud of everything they‘ve accomplished over the last four years.”
In addition to the senior night celebration on Saturday, Appleman noted there will be a celebration before the game on Friday to commemorate Carly Diehl for surpassing the 1500 career assist mark. Last season, Diehl finished fourth in the Ivy League in assists and was named the league’s “Rookie of the Week” in October. This year she has the second most assists in the conference with 782.
This weekend in volleyball is important not just for its celebrations. If the Bulldogs win both matchups, they will secure a first place seed in the Ivy League tournament
“This is what it comes down to,” said Appleman. “You worked hard all year and this is your final weekend and you have it at home and you gotta be able to win at home if you wanna win a championship”
Dartmouth will bring their 8–4 record to New Haven on Friday night. The Big Green have won six of their last seven games to rank third in the Ivy League entering the weekend. In Yale’s last meeting with Dartmouth on Oct. 8, the Elis won 3–1.
Saturday will mark the weekend’s marquee matchup as Harvard comes to town to play. Harvard is fifth in the Ivy League standings. The Crimson lost in four sets to the Blue and White in their most recent match. After that October game in Cambridge, the Bulldogs looked forward to playing against the Crimson in New Haven.
“Matching up against Harvard is always pretty exciting because of the rivalry.” Renee Shultz wrote to the News after the October game against Harvard. “I’m excited to play them again later this season in our home gym.”
Friday’s game against Dartmouth begins at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s game against Harvard begins at 5:00 p.m. Both will take place in the John J. Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.