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With four freshmen starters, the fountain of youth seemed to plague the Harvard men's volleyball team this weekend.
The Crimson split a pair of matches this weekend at the Malkin Athletic Center. Harvard (1-3 overall) pulverized Vassar's club team, 2-0, and then fell to Tufts' club team by the same margin.
"In the Vassar match we made less mistakes, that was the difference," freshman Albert Kim said. "Until we can get it together we're not going to be a consistent winning team."
Even in the Vassar victory, the Crimson was erratic. With junior Captain Alec Berg injured and only available for sporadic backline work, Harvard lacked a floor general.
In the opening match Harvard woke up in time to defeat Vassar. The first game was highlighted by the strong play of Kim. The outside hitter served for five straight points, giving the Crimson a lead which it never would relinquish on the way to a 15-9 win.
The final game of the Vassar match was not dominated by the Crimson. The team showed its inconsistency against a less talented team.
With some misconnections and some poor passing, Harvard found itself trailing. They were able to come back and tie the score at 13, and then sweep the last two points for the victory.
After Tufts defeated Vassar, 2-1, the Crimson took the court to face the Jumbos. Harvard opened the first game by jumping out to a 5-1 lead. But then the net came tumbling down. The Jumbos streaked to tie the game at nine, and then cruised to a 15-9 decision.
Behind the serving of freshman setter Pat Harlan, the Crimson edged to a 3-0 lead in the second game. The game was deadlocked at four and again at nine. Tufts rolled to a 15-10 victory, sweeping the three game set.
"We didn't have our second best player so we had to make some adjustments," Tufts player-coach Patrick Maloney said. "We play [Harvard] later on and I think we'll handle them more easily then."
"They stomped us," Berg said. "We have a young team. It's not the [freshmen's] fault. It's tough to get a groove together with people who haven't played together."
THE NOTEBOOK:The Crimson faces league rival Dartmouth Saturday at the MAC.
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