Women's Volleyball Hosts Columbia, Cornell on Senior Night
Harvard will honor the careers of Docter and Kinsella Saturday on Senior Night (OAC).
The Harvard women's volleyball team will wrap up the home portion of its schedule this weekend against Ivy League foes Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson will first host the Lions on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. before welcoming the Big Red to Cambridge on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.
A live video stream and live stats will be available for both matches through GoCrimson.com by clicking here.
Thank You, Seniors
Harvard will honor the playing careers of this year's graduating seniors, Taylor Docter and Beth Kinsella, prior to Saturday's match against Cornell. Docter will leave Cambridge ranked in the program's all-time top 10 for career kills, kills per set, attack attempts and aces, while Kinsella will graduate ranked in the top five for career assists.
Harvard won five of six matches between Sept. 29 and Oct. 19, a string of success which included a three-match Ivy League win streak. This marked the first time since October of 2009 that Harvard had won three straight matches in Ancient Eight play and was the squad's best stretch since taking seven of eight in September of last year.
Last Time Out
The Harvard women's volleyball team suffered its second straight loss Saturday as Princeton downed the Crimson by set scores of 25-20, 29-27 and 25-22.
The Harvard offense registered a .322 hitting percentage, its second-highest mark of the year, and was once again led by Taylor Docter who turned in 15 kills. Erin Cooney registered 12 kills and a .545 hitting percentage while Caroline Walters notched eight kills, a .636 hitting percentage and five blocks. Beth Kinsella and Hannah Schmidt dished out 25 assists and 15 assists, respectively.
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 3.22 kps average, good for third in the Ivy League, while Wallace ranks ninth in the conference with a 2.78 kps. Junior Erin Cooney is third on the squad with 2.26 kps and sophomore Caroline Walters (1.74 kps) boasts a team best .364 hitting percentage, the second highest in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard ranks third in the Ivy League as a group with a combined .222 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 414 assists for an average of 5.57 per set, while Schmidt has tallied 353 assists for a 4.71 average.
On the Block
Middle blockers Teresa Skelly, Caroline Walters and Caroline Holte have helped Harvard average 2.36 bps, good for second in the Ivy League. Walters leads the team with 77 total blocks and a 1.01 bps average, ranking her sixth in the Ivy League. Holte is a close second with 75 total blocks and an average of 0.99 bps with Skelly chipping in 21 total blocks and 0.88 bps in limited action.
Keep an Eye Out For…
Taylor Docter, Beth Kinsella and Teresa Skelly each have a chance to make their marks on the Harvard record books this season. Docter recently moved into the Crimson's all-time top 10 for kills, and currently sits in ninth place with 944 kills. Docter also ranks fourth in attack attempts (3,295), sixth in aces (97) and is eighth in kills per set (2.67). Kinsella is sixth all-time with 1,651 assists and has averaged 7.12 aps for her career. 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.
Kristen Casey, Caroline Holte and Caroline Walters are making a bid to join Harvard's single-season top 10 as well. Casey has averaged 3.78 dps, which would put her in 10th place on Harvard's single-season list. Holte and Walters, meanwhile, have posted 74 and 70 block assists, respectively, putting them just behind Elissa Hart '98 and Mariah Pospisil's '04 benchmark of 77 to join the ranks.
To view the complete Harvard record book, click here.
Scouting Columbia (10-9, 5-5 Ivy League)
Columbia split its matches last weekend at Yale and Brown to move to 10-9 overall, 5-5 Ivy League, and now finds itself tied with the Crimson for fourth place in the Ancient Eight standings. Columbia currently leads the conference in blocks with 2.64 bps, thanks to the efforts of Heather Braunagel, Savannah Fletcher and Denise Dearman. Braunagel is second in the conference with 1.21 bps while Fletcher (1.02) and Dearman (1.00) rank fifth and seventh, respectively. Braunagel also ranks fourth in the Ivy League with a .349 hitting percentage.
Harvard swept Columbia in New York the first time the teams met this year. Taylor Docter led the way with a 21-kill, 12-dig performance while Kathleen Wallace chipped in 12 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Beth Kinsella and Hannah Schmidt also recorded double-doubles for the Crimson, with Kinsella totaling 21 assists and 10 digs, and Schmidt contributing 24 assists and 13 digs.
Scouting Cornell (6-15, 2-8 Ivy League)
Cornell has lost three straight and four of its last five to fall to 6-15 overall, 2-8 Ivy League. The Big Red is led by Kelly Marble who ranks fourth in the Ivy League with 2.96 kps and Breanna Wong who is 10th with 2.77 kps. Rachel D'Epagnier boasts the conference's third-best blocks per set average at 1.11 while her .324 hitting percentage is good for eighth. Kelly Reinke, meanwhile, is second in the Ancient Eight with 9.02 aps.
Harvard knocked off Cornell in four sets when the team's first met this season. Taylor Docter contributed 14 kills, six digs and four blocks to the winning effort while Kathleen Wallace and Caroline Walters added nine kills and eight kills, respectively. The Crimson totaled 12.5 blocks, with Caroline Holte's six leading the way.
Taking Home the Honors
The Crimson earned Ivy League honors in back-to-back weeks, with Taylor Docter being named player of the week on Oct. 16 and Caroline Holte earning the conference's rookie of the week award on Oct. 23.
Docter's accolade came after averaging 5.00 kps and 2.57 dps with a .280 hitting percentage at Cornell and Columbia. She scored 14 kills and added four blocks and six digs in a 3-1 win over the Big Red, and returned to the court the following day to notch 21 kills in a sweep of the Lions. Her 21 kills were two shy of her career-high, and the most for a Crimson student-athlete in a three-set match since 2008.
Holte posted a career-best nine blocks against Dartmouth and also tallied six kills and a .455 hitting percentage to help Harvard to its third straight win and its fifth victory in six matches. Her nine blocks rank as the third most for the Crimson in a single match since 2008.
Seniors Taylor Docter and Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt have combined for 21 double-doubles this season. Docter leads all current Crimson with 18 career double-doubles while Kinsella is a close second with 16.
Harvard has recorded double-digit blocks in seven matches this season, most recently turning in a 13-block performance in a 3-1 win over Dartmouth. Harvard currently ranks second in the Ivy League with 2.36 bps, its highest average since 2003.
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.
Holte of the Block
Caroline Holte registered a career-high nine blocks at home against Dartmouth, the third most for the Crimson in a single match since 2008. The sophomore has recorded at least five blocks on eight occasions this season, including six times in the team's last 11 matches.
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 fifth-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 248-291 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.