Strong Defense Propels Women's Volleyball to 3-1 Win Over Penn

Strong Defense Propels Women's Volleyball to 3-1 Win Over Penn

Christine Wu moved into fourth place on the Ivy League's all-time digs list as the Crimson defeated Penn, 3-1 (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team turned in a solid defensive performance to take down Penn Friday night at the Malkin Athletic Center, 3-1.

Christine Wu led the defensive efforts with a match-high 25 digs as the Crimson (11-8, 4-5 Ivy League) held Penn (6-13, 2-7 Ivy League) to a .085 hitting percentage, the second lowest hitting percentage by a Harvard opponent this season. Wu moved into fourth place in the Ivy League record books for career digs in the process and now stands at 1,734.

Four Crimson student-athletes recorded double-digit digs on the evening, including Taylor Docter and Natalie Doyle who each turned in a double-double. Docter matched her season high with 18 kills and dug 15 balls for her first double-double of the year while Doyle notched 18 assists and 13 digs for her sixth. Kristen Casey tallied 21 digs, seven kills and four blocks.

Harvard's front line combined for 11 blocks led by Sandra Lynne Fryhofer's six, including two solo. Fryhofer added six kills while Teresa Skelly turned in eight kills and five blocks.

The Crimson opened an 8-2 lead in the first set behind a pair of Fryhofer blocks. The Quakers evened the score at 18 following an 8-3 stretch but a kill by Casey and block from Casey and Fryhofer regained a 23-19 edge for Harvard. Caroline Walters earned set point for the Crimson, 25-20.

The teams traded the lead twice and found themselves tied five times in a back and forth second set. Penn pulled ahead 19-17 after trailing early and held a 23-21 edge following a Crimson service error. Harvard rallied to tie the score at 23 and earned set point, 26-24, following a Docter kill and Wu service ace.

Penn forced a fourth set with a 25-22 win in the third, but could not maintain its momentum as Harvard took an 8-4 lead. The Crimson led by as many as nine points in the frame, 17-8, and earned match point with a Docter kill, 25-20.

Kristen Etterbeek, Amanda Pacheco and Emma White each recorded 11 kills for the Quakers. Etterbeek and White notched 17 digs and 15 digs, respectively, for a double-double while Meghan Connolly tallied 38 assists and 16 digs.

Harvard returns to action at the MAC tomorrow against Princeton at 5:00 p.m. Fans can watch the match live online through by clicking here, or can follow the action via live stats by clicking here.