After dropping its first three games of the season, the Harvard women’s volleyball team looks to turn things around this weekend as it hosts the Harvard Invitational.
The Crimson will play its home opener at the Malkin Athletic Center against Manhattan (1-5) tonight, face off against Providence (1-9) on Saturday, and close the tournament against Northern Kentucky (7-0) later in the day.
Although the Harvard went 0-3 last weekend, captain outside hitter Taylor Docter—who recorded 31 kills and 24 digs to make the Hokie Invitational All-Tournament team—said she thought last weekend’s game experience was crucial to Harvard’s team development.
“It gave us a lot to work off this week in practice,” Docter said. “I think that coming into this weekend we’re a little more confident.”
With all of its freshmen getting playing time last weekend, Harvard hopes to build team chemistry as it incorporates its newcomers
“[The] four freshmen have been on and off the court,” Docter said. “It’ll be good to have three games this weekend [and] three games the following weekend before we get into Ivy League play [on Sept. 21], just to be able to get more comfortable with each other.”
Rookie outside hitter Kathleen Wallace had a strong opening weekend for Harvard, managing 25 kills and 5 digs.
Harvard’s first two games will come against teams that have struggled as of late. The Jaspers have lost their last three games and the Friars have dropped their last five. The Norse, on the other hand, have won their remain undefeated after seven games.
Though Docter doesn’t anticipate these teams will be as difficult as last weekend’s Hokie Invitational opponents, the matches will likely still be challenging for Harvard.
“The teams we played last weekend are really tall, big girls, and they ran a really fast offense,” she said. “I’m not sure that the teams this weekend will be the same. They’ll probably be a little bit scrappier.”