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If the Harvard women's volleyball team could maintain the level of play it exhibits on occasion, it would have the Ivies in its back pocket.
Instead, the Crimson (9-9 overall, 2-3 Ivy) continued to play inconsistently in a four game loss to Cornell, 14-16, 15-10, 15-12, 15-7, at the Malkin Athletic Center last night.
Harvard was bolstered by the strong performance of outside hitter Wanita Lopeter, the most dependable player on the team. Lopeter racked up 14 kills in 27 attempts and 9 digs, without committing a service or receiving error.
Senior Co-Captain Peri Wallace showed moments of brilliance, with 18 kills. At times, she was all over the court, taking control of the game. At others, she was plagued by the inconsistency characteristic of the team.
Each player on the squad has shown the ability to produce great points. However, they have not been able to link them together for an entire match.
"At any point, three players are in the match," Harvard Coach Wayne Lem said. "The others are space cadets. We're never all in the match at the same time."
Harvard did improve on its serving from last Tuesday's match against Yale, decreasing its number of service errors from 13 to three. It replaced them, however, with 13 receiving errors.
The Crimson was not able to exploit the poor defensive coverage of Cornell, opting to bang away at the block rather than exposing the holes on the court with dinks and placement shots.
"We can't just go out there and play," Lem said. "We're no longer at the level where teams have poor skills. We must think first and then execute."
Lem does not see a particular deficiency in the fundamentals of the players that is keeping the Crimson from victory.
"They just have to pick themselves up off of the floor and play," Lem said. "We can't deal in should'ves, could'ves and would'ves. We have to get our act together or we'll be in for one hell of a slide."
"We won't win with two or three players in the game, or even four or five," he said. "We need all six--actually all 14--players to be at their peak efficiency if we want to win."
The Crimson will get a chance to improve on last night's effort as it hosts the Columbia Lions today at 1 p.m. at the MAC.
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