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Harvard Weekend Sports Preview, Sept. 8-Sept. 10

Harvard women's volleyball huddles by the bench during its match against the Columbia Tigers on October 4, 2022.
Harvard women's volleyball huddles by the bench during its match against the Columbia Tigers on October 4, 2022. By Claire Yuan
By Aaron B. Shuchman, Crimson Staff Writer

Women’s Volleyball

After a 3-0 start to the season, the team’s best start in 22 years, Harvard women’s volleyball will head to Ohio this weekend, taking on the University of Akron on Friday morning before heading to Cleveland, where the Crimson is scheduled to face Cleveland State University and Bucknell University at the CSU Invitational. Harvard’s hot start has propelled the team more than halfway to last season’s win total, and it is on a positive trajectory heading into the start of Ivy League play on Sept. 22. On offense, the Crimson is led by senior outside hitter Katie Vorhies, who leads the team with 34 kills, and senior setter Ashley Wang, who tops the charts with 58 assists and 15 service aces. On the defensive end, junior libero Lindsey Zhang has recorded a team-leading 44 digs, while senior middle blocker Ariana White has notched 15 blocks.

Men's Water Polo

After a strong 3-1 opening weekend in Blodgett Pool at the Bruno Classic, Harvard men’s water polo is heading to Princeton, N.J. this weekend for the Princeton Invitational, where it will face George Washington, Bucknell, and Fordham. Despite losing to No. 10/11 Pepperdine, the Crimson scored convincing wins over Wagner, Bucknell, and McKendree. Sophomore James Rozolis-Hill got off to a strong start in his second season, following up on his 123 goals as a first-year with another 17 goals over the first four games. In net, first-year Oliver Price and sophomore Tanner Furtak have both seen playing time, and Harvard has also gotten strong contributions from its first-years on offense, with Jack Burghardt, Vilas Sogaard-Srikrishnan, and Jacob Tsostadze each contributing to Harvard’s 61 goals over the course of the weekend.

Women’s Rugby

Harvard women’s rugby will play its second game of the season this Friday, facing American International College at Mignone Field for its home opener. After thrashing Quinnipiac 55-14 in its season opener on Sept. 2, Harvard is looking to start 2-0 for the third year in a row. The Crimson made it all the way to the 2022 Division I national championship game, where it lost a close match to the Dartmouth Big Green. However, Harvard will have an opportunity for redemption this season, as it is scheduled to face Dartmouth on Oct. 21.

Men’s Soccer

Harvard men’s soccer will look to capture its first victory, and goal, of the season on Saturday at Jordan Field against No. 23 Seton Hall, when the team will open a three-game homestand. The Crimson is off to a 0-1-1 start, drawing 0-0 with the University of Rhode Island in the Sept. 1 home opener before falling to Marquette 1-0 on Monday afternoon. Last season’s nine wins was the team’s highest total since 2016, and it marked a high point in the squad’s turnaround from its 0-14-1 campaign in 2019. After its match against Seton Hall, the Crimson will face three more non-conference opponents before Ivy League play begins on Sept. 23 at home against Cornell.

Field Hockey

Harvard field hockey will travel south for a pair of matches against ranked opponents, No. 6 University of Virginia and No. 9 Liberty University. The Crimson last faced Liberty in 2019, where it beat the Flames 2-1. Harvard is fresh off a two-game winning streak against University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut. The Crimson beat the Huskies in a 3-2 overtime battle — a team it had yet to beat in over a decade. Playing difficult competition like Connecticut and Virginia will prepare the Crimson for its highly-anticipated Ivy League season.

Men's Golf

Harvard men’s golf will begin play this weekend by attempting to defend its title at the Doc Gimmler tournament, hosted by St. John’s University at Bethpage State Park’s Red Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. At historic Bethpage, whose Black Course has hosted two U.S. Open tournaments and will host the 2025 Ryder Cup, the Crimson will face off against 15 teams in the 54-hole tournament. Harvard won the 2022 tournament in dominant fashion, setting a program record for lowest score in a single team round. The Crimson placed first at three tournaments during the 2022-2023 season, and it will look to use the Doc Gimmler tournament to set the tone for another strong season, led by unanimous 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year Brian Ma.

-Staff writer Aaron B. Shuchman can be reached at aaron.shuchman@thecrimson.com

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