Harvard Drills Holy Cross

It was a match of near perfection for Harvard (6-2), which took on Holy Cross for the second time in as many weeks Friday night. The Crimson swept the Crusaders (4-8), 3-0, at the Malkin Athletic Center in a match that was the first for Harvard in its home tournament. It will face two more tough opponents on Saturday: Navy (3-9) and Northeastern (8-2).

Last weekend, Harvard blanked Holy Cross, 3-0, and this matchup turned out to be no different.

“We’ve played Holy Cross already, so we knew their tendencies,” co-captain Christine Wu said. “We did an even better job of playing Harvard volleyball and playing in our system.”

The Crimson came out to win from the first serve in the opening set, taking the initial point off of a kill from junior Taylor Docter and never looking back. Harvard went on to win the first set, 25-12, led by a strong team hitting percentage of .542 and 14 kills.

The Crusaders came out ready to compete in the second set, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. The two teams were neck and neck in the frame, until sophomore Erin Cooney had a terrific kill that put the Crimson up, 21-17. Holy Cross was still not ready to bow out, battling back to even the score at 21, before Harvard went on a final 4-1 run to seal the set, with sophomore Natalie Doyle serving out the game.

The third set was all about the Crimson. Although the teams battled to an 8-8 score, Harvard was ready to put the Crusaders away in three. The Crimson’s offense mounted an attack that proved insurmountable, with freshman Kristin Casey, sophomores Teresa Skelly and Cooney, and Docter combining to land kill after kill, defeating the Crusaders at last, 25-17.

Junior Beth Kinsella bolstered her hitters with 40 assists, helping Casey and Cooney to claim 11 kills each. Docter also came up big with a team-high 13 digs and seven kills.

The win sets Harvard up nicely for the stiff competition that Saturday will bring.

“With a 3-0-sweep under our belt, we have high spirits and great momentum riding into [Saturday’s] matches,” Wu said.