Women's Volleyball Falls in Five Sets Against Cornell

Grace Roberts Burbank had 17 kills and 18 digs against Cornell. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Grace Roberts Burbank had 17 kills and 18 digs and senior Corinne Bain recorded her fourth straight triple double (15 kills, 20 assists, 12 blocks), but Harvard women's volleyball (5-11, 3-4 Ivy League) fell to Cornell (8-9, 2-5 Ivy League) in five sets at Malkin Athletic Center. Cornell won by set scores of 28-26, 21-25, 25-21, 18-25, and 15-12.

Erin McCarthy had 31 assists and Isabelle Tashima recorded 20 digs for Harvard, which dropped its first home conference match of the season.

In the deciding set, Harvard took a commanding early lead at 10-2, but Cornell rallied to win 13 of the next 15 points for the stunning win, as the Crimson made six attack errors to aid the Big Red comeback.

In a back-and-forth opening set, Harvard led for the majority of the frame until Cornell's mini-run down 17-15 gave the Big Red an 18-17 lead. Harvard responded with three straight points, a run that began with a great touch kill by Roberts Burbank, setting up the exciting finish to the set. Harvard held off two set points, but at 26-26, the Big Red won two straight points, the last on a kill by Macey Wilson to clinch the frame.

In the second set, Cornell took the first significant lead in the frame with a 4-0 run to give the Big Red a 13-9 advantage. The Crimson responded by winning the next five points, punctuated by a block from Christina Cornelius and Corinne Bain to put Harvard ahead 15-14. Trailing 20-19 later in the set, Harvard won five of the next seven rallies to set up set point. Bain and Cornelius once again came up with a big block for the Crimson to even the match at 1-1.

Harvard maintained a slim lead early in the third set after a 3-0 run to start the frame. Cornell took its first lead in the frame at 18-17, and won the last four points of the set to close it out at 25-21.

Down 2-1, the Crimson began the fourth set with a 5-0 run, and maintained a comfortable lead until Cornell cut the margin to 19-15, forcing a Harvard timeout. But Bain stopped the Cornell run with a kill to the back left corner, and Jocelyn Meyer came up with another big kill at 21-17 to stop another Cornell run. Two straight Cornell errors gave Harvard the 25-18 set win, sending the match to its exciting conclusion.

Harvard hosts Dartmouth next Friday at Malkin Athletic Center with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. The match will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network.