Women’s Volleyball Downs Columbia in Comeback Win

Taylor Docter led the Crimson with 17 kills against Columbia (Gil Talbot).

Down two games to none against Columbia, the Harvard women's volleyball team rallied to take the final three sets to collect its first Ivy League win, downing the Lions 3-2 (14-25, 19-25, 25-19, 31-29, 15-12) Friday at the Malkin Athletic Center. The win pushes the Crimson to 4-11 on the year and 1-2 in Ivy play while Columbia falls to 9-4 overall and 1-2 in the Ancient Eight.

Taylor Docter collected 17 kills, just one shy of her career high total, and hit .441 for the match. She added five service aces and four digs to her performance, while Mikaelle Comrie chipped in 16 kills and 12 digs. Christine Wu added 21 digs and Sandra Lynne Fryhofer added four blocks. Megan Gaugh led the Lions with 21 kills and Heather Braunagel and Madeline Rumer adde 12 kills apiece.

The Lions hit well to start the match and forced a Harvard timeout with an 11-6 lead in the first. The Lions stayed tough through the middle of the match and a series of strong serves from Katherine Keller propelled the guests to a 25-14 win in the opening stanza.

The teams stayed close through the first 12 points and when the Lions took three straight to take a 9-6 lead, the Crimson answered back with three of its own, featuring a clutch Teresa Skelly kill. Another series of Keller serves pushed the Lions out to a 21-16 edge and despite an Anne Carroll Ingersoll kill to make it 24-19, the Lions took the next point for a 2-0 match lead.

The Crimson strengthened its hitting performance in the third game, getting key kills from Taylor Docter and Mikaelle Comrie en route to a slim 17-16 lead late in the game. Sandra Lynne Fryhofer let loose a string of serves and the Crimson continued to hit well down the stretch to snatch a 25-19 win in set three.

The Lions jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth, but Docter took over the serving and led her team on a eight-point run, taking the lead 13-10 and forcing Columbia to call a timeout. The Lions grabbed the lead soon after and stood at 22-20 when Docter unleashed three big serves, two that went for aces, to swing the lead back to Harvard, 23-22. The teams stayed within a point of each other, trading kills all the way to 29-29 where Beth Kinsella recorded a kill to make it 30-29 and Ingersoll served it out to knot the match at two games apiece.

Kinsella started the final set with a pair of aces to vault the hosts out to a7-3 lead. The Lions got to within 12-10, but a timely blocking assist by Skelly and Ingersoll closed the door on the Lions and gave the Crimson a thrilling 3-2 comeback win.

Harvard returns to the court tomorrow evening as it takes on Cornell in a 6 p.m., showdown.