The Harvard women's volleyball team is on a roll.
After dropping its first four matches to start the season, the Crimson (2-4 overall) has come up with victories in its last matches, including a four-set victory over Tufts last night at Malkin Athletic Center in front of 30 spectators.
The match featured long rallies, exciting digs and excellent defense from both teams. And for the second straight year, the Crimson pulled out a four-set victory over Tufts.
Harvard took the first two sets, 15-11, 15-9. But the Jumbos rallied to win the third set, 9-15, despite some outstanding kills by junior and Co-Captain Manda Schossberger and sophomore Carolyn Burger.
"Harvard played well, better defensively with a dominating player at the net," said Tufts Coach Bob Fareau, referring to Schossberger.
In the fourth set, the Crimson regained its composure and reversed the score, 15-9.
"We're starting to play a lot more together," Harvard Coach Wayne Lem said. "Because of the inexperience on the team, it's taken us four matches to get in synch. Now we're playing more cohesively."
Lem complimented the play of Schossberger, Captain Maia Forman, sophomore Peri Wallace, and the Crimson's freshman crew. He hopes that the rest of the upperclassmen can also get their games on track.
"We had the momentum from winning Tuesday's match against Lowell," Forman said. "Tonight we played a lot more as a team. Everyone played well, communication was better, and having some fans helped."
Harvard must now look ahead to tougher competition. The spikers are working on some plays in practice and are especially concerned with building up their offense.
Harvard lost a lot of height last year and has had to rely on its defense.
A welcome addition to the Crimson lineup is senior Nicole Anderson, a former letterwinner on the women's varsity basketball team. The spikers hope that she can fill the gaps vacated by seniors. Anderson had a strong performance at the net against Tufts.
"Nicole played well," Forman said. "She just came out for the team after playing basketball the last couple of years. We're looking for good things to come from her."
The spikers participate in a three-team match with Boston College and Holy Cross at B.C. tomorrow afternoon.