Sophomore Teresa Skelly, pictured above in an earlier contest, is part of a talented young Harvard team that is composed of nine underclassmen. Skelly leads the Ivy League with 60 kills.
Rookie of the Year in 2008, All-Ivy League in 2010, with career-highs of 16 digs in a single game and 19 kills. Boasting such an impressive resume, Anne Carroll Ingersoll—or “A.C.”—was poised to be a threat in her senior year of Ivy League play.
But as is the paradox of sports from which derives both enjoyment and tragedy: nothing ever goes as planned.
With a season-ending injury, the former co-captain opted for a semester off for surgery and recovery, leaving a hole on the court that her team had to fill.
But rather than pull out of the race, the Crimson has reorganized, as evidenced by its early 5-2 record. Despite the heavy loss and a young team—with nine underclassmen and only two seniors—Harvard has begun its season on a roll.
After facing an early slate of tough opponents, Harvard players, both rookie and returning, have demonstrated perseverance—with two wins determined in the decisive fifth set—and talent in their initial outings.
The team’s record of 4-1 in the first five matches represents the best start since 2001 for Harvard women’s volleyball.
“We have had to evolve into a more balanced team” Harvard coach Jennifer Weiss said. “Last year we had one go-to player … This year we have [become] a team of go-to players”.
Weiss attributes the team’s success to a combination of young drive and experienced leadership, despite of the loss of Ingersoll.
“We have competitive underclassmen … and great leaders in the upperclassmen,” she added. “It’s a winning combination”.
As Weiss alludes, the underclassmen have delivered in a spectacular way for the Crimson.
“Everyone is playing so well,” co-captain Christine Wu added. “Everyone is contributing.”
In particular, the freshmen and sophomores, many of whom are seeing major court action for the first time in their careers, have cemented their presence in the game.
Sophomore middle blocker Theresa Skelly has been a consistent star in the middle for the Harvard.
“She has had a terrific early season and has put up some really big numbers for us,” Wu said.
“Theresa has had some high numbers,” Weiss echoed. “She’s a powerful force at the net.”