Harvard Drops Fourth to Eagles

Despite a promising start and continued efforts throughout the contest, the women’s volleyball team fell to Boston College last night 3-1 in Chestnut Hill.

In a game characterized by constant back-and-forth action, the Crimson (1-4) edged out the Eagles (5-5) in the first set before dropping the ensuing three.

Despite the loss, the squad was able to take away some positives from the game.

“You have to look at the points in a game,” senior Katherine McKinley said. “A win or a loss can come down to one net call or one missed hit. [Losing close sets] is definitely happening to us this season but it’s good that it’s happening now. It reminds us that we’re as good as we are.”

All four sets were decided by two points, beginning with Harvard’s initial 25-23 victory.

After exchanging the lead several times early in the first set, BC remained on top for most of the match until several key blocks and Eagle errors allowed the Crimson to capture the win.

“They committed a couple unforced errors and we used that momentum and kept moving forward with it,” McKinley said. “In later games we let them back in a little bit.”

Following its strong start, Harvard kept up its attack but lost both the second and third sets 25-23. Throughout these sets, neither team held a lead greater than four points.

Statistically, the women’s squad outmatched the Eagles in several categories.

The Crimson out-blocked BC 16-14. Freshman middle blocker Annie Ingersoll fronted the squad’s defensive efforts by denying the Eagles seven times.

Harvard also one-upped the Eagles in attack percentage, 0.206 to .199.

“I don’t think there was one [deciding factor],” junior co-captain Katherine Kocurek said. “So many different things that happened at different points.”

Kocurek played in all four games, contributing a set and 11 digs.

The fourth set provided the Crimson with perhaps its best chance to claim a second match.

Harvard controlled the score throughout most of the final match, leading BC by as much as four. Late in the set, an Ingersoll block capped off a small Crimson rally, bringing the score to 19-15.

The Eagles responded with a kill on the next play. McKinley then committed two consecutive attack errors, allowing BC to pull to within one point of tying the set, 19-18.

“We’re not used to being up by four points,” Kocurek said. “We’re going to learn how to capitalize on the lead.”

Although McKinley redeemed herself on the next play by nailing one of her 12 kills, a successful attack by BC’s Jordan Meredith followed by an Eagle ace tied the score at 20-20. Meredith dominated on offense, racking up 25 kills and hitting for .327.

From there, Harvard and BC jostled for the lead, tying five times and eventually dragging the score to 27-27.

Taking advantage of an Eagle kill on the ensuing play, BC’s Brennan Clark then aced her serve and finished the game.

“We were up neck-and-neck with them and fought as a team together,” McKinley said. “I’m really proud of our effort tonight. I saw good signals of where we want to be.”

—Staff writer Emmett Kistler can be reached at