CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Picking up its first Ivy League win of the season, the Harvard women's volleyball team (6-7, 1-3 Ivy) swept Penn (4-11, 0-4 Ivy) tonight, Oct. 5, in front of a packed Malkin Athletic Center. The three-set victory came by set scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-19.
Offensive staples Grace Roberts Burbank and Christina Cornelius hit in double figures tonight, leading the Crimson with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. First-year Jamie Rao followed closely behind with eight, while Mindie Mabry notched six. Bella Almanza recorded 34 of Harvard's 39 total assists, while also leading the line up in service aces with a season-high of three.
Senior co-captain Brooke Istvan led the back court with a team-high 12 digs, as Anna Uhr contributed nine and Cornelius added seven. The Crimson out-blocked the Quakers at the net seven to six, as Cornelius registered three, while Mabry tallied two block solos.
Harvard and Penn opened the match striking point-for-point, tying the score six times to a 13-13 gridlock. Holding the Quakers to a -.094 hitting percentage, the Crimson used a 6-1 run to take a commanding 20-14 advantage before Rao knocked down three kills to lead Harvard to a 25-19 victory in set one.
Set two led in the same fashion, as the Crimson and Quakers exchanged short runs until Harvard pulled away at 21-17. Exchanging the next five points as Penn began to close the gap, Harvard's offense continued to pressure as kills by Cornelius and Roberts Burbank sealed the set at 25-21 to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead in the match.
With the match on the line, set three became a defensive battle as the score would tie nine times at 17-17. Harvard capitalized on Penn's errors to take the next four straight points and a 21-17 lead, before two final back-to-back kills from Jocelyn Meyer clinched the match at 25-19.
- The Crimson outhit the Quakers .227 to .157.
- Harvard held Penn from its first conference win of the year.
- The Crimson remain undefeated in Cambridge, holding a 3-0 record this season.
Harvard will welcome Princeton to the Malkin Athletic Center tomorrow, Oct. 6 for a 5 p.m. match up. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+ and is free admission.