Women's Volleyball Concludes Homestand Against Brown and Yale
Harvard looks to continue one streak, end another this weekend against Brown and Yale (Gil Talbot).
The Harvard women’s volleyball team will conclude its five-match homestand this weekend when it welcomes Brown and Yale to the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson will host Brown Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. before defending its home court against Yale Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m.
A live video stream and live stats will be available for both matches this weekend through GoCrimson.com by clicking here.
Last Time Out
Trailing 13-6 in the fourth set, the Harvard women's volleyball team found itself with its back against the wall. The Crimson rallied to take the set, 25-22, and won a tightly-contested fifth frame, 15-13, to earn its first Ivy League victory of the season Saturday night over Penn.
Seniors Taylor Docter and Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt each notched a double-double for the second consecutive night for Harvard. Docter tallied 14 kills and 10 digs, while Kinsella led the Crimson in assists and digs with 25 and 19, respectively. Schmidt added 24 assists and 14 digs.
Freshman Kathleen Wallace finished with 14 kills and hit a match-best .375, and junior Erin Cooney chipped in 13 kills. Defensively, junior Natalie Doyle had 18 digs, while freshman Caroline Holte tallied a team-high five blocks.
Harvard’s offense has been bookended by experience, with senior captain Taylor Docter and freshman Kathleen Wallace leading the way. Docter owns a team-best 3.04 kps average, good for third in the Ivy League, while Wallace ranks 10th in the conference with 2.66 kps and a .302 hitting percentage. Junior Erin Cooney is third on the squad with 2.05 kps and sophomore Caroline Walters (1.77 kps) boasts a team best .356 hitting percentage, the fourth highest in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard ranks second in the Ivy League as a group with a combined .215 hitting percentage, its highest mark since hitting .208 in 2008.
Setting it Up
Senior Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt have shared the setting duties as the team has shifted into a 6-2 offensive system. Kinsella has dished out 273 assists for an average of 5.46 per set, while Schmidt has tallied 241 assists for a 4.63 average.
On the Block
Middle blockers Teresa Skelly, Caroline Walters and Caroline Holt have helped Harvard average 2.17 bps, good for third in the Ivy League. Walters leads the team with 48 total blocks and a 0.91 bps average. Holte ranks a close second with 47 total blocks and an average of 0.89 bps with Skelly chipping in 21 total blocks and 0.88 bps in limited action.
Keep an Eye Out For…
Beth Kinsella, Taylor Docter and Teresa Skelly each have a chance to make their marks on the Harvard record books this season. Kinsella currently ranks sixth all-time with 1,510 assists and has averaged 7.22 aps for her career. Docter has moved into a tie with current assistant coach Christine Wu ’12 for sixth place in career aces (93) while her career 2.61 kps are good for ninth. She is also just 62 kills shy of joining Harvard’s all-time top 10 with 860. Skelly, meanwhile, is just six block assists (178) short of entering the program’s top 10 and needs 35 total blocks (204) to join that list as well.
Scouting Brown (3-9, 0-3 Ivy League)
Brown has been on the losing side in six straight matches, including three Ivy League contests, to fall to 3-9 on the season and 0-3 in conference. The Bears are led by Maddie Lord who ranks sixth in the Ancient Eight in kills per set with 2.83 and Amanda Nickel who comes into the weekend averaging 2.52 kps. Kathryn Conner boasts 4.34 dps, the fourth-highest average in the league, while Alexandra Rieckhoff has dished out 6.41 aps.
Harvard has won seven straight matches against Brown and nine of the last 11. The Crimson swept the season series a year ago with a pair of 3-1 victories, led by Taylor Docter and Kristen Casey who each averaged 3.75 kps against the Bears. The duo was also strong defensively, averaging 2.88 dps and 2.75 dps, respectively, while Teresa Skelly added 2.00 kps and 0.88 bps.
Scouting Yale (7-5, 3-0 Ivy League)
Yale enters play this weekend atop the Ivy League standings with a perfect 3-0 conference mark and a 7-5 overall record. The Bulldogs have won each of their last four contests, including three straight Ivy League matches on the road, and will continue their road trip this weekend against Dartmouth and the Crimson. Yale currently owns the conference’s best hitting percentage (.226), kills per set average (14.49) and assists per set average (13.56), while ranking second in both opponent hitting percentage (.178) and digs (19.39).
