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W. Volleyball Crushes Army, Bucknell at Weekend Invite

* Crimson drops only one game in its non-league competition

By Amy E. Ooten, CONTRIBUTNG WRITER

Hoping to recover the magic that seemed to have been misplaced last weekend, the Harvard women's volleyball team (5-5, 0-0 Ivy) took on Army and Bucknell this past Saturday.

The Crimson did exactly that it destroyed Army 3-0 and then defeated Bucknell 3-1.

Embodying the true concept of team effort-all 15 players got playing time-the Crimson coasted to its victory against Army in three straight games. The team used many different combinations of players.

"Our entire team played out of their minds," said co-captain Lolita Lopez.

Feeling the surge of momentum created by winning three straight games, the Crimson moved on to its second opponent: Bucknell.

Harvard dominated the first game.

"We came out really strong and served well," said co-captain Elissa Hart.

However, the tide suddenly turned on the Crimson, finding itself tied 1-1 in games and facing a 13-5 deficit in the third game. Consumed with determination and persistence, the team came back and won the crucial third game 16-14.

"That was the turning point for us," Hart said.

With this resurgence, the Crimson sailed through the fourth game to capture the victory by a margin of three games to one.

"It is a great feeling to drive eight hours and come back with two wins," Lopez said. "Last weekend losing to UConn was a little devastating, but it turned on this weekend."

Recently, the team has suffered many fluctuations in its game. Last weekend at the University of Connecticut, the Crimson did not win a game in its first two matches against Idaho and UConn; then it bounced back with a win against Boston College.

But this time Harvard produced two solid, unequivocal victories.

With this newfound confidence, the team turns its focus to its upcoming Ivy League matches. Although losing to Brown earlier this month at the Brown Invitational, that contest does not count towards Harvard's Ivy League record because it took place in a tournament.

"We were not playing at the level we are now," said junior Melissa Forcum, referring to the loss against Brown.

The Crimson begins its official Ivy League schedule this Saturday at the Malkin Athletic Center.

"Of course we have a long term goal, but right now we are concentrating on taking every match-every game-one by one," Lopez said. "We are definitely on a high right now."

By focusing on the basics and running plays, the team will attempt to maintain its intensity and confidence throughout practice this week.

"We have been wanting to gel as a team, and we finally accomplished that," Forcum said.

Feeling the mental boost resulting from these two victories, the Crimson believes that it found the magic-and spirit-needed to conquer its Ivy League foes this weekend.

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