W. Volleyball Goes 1-2 Without Star Ogbechie

Evan K. Wilson

The Crimson dropped the first two games of its season in this weekend’s New England Invitational, but recovered to beat Colgate 3-0.

As the Harvard women’s volleyball team lost two of three matches in this weekend’s New England Invitational, all last year’s Ivy League player of the Year Kaego Ogbechie could do was watch from the sidelines.

“It’s extremely difficult not to be able to jump in,” said Ogbechie. “It’s so different seeing everything from the outside, like seeing a ball about to drop and knowing that you can’t do anything about it but yell.”

Ogbechie was sidelined with patella tendinosis—an injury that stemmed from a fall she took in competition last spring.

“I spent the summer working on [the knee] and rehabing it,” Ogbechie said. “During the preseason we were going double-days and it got a little bit swollen, irritated and tender. I’m probably out for...I don’t know yet.”

In Ogbechie’s absence, the Crimson (1-2) dropped five-game matches to Towson and Furman, but dominated Colgate, as freshman middle hitter Katie Turley-Molony stepped in for Ogbechie and showcased her abilities. Turley-Molony finished third on the team in hitting percentage, connecting on 24 percent of her kill attempts.

“She did awesome,” coach Jennifer Weiss said. “It’s hard to step in as a freshman, but she did exactly what we asked of her in terms of what we were trying to run with regard to our offenses and defenses.”

W. Volleyball 3, Colgate 0

Despite playing 10 games in 24 hours compared to the Colgate’s six games, the Crimson showed no signs of fatigue and never gave Colgate a chance, coasting to a 3-0 (30-25, 30-17, 30-19) win for its first victory of the season at the Malkin Athletic Center on Saturday night.

After winning the first game of its two earlier matches in the tournament, Harvard had been struggling to keep up in the second games. Saturday night’s performance, however, proved that the Crimson could follow through.

“Once we got a feel for them, we kept going. We didn’t have as many ups and downs,” Turley-Molony said. “We knew we could play even better in the second game.”

Turley-Molony had 10 kills, recording double-digits for the first time in her collegiate career.

“We focused on getting into position, executing our play, and staying in our system,” Harvard coach Jennifer Weiss said. “It’s really important to play up a level against a team you know you can dominate.”

The explosive second game was definitely a demonstration of domination. The Crimson opened a 16-6 lead behind a 10 point serving run by senior outside hitter Nathalie Miller.

The Harvard defense then did not allow the Raiders a kill for 31 points. In fact, Colgate had a measly hitting percentage of .119 compared to Harvard’s .360.

Miller had another service run later in the game with three aces in a row.

“Her floater was working really well tonight,” Weiss said.