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Hoping to make sure that Harvard didn't embarrass Northeastern twice in less than one week, the Huskies football players turned out en masse last night in Boston to hex the Crimson.
They saw their women's volleyball team come back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Harvard in five sets, 12-15, 15-13, 6-15, 15-9, 15-11.
Although the Crimson dropped to 5-4 overall (1-1 Ivy), the players and Coach Wayne Lem were pleased with the squad's effort.
"It was one of our best matches so far," Lem said. "We played our tails off and probably would have taken it in four if not for the injury to Carolyn Burger."
Burger, the squad's setter and co-captain, suffered a severely sprained wrist in the fourth set and had to leave the match. Freshman Jennifer Garcia filled in for Burger in the final set and played well, but it wasn't enough, as the Huskies took the final set.
During some rough practices the past few weeks, Lem had been telling his players that they needed to turn the talent they had on paper into a team on the court. Even in defeat, they seemed to approach this goal last night.
"Our D was unbelievable," defensive specialist Mari Rodriguez said. "We were all over the floor diving after balls."
The Crimson got off to a quick start, winning the first set and taking a 13-8 lead in the second. Harvard suffered a letdown, losing seven straight points to allow the Huskies to tie the match, but it rebounded to capture the third.
Then the rowdy Huskies gridders began to work their magic. Harvard lost both of the final sets, tiring both mentally and physically.
In preparation for this weekend's Sideout Huskie Tournament at the Gampel Pavillion in Storrs, Conn., Lem hopes to solve the latter of these problems. He plans to work on team endurance in order to keep its intensity consistent throughout the matches.
"It was a letdown to lose such a close one," Rodriguez said. "But Northeastern is a good team. They were just stronger down the stretch."
The Crimson begins the round robin tournament Friday against Farleigh Dickinson, followed by a match against Hartford. On Saturday, the Crimson faces Connecticut and Fairfield. The tournament championship will be decided by match records.
Hopefully for the Crimson, a Huskies football team won't be there.
NOTEBOOK: Burger's status for this weekend's games is questionable.
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