CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Kicking off its 2019 campaign at home, the Harvard women's volleyball team battled to a five-set victory over Sacred Heart in its season opener on day one of the Harvard Invitational tonight, Sept. 6. The Crimson secured the 3-2 victory by set scores of 25-21, 19-25, 16-25, 25-12 and 15-13. Harvard improves to 1-0 on the season, while Sacred Heart drops to 2-2.
Senior Sope Adeleye led the Crimson attack with a career-high and team-best 14 kills with only three errors to hit .487 on the night. Senior Grace Roberts Burbank joined Adeleye in double figures with 10 kills, recording zero errors for a .370 hitting percentage. Evelyn Gray and Mindie Mabry contributed to the Harvard offense as well, each posting eight kills apiece.
First-year Ashley Wang and sophomore Bella Almanza assisted the Crimson's offense, registering 22 and 20 helpers, respectively. Wang nearly posted a double-double, adding eight digs to her tally. Leading the back court, junior Sandra Zeng notched 12 digs, while Adeleye put up a team-high seven block assists.
The Crimson came out firing on all cylinders in set one, hitting at .282 off of 13 kills to secure a 1-0 lead in the match. After falling in the next two sets, Harvard came out dominant in set three to tie the match at 2-2 and force a decisive fifth set. The Crimson tallied 12 kills in set four for a match-high .455 attack percentage. Holding the Pioneers to a .100 hitting percentage in the final frame, Harvard secured its season-opening win.
- The Crimson was on fire at the service line, as Almanza and Zeng each tallied four aces, while Wang added three.
- Harvard totaled a match-high hitting percentage of .455 in set four.
- The Crimson held the Pioneers to .000 and .100 hitting percentages in the fourth and fifth set, respectively.
- Harvard's defense outblocked Sacred Heart 20 to eight.
Harvard will return to the court tomorrow, Sept. 7 to close out the Harvard Invitational. The Crimson will face Colgate at 1 p.m., before taking on URI at 7 p.m. All matches will be broadcast on ESPN+.