Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Docter came up huge in the Crimson’s pair of comeback wins this weekend, leading the team in kills against both Columbia and Cornell. Docter’s .441 hitting percentage against the Lions propelled Harvard to perhaps its biggest victory of the year.
Sometimes, everything just seems to fall into place.
After dropping 11 of its first 14 matches, the Harvard women’s volleyball team turned it around this weekend, winning two big conference matches against visiting Columbia and Cornell at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson (5-11, 2-2 Ivy) won six sets over the weekend, equaling the number that the squad had won over the previous nine matches combined. In the process, Harvard compensated for its two league losses earlier in the season to Dartmouth, leveling its conference record at 2-2.
In the first weekend game, the Crimson roared back from a 2-0 deficit against the Lions, taking the next three sets to win the match.
The following night, the team again found itself in a hole early, this time against the Big Red. Once more, Harvard staged a comeback, winning three straight sets to take a weekend sweep.
“We’ve been having great practices,” junior libero Christine Wu said. “It just hasn’t been translating back on court. But [we’re] finally getting there, and I’m just so proud of our team. We had a fantastic weekend.”
HARVARD 3, CORNELL 1
Harvard faced Ancient Eight opponent Cornell (3-10, 1-3) on Saturday night, just one day after beating Columbia in a match that has the potential to be the turning point in the team’s previously lackluster season.
In the first set, the Big Red quickly took the advantage, easily winning 25-17.
Rejuvenated by Friday’s comeback, the Crimson was unfazed.
“We started off a little slow,” said sophomore outside hitter Taylor Docter, “but I think everyone knew after the way we played [Friday] that it was very possible for us to turn it around and come back. And we did.”
In the second set, things began to go Harvard’s way. Tied 23-23, junior co-captain Anne Carroll Ingersoll’s shot slid along the top of the net and finally fell on Cornell territory, giving the squad a match-point opportunity. The Crimson took advantage, winning the next point to even the contest at one set apiece.
Harvard squeaked out a 26-24 victory in the third set.
In the fourth and final set, the Crimson held off a late Big Red charge to win, 25-20.
“Today’s game was awesome,” Harvard coach Jennifer Weiss said. “We stuck to the game plan, [and] we were patient. We did a great job.”
As the front players banged out kills, Wu quietly had a big game, saving a number of points with her acrobatic defensive stops. Over the weekend, the junior had 31 digs, with 10 coming on Saturday. Her 1,109 career digs are seventh in team history.