Mollie Rogers headlines the strong Bulldog attack which features five student-athletes averaging more than 2.00 kps. Rogers comes into the weekend at 2.95 kps and has added 4.20 dps on the opposite side of the net. Kelly Johnson has notched 2.59 kps with Kendall Polan adding 2.46 kps and 3.90 dps. Jesse Ebner and Haley Wessels have each averaged 2.28 kps.
Yale earned the season sweep of Harvard a year ago with a pair of 3-0 victories. Taylor Docter notched 3.67 kps in the loses while Kristen Casey tallied 2.33 kps and 3.83 dps.
Seniors Taylor Docter and Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt have combined for 14 double-doubles this season. Each recorded a double-double in back-to-back matches last week against Princeton and Penn, while Docter’s streak of consecutive double-doubles has now reached five.
Harvard recorded 11 blocks against Holy Cross, marking the third straight match and fourth time overall that the team has combined for double-digit blocks. Harvard averaged 2.36 bps during the three-match run.
Caroline Weaver was instrumental to the Crimson’s success on the front line during this stretch and set a career-high in total blocks against both Dartmouth and Holy Cross. She first registered six total blocks, including three solo, at Dartmouth before notching eight block assists against Holy Cross.
Taylor Docter set a new career-high with 23 kills at Dartmouth and finished the evening hitting .284 on 67 attempts with just four errors. Docter’s 23 kills are the second most for any Crimson student-athlete since 2008, with Kathryn McKinley’s ’09 total of 26 at Yale in 2008 topping the list.
Serving it Up
Taylor Docter matched her career-high with five aces at New Hampshire, marking the fourth time the senior has tallied five in a single match. Docter’s five aces were also the second-highest total of any Crimson since 2008, with Katherine Kocurek’s ’10 six aces at Dartmouth in 2008 leading the way.
Hitting it Home
Harvard registered a .474 hitting percentage against Providence, by far the highest hitting percentage of the season recorded by an Ivy League school. The Crimson converted 40 kills against the Friars on 78 attempts while only committing three errors. Caroline Walters hit a match-high .750 (6-0-8) while Kathleen Wallace hit .667 (12-0-18), the third-highest individual hitting percentage with a minimum of 10 attempts in the Ancient Eight this season. Caroline Holte (7-1-10) and Jennifer Shults (4-0-7) also got in on the action, hitting .600 and .571, respectively.
Harvard last hit .400 for a match on Sept. 27, 2008, when the squad combined for a .456 hitting percentage (35-4-68) in a 3-0 win over St. Francis (Pa.).
Senior co-captain Taylor Docter was named to both the Hokie Invitational and Harvard Invitational all-tournament teams. She was joined on the Harvard Invitational All-Tournament Team by freshman Kathleen Wallace and sophomore Caroline Walters, while Kristen Casey was named to the New England Challenge All-Tournament Team, marking the first all-tourney honor of each of their careers.
Captain of the Ship
Senior Taylor Docter was voted by her teammates as the 59th captain of Harvard women’s volleyball. Docter was an All-Ivy League second team and Academic All-Ivy honoree in 2011 after ranking eighth in the conference in kills per set (3.05), seventh in aces (0.27) and seventh in points per set (3.52). The Los Altos, Calif., native also averaged 1.72 dps on the defensive side of the net and finished her year with career-highs in kills, attempts, hitting percentage and digs.
"Taylor has been an impact player since her freshmen season," Head Coach Jen Weiss commented. "She came in this preseason in great shape and ready to work hard. As a second team All-Ivy outside hitter, she led our team in points scored and kills per set. She has a natural ability to lead and her peers respect her on and off the court. Taylor's composure on court has been tremendous this year and I look forward to her leading the team."
Head coach Jen Weiss is in her 20th season at the helm of the Crimson. Weiss owns a 245-288 record on the sidelines and guided Harvard to its only Ivy League championship in 2004. She has mentored 46 All-Ivy honorees, five Ivy League Rookie of the Year recipients and coached the program’s first two-time Ivy League Player of the Year in Kaego Ogbechie ’05.
Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard will host 11 home matches at the Malkin Athletic Center this season and each will be streamed live online through GoCrimson.com. Fans can also watch each match On Demand approximately two hours after completion. One-year subscriptions are available for $49.95 and allow access to every home event streamed by the Crimson, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey and men’s soccer. For more information or to sign up today, click here.