Women’s Volleyball Hands Boston College First Loss of Season

Harvard women's volleyball took down undefeated Boston College in five sets tonight. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Kicking off its home slate and the New England Challenge tonight, the Harvard women's volleyball team (3-4) handed Boston College (9-1) its first loss of the season in a five-set showdown. The Crimson defeated the Eagles by set scores of 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25 and 15-11. Harvard moved to 3-4 overall, while Boston College dropped to 9-1 on the first day of the New England Challenge.

Six members of the Crimson squad tallied double-digit kills in tonight's battle, while senior co-captain Christina Cornelius (14 kills, 13 digs) and freshmen Bella Almanza (10 kills, 36 assists) notched double-doubles. Grace Roberts Burbank contributed 13 kills and Sope Adeleye added 12, while Mindie Mabry and Maclaine Fields each knocked in 11. Freshmen Grace Varsames helped Harvard connect on 72 total kills, handing out 25 assists. Leading the back court on defense, Anna Uhr tallied 12 digs, while Adeleye, Cornelius and Fields each put up six blocks at the net.

Harvard came out of the gates strong in the first set, racing to an 8-1 lead to open the match. Fields, Mabry and Roberts Burbank were a force to be reckoned with in set one, leading the way with four kills apiece as the Crimson knocked down 19 total. Narrowly falling in the second set, 19-25, the Crimson bounced back in the third going point-for-point through much of the set. Capitalizing on attacking errors by the Eagles and strong blocking at the net, Harvard sealed set three at 25-21.

Boston College took set four by a score of 25-22 to force a decisive fifth set. With the match on the line, the Crimson came out firing, taking an early 6-2 advantage. Kills from Almanza, Cornelius and Fields increased Harvard's lead to 10-7 before the Crimson clinched the victory with a block from Adeleye and Cornelius.

Harvard Highlights:
- The Crimson outhit the Eagles .256 to .203.
- Six players tallied double-digit kills, including two double-doubles.
- Fields topped the Crimson line up in attack percentage, hitting at a .450 clip.
- Harvard handed Boston College its first loss of the season.

Game Notes:
- Harvard has now won each of its last three meetings against Boston College, defeating the Eagles in five sets last season as well.
- The Crimson continues to chip at its all-time series record with Boston College, trailing by just four matches at 20-24.

Up Next:
Harvard will return to action tomorrow night, Sept. 14, traveling to Northeastern for a 7 p.m. match up and day two of the New England Challenge.