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Minutes after his team hosted Holy Cross, Harvard women's volleyball Coach Wayne Lem sat dejectedly in his office chair.

"It was the worst game I have ever seen the girls play," Lem said.

Playing in its first home match of the season, the Crimson dropped a four-set match to the Crusaders at the Malkin Athletic Center, 15-11, 15-12, 8-15, 15-12.

"We blew ourselves out," Lem said. "If we continue to play like we did today, we might as well stay home."

Harvard (1-2), which gave up a 4-1 lead in the second set and a 3-2 lead in the fourth, just couldn't get it together as the Crusaders took advantage of almost every opportunity to spike the Crimson.

The brilliant play of Harvard Co-Captains Manda Schossberger and Carolyn Burger was neutralized by the efforts of Holy Cross juniors Shannon McMann, Jennifer Woozniak and Maura Sullivan. The Crusaders used their superior size and strength, making it difficult for the Crimson to convert on its attack strategies.

Relatively Speaking

Lem noted that Schossberger converted only 11 of 28 attack attempts--a poor percentage, according to him.

"What it is," Lem said, "is that the girls are having problems locating the ball. Our hitters were constantly having to adjust because of where the setters were putting the ball."

The loss of four-year starter Maia Forman from the setter position could be a big one for the Crimson this season. Against Holy Cross, the Crimson had problems adjusting to some of the new setters.

In the fourth set, the Crimson won some of the more exciting points with everything from diving digs to leaping kills.

"There was some great volleyball out there," Holy Cross Coach John Cody said.

Despite Cody's comments, the loss for the Crimson comes at a crucial time. Next weekend, Harvard visits Cornell and Columbia in what should be the toughest road series of the year.

But before the long weekend, Harvard will try to improve its record tomorrow at the MAC against Williams College.

"We have the skills on this team to be much better than we are playing right now. We are just psyching ourselves out by not concentrating on what is going on," Lem said.

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