Eagles Prey on W. Volleyball

ERIN BLOCK-OVICH
Loewe B Lee

Senior middle blocker ERIN DENNISTON (11) goes up for a block in earlier action alongside teammate MARIAH POSPISIL

The Harvard women’s volleyball team dropped last night’s match at the Malkin Athletic Center in straight games to the Boston College Eagles.

“We had an overall team effort, and everyone on the court played a great game,” said Eagles Coach Jackie Hadel.

The Eagles (11-4) dominated total kills (65-40), digs (54-38), block assists (54-38) and hitting percentage (.297- .147), en route to a 3-0 (30-25, 30-23, 31-29) shutout of the Crimson (6-4, 0-1 Ivy).

The Eagles offense soared behind the play of four key players.

Sophomore Laura Powers hit for 11 kills and a .529 hitting percentage, freshman Katie Anderson knocked in 14 kills and a .313 hitting percentage, junior Rachel Bach swatted 13 kills and a .348 hitting percentage.

Freshman Jessica Brizzolara offered 48 assists and a smooth .875 hitting percentage to round out the arsenal of offensive weapons.

In contrast, Harvard’s offense seemed out of sync for the entire match.

“We were scrambling tonight,” said Harvard Coach JenniferWeiss.

Only freshman middle hitter Kaego Ogbechie and junior outside hitter Nicole Meunier broke into the double digits in kills with 12 each, and no Crimson player broke the .200 mark in hitting percentage.

“[Last night] wasn’t our best play, it wasn’t the way we should be playing,” said Ogbechie.

The first game was full of long rallies, with few points being decided without several digs and tips at the net.

Both teams displayed substantial athletisicm, and the Crimson stayed close in the first game before losing 30-25.

Although Harvard lost by seven in the second game, the Crimson stayed tough.

Freshman outside hitter Pernilla Schweitzer showed flashes of why she was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week last week. Schweitzer showcased her defensive ability, finishing the night with six tough digs.

Through the match, the Eagles had a heavy prescense at net, perhaps owing to the substantial height advantage of B.C. over Harvard. While there are only three Crimson players over 6’, the Eagles boast six.

B.C. gelled defensively, making rallies out of seemingly finished points, and preforming several dumps at net.

Despite the lopsided final score, Harvard’s true talent shone through for the Eagles coach.

“We beat a great team tonight,” Hadel said.

Harvard’s national statistics back up this observation. As of Sept. 23, the Crimson has been posting stats in the NCAA. The Crimson was ranked 11th in kills with a 17.0 per game average and 15th in hitting percentages with .285.

Junior setter Mindly Jellin, who finished with 38 assists last night, is ranked 8th in the nation in assists per game, with a steady 13.6 average.

The Crimson seemed mentally out of its game tonight, making several errors on routine plays.

“I don’t think we were as focused entirely on the match as we could’ve been,” said Jellin. “Usually we’re up to play ing them but tonight we didn’t have that same fire that we usually do.”

Harvard plays their second Ivy League game tomorrow night versus Dartmouth, the team that handed them their first Ivy League loss last week.

“We’re looking at [this game] as a prep for Dartmouth.” said Ogbechie. “That’s the Ivy League, that’s what we’re going for.”