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After winning nine straight matches to reach the first NCAA Tournament in program history, the Yale volleyball team has been selected as a host for the tournament's first and second rounds. The Bulldogs will face Albany at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the second half of a doubleheader at John J. Lee Amphitheater. Fourth-seeded Minnesota plays Long Island in the first game at 5:30. The winners will meet Friday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the regional Dec. 10 and 11 in Minneapolis. The semifinals and final will be Dec. 16 and 18 in Long Beach, Calif. "It's a marvelous thing for the program to be hosting," said Yale head coach Erin Appleman. "Our team is obviously ecstatic. It's great to be in the tournament, and everybody here is excited to be hosting these great teams." Yale (17-7) won its final seven Ivy League matches to claim a share of the league title, then clinched the NCAA berth by winning a four-team playoff. The Bulldogs are 10-1 at home and played in front of raucous crowds in each of their final two matches at the Amphitheater. "Our crowd is a big help and part of the reason we were selected to host, so we can hopefully pack the gym" Appleman said. "I want to thank my athletic administration for putting in a bid to host and for its support of this program." Albany (27-6) went 13-1 in the America East and won the conference tournament to take the league title for the first time. The Great Danes have won 21 of their last 22 matches, including an 18-match win streak that ended Nov. 12. Minnesota (28-4) is ranked fifth in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll and tied for second in the Big Ten. Long Island (32-6) won the Northeast Conference for the first time. The Blackbirds have won 11 in a row and 17 of their last 18.