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BOSTON—The Harvard women’s volleyball team fell a few bounces short as it dropped its match to Northeastern 3-2 (30-18, 26-30, 30-20, 24-30, 15-7) at Solomon Court last night.
The Huskies (9-7) received some good fortune early in the fifth and deciding game as some questionable calls went their way and a bizarre heave that barely carried over the net fell between Crimson co-captain Kim Gould and sophomore middle hitter Katie Turley-Molony.
“In the first few points things were kind of messy and sloppy,” Gould said. “That made it a lot more difficult to come back in a short game.”
“They had a couple of shots that went their way,” Harvard coach Jennifer Weiss added. “But you’ve got to refocus on each point.”
Northeastern went on to record 10 kills in the frame with just one attack error as it cruised past Harvard 15-7 and took the match.
Huskies outside hitter Whitney Turner keyed the outburst, posting five of her match-high 26 kills in the deciding game.
Harvard (5-4) had its season-high three-game winning streak snapped in the loss.
It also marked the second consecutive year in which the Crimson has lost to Northeastern in five games.
“It’s always great to [come in off a win],” Gould said. “It gives you confidence. But it’s always a reminder to have a game like this, because it makes you want to work that much harder for the next one.”
The Crimson had a difficult time posting kills against the Huskies, primarily due to Northeastern’s staunch defense, led by libero Ashley Adamczyk, who sacrificed her body to dig a match-high 36 balls.
“I don’t think our overall game was there,” Weiss said. “But give credit to Northeastern, because they dug a lot of balls.”
Harvard received some major contributions from its youth as freshman middle hitter Suzie Trimble led the Crimson in kills with 14—with a team-best hitting percentage of .500—and freshman outside hitter Laura Mahon paced the team with 21 digs.
Co-captain Kaego Ogbechie anchored the defensive front, recording three solo blocks—a team best.
Harvard jumped out to an early 8-5 lead in the fourth game on the strength of two Northeastern unforced errors and a block.
But the Huskies bounced right back, taking 10 of the next 13 points for a 15-11 advantage. After Northeastern pushed its lead to five, the Crimson ran off 15 of the next 20 as the Huskies committed five errors in that span.
Harvard held on for a 30-24 win.
“We know what we have the potential to do, and we just have to be consistent with it,” Weiss said.
“That was awesome to come back and win like it, but we have to start that way,” she added.
Neither side could grab an edge early in game three, until the Huskies ran off separate four and five point runs to take a commanding 23-16 lead.
Northeastern added five kills and a block to close out the third frame 30-20.
The Huskies jumped out to an 8-4 lead in game one, as the two sides engaged in several long rallies.
Three straight Northeastern unforced errors allowed Harvard to pull even at 10, but the rally was short-lived.
Leading 18-16, the Huskies put together a 12-2 run to close out the first game as the Crimson mustered just one kill over those final 14 points.
“It took us a little bit longer to get into the game mentally…and in the beginning it’s sometimes hard to get [our passing] warmed up,” Gould said.
Harvard responded in the second frame, taking the lead out of game and holding on to it for the two-thirds of the match.
Northeastern clawed back to tie the game at 19, but two Ogbechie kills and aces by Mahon and Cebron gave the Crimson the breathing room it needed for the 30-26 win.
The Crimson will return home this weekend to face Dartmouth and Marist, Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m., respectively.
—Staff writer Michael R. James can be reached at email@example.com.
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