Women's Volleyball Downs Rutgers in Season Opener, 3-0

Harvard won its season opener for a third-straight year (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team rallied for a 3-0 victory over Rutgers Friday night in front of a raucous Malkin Athletic Center crowd to open its 2015 campaign at the Harvard Invitational.

Corinne Bain led the way with a triple-double, posting 11 kills, 24 assists and 10 digs. Kathleen Wallace registered her first career double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Paige Kebe contributed nine kills.

Sindhu Vegesena turned in 21 digs to pace the Crimson on the defensive side of the net and help limit Rutgers (1-3) to a .164 hitting percentage. Caroline Holte chipped in with seven kills, five blocks and five digs, as Caroline Labanowski tallied four kills and five blocks.

Harvard rallied from deficits in each set before taking the match 25-22, 25-22, 25-23, marking the third straight year that the squad has opened its season with a victory. Meme Fletcher recorded 15 kills and 12 digs to pace the Scarlet Knights.

The Crimson trailed 13-12 in the first set before a quick 3-0 run put the hosts in front, 15-13. Harvard extended its advantage to 21-17 off kills by Kebe and Bain, and recorded set point off the arm of Wallace, 25-22.

The crowd erupted in the second set as Harvard, trailing 22-17, rattled off eight-consecutive points with Bain at the service line to steal a 25-22 victory. Kebe tallied three kills and Holte two during the comeback, with Bain assisting on all five.

The Crimson faced a 20-15 deficit in the final frame before using a 10-3 run to close out the match. This time it was Wallace guiding the way with three kills, with Holte contributing a pair.

Harvard will return to the court tomorrow on day two of the Harvard Invitational. Play begins at 10 a.m. with Long Beach State taking on Rutgers, with Harvard and Illinois State to follow at 1 p.m. The Redbirds and Scarlet Knights will square off at 4 p.m., prior to the tournament finale featuring the Crimson and 49ers at 7 p.m.

All four matches can be seen live for free on the Ivy League Digital Network.