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Women's Volleyball Takes Down Cornell in Four Sets

Harvard has won three of four matches to move to 3-3 in the Ancient Eight (Gil Talbot).

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Harvard women's volleyball team racked up 12.5 blocks en route to a 3-1 victory at Cornell Friday night, its third win in four matches. The victory came by set scores of 25-19, 25-23, 25-27 and 25-20.

Harvard's (6-11, 3-3 Ivy League) 12.5 blocks marked the team's sixth double-digit block performance of the year and its second in three matches. The Crimson defense was led by Caroline Holte who notched six blocks as Cornell (5-12, 1-5 Ivy League) was limited to a .138 hitting percentage. Taylor Docter and Jennifer Shults added four blocks each with Kristen Casey and Natalie Doyle recording 14 digs and 13 digs, respectively.

Docter scored a team-high 14 kills and added one ace, moving her past current assistant coach Christine Wu '12 for sole possession of sixth place on Harvard's all-time list with 94 career aces. Kathleen Wallace totaled nine kills while Caroline Walters added eight and hit .467 on the night. Both Erin Cooney and Shults notched seven kills.

Cornell was led by Kelly Marble who recorded 18 kills and Breanna Wong who totaled 12.

Harvard battled back from an early 7-3 deficit and evened the first set at 17 on the strength of a 4-0 run. Consecutive errors by the Big Red gave the Crimson its first lead of the night, 19-17, and a kill by Docter made it a 7-0 run to give Harvard a 20-17 advantage. The Crimson finished the frame with a 5-0 spurt as Shults scored set point, 25-19.

The second set went wire-to-wire as the teams traded the lead five times and found themselves tied 13 times. With the score even at 22, Harvard took the lead for good on a Cooney kill and the junior added two more kills for set point, 25-23.

Set three was just as close and featured eight lead changes and 13 tied scores. Harvard held a 24-23 margin following a Wallace block but the Big Red rallied to score the final three points to take the win, 27-25.

Harvard opened a 12-10 lead in the fourth set after a Walters kill before Cornell scored three straight points for a 15-13 advantage. Harvard responded and evened the frame at 16 on a Docter kill, and consecutive blocks by Holte and Shults moved the score to 18-16 in favor of the Crimson. Cornell pulled to within one, 21-20, before a 4-0 run by the Crimson was punctuated by one final kill from Docter for match point, 25-20.

Harvard returns to action tomorrow as it takes on Columbia at 5 p.m. in New York City.