Women's Volleyball Finishes Tough Tournament
Women Volleyballers Finishes Season With 1-2 Record at Ivy Championships
The women's volleyball team traveled this past weekend to Princeton, NJ to try its luck in the Ivy League Championship tournament.
The Crimson faced three opponents over nine games. Though the team did not come home carrying a trophy, going 1-2 in the tournament, it did win a victory of sorts.
Upon reaching Princeton on Friday, Harvard's women took on Cornell. But Cornell showed the Crimson the door quickly, taking three straight games and leaving Harvard 0-1 in the tournament.
This came as something of a disappointment to the team, as it had beaten Cornell during midseason, taking home a five game match and the biggest victory of the season.
"We did not have a good game against Cornell," said senior co-captain Rachel Heit.
For the seniors, this tournament was of tantamount importance. It would be their last time playing in Crimson uniforms, and they were adamant about not going home without a strong tournament.
With the loss to Cornell fresh in their minds, the women went into Saturday's match against Columbia determined to come out on top. Determination paid off in a big way, and the Crimson romped, snatching up three games before Columbia could have a say in its fate.
"We played real strong against them," said Heit. "We won three straight and did not allow them into the game."
The Crimson's next opponent on Saturday was Penn. Harvard seemed to forget the last game. The Quakers crushed the Crimson's momentum, beating down the team in three short games.
All that the Crimson could do was watch off-court as Penn advanced in the tournament, going on to face Princeton in the final. The Tigers won, and kept the trophy at home, where they believed it to belong.
But the tournament was not a poor one by any means. Record did not matter so much as effort for the vastly improved Crimson team. Three of the starters were seniors, playing their last games in a Harvard uniform.
"The seniors, since this was their last year, worked especially hard this season," said freshman starter Sarah Logan.
Heit was joined by fellow senior and co-captain Judy Iriye to provide excellent leadership to a very young and talented team.
Indeed, half of the team's six starters are in their first year. This highly talented trio was composed of freshmen Elissa Hart, Sarah Logan, and Lolita Lopez.
With such a young squad, first-year jitters were probably a factor, especially in such a big tournament as the one this weekend.
But this was more than understandable, and the team's youth will prove to be its strength for seasons to come.
Over this year alone, the team showed significant leaps in its journey to becoming a powerhouse.
Heit noted, "I think this season was one of the first times in the history of Harvard volleyball that we were feared by other teams."
When asked as to whether she thought Harvard would be a force to reckon with next season, Heit answered in the affirmative.
"With three such talented freshmen as starters, Harvard definitely will be a strong team for years to come."