W. Volleyball Splits To Open Season

After dropping its home opener to TCU 3-1, the Harvard women’s volleyball team rebounded to top St. Peter’s by the same margin, earning a split in this weekend’s New England Challenge at the Malkin Athletic Center.

Co-captain Kaego Ogbechie, who sat out most of last season with a knee injury, led the Crimson (1-1) in kills in both matches, while senior Nilly Schweitzer recorded her first double-double of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs against the Peahens.

“It felt really good [to be back out there],” Ogbechie said. “I love the game, whether I’m on the court or off the court...but it makes everything worthwhile to be able to go out there and compete against another team.”

Harvard coach Jennifer Weiss rotated co-captain Kim Gould and sophomore Sarah Cebron at the setter position, in order to keep three hitters on the front row at all times. Gould and Cebron registered at least 20 assists a piece in each of the two contests.

“It’s a little hard to get in rhythm at times,” Gould said. “But I think it’ll be great for our team, because we have a lot more depth than we’ve ever had and allows us to have a lot bigger block and more hitters.”

HARVARD 3, ST. PETER’S 1

After splitting the first two games, Harvard dominated the third frame and rallied from behind in the fourth to claim its first win of the season, 3-1 (30-26, 28-30, 30-18, 30-28).

Trailing 20-16 in game four, the Crimson took six out of the next eight points, including three straight Ogbechie kills, to pull even at 22.

St. Peter’s seemed to snatch the momentum right back, recording two straight kills, but two straight Harvard blocks kept the Peahens from running away with the game. After another Ogbechie kill brought the Crimson even at 28, St. Peter’s sent two straight kills wide, giving Harvard the game and the match.

“We felt we had control over the game the whole time and that if we played our game, we thought we should win,” Gould said. “We maintained our composure well and we were never flustered.”

The hotly contested final frame came directly after the Crimson seemed to have broken through in game three, when the team recorded a .405 hitting percentage and, after jumping out to a 13-5 lead, did not allow the Peahens within six points. Schweitzer sparked Harvard’s game three outburst, recording seven of her 15 kills in that frame.

The Crimson got off to a quick start in game one, capitalizing on four St. Peter’s errors to jump out to a 6-4 lead. The Peahens’ attack began to click, however, as they ran off runs of 6-0 and 8-0 to claim a 21-16 lead. St. Peter’s faltered down the stretch, committing two net violations and firing a kill attempt into their own net, while Harvard got a couple of crucial kills from freshman Suzie Trimble en route to a 30-26 win. It was the Crimson’s worst frame in terms of its attack, as the squad registered 12 kills, but committed 12 errors for a hitting percentage of .000.

TCU 3, HARVARD 1

It didn’t take long for Texas Christian University to realize it was much more fun to be in New England than to weather Hurricane Frances.

A week after the Horned Frogs (4-2) went winless at the Hurricane Frances Classic, which was thrown together by Miami (Ohio) after the Gator Invitational was cancelled due to that particular spawn of the tropics, TCU entered the first game of the New England Challenge looking for its first victory.

And the Horned Frogs didn’t waste much time going after it.

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