The Harvard men's volleyball team rode like the headless horseman into Newark, N.J. for the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Invitational on Saturday.
The Crimson found out only three days earlier that its setter, Julio Toro, would be taking a semester off. The result was predictable--the Crimson lost matches to NJIT, Cornell, and UMass-Amherst and failed to advance past the first round of the competition.
"We were not prepared for any kind of team," said Coach Ihsan Gurdal. "I knew we'd have to pick up the pieces along the way."
First-year team member Yong Jim Im was thrust into a starting role as the setter--sometimes called the quarterback of a volleyball team--in the place of Toro. With only three days to practice with Im as the setter, the team was disoriented.
"We were trying to make do with what we had," said freshman starter Alec Berg.