Roberts Burbank Leads Women's Volleyball Past Yale in Five Sets

Freshman Grace Roberts Burbank recorded a career high 26 kills to lead Harvard past Yale. (Gil Talbot)

Freshman Grace Roberts Burbank notched a career-high 26 kills, adding seven digs to lead the Harvard women's volleyball team (8-14, 6-7 Ivy League) to a comeback five-set win over Yale (17-5, 10-3 Ivy League) at Malkin Athletic Center. Roberts Burbank was one of five Harvard players with double digit kills, as Jocelyn Meyer added 12 kills, Maclaine Fields and Paige Kebe each added 11 kills, and Christina Cornelius notched 10 kills and 13 digs to lead the Crimson.

Harvard won by set scores of 25-13, 22-25, 23-25, 26-24, and 15-13. The Crimson recorded one of its most impressive hitting performances of the season, finishing the night with 77 kills and an attack percentage of .320.

In the deciding fifth set, the Crimson trailed 10-7 before notching three straight points, including a kill and service ace by Roberts Burbank to tie it up. After Yale pulled ahead 11-10, another 3-0 run for Harvard keyed by a kill from Fields and a service ace from Brooke Istvan put Harvard in front for the first time in the frame. Four points later, Meyer sealed the win with a cross-court kill.

Harvard dominated the opening set, notching 14 kills with just two errors for an attack percentage of .462, while Yale struggled, making seven attack errors. With the set tied at 7-7, the Crimson won eight of the next nine points to take control. Kebe's kill down the line clinched the set for Harvard at 25-13.

In a tightly contested second set, neither team led by more than two points before Yale used a 5-0 run to break a 15-15 tie before closing out the frame at 25-22.

Harvard fell behind 10-2 early in the third set, and trailed 22-14 before ripping off a 7-0 run keyed by four kills from Roberts Burbank to get to within one point. But leading 24-23, Yale's Tristin Kott gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage with a kill.

The Crimson pushed ahead of Yale late in the fourth set behind a stellar effort on attack (18 kills, 4 errors). With the set tied at 24-24, Roberts Burbank came up with a big kill, which was followed by a block from Fields and Bain to force a fifth set.

Harvard will honor Bain's record-shattering career tomorrow night, as the Crimson hosts Brown in a 5 p.m. contest.