Harvard at Yale
Harvard at Brown
Harvard can clinch its first NCAA tournament appearance with a pair of wins this weekend (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team controls its own destiny as it looks to secure a second-straight Ivy League championship and the program's first trip to the NCAA tournament this weekend at Yale and Brown. The Crimson and Bulldogs will take the court first on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. before Harvard concludes its regular season against the Bears on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m.
Where We Stand
Harvard holds a one-match lead in the Ivy League standings at 9-3 with just two matches remaining, but is being chased closely by Dartmouth and Princeton who are both 8-4. Yale is still alive in the title chase at 7-5, while Penn and Columbia are tied for fifth place at 5-7. Brown is in seventh at 4-8 with Cornell rounding out the standings at 2-10.
What Can Happen
With four teams still mathematically alive in the Ivy title race, a lot can happen this weekend. Harvard controls its own destiny, however, and can win its second-straight championship outright and earn the program's first trip to the NCAA tournament with a pair of victories.
Should a playoff be necessary, that match or matches would take place next weekend, Nov. 20-22.
Below are all 10 possible scenarios for this weekend:
- Harvard wins two = Harvard clinches championship.
- Harvard wins zero matches, Princeton wins two, Dartmouth wins one = Princeton clinches championship.
- Harvard wins zero matches, Princeton wins one, Dartmouth wins two = Dartmouth clinches championship.
- Yale wins two, Princeton wins one, Dartmouth wins one, Harvard wins zero matches = four team playoff (seeding not available until matches have concluded).
- Yale wins two, Princeton or Dartmouth only wins one, Harvard wins zero matches = three team playoff (seeding not available until matches have concluded).
- Harvard wins one, Princeton wins two, Dartmouth wins two = three team playoff (Harvard top seed due to best overall game record against teams involved).
- Harvard wins one, only one of Princeton or Dartmouth wins two = two team playoff (Harvard host against either team due to best overall game record against teams involved).
- Harvard wins zero matches, Princeton wins one, Dartmouth wins one = three team playoff (Harvard top seed due to best overall game record against teams involved).
- Harvard wins zero matches, only Princeton or Dartmouth wins one = two team playoff (Harvard hosts against either team due to better overall game record against both teams).
- Harvard wins zero matches, Princeton wins two, Dartmouth wins two = Princeton vs. Dartmouth playoff (Princeton hosts due to second tie breaker which is game record against next team in standings, Harvard).
Last Time Out
The Harvard women's volleyball team concluded its last homestead against Columbia on Senior Night with a 3-0 victory at the Malkin Athletic Center, 25-18, 25-18, 25-15.
Prior to the match, Harvard recognized its four graduating seniors; Caroline Holte, Hannah Schmidt, Kathleen Wallace and Sindhu Vegesena. Holte tallied three blocks in the match, surpassing Suzie Trimble '08 for second place in program history with 372 career blocks. Wallace, meanwhile, recorded her fifth career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs.
Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week – Nov. 11, 2015
Sindhu Vegesena earned the No. 3 spot on this week's Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week countdown. Trailing 24-23 in the third set versus Cornell, Vegesena made two stellar digs before Hannah Schmidt snuck a ball past the Big Red defense to tie the score. Harvard had trailed 24-21, but held off three set points to finish off the sweep and maintain its lead in the Ivy League standings.
Harvard has dominated the Ivy League weekly awards this season, winning five of 10 Player of the Week honors while adding three Rookie of the Week plaudits for a total of eight decorations.
Christina Cornelius was the most recent member of the Crimson to take home a weekly honor, being named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Nov. 10 for the second time this season after averaging 2.33 kills per set, 1.67 digs per set and 1.50 blocks per set while hitting .583 during the team's final homestand.
Kathleen Wallace was tabbed as the Ivy League Player of the Week on Oct. 20 after turning in a pair of double-doubles at Columbia and Cornell, marking her second career Player of the Week award.
Bain has named Player of the Week four of eight weeks this season, and became the first student-athlete to earn the award three straight times since Princeton's Lydia Rudnick did so in 2010. She now boasts nine Player of the Week accolades for her career, and has been recognized by the Ivy League with either a weekly award or inclusion on the Honor Roll 28 out of 32 weeks during her career, including 23 consecutive weeks dating back to her freshman season.
This marked the first Rookie of the Week honor for Meyer who earned the first two starts of her career and rewarded the coaching staff with a breakout weekend.
Harvard previously swept the Ivy League awards on Sept. 22 when Cornelius was paired with Bain as the Rookie of the Week.
