Five-Set Thriller Highlights Two-Win Day for Women’s Volleyball

Harvard wrapped up its stay at the Georgia State Invitational with a pair of victories (Gil Talbot).

A day after dropping a five-set match in its season opener, the Harvard women's volleyball team won a pair of matches Saturday to wrap up action at the Georgia State Invitational. Harvard topped host Georgia State, 3-2, in its first match of the day and blanked Jacksonville State, 3-0, to finish the tournament with a 2-1 record. 

The Crimson found itself in the second five-set match in as many days, taking the first two sets against Georgia State before the Panthers rallied to take the third and fourth. The Crimson opened the fifth set with a 5-1 run, propelled by a Sandra Lynne Fryhofer kill and a quartet of serves from Taylor Docter. The Panthers fought back to knot the score at 9-9, but Harvard made sure not to relinquish the lead with a 4-0 run, putting the score at 13-9. Erin Cooney notched a kill for Harvard's 14th point, and Fryhofer put the match away with her sixth kill of the contest.

The Crimson edged out the hosts in the opening set, reaching an 18-10 lead and holding on for a 25-22 set win. The second set saw Harvard post a match-high 15 kills and hit .361 as a team, leading to a secure 25-16 set victory. The Panthers managed to square the match with a pair of 25-22 set wins to bring the match to a deciding fifth set. 

Docter fronted the Crimson attack with 17 kills, while Teresa Skelly (13) and Cooney (11) also ended in double-digits. Fryhofer recorded an impressive 13 total blocks to go with her six kills and Beth Kinsella dished out 50 assists in the win.  

In its third match of the tournament, the Crimson hit its stride offensively, posting two sets where it hit over .400 en route to a 3-0 match victory. Tied at 22-22 in the first set, a handful of Gamecock errors put Harvard a point away and a Fryhofer kill gave the Crimson a 25-23 win in the opening set. Harvard posted a team-high 17 kills in the second set, posting a .421 hitting percentage in a 25-22 win. Harvard took a 17-15 lead in the third and never looked back, taking the set, 25-20, and the match by a 3-0 score. 

Docter (11 kills) and Cooney (10) led the Crimson hitters, with Docter hitting .550 for the match. Kinsella chipped in 35 assists and Skelly and Fryhofer each had four blocks in the win.

At the completion of the event, Christine Wu and Docter were named to the All-Tournament team.

Harvard is back in action at the Bryant Invitational next weekend, beginning with a Sept. 9 showdown against Holy Cross.