Women's Volleyball Travels to New York to Face Cornell and Columbia
Harvard heads back out on the road looking to add two wins to its resume at Cornell and Columbia (Gil Talbot).
The Harvard women’s volleyball team will conclude its first rotation through the Ivy League this weekend when it heads out on the road to face Cornell and Columbia. The Crimson will first face the Big Red on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. before tangling with the Lions Saturday, Oct. 13 at 5 p.m.
A live video stream and live stats for Friday’s match will be available through CornellBigRed.com by clicking here. Columbia will provide live stats on Saturday through GoColumbiaLions.com by clicking here.
Last Time Out
Erin Cooney and Kathleen Wallace registered nine kills apiece, but the Harvard women's volleyball team fell to the two-time defending Ivy League champions Yale, 3-0, Saturday at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Freshmen Caroline Holte and Jennifer Shults and sophomore Caroline Walters each scored four kills for Harvard (5-11, 2-3 Ivy League), with Walters hitting a team-best .571. Beth Kinsella tallied 19 assists. Defensively, Taylor Docter and Hannah Schmidt led the Crimson with 10 digs, while Kristen Casey had nine.
Harvard recently released a new feature on GoCrimson, Top Plays of the Month. The first edition featured Kathleen Wallace at No. 7 for her 12 kill, .667 hitting percentage performance against Providence.
Harvard’s offense has been bookended by experience, with senior captain Taylor Docter and freshman Kathleen Wallace leading the way. Docter owns a team-best 2.93 kps average, good for fifth in the Ivy League, while Wallace ranks ninth in the conference with a .292 hitting percentage and has notched 2.68 kps. Junior Erin Cooney is third on the squad with 2.10 kps and sophomore Caroline Walters (1.76 kps) boasts a team best .371 hitting percentage, the second highest in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard ranks second in the Ivy League as a group with a combined .218 hitting percentage, its highest mark since hitting .208 in 2008.
Setting it Up
Senior Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt have shared the setting duties as the team has shifted into a 6-2 offensive system. Kinsella has dished out 309 assists for an average of 5.52 per set, while Schmidt has tallied 262 assists for a 4.52 average.
On the Block
Middle blockers Teresa Skelly, Caroline Walters and Caroline