W. Volleyball Wins First Ivy Victory Over Dartmouth
The Crimson (7-4, 1-1 Ivy) fell behind 2-1 to the Big Green (6-6, 1-1 Ivy) before rallying to a 32-30 win in the fourth game and taking the fifth 19-17 to close out the match.
The teams exchanged points and momentum throughout the match.
“It was so close and such a long game,” said freshman outside hitter Pernilla Schweitzer. “Every time we would make a big play there was this surge of confidence, but then they would turn around and get a big play, too.”
The victory was sweet revenge for Harvard after losing its first meeting with Dartmouth 3-1 on September 28 at the Malking Athletic Center. The win evened the Crimson’s league record at 1-1 going into a critical stretch of four consecutive league contests on the road beginning with a trip to Yale on Saturday.
Harvard was paced by its tandem of freshman stars, Schweitzer and outside hitter Kaego Ogbechie.
Ogbechie led the Crimson with a career-high 21 kills while also registering 20 digs. Schweitzer, who was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for her play in the Crimson Challenge last weekend, continued her torrid play to post a team-high 30 digs.
“[Schweitzer and Ogbechie] work really well with the rest of the team,” said junior captain Mindy Jellin. “They are a mature part of the team and we all know that we can count on them.”
Dartmouth’s lone freshman starter, outside hitter Anna Jenkins, also played superbly. Jenkins notched a career-high 20 kills with a match high .406 kill average.
Jenkins and senior outside hitter Ashley Dean, who had a match high 25 kills, led Dartmouth to an early lead with a 30-28 victory in the first game. The Big Green defense held Harvard’s hitters to a dismal .098 combined kill percentage compared to Dartmouth’s hefty .340 mark.
But Harvard rebounded to win the second game 30-27 and tie the score at 1-1. After dropping the third game, the only game with a victory margin greater than three points, 30-25, the Crimson beared down to take the final two games in succession.
“In a game that is so long, [being successful] is so much about attitude,” Schweitzer said. “When we played Dartmouth the first time we just didn’t finish it. We couldn’t close the game out and score the last point.”
The Crimson fell to Dartmouth 3-1 (34-32, 30-28, 21-30, 30-23) in its first game of the Crimson Challenge. Harvard went on to win the tournament with victories over Georgia State and Binghamton.
Sophomore middle hitter Mariah Pospisil had a big day on offense and defense for the Crimson, registering seven blocks and 16 kills. Outside hitters junior Nicole Meunier and senior Erin Denniston added 12 kills each, while Jellin posted 63 assists while running the balanced offensive attack.
Harvard will seek to keep that balance throughout the upcoming stretch of league contests.
“We are focusing on playing the way we did Friday (against Dartmouth),” Jellin said. “We just want to play up to our expectations for ourselves every time we walk into the gym.”