Junior defensive specialist Natalie Doyle recorded 12 digs for the Harvard women’s volleyball team in a pair of contests over the weekend at the Malkin Athletic Center. On Friday, Doyle notched five digs in the Crimson’s 3-0 victory over Brown. One night later, she chipped in with seven in a loss to Yale.
Harvard continued Ivy play on its home court this weekend, resulting in two completely opposite outcomes in the Crimson’s 3-0 win over Brown and then a 3-0 loss to Yale.
In the game against the Bears (4-10, 0-4 Ivy), the Crimson (5-11, 2-3) totaled its most blocks this season—15—en route to a three-set victory over Brown, 25-19, 25-12, 25-23.
The next night, Harvard was outplayed by the Bulldogs (9-5, 5-0), currently the top team in the Ancient Eight, by a score of 25-19, 25-18, 25-15.
YALE 3, HARVARD 0
The second set for Harvard seemed to be a chance for victory with a strong 9-1 lead, but Yale fought back and tied it at 13-13 before eventually winning the set, 25-18.
“They’re a team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” junior right side Erin Cooney said. “I think that we could have taken advantage of that strong lead more, and it was tough to see us lose that lead. When we play [Yale] next, we know that they do have weaknesses, and we should take advantage of those next time.”
In the first set of the game, the Bulldogs came out gunning with 13 kills, and it was the Crimson who steadily came back to tie it up 14-14. Harvard eventually fell, 25-19.
“Yale is definitely one of the...scrappier teams we’ve played,” said freshman outside hitter Kathleen Wallace. “They have really good ball control and a faster pace.”
Despite the loss, Harvard’s back end stayed strong with 49 digs, more than it had the night before against Brown.
“Kristen Casey has just totally come into her own as libero,” co-captain setter Beth Kinsella said. “She and [junior defensive specialist] Natalie Doyle have this relentless pursuit for every ball. It really elevates the overall team play. They’re back there throwing their bodies on the floor.”
Cooney had six kills in the first set and finished the game with nine, tying with Wallace for the team lead.
Yale setter Kelly Johnson totaled a game-high 13 kills and helped the Bulldogs to a team kill percentage of .512 in the last set, which Yale took by double-digits, 25-15.
Harvard will not face the Bulldogs again until the end of its season, but the Crimson already has its sights set on the rematch.
“I cannot wait to beat Yale,” Cooney said. “We will, and I know we can.”
HARVARD 3, BROWN 0