Photo of Katherine Kocurek courtesy of Gil Tablot.
The Story Line
Harvard hosts Colgate, Stony Brook and Toledo in the annual Harvard Invitational Sept. 4-5 at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson, who went 10-15 last season, returns two All-Ivy League recipients and six starters from last season.
4 p.m. ~ Toledo vs. Stony Crook
7 p.m. ~ Harvard vs. Colgate
10 a.m. ~ Colgate vs. Toledo
1 p.m. ~ Harvard vs. Stony Brook
4 p.m. ~ Stony Brook vs. Colgate
7 p.m. ~ Harvard vs. Toledo
Keep up at Home
Live stats will be provided on GoCrimson.com for all six matches in the tournament. A video only webstream will be available for a small fee through www.stretchinternet.com for Harvard's three contests.
The Home Team
Harvard returns three players who averaged 2.0 or more kills per set in sophomore Anne Carroll Ingersoll (2.63), junior Mikaelle Comrie (2.62) and sophomore Sandra Lynn Fryhofer (2.04). Ingersoll hit .356 to lead the Crimson squad a season ago. Senior Lily Durwood was one of the top setters in the league with 10.77 assists per set. Senior Katherine Kocurek and sophomore Christine Wu dominated the court on defense. Wu averaged 4.11 digs per set, while Kocurek posted 3.59 digs per set.
The Raiders enter the weekend with a 1-0 record after a 3-0 win over Coppin State on Aug. 28. Colgate, the winners of 10 of its last 13 matches dating back to last season, trailed once twice in the entire match en route to a 25-11, 25-6, 25-16 victory.
Freshman Kaleigh Durket led the team in kills with eight, while juniors Casey Ritt and Logan Keala had seven each. Ritt was errorless on nine attempts to hit .778 for the match. Durket served up six aces and junior Devon Applegate posted a match-high eight digs.
Scouting Stony Brook
The Seawolves have already played four contests this fall, dropping three close matches at the Maryland Tournament and one to St. John's Tuesday night. Stony Brook battled with Maryland and Villanova in its first two contests before falling in the fifth set.
Senior Harmonie Calinda leads the team with 3.94 kills per set, 3.41 digs per set and a .274 clip. She has 67 kills on 164 attempts thus far. Sophomore Kelsey Sullivan and freshman Corinne Perry have split the setting duties. Sullivan has handed out 81 assists (6.23 per set) and Perry has added 70 (5.83 per set).
The Rockets bring a 3-0 record into the Malkin Athletic Center this weekend. Toledo won the Staybridge Suites Rocket Classic last weekend with victories over Bryant, 3-0, Marist, 3-0, and Kennesaw State, 3-1.
Sophomore Amber DeWeerdt earned MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors for her 19 kills, 16 digs and a .417 attack percentage against Marist. She also registered another double-double against Bryant with 10 kills and 13 digs and posted a team-best 17 kills vs. Kennesaw State. DeWeerdt and classmate Kassie Kadera pace the team with 3.70 digs per set. Seniors Liz Sundburg and Sarah Wilson have registered 11 blocks apiece.
The Series Records
Toledo evened the all-time series with Harvard to 1-1 at USF Best Western Invitational last year with a 3-0 victory. The series between Colgate and Harvard is knotted at three wins each. Harvard has won three in a row against the Raiders with the last meeting coming in 2003.Stony Brook holds a 2-1 margin over the Crimson. The two teams last met in 2002 at the Fairfield Invitational.
Meet the Newcomers
Harvard welcomes five freshmen and one new assistant coach in 2009. Three of Harvard's five newcomers hail from California, while the other are natives of Illinois. The group includes two outsider hitters, a setter, a defensive specialist/outside hitter and a middle blocker.
The Crimson welcomes Ann Carroll (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Taylor Docter (Los Altos, Calif.), Beth Kinsella (Wheaton, Ill.), Jennifer Martin (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Olivia Staffon (Laguna Niguel, Calif.).
Shannon Farrell, a 2007 Yale graduate, joined the Crimson coaching staff this summer. Farrell was a three-time first-team All-Ivy League selection as a Bulldog. She earned unanimous first-team honors as a senior. She helped her team to the 2004 Ivy League title and the second round of the NCAA Championship. In 2005, she was an honorable mention All-Northeast Regional selection and was named CVU.com Stellar Spiker honorable mention.
Katherine Kocurek is 181 digs away from the Harvard all-time digs record. The Texas native currently stands third on the all-time list with 1,183 career digs. Laura Mahon '08 is second with 1,292 and Melissa Forcum '99 holds the record with 1,363. Kocurek has two entries on the single season digs list at the top spot (520 in 2007) and 10th (348 in 2008).
The Crimson has little turnaround time before its next home contest. Harvard hosts Connecticut Sept. 8 at the MAC. The Huskies host the UConn Toyota Classic this weekend after participating in the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational.