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Dartmouth Visits Cambridge for Women's Volleyball Conference Home Opener

Taylor Docter is Harvard's top hitter heading into the Dartmouth match (Gil Talbot).

The Particulars
The Harvard women's volleyball team opens its Ivy League home schedule as it takes on Dartmouth Friday in a 7 p.m., matchup at the Malkin Athletic Center.

The History
The Crimson and the Big Green have met 57 times, dating back to 1981, and Harvard holds an overall series lead of 42-15. The Crimson dropped a pair of matches to its Ivy rival last season, but had won four of the previous six meetings. In its first Ivy League contest of 2010, Harvard fell to the Big Green, 3-1, in Hanover, N.H.

Last Time Out
The Crimson gutted out a 3-2 win over New Hampshire Tuesday night in Durham to snap a seven-match skid. The teams split the first two sets but Harvard took 12 of the first 13 points in the third and  breezed to a 2-1 set advantage with a 25-10 win.

The fourth set saw the teams remain close through the first half as Harvard tied the score at 12 on a UNH error. The Crimson maintained a slim lead through the middle part of the set, thanks to kills by Teresa Skelly, Erin Cooney and Taylor Docter, but a Destiny Toliver kill knotted the score at 21-all late in the set. The hosts managed to secure the next four points to push the match to a decisive fifth set.

The Crimson grabbed an early lead in the final set, and a .529 hitting percentage enabled Harvard to cruise to a 15-6 win and a 3-2 match victory. Consecutive kills by Skelly and Anne Carroll Ingersoll sealed the match for the Crimson.

Ingersoll led the Crimson with 11 kills and hit .435 on the match, while Skelly added nine kills, hit .400 and recorded a team-high three blocks. Natalie Doyle handed out 20 assists and Christine Wu logged a team-high 16 digs.

Scouting Harvard
With a 3-10 overall record on the season, Harvard is looking to exact some revenge on Dartmouth and pick up its first league win of the season. Docter leads the team with 88 kills and paces the Crimson with 2.00 kills per set. Skelly is tied for third on the team with 72 kills but paces the Crimson with a .329 hitting percentage on the year.

Natalie Doyle (212 assists) and Beth Kinsella (153 assists) have been sharing setting duties this season and both are averaging better than five assists per set. Wu's 204 digs on the year lead the team, while Skelly and Sandra Lynne Fryhofer lead the team in blocks with 34 and 32, respectively.

Scouting Dartmouth
The Big Green comes into Cambridge with a 10-2 overall record and a 1-0 mark in the Ancient Eight. In its last match, Dartmouth rolled past Providence, 3-0, not allowing the Friars to get more than 19 points in any of the three sets. Dartmouth's two losses on the year came at the UNH Invitational, where it dropped matches to New Hampshire and Sacred Heart.

Madeline Baird leads the Big Green with 175 kills and 4.07 kills per set and is second on the team with 156 digs on the year. Amber Bryant tops the squad with 243 digs on the season and Elisa Scudder (37 blocks) and Annie Villanueva (29 blocks) are the top two blockers on the roster.

Up Next for the Crimson
The Crimson continues its Ivy League homestand next weekend as it welcomes Columbia and Cornell to the Malkin Athletic Center. Harvard faces the Lions on Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on the Big Red Saturday in a 6 p.m. matchup.