The news wasn’t all bad this weekend for Harvard (11-11, 4-8 Ivy), who suffered two losses at the hands of Columbia (15-7, 9-3 Ivy), 25-19, 25-22, 25-20, and Cornell (6-18, 3-9 Ivy), 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 15-13.
Co-captain libero Christine Wu moved into second place for the all-time record in digs in the Ivy League. She crossed the threshold with 28 digs on Friday night. Combined with another team-leading defensive performance on Saturday with 21 digs, Wu now holds the mark with 1,801 digs.
Wu has shown improvement and consistency over her career, registering a digs-per-set average of 4.11 in her freshman year, 5.11 as a sophomore, 4.48 the next year, and 5.55 thus far this campaign.
“I feel so grateful to get to be her teammate,” junior setter Beth Kinsella said. “We are so proud of her for getting in the record books, but it’s hardly a surprise, given her ridiculous defensive skills. Wu is an inspiring leader and the most humble person you will ever meet.”
Of her accomplishment, Wu said, “Coming into my career, I wanted to leave a mark and help my team. [The achievement of being second all-time in the Ivy League] reflects a passion and commitment for the game.”
Wu, who plans on going to Europe to play for another season after graduation this year, is not quite ready to say goodbye to competitive sports.
“I love the game so much, I just can’t give it up.”
CORNELL 3, HARVARD 2
The tone was set from the get-go on Saturday with a combination of punches and counterattacks from each team.
The Crimson started off strong with a pair of kills from freshman middle blocker Caroline Walters and freshman outside hitter Kristen Casey.
The first set, which saw five ties and two lead changes, was secured by a string of three straight Harvard points to go up 22-18, thanks to a couple big Kinsella serves.
The next two sets belonged to an aggressive Big Red team, who had a hitting percentage of .279 for the match.
Facing elimination, the Crimson fought back valiantly as a team, with six players recording kills, including four from sophomore outside hitter Kelsey Beck to win the fourth set. In the fifth set, though Harvard closed a 7-2 gap to take a 10-9 lead, it was unable to hold on and lost, 15-13.
“Two points were the difference between us winning and losing, which was frustrating, because we really picked up our game near the end of the match,” Kinsella said.
The highly-contested battle occurred on a night when Cornell paid homage to its four seniors.