Three matches. Three losses.
It was a rough weekend for the Harvard women’s volleyball team at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. After falling to Middle Tennessee State, 3-2, on Friday, the Crimson was blanked in back-to-back matches on Saturday, falling to Towson and a talented Virginia Tech team, 3-0.
“I think it was a really good learning experience; we played harder teams than we’re going to face in the Ivy League,” said junior middle blocker Teresa Skelly. “I think everyone grew a lot.”
The Crimson will return to Cambridge with a 0-3 record, matching the squad’s worst start since 2002.
“I would say that we need to work on speeding up our game,” said junior right side Erin Cooney. “The teams that we saw were a lot quicker than the teams in the Ivy League. We need to learn to defend against it, and we need to speed up our own offense.”
Cooney, who played a crucial role for the Crimson at the net as a sophomore, dislocated her finger in Harvard’s opener and was forced to sit out both of Saturday’s contests. The junior is awaiting X-rays but hopes to be back in action for the Crimson’s next contest on Friday against Manhattan at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Captain and outside hitter Taylor Docter played well for Harvard throughout the tournament, recording a team-high 31 kills and 24 digs, good for second on the squad.
“Taylor really stepped up,” said Skelly of Docter, who was named to the all-tournament team. “I thought [the recognition] was well deserved.”
TOWSON 3, HARVARD 0
In the final game of the tournament, the Crimson stayed close with Towson but was unable to take a set, falling, 25-18, 26-24, 25-16.
Three Tiger players posted double-digit kills, and Towson (6-2) finished with 50 kills to Harvard’s 31. Docter was the only Crimson player to finish in double figures, recording 11 kills. Skelly added seven kills, and rookie setter Hannah Schmidt handed out 24 assists.
VIRGINIA TECH 3, HARVARD 0
In Saturday’s opener, the Crimson fell to Virginia Tech, 25-12, 25-12, 25-15. The Hokies (4-2) were led by the combination of Samantha Gostling and Victoria Hamsher, who combined for 19 kills and attack percentages of .500 and .467, respectively. Virginia Tech setter Jordan Fish handed out a game-high 36 assists.
Docter led Harvard with six kills while sophomore outside hitter Kristin Casey contributed 11 digs.
MIDDLE TENNESSE STATE 3, HARVARD 2
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