Women's Volleyball Struggles Against Top Competitors

Docter's Orders
Noor M.R. Beckwith

Sophomore Taylor Docter had another standout performance for the Crimson women’s volleyball team, but the outside hitter could not carry her team to victory against a number of quality opponents at the Northwestern Invitational this weekend, as Harvard was swept three times.

The Crimson will be looking forward to the start of its Ivy League season next week after dropping all three of its weekend contests at the Northwestern Invitational.

The Harvard women’s volleyball team (2-9) faced its biggest competition of the season thus far, losing to Marquette (7-5), Northwestern (10-1), and Charlotte (9-5) all in straight sets.

“Our preseason tournaments, there’s no pressure to win or anything like that. They’re just preparing us for our Ivy League games,” co-captain Miyo Pettit said. “The teams we played this weekend [were] the best competition we’ve seen so far.”

It’s no surprise that the Crimson faced a challenge against its power conference foes this weekend. Northwestern, a member of the Big 10, received votes for this week’s NCAA top 25 rankings, while Marquette from the Big East boasts a Rating Percentage Index inside the top 100 nationally.

Despite a current losing streak of six games, Harvard is hopeful for the weeks ahead. “I think this weekend we had a lot better energy than we’ve had in the past,” said sophomore Taylor Docter, a key contributor this weekend. “I think everyone’s just really looking forward to next weekend. Hopefully we’ll enter strong against Dartmouth.”



Harvard fell, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16, in its final game Saturday to Charlotte.

“Getting a winning mentality was something we needed to take away from this weekend,” Pettit said at the conclusion of the three tournament matches.

Junior co-captain Anne Carroll Ingersoll had a team-high five kills, and received help from junior Christine Wu, who led the Crimson with eight digs and two aces.

After a weekend of play over 1,000 miles away from home, Harvard had started to feel the effects of its eight-game roadstand.

“This year we have been traveling a lot more than last year,” Docter said. “It’s tiring and draining being on the road.”

While the team will have to wait until October to host its first opponent since Sept. 4, a matchup at Dartmouth will serve as a much more familiar, closer, and friendlier environment.


Harvard started its Saturday against the tournament’s host, losing to Northwestern, 25-19, 25-13, 25-20.

Senior Mikaelle Comrie paced Harvard with eight kills, and Docter tallied up five kills and eight digs. Northwestern totaled 40 kills, while Harvard managed only 27.


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