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Three Crimson Notch 14 Kills As Harvard Drops Five-Set Match to UConn

Photo of Anne Caroll Ingesoll courtesy of DSPICS.com

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard women’s volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking five-set match to Connecticut Tuesday night at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson (2-2) fell 25-21, 23-25, 17-25, 25-23, 15-13 to the Huskies (3-5). Sophomore Anne Carroll Ingersoll was unstoppable, recording 14 kills on 25 attempts for a .480 clip and registering a match-high seven blocks.

Ingersoll had four kills each in the second and third set and game up with several big plays at the net, including three solo blocks. Junior Mikaelle Comrie and freshman Taylor Docter also posted 14 kills in the effort. Sophomore Christine Wu handed out a match-high 19 digs, while senior Lily Durwood handed out 47 assists. Senior co-captain Chelsea Ono Horn also reached double-digits in digs with 10.

The two teams battled back and forth early with neither team leading by more than two until Connecticut turned a 17-15 advantage to a 21-15 lead. The Crimson used a Durwood kill and a block from Sandra Lynne Fryhofer to pull within 21-18, but the Huskies were able to capitalize on Harvard errors and use the net to their advantage with blocks from Jordan Kirk and Rebecca Murray. Durwood spread out the offense in the first set as six different players recorded at least two kills.

Ingersoll and Docter collected four kills each in the second set, while Ingersoll notched two solo blocks. Docter also served up two aces to add to the Crimson lead. Harvard broke open a 19-19 tie with three straight tallies, including two points from Docter, one on a kill and another on an ace, giving the Crimson the largest lead by either team in the entire match. Chauntay Mickens used an attack and block at the net to pull her team to within 22-21. Back-to-back Comrie kills put set point in the Crimson’s hands. UConn won the next point, but Ono Horn won back the point with a strike down to the back corner of the court.

The Crimson hit. 556 in the third set using 12 kills, three aces and two blocks to earn the win. The Huskies scored first, but the Crimson volleyed back and forth for much of the session. Two Ingersoll kills and a Husky error allowed Harvard to pull away from a 12-12 tie and take a 16-12 lead. A Durwood ace gave the Crimson a five-point lead at 19-15. A UConn error followed by a Comrie kill and a block from Durwood and Ingersoll gave the home team a 23-17 lead. After the Huskies called timeout, Durwood picked up her third kill of the night and Harvard sealed the victory when Allison Nickel’s attack went long.

Comrie and Docter had some big hits in the fourth set, but UConn’s play at the net kept them in the match. The Huskies rallied from a 21-19 deficit to win the set and forth a deciding set.

The final stanza was another back-and-forth set with the largest lead being two. The Crimson took a 10- 8 lead on a block by Ingersoll and Comrie, forcing Connecticut to call a timeout. The Huskies used the break to their advantages winning the next two points. Head coach Jen Weiss called for timeout, but the break didn’t stop the Huskies momentum as they went on to scoer two more. Back-to-back Ingersoll strikes equaled the score at 12-12. Kirk nailed an attack for the Huskies and then Murray served and ace to set up match point. Harvard won the next point on a Docter kill, but UConn had the final say, as Mickens registered her match-high 15 kill on the night for the victory.

The Crimson hit a season high .257, while the Huskies had a .245 hitting percentage on the night. UConn held the advantage in kills, 64-59, and team blocks, 12-9, but the Crimson out dug its opponent, 56-51.

Harvard hits the road for the first time in 2009 this weekend. The Crimson travels to Houston, Texas for the Rice Tournament. First up, is No. 23 Wichita State on Friday at 5:30 p.m.