Harvard Swept By Dartmouth Once Again
October 02, 2005
One week after being swept by Dartmouth for the first time in its history, the Harvard women’s volleyball team was again routed by the Big Green, falling 3-0 (30-24, 30-20, 30-23) on Friday night at the Malkin Athletic Center. Seeking revenge, the Crimson (2-8, 0-2 Ivy) spent all week preparing for its rematch against Dartmouth. But all of Harvard’s work was to no avail, as the Big Green (8-3, 2-0) posted 53 kills on .254 hitting to roll past the Crimson. The loss extended Harvard’s winless streak to seven contests and left the Crimson at the bottom of the league standings. "[Ivy] teams are definitely, at this point, going to be underestimating us," co-captain Elizabeth Blotky said. "Hopefully we can capitalize on that and execute as a team—show them what we’re actually made of." The Harvard defense performed well, with both Blotky and sophomore outside hitter Laura Mahon registering 10 digs apiece. But the Crimson’s offense was unable to sustain any sort of momentum, hitting only .092 overall. "We would hit at [Dartmouth], and we weren’t expecting the ball back," Blotky said. "It was just very reactionary volleyball—we need to make smarter offensive shots." As the match began, Harvard showed no signs of the inconsistency that had plagued the squad a week earlier in Hanover, N.H. Taking advantage of Dartmouth’s errors and putting up some solid blocks, the Crimson streaked out to an 11-5 lead, forcing the Big Green to call a timeout. Seemingly revitalized by the break, Dartmouth’s offense took control of the game, pounding a series of kills to pull even and inch ahead, 19-18. The Big Green then took 11 of the next 17 points to close out the frame, 30-24, and take the 1-0 match lead. "Dartmouth dug our middle attackers a lot," said Harvard head coach Jennifer Weiss. "Defensively, they were right where they needed to be." Harvard came out aggressive again to start the second game, but Dartmouth was equally motivated. The two teams traded points, and neither squad led by more than three until the Big Green moved ahead, 14-10. Although the Crimson continued to battle, Dartmouth’s .341 hitting overwhelmed Harvard and allowed the Big Green to cruise to a 30-20 win. "The setters were very deceptive," Weiss said. "We have to really work on focusing on the setter, seeing where she goes with the ball." Feeding off its momentum, Dartmouth continued to batter the Crimson defense in the third frame, jumping out to a 12-6 lead. But Harvard, cognizant of the desperate nature of the situation, went on a 9-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 15-14. After the Big Green got a sideout on the ensuing Crimson serve, however, Dartmouth took advantage of several Harvard errors—including three net violations—to run away with the lead and clinch the match with a 30-23 victory. "Some of the mistakes that we made are mistakes that we can control," Weiss said. "We have to control the simple things, and that shows in the box score." —Staff writer Karan Lodha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.