Measuring a Team's Success

The Eclectic Notebook

It all depends on how you look at the season.

If you look at the overall season and tournament together, then the Harvard women's volleyball team had a good season. If you just look at the Ivy League tournament, then the Crimson had a disappointing season.

"I was happy with the Ivy record before the Ivy tourney," Co-Captain Manda Schossberger said. "Looking back on it, we had a pretty successful season. There was a lot of potential. It was just a matter of winning matches."

The spikers finished the season with a 9-11 record and a sixth-place finish in the Ivy tournament. The Ivy champion is decided by a double-elimination round-robin tournament, not regular season records, and the final standings are decided by the teams' records in the tournament.

With a tougher schedule, Harvard finished the regular season with an 8-9 record (4-3 Ivy) and in third place. The spikers had big wins over Holy Cross, Cornell, Yale and UConn.


"Overall I would call it a successful season," sophomore Carolyn Burger said. "We definitely had some obstacles [injuries] in front of us. But we showed a lot of character and over came those obstacles and played well."

Last year, the Crimson placed sixth in the regular season with a 15-9 record, but third in the tournament with a 3-2 record. Harvard's 18 wins last year were the most ever for a Crimson squad.

In this year's tournament, the Crimson lost to Cornell, but rallied to capture a five-set win over Columbia. In a rematch of last year's semifinals, Princeton eliminated the spikers.

"We didn't do well at the tournament," Schossberger said. "But it wasn't for a lack of talent. It was the inexperience factor. We put it together for a couple of big matches. I wish we could have done it for all of the matches."

Suprisingly, only one Harvard player was named All-Ivy--Schossberger snagged second-team honors)--while Maia Forman received honorable mention. Left off the list was Burger--a legitimate candidate for All-Ivy honors.

Schossberger is just the third Harvard women's volleyball player to be named to the All-Ivy team since the team was created in 1978.

The team will lose 13 players this year. Schossberger and Burger are the co-captains for next year. Lee Polikoff, Perry Wallace, Beverley Armstrong, Jennifer O'Shea and Yvonne Karanas will also be called on to help lead the Crimson.

Harvard had six freshmen on the team this year. Dani Cunningham, Mari Rodriguez and Christina Smith all played big roles for the Crimson and each improved over the year. Holly Holtman, Lauren Frey and Elizabeth Miller did not play much.

Don't Bet

Boston University football coach Chris Palmer is walking around a little lighter this week. The coach had to shave his head after a bet with his football players.

Palmer said he would either shave his head or do six-times-around-the-field sprints if his squad defeated the University of Connecticut last Saturday. B.U. won, 20-15.

The players decided to give the coach a Telly Savalas hairdo. Palmer made a similar bet with his Colgate players seven years ago. He said he would shave his head if his team shut out Lafayette. Colgate shut out Lafayette. It grew back last time.

Quote of the Week: "I don't know how these gamblers do it. Even I don't know how my team will play from week to week."--Yale football Coach Carm Cozza on professional gamblers who bet on college football games.