Women's Volleyball To Open 32nd Season at Hokie Invitational

Women's Volleyball To Open 32nd Season at Hokie Invitational

The Crimson will play three matches this weekend at the Hokie Invitational (Gil Talbot).

Story Line
The Harvard women's volleyball team will open its 32nd season of play this weekend at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. The Crimson will first face Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 4 p.m. and on Saturday will take on host Virginia Tech at 12:30 p.m. and Towson at 5 p.m.

Fans can follow live stats throughout the tournament by clicking here.

Captain of the Ship
Senior Taylor Docter was voted by her teammates as the 59th captain of Harvard women's volleyball. Docter was an All-Ivy League second team and Academic All-Ivy honoree in 2011 after ranking eighth in the conference in kills per set (3.05), seventh in aces (0.27) and seventh in points per set (3.52). The Los Altos, Calif., native also averaged 1.72 dps on the defensive side of the net and finished her year with career-highs in kills, attempts, hitting percentage and digs.

"Taylor has been an impact player since her freshmen season," Head Coach Jen Weiss commented. "She came in this preseason in great shape and ready to work hard. As a second team All-Ivy outside hitter, she led our team in points scored and kills per set.  She has a natural ability to lead and her peers respect her on and off the court. Taylor's composure on court has been tremendous this year and I look forward to her leading the team."

Welcome Back
The Crimson welcomes back nine letterwinners from last year's squad which posted a 12-12 overall record, marking the program's first season of .500 play since 2004. Taylor Docter and Kristen Casey are the team's top returners on offense after averaging 3.05 kps and 2.71 kps, respectively, while Teresa Skelly (1.00 bps) and Erin Cooney (0.60 bps) will be looked upon to help stabilize the defense. Other returnees include seniors Beth Kinsella and Olivia Staffon, junior Natalie Doyle and sophomores Tara MacLean and Caroline Walters.

Watch the video below to hear from Docter and Casey following the team's first day of practice.

Freshmen Four-Pack
Caroline Holte, Hannah Schmidt, Jennifer Shults and Kathleen Wallace have joined the Crimson for the 2012 season after combining for three state championships, eight league championships and three Academic All-America honors in high school. Click here to read more on Harvard's freshmen class.

Platinum Anniversary
Head coach Jen Weiss is entering her 20th season at the helm of the Crimson. Weiss owns a 241-278 record on the sidelines and guided Harvard to its only Ivy League championship in 2004. She has mentored 46 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.

Check out Weiss' 2012 season preview video below.

Keep an Eye Out For…
Taylor Docter, Teresa Skelly and Kristen Casey each enter the 2012 season with a chance to make their marks on the Harvard record books. Docter sits just outside the program's all-time top 10 for career kills with 699, while her career 2.52 kps is currently 10th best in school annals. Skelly is just shy of entering the top 10 in total blocks (183) and block assists (162), and Casey's 2.71 kps average after one season would be seventh on the list.

Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard will host 11 home matches at the Malkin Athletic Center this season and each will be streamed live online through GoCrimson.com. Fans can also watch each match On Demand approximately two hours after completion. One-year subscriptions are available for $49.95 and allow access to every home event streamed by the Crimson, including football, men's and women's basketball and men's and women's hockey. For more information or to sign up today, click here.

Scouting Middle Tennessee State (1-3)
Middle Tennessee State opened its 2012 season by going 1-3 at the Blue Raider Bash last weekend, topping UAB, 3-0, while falling to Furman, 3-0, UTSA, 3-1, and UC Davis, 3-2. Chelsea Ross and Ashley Adams led the way offensively for the Blue Raiders, notching 3.60 kps and 3.47 kps, respectively. Alyssa Ivy (5.13 aps) and Shelby Anderton (4.60 aps) split the setting duties, with Bri McCombs (3.73 dps) and Tyler Richardson (1.14 bps) carrying the load defensively.

Scouting Virginia Tech (1-2)
Virginia Tech went 1-2 in its opening weekend of play, knocking off Nicholls State, 3-0, before dropping matches against Missouri, 3-1, and No. 23 Michigan, 3-2, at Missouri's Tiger Volleyball Invitational. The Hokies featured a balanced attack with Jennifer Wiker (3.50 kps), Samantha Gostling (2.92) and Cara Baarendse (2.58 kps) leading the charge. Jordan Fish tallied 10.50 aps as the team's primary setter with Victoria Hamsher and Jennifer Wiker notching 0.92 bps and 0.83 bps, respectively.

Scouting Towson (4-0)
Towson boasts a perfect 4-0 record after the first weekend of play, having defeated UMBC, St. John's, Coppin State and Morgan State in straight sets at the Battle of the Bay hosted by Morgan State. Katy Buck and Dayane Van Ass recorded 3.33 kps and 3.11 kps, respectively, while Marta Machos and Alysha McCreary chipped in 2.33 kps and 2.08 kps. Setter Aubrey Kirven notched 10.42 aps while directing the Tiger offense to a .293 hitting percentage, with the block of McCreary (1.17 bps), I'ishah Keliikoa (0.91 bps) and Machos (0.83 bps) holding opponents to a .052 hitting percentage.