Harvard Falls to Last-Place Cornell, Drills Top-Dog Lions

Angie Peng

Sophomore setter Natalie Doyle continued to perform well in place of injured junior Beth Kinsella this weekend, contributing a game-high in assists against both Cornell and Columbia. Her total of 68 helpers moved her into fourth place in the category in conference play for the fourth-place Crimson.

After being dropped by Cornell (3-15, 1-5 Ivy) Friday night, the Crimson women’s volleyball team (10-7, 3-4) regrouped to handily defeat Columbia (11-6, 5-2) Saturday evening in straight sets.

“After losing to Cornell, we talked about it a lot and ... everyone on our team thought overnight about what we had to do to change,” co-captain libero Christine Wu said. “I think we just really showed up [against Columbia], and we had everyone’s presence on the court ... Everyone did their job.”


After taking a beating the night before against Cornell, Harvard proved to be a different team Saturday, dropping the Lions in three games, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.

“Today everyone came ready to play and ready to fight as a team,” said co-captain middle blocker Sandra Lynne Fryhofer. “I think we had really good chemistry.”


The Crimson received contributions from all over the court against the Lions, which had entered the match in a tie for first place in the Ivy League.

Up front, freshman Kristen Casey logged 10 kills. Fryhofer added nine, and sophomore middle blocker Teresa Skelly and junior Taylor Docter claimed eight apiece.

“Our hitters did a really good job of finding open court and moving the ball around, and not just hitting to one side of the court,” Fryhofer said. “They saw the court really well.”

Strong serves also propelled the Crimson to victory, with Docter hitting five aces in the decision.

“We had some amazing serving [against Columbia],” Fryhofer said. “We were super aggressive serving on them, so they were kind of out of system, which was an advantage for us.”

The Crimson defense also had a solid performance on Saturday.

“We had some great blocking,” Fryhofer said. “Skelly and [sophomore] Erin Cooney ... were always up four hands every time.”

In all three sets, Harvard went back and forth with Columbia, winning by at most four points in a single set. But unlike in the previous night’s game, Harvard was able to sustain its winning momentum.

Columbia kept up with Harvard in the opening set, with the teams tying at 17-17, 19-19, and 21-21. But the Crimson pulled away when Doctor mustered up a powerful kill after a Harvard time-out­—adding to her 200 total kills, 90 of which have been in Ivy play—deciding the match for Harvard, 25-23.

In the second set, Columbia and Harvard again began neck and neck, tying at 9-9 and again at 17-17, but the Crimson would jump out on a 7-0 run to best the Lions, 24-17. Columbia got a chance to come back after a Harvard missed-serve brought the score to 24-18, but the Crimson’s lead proved too great, and Harvard toppled the Lions, 25-21.