CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team will return to the court this weekend as it travels west to compete in the Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. The Crimson will first face host San Diego State on Friday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. and will play both Southern Methodist and San Francisco on Saturday, Sept. 14.
A free live video stream will be available for Friday's match between Harvard and the Aztecs by clicking here. Free live video streams for both of Saturday's matches can be found by clicking here. Fans can also access live stats for all eight matches of the tournament by clicking here.
Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, each of Harvard's 11 home matches will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and On-Demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.
Last Time Out
The Harvard women's volleyball team battled back from a first set loss for the second straight night to defeat Hofstra Saturday evening, 3-1, and cap off the eighth annual Harvard Invitational with a 2-0 record. The victory came by set scores of 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23.
Caroline Holte and the Crimson front line combined for a total of 17 blocks with Holte being credited on 12. The sophomore finished her evening with one solo block and 11 block assists, marking the most blocks in a match for Harvard since Sandra Lynne Fryhofer '12 totaled 13 at Georgia State on Sept. 3, 2011. Both Kristen Casey and Caroline Walters added five block assists.
Harvard's defense was strong all the way around in limiting Hofstra (4-2) to a .109 hitting percentage. Natalie Doyle turned in 14 digs to pace the back row with Casey and Sindhu Vagesena each contributing 13. Casey also notched 12 kills for her first double-double of the young season as Kathleen Wallace chipped in 11. Holte also added nine kills.
Coming Out Party
Corinne Bain was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Sept. 9 after leading the Crimson to a 2-0 record at the eighth annual Harvard Invitational.
Bain made an immediate impact in her collegiate debut as the Crimson came from behind for a 3-2 win over Holy Cross. The freshman finished with 10 kills, 31 assists and nine digs, narrowly missing out on a triple-double. She also scored three aces and three blocks against the Crusaders while hitting .333. Bain and her teammates returned to the court the following day to defeat Hofstra, 3-1, thanks in part to her eight-kill, 28-assist, nine-dig effort which also included four aces and three blocks.
Corinne Bain (2.00 kps, 6.56 aps, 2.00 dps) , Kathleen Wallace (2.22 kps, .255 hitting percentage) and Caroline Walters (1.33 bps, 1.78 kps) were each named to the Harvard Invitational All-Tournament Team after guiding the Crimson to a pair of wins. Wallace and Walters were also named to the all-tourney team a year ago while Bain, a freshman, received the honor for the first time.
The Crimson defeated both Holy Cross and Hofstra at the Harvard Invitational to open the year, marking the first time since 2009 that the Crimson have begun the year with back-to-back wins. Harvard has only started 2-0 or better five times under head coach Jennifer Weiss with the 2001 squad rattling off four straight wins at the onset of the season.
Protecting the Net
Harvard dominated the net in its first two matches, posting 17 total blocks in each victory. The Crimson currently ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in blocks per set (3.78) while Caroline Walters (1.33 bps) and Jennifer Shults (1.25 bps) rank 36th and 64th on the individual list, respectively.
Scouting San Diego State (3-3)
The host Aztecs enter the weekend with a 3-3 overall record after going 2-1 at the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament. SDSU has a pair of players averaging over 3.00 kps in Summer Nash (3.91) and Raega Shelton (3.14), while Johnna Fouch has dished out 11.50 aps. Emily Harris, meanwhile, owns a team-best .362 hitting percentage and has notched 2.88 kps. On the defensive side of the net, Courtney Vaccarello leads the Aztecs with 4.24 dps with Chaiymin Steel contributing 0.84 bps.
Scouting Southern Methodist (5-2)
SMU will carry a 5-2 record into the tournament and is riding a three-match winning streak. The Mustangs swept last weekend's SMU Invite after dropping just one of 10 sets. Cailin Bula leads the attack with 3.00 kps as Caroline Young and Abbey Bybel have added 2.74 kps and 2.62 kps, respectively. Avery Acker has contributed 10.91 aps with Morgan Heise (3.39 dps) and Maddia Lozano (0.91) carrying the load defensively.
Scouting San Francisco (1-5)
San Francisco is just 1-5 on the year but picked up its first win of the season last weekend over Air Force, 3-0, at the Bay Area Challenge. Malina Terrell sports a 3.64 kps average and is hitting .348 on the year while Valentina Zaloznik has added 2.80 kps and a .358 hitting percentage. Both Mackenzie Murtagh and Kiara McKibben have contributed to the offense, dishing out 5.40 aps and 4.68 aps, respectively. Rebecca Kopilovitch has provided steady play in the back row with 4.76 dps as Inbar Virarsky has racked up 0.72 bps.
Harvard returns 10 letterwinners to the court in 2013 including co-captains Kristen Casey and Natalie Doyle. Casey, who played outside hitter as a freshman but made the transition to libero as a sophomore, will return to the outside as a six-rotation player for the Crimson. Doyle, meanwhile, will be relied upon in the back row after averaging 2.39 dps a year ago.
Also returning for the Crimson is Caroline Walters (1.06 bps), an All-Ivy League second team performer in 2012, Erin Cooney (2.14 kps), Caroline Holte (1.00 bps), Hannah Schmidt (4.78 aps), Teresa Skelly (0.88 bps) and Kathleen Wallace (2.81 kps).
New To The Scene
Earlier this summer, head coach Jennifer Weiss announced the addition of five freshmen for 2013; Corinne Bain, Whitney Hansen, Jane Labanowski, Danielle Leavitt and Grace Weghorst. This group, which represents California, Florida and Texas, has combined for three state championships, eight district championships and seven league championships.
Related Link: Five Freshmen Set to Join Women's Volleyball in 2013
On The Sidelines
Head coach Jennifer Weiss returns for her 21st season at the helm of the Harvard women's volleyball program. Weiss owns a 251-293 record on the sidelines and guided Harvard to its only Ivy League championship in 2004. She has mentored 48 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.
Weiss is joined this season by first-year assistants Arturo Rivera and Jeffrey Aucoin.