Honors and Awards
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (Sept. 22, Nov. 10)
Step Your Game Up
Senior Kathleen Wallace has taken her game to a new level in Ivy League play, averaging 3.60 kills per set and hitting .245 after totaling just 2.43 kills per set and a .174 percentage in five non-conference matches. Wallace has contributed double-digit kills in nine of 12 conference matches while recording four double-doubles.
Stuffing The Stat Sheet
Senior Caroline Holte became the program's all-time leader in block assists on Oct. 2, passing two-time All-Ivy League first team selection Suzie Trimble '08 for the top spot. Holte currently boasts 339 block assists for her career, and also ranks second in program history with 372 total blocks.
Harvard enters the weekend ranked 13th in the NCAA in blocks per set (2.91) while Christina Cornelius ranks 10th individually, second among freshmen, with 1.57 blocks per set.
The Crimson is tops in the Ivy League in blocks per set, with Cornelius and Caroline Holte (1.12) ranking first and third, respectively. Harvard recorded at least 10 blocks in seven straight matches from Sept. 18 to Oct. 9, its longest streak since at least 2003 (the last year for which match-by-match statistics are available), and has turned in double-digit stuffs 12 times this season.
Freshman Christina Cornelius has made an immediate impact on the Crimson as one of the premier blockers in the NCAA, currently ranking 10th in the country with 1.57 blocks per set. Her 110 total blocks this season rank seventh in program history, while her 93 block assists are second most and one shy of Jennifer Jose's '96 single-season record of 94
Cornelius has totaled at least five blocks in 13 matches this season, including three matches in which she has turned aside nine attempts.
Can You Dig It
Senior Sindhu Vegesena ranks second in the Ivy League with a career-best 4.60 digs per set, helping Harvard limit its opponents to a .169 hitting percentage, best in the conference.
Vegesena's 4.60 digs per set average ranks as the fourth-highest single-season total in program history, while her 382 digs are the 10th-most registered in a season.
Junior Corinne Bain has turned in five triple-doubles this season, the sixth most in the NCAA. Last year she led the nation with an Ivy League record 10 triple-doubles after turning in six as a freshman.
Bain boasts 21 triple-doubles for her career and is the only member of the Crimson to achieve the feat.
Senior Grace Weghorst registered a career-high 24 kills in the team's 3-2 win over New Hampshire, marking the most kills by a member of the Crimson since Kathryn McKinley totaled 26 at Yale on Oct. 11, 2008.
Climbing The Charts
Corinne Bain, Caroline Holte and Hannah Schmidt are etching their names in the Harvard record book. For complete information, click here.
Home Court Advantage
Harvard posted an 10-4 record at the Malkin Athletic Center in 2015 and went 35-13 at home during the tenure of seniors Caroline Holte, Hannah Schmidt, Sindhu Vegesena, and Kathleen Wallace.
Harvard wrapped up a nine-match homestand with wins over Brown and Yale Oct. 9-10, its longest since playing 10 consecutive matches at the MAC to begin the 1993 season.
Women's Volleyball Summer Internships: Part I
Senior Sindhu Vegesena spent part of her summer teaching in Vietnam with Coach for College while classmate Hannah Schmidt interned for Conservation International.
Women's Volleyball Summer Internships: Part II
Senior Kathleen Wallace spent her summer doing research in the Brigham and Women's Regenerative Medicine Center while Grace Weghorst interned at Time, Inc.
Defending the Crown
Harvard earned a share of the Ivy League championship in 2014 after posting a 19-5 overall record with a 12-2 mark against conference foes. The Crimson clinched its share of the crown with a 3-1 victory over Cornell on Nov. 15, nearly 10 years to the day of the program's first Ancient Eight title.
Harvard's 12 Ivy League victories in 2014 represented a new program record while its 19 overall wins were the fourth-most in school history.
For the seventh straight year, the Harvard women's volleyball team was recognized for its work in the classroom with the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.
Captaining The Ship
Seniors Caroline Holte and Hannah Schmidt have been voted by their teammates as co-captains for the 2015 Harvard women's volleyball season.
"Caroline and Hannah have embraced their leadership role and have set high standards for themselves and the team," commented head coach Jennifer Weiss. "They have been key contributors both on and off the court during their three years at Harvard and they have dedicated many hours to not only develop as volleyball players, but more importantly great citizens of our volleyball program and Harvard University."
On The Sidelines
Harvard women's volleyball head coach Jennifer Weiss returns for her 23rd season at the helm of the Crimson. Weiss has led Harvard to 297 wins during her tenure, including Ivy League titles in 2004 and 2014. She has mentored 52 All-Ivy honorees, six 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.