NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Handing Yale (0-0, 8-3 Ivy) just its third conference loss at home in 59 matches, the Harvard women's volleyball team (12-8, 7-4 Ivy) took one step closer to an Ivy League Championship with a 3-2 win at John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday night.
Paige Kebe led the Crimson with 15 kills on the evening, a season high for the senior. Jocelyn Meyer and Grace Roberts Burbank added 14 kills apiece to Harvard's attack. Roberts Burbank paired her kills with 11 digs for her first double-double of the season.
Defensively, five different players contributed double-digit digs, Erin McCarthy leading the pack with 20 along with her match-leading 48 assists. Christina Cornelius and Anna Uhr put up 19 digs each while Sandra Zeng and Roberts Burbank added another 11 each. At the net, Maclaine Fields and Christina Cornelius blocked five Yale attempts each along with nine and six kills respectively.
After the first three sets were decided by 25-21 scores and numerous errors, the teams battled through sets four and five, extending both to extra points. After being down 2-1, Harvard was able to edge Yale 26-24 in the fourth off of an ace from Jocelyn Meyer. In the decisive set five, the Bulldogs blew a 6-2 and 8-4 lead, allowing the Crimson to claw back to tie the match at 14. The teams played bonus volleyball for nine straight points before Jocelyn Meyer put it away for Harvard with a ball from Christina Cornelius.
Neither team hit with precision this evening, Harvard averaging a .146 hitting percentage and Yale just above at .190. Between the two teams, 404 attack attempts were made, the Crimson committing 31 errors and the Bulldogs totaling 29. At the service line, Yale tallied just three aces and 11 service errors while Harvard had a slightly better clip with six aces and nine service errors.
Princeton and Yale will need to watch their backs for the final three matches of the season as any slip up would put Harvard in contention for the Ivy title. The Tigers and Bulldogs sit tied for first at 8-3 while the Crimson is tailgating in third at 7-4. Following Penn's win at Cornell, the Quakers and Big Red are tied for fourth at 6-5 and Columbia (4-7), Dartmouth (4-7) and Brown (1-10) round out the current Ivy standings. All eight will be in action on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The Crimson will play its final road match of the regular season tomorrow at Brown. The match is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.