The men's volleyball squad took a cue from General William Tecumseh Sherman this weekend, traveling south on a path of lopsided victories.
The Crimson settled an old score with Princeton Friday night, defeating the Tigers for the first time in six years, 3-1, and then detoured to UPenn on Saturday, where it surprised the Quakers, 3-1.
"We established ourselves as leading contenders for the Ivy Championships," which will be held in April, coach Roger Martin said. Cornell, the other top-ranked Ivy power, has also defeated UPenn and Princeton, 3-2 in both matches.
The Crimson rolled into Philly somewhat tired from their thumping of the Tigers the night before. After taking a quick two games at Princeton, Harvard stumbled in the third frame, 15-6, and fell behind in the fourth game, 4-0.
After tying the game at nine, the Crimson grabbed six of the next seven points and headed for the showers.
At UPenn, the formula for the Crimson's success was the same: Take a 2-0 lead, surrender in the third game, and then call in the reserves.
The Quakers jumped out to a 5-0 advantage in the fourth game, and looked as though they had the "Big Mo"-mentum. But the Crimson caught up fast, and the match stayed close as the teams neared and passed 15.
Penn blew four game points, and Harvard failed to convert two before putting the match away. Then with the Crimson ahead, 20-19, it was time for an instant replay of the final seconds of last week's match against Albany State, which Harvard won, 3-2.
The Quakers returned the final Crimson serve weakly, giving Brad Martin a chance to set for a middle fake by Terry Trumbull and a perfect match-point spike by John Tanaka.
The improving back-row play of senior Kevin O'Sullivan, junior Dave Coatsworth and freshman Dave Twite made the double win--and Harvard's victorious march home--possible, Martin said.