CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team opens Ivy League play on Friday as it hosts Dartmouth at 7 p.m. at the Malkin Athletic Center. This will mark the 13th straight year that the Crimson and Big Green have meet in the conference opener.
A live video stream and live stats will be available through GoCrimson.com at 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 took a two sets to one lead against New Hampshire, but the Wildcats rallied to drop the Crimson 3-2 Tuesday night at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Harvard (5-4) received strong offensive performances from sophomores Caroline Holte and Jennifer Shults who recorded 12 kills apiece. Freshman Grace Weghorst chipped in with 10. Corinne Bain dominated the setting duties for a career-best 42 assists. The freshman also tallied five aces on the night to move seven shy of entering Harvard's single-season top 10.
The Crimson defense was on display as it totaled 11 blocks and limited New Hampshire to a .177 hitting percentage. Junior Sindhu Vegesena turned in 25 digs to lead the charge, while senior Kristen Casey and Bain added 19 and 16, respectively. Junior Caroline Walters helped on eight of the Crimson's 11 blocks.
Harvard opened the year with a 4-2 mark, marking the program's best record to start a season under head coach Jennifer Weiss, who is in her 21st year at the helm, and equaling the program's best start since going 7-1 to open the 1984 campaign.
With a 3-1 record at home, the Crimson has posted its best home record since 2004 when the squad won six straight en route to a 7-1 record at the MAC.
Grace Weghorst earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on Sept. 24, marking the second time in three weeks the award was bestowed upon the Crimson. Weghorst helped Harvard to a 2-1 week with a team-high 2.62 kps. One of those victories came against Boston College, a foe the Crimson had not beaten since 2002, when Weghorst turned in a career-high 11 kills with five digs and two aces.
Kathleen Wallace hit a career-high .778 in the team's 3-1 victory at Boston College, registering 15 kills on 18 attempts with just one error. Wallace's 15 kills were one short of her career-high of 16, set last season against Middle Tennessee State, while her hitting percentage topped her previous best of .667 set last year against Providence (12-0-18).
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.
Bain has turned in a total of 25 aces already on the young season, putting her just 12 shy of entering Harvard's single-season top 10. She currently ranks seventh in the nation with 0.61 aces per set while the Crimson as a team ranks 36th (1.61).
Protecting the Net
Harvard dominated the net in its first two matches of the season, posting 17 total blocks against both Holy Cross and Hofstra. The Crimson has already turned in double-digit blocking totals four times this year after having done so just nine times all of last season.
Caroline Holte posted a career-high 12 blocks in the team's 3-1 win over Hofstra, marking the most blocks in a match for Harvard since Sandra Lynne Fryhofer '12 totaled 13 at Georgia State on Sept. 3, 2011.
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.
Wallace earned all-tournament recognition at the Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Invitaitonal after notching 2.15 kps while hitting .299 on the weekend.
Scouting Dartmouth (7-4, 0-0 Ivy)
Dartmouth enters Friday's match with a 7-4 record after splitting four matches last weekend at the Dartmouth Duals. The Big Green opened the year 5-1 after rattling off five consecutive victories.
Molly Kornfeind has led the Dartmouth attack with 2.77 kps while Caridi Paige has chipped in 2.45 kps. Emily Astarita (2.33) and Elisa Scudder (2.09) have each notched over 2.00 kps with Stacey Benton (7.88 aps) and Kayden Cook (6.73) have shared the setting duties. Defensively, Scudder's 1.53 bps rank her sixth in the NCAA. Holly Harper has served as the team's primary libero and she paces the squad with 4.17 dps.
Harvard knocked off Dartmouth in the second meeting between the team's last year, 3-1, to end a seven-match losing streak to the Big Green. Despite the skid, the Crimson still leads the all-time series, 43-19.
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.