Sloppy Play Hampers Female Spikers; Women Fall to Northeastern in Three
In a match where mistakes were the rule rather than the exception, the Northeastern Huskies yesterday trounced the Harvard women's volleyball team, 15-8, 15-11, 15-6.
Nothing went right for the young Harvard squad. Frustration and lack of concentration led to breakdowns in communication and teamwork, and eight missed serves characterized the massive collapse in fundamentals.
Crimson errors were not confined to one player or one facet of the game. "It wasn't just one thing," said coach Karyn Altman. "There was no energy out there. We just didn't hit. I think we were tired."
Harvard went into the match hoping to avenge Saturday's defeat at the Huskies' hands in the Northeastern Invitational semi-final. In that match Harvard came close to victory before losing 15-6, 13-15, 15-10.
With few adjustments in its game plan, the Crimson had planned to battle Northeastern closely. Midway through the first game Harvard realized, however, that revenge was not to be.
Trailing 8-6 in the first game, Northeastern came to life. The Huskies tallied nine straight points to take the game, 15-6. Seven of the nine points were direct results of unforced Harvard errors.
The Huskies maintained the momentum and rolled up ten unanswered scores to take a commanding 12-3 lead in the second game. Then the Huskies faltered for fifteen minutes as Harvard came alive.
Junior setter Margaret Chang took over the serve and began picking holes in the Husky defense. Marlene Schoofs added a spike, Elizabeth Peterson made a block, and Harvard found itself back within three points. Crimson joy was short-lived, though, as the Harvard team reverted to its disorganized form.
Northeastern made short work of the final game. The Huskies jumped to an 11-1 advantage and coasted through to victory.
"We just had a bad game. It's an inexperienced team. Sometimes if one thing goes wrong they get thinking a little too much," Altman said.
She noted that Harvard had difficulty dealing with Northeastern's star spiker, Freshman Chris Giunta. "Our blockers are inexperienced blocking faster spikers. She hits it the same way every time, but we just couldn't adjust to her speed," Altman explained.
The loss didn't shake Altman's confidence in her team. "This team can look very sharp. It's not that they don't have the skills to play well. They are capable of playing very well. There's no team that we couldn't beat," she said.
Assistant coach Bob Cassels noted that the team isn't used to its varsity status: "They're used to losing."