In a hard-fought match filled with blazing spikes and diving diggers, the women's volleyball team outlasted Holy Cross three games to one last night at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Supported by raucous fans from the men's volleyball team, the Crimson fought its way to a 15-4, 12-15, 15-11, 15-12 victory to improve its season record to 4-6 and equal last year's win total.
Harvard defeated Holy Cross for the second time this season in three matches, even though two of its starters, junior Judy Iriye and freshmen Lisa Grant, were unable to play yesterday due to illness.
Nevertheless, the Crimson was determined to notch a victory.
"We were ready to win. We had desire," Head Coach Jennifer Bates said.
"Everyone pulled together today," co-captain Jennifer Garcia said. "It was a good moral victory. In the past, we weren't able to put away teams at the end of the games. But today, when we got to 14, we finished them off."
Team members said they played with more intensity than they had over the weekend, when Harvard won three games and lost two--including its defeat of Holy Cross.
"We really wanted to win today," sophomore Jennifer Jose said. "We had more desire [than earlier in the season]."
Jose put on a particularly astounding performance yesterday, making 14 kills and tallying 23 digs. Freshman Heather Rypkema also registered 14 kills.
Jose and sophomore Alexandra Green erected a virtually impassable wall along the net, with a mind-boggling total of 11 blocks between them.
"You just never see that [in a match]," Assistant Coach Manu Meyers said.
Rypkema also dazzled the Crusaders with a team-high 7 aces. The good teamwork can be partially attributed to The Crimson's strong practices, Bates said.
"We knew what their offense would do. We actually stopped them in certain situations," Bates said.
"We worked a lot on net play in practice [on Monday]. We knew their setup, so we worked on a lot of quick stuff and defense. It helped us a lot in the game," Jose said.