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Women's Volleyball Set for Second Annual New England Challenge

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team will square off with cross-town rivals Northeastern and Boston College this weekend as part of the second-annual New England Challenge. The Crimson will first take to the court against the Huskies Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. before doing battle with Boston College Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. Northeastern and BC will meet in the first match of the tournament Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.

Both Northeastern and Boston College will be providing live video streams and live stats throughout the weekend. Fans can access both through the links above.

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.

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Last Time Out

The Harvard women's volleyball team totaled 13 aces en route to a 3-0 sweep over UMass Lowell Tuesday night at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson took the match by set scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-13.

Harvard's 11 aces were the most since notching 11 in a 3-2 win over Columbia in 2010. Freshman Corinne Bain led the way with a career-high seven while classmate Grace Weghorst matched her career-high with three. Sophomore Caroline Holte paced the offense with eight kills and Weghorst added six while hitting .545 and .556, respectively. Bain dished out 16 assists and split setting duties with sophomore Hannah Schmidt, who finished with 15 helpers.

Senior Natalie Doyle paced the Crimson defense with 14 digs. The Riverhawks' .067 hitting percentage was the lowest total for a Harvard opponent this season.

Fast Start
At 4-2, the Crimson has matched the program's best record to start a season under head coach Jennifer Weiss, who is in her 21st year at the helm, and has equaled the program's best start since going 7-1 to open the 1984 campaign.

With a 3-0 mark at home, the Crimson has posted its best home record since 2004 when Harvard won six straight en route to a 7-1 record at the MAC.

Serving Up Aces
Harvard scored 13 aces in a straight set victory over UMass Lowell, marking the most aces for a Crimson squad since 2003, the last year for which match-by-match statistics are available. Freshman Corinne Bain tallied seven aces in the victory, again the most for the Crimson since 2003.

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.

All-Tourney
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.

Wallace earned all-tournament recognition at the Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Invitaitonal after notching 2.15 kps while hitting .299 on the weekend.

Protecting the Net
Harvard dominated the net in its first two matches, posting 17 total blocks in a pair of victories. The Crimson entered the week ranked No. 22 in the NCAA in blocks per set (2.77) while Caroline Holte (1.29) stands 46th on the individual list, respectively.

Double-Doubles

Name
Corinne Bain
Kristen Casey
Natalie Doyle
Hannah Schmidt

2013 Double-Doubles
2
1
--
--

Career Double-Doubles
2
8
9
8

Scouting Northeastern (4-6)
Northeastern went 1-2 at last weekend's Aztec Invitational to fall to 4-6 on the season. The Huskies are led on offense by Kelly Bacon who has averaged 3.23 kps and Hanna Gibeau who sports a 2.06 kps average. Ina Kamenova and Jamie Bredahl have split the setting duties, averaging 5.65 kps and 4.79 kps, respectively. On the defensive side of the net, Natalie Skiba's 6.12 dps are good for second in the NCAA with Alexa Armstrong and Nichole Kurz contributing 0.98 bps and 0.93 bps, respectively.

Scouting Boston College (8-2)
Boston College enters the weekend with an 8-2 overall record having won six straight matches. Katy Workman boasts a 4.57 kps average and has hit .261 on the year. Amanda Yearke, meanwhile, has chipped in 2.30 kps with Melissa McTighe adding 2.08 kps. Kellie Barnum has dished out 8.63 aps as Jackie Bowman has added 4.80 aps. The Eagle defense is led by Barbara Gonzalez's 1.04 bps average with McTighe (0.95 bps) and Madisen Lydon (4.43 dps) also contributing to the effort.

Welcome Back
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.

Related Links: Arturo Rivera Joins Women's Volleyball Coaching Staff; Jeffrey Aucoin Named Men's and Women's Volleyball Assistant