Women’s Volleyball Outlasts New Hampshire, 3-2, in Home Opener

Women’s Volleyball Outlasts New Hampshire, 3-2, in Home Opener

Harvard upped its record in five-set matches to 2-1 in 2011 with a 3-2 win over New Hampshire (Gil Talbot).

After comfortably collecting the opening set, the Harvard women's volleyball team held strong to finish off New Hampshire in its third five-set match of the season, downing the Wildcats, 3-2, Tuesday night at the Malkin Athletic Center. The win pushes the Crimson out to a 5-2 mark while UNH remains winless at 0-12 on the season.    

The teams stayed close throughout the fifth set, trading points up to an 11-11 score. Back-to-back kills by Tara MacLean and Teresa Skelly gave Harvard some breathing room at 13-11, and after a UNH point, consecutive kills by MacLean and Taylor Docter sealed the final set, 15-12, and the match, 3-2, for the hosts.

While UNH jumped out to a slim lead in the opening set, Harvard used a string of Sandra Lynne Fryhofer serves to grab the first frame by a 25-19 score. Down 14-10 and coming out of a timeout, Fryhofer ripped eight straight serves to spark a 7-1 run to swing the lead to the Crimson, 21-17. A handful of untimely attack errors by the Wildcats saw the first set swing to Harvard for a 1-0 match lead.

Another strong string of serves from Christine Wu fueled a 7-2 run in the second that saw Harvard erase a five-point deficit to take a two-point lead at 18-16. The Crimson was on the verge of taking a 2-0 set lead, serving at 24-23, but a trio of gutsy points from the visitors saw the Wildcats snatch the second and knot the match at 1-1.

Harvard led from start to finish in the third frame, breaking out of an early back-and-forth to claim a comfortable four-point lead and riding it to a 25-21 win in the third. New Hampshire answered right back in the fourth however, claiming the lead at 8-7 and never looking back en route to a 25-17 fourth set victory.

MacLean led the Crimson attack with a season-high 19 kills, hitting .383 and adding seven digs in the victory. Docter was close behind with 18 kills on the evening, hitting .310 and adding a service ace to her game totals. Beth Kinsella's 58 assists marked a season high and Christine Wu and Natalie Doyle recorded 21 and 20 digs, respectively. New Hampshire's Amy Keding led all hitters with 27 kills in the match.

Harvard takes the court next in the Harvard Invitational, beginning Friday with a 7 p.m. match against Holy Cross.