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Women's Volleyball Set to Host Harvard Invitational

Harvard will host Manhattan, Providence and Northern Kentucky  (Gil Talbot).

Story Line
The Harvard women's volleyball team will open its home slate this weekend when it hosts the Harvard Invitational at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson will take on Manhattan on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. before welcoming Providence and Northern Kentucky to Cambridge on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Fans can watch each match this weekend or follow along via live stats online by clicking here.

Last Time Out
The Crimson lost three straight matches to open the 2012 campaign at the Hokie Invitational. Harvard dropped a nail-biter to Middle Tennessee State in the first match of the weekend, 3-2, before falling in straight sets to both Virginia Tech and Towson. Senior Taylor Docter led the way for the Crimson with 2.82 kps and 2.18 dps, while freshman Kathleen Wallace turned in an impressive debut with 2.27 kps.

All-Tourney
Senior co-captain Taylor Docter was named to the Hokie Invitational All-Tournament Team after leading the Crimson on both offense and defense last weekend. Docter recorded her first double-double of the season with a 14-kill, 11-dig effort in the opener versus Middle Tennessee State and later posted 11 kills and seven digs against Towson. She finished the weekend averaging 2.82 kps and 2.18 dps.

Harvard Invitational
The Crimson went 2-1 at last year's Harvard Invitational and is 10-8 all-time in the tournament which dates back to 2006. This year's senior class of Taylor Docter, Beth Kinsella and Olivia Staffon has posted a 5-4 record in the event. Manhattan, Northern Kentucky and Providence will each be playing in the tournament for the first time.

Keep an Eye Out For…
Taylor Docter and Teresa Skelly entered the 2012 season with a chance to make their marks on the Harvard record books. Docter sits just outside the program's all-time top 10 for career kills with 730, while her career 2.53 kps has her tied for ninth in school annals. Skelly, meanwhile, is just shy of entering the top 10 in total blocks (194) and block assists (170).

Scouting Manhattan (1-5)
Manhattan enters play this weekend having lost three straight matches at the Tribe Invitational after opening the year with a 1-2 record at the La Salle Invitational. The Jaspers are led by Mariana Furquim, who has averaged 3.05 kps and 3.32 dps, and Alexa Lampasona, who has notched 3.00 kps with a .247 hitting percentage. Hollegn Henderson has served as the team's primary setter with 8.71 aps, while Kelsey Huntoon has paced the defense with 5.59 dps.

Scouting Providence (1-9)
Providence has lost five straight matches entering the weekend including a 3-0 loss at Rider Tuesday night. Anna Russian (2.56 kps), Mackenzie Ziegler (2.47 kps) and Colleen McCollom (2.42 kps) have provided steady offense for the Friars with McCollom also adding 2.36 dps. Jordan Wiesler has dished out 8.25 aps, and Cassie Muzzonigro has recorded 4.31 dps.

Scouting Northern Kentucky (7-0)
Northern Kentucky enters the weekend on a roll, having won each of its first seven games to open the season. Most recently, the Norse won 9-of-11 sets to take first place at the Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational hosted by Morehead State. Kelly Morrissey and Shelby Buschur lead the team with 3.12 kps and 3.00 kps, respectively, while both have hit .276. Buschur has added 0.80 bps on the defensive side of the net with Jenna Schreiver dishing out 11.84 aps.

Captain of the Ship
Senior Taylor Docter was voted by her teammates as the 59th captain of Harvard women's volleyball. Docter was an All-Ivy League second team and Academic All-Ivy honoree in 2011 after ranking eighth in the conference in kills per set (3.05), seventh in aces (0.27) and seventh in points per set (3.52). The Los Altos, Calif., native also averaged 1.72 dps on the defensive side of the net and finished her year with career-highs in kills, attempts, hitting percentage and digs.

"Taylor has been an impact player since her freshmen season," Head Coach Jen Weiss commented. "She came in this preseason in great shape and ready to work hard. As a second team All-Ivy outside hitter, she led our team in points scored and kills per set.  She has a natural ability to lead and her peers respect her on and off the court. Taylor's composure on court has been tremendous this year and I look forward to her leading the team."

Welcome Back
The Crimson welcomes back nine letterwinners from last year's squad which posted a 12-12 overall record, marking the program's first season of .500 play since 2004. Taylor Docter and Kristen Casey are the team's top returners on offense after averaging 3.05 kps and 2.71 kps, respectively, while Teresa Skelly (1.00 bps) and Erin Cooney (0.60 bps) will be looked upon to help stabilize the defense. Other returnees include seniors Beth Kinsella and Olivia Staffon, junior Natalie Doyle and sophomores Tara MacLean and Caroline Walters.

Watch the video below to hear from Docter and Casey following the team's first day of practice.

Freshmen Four-Pack
Caroline Holte, Hannah Schmidt, Jennifer Shults and Kathleen Wallace have joined the Crimson for the 2012 season after combining for three state championships, eight league championships and three Academic All-America honors in high school. Click here to read more on Harvard's freshmen class.

Platinum Anniversary
Head coach Jen Weiss is in her 20th season at the helm of the Crimson. Weiss owns a 241-281 record on the sidelines and guided Harvard to its only Ivy League championship in 2004. She has mentored 46 All-Ivy honorees, five Ivy League Rookie of the Year recipients and coached the program's first two-time Ivy League Player of the Year in Kaego Ogbechie '05.

Check out Weiss' season preview video below.

Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard will host 11 home matches at the Malkin Athletic Center this season and each will be streamed live online through GoCrimson.com. Fans can also watch each match On Demand approximately two hours after completion. One-year subscriptions are available for $49.95 and allow access to every home event streamed by the Crimson, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey and men's soccer. For more information or to sign up today, click here.