Erin Cooney #1
Harvard Loss 0-3. BYLINE: EMILY C. WONG
W Volleyball v. NKU 9-8-12
Even though the Harvard women’s volleyball team is on a four game losing streak, it has a chance to turn things around as it travels to New Hampshire (6-8) on Tuesday night.
The Crimson (2-7) is coming off a rough weekend at the New England Challenge tournament, losing all three matches without winning a set.
The Wildcats will be the last team before Harvard faces Dartmouth in its Ivy League opener on Friday night.
“We had a tough weekend this weekend playing some good teams from the Boston area,” said sophomore outside hitter Kristen Casey, who ranks first on the team with 99 digs. “But hopefully we can just have a broad time horizon and realize that all these tough matches are going to help us later on when we’re playing in our own league.”
Despite the disappointing start, the Crimson stays positive in light of its situation.
“[Losing has] been tough, but it’s bringing us closer together and helping us to come to rely on each other,” freshman outside hitter Kathleen Wallace said. “We’ve created new ideas to think about what we need to do next, so I think it’s also a bonding opportunity for our team.”
Since the weekend, Harvard has been focusing on improving what broke down in the tournament, including how to build momentum after being down in a game.
The Crimson has also worked on running conditioning plays in an effort to outpace its opponents.
But Harvard hopes to fix its problems starting from the first whistle.
“We need to focus on having strong starts and coming out with a lot of energy and motivation so that we can get an early jump on our opponents and help us build momentum throughout the game,” Wallace said.
New Hampshire also returned from the road this past weekend with more losses than wins. The Wildcats sole victory of the weekend was a tight, 3-2, match, against Princeton.
The Crimson has beaten the Wildcats in each of the last four seasons. Last year Harvard outlasted the Wildcats in a close match, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 17-25, 15-12.
“It was a really tough five-game match, so hopefully we can win again this year,” Casey said. “I know they have some big outside hitters.”
One of the dominant players for New Hampshire is junior co-captain right side Morgan Thatcher, who has a team-high 183 kills, 3.27 per set.
Not far behind Thatcher is freshman outside hitter Tori Forrest and junior right side Destiny Tolliver, who are second (130) and third (129) in kills for the Wildcats’ squad, respectively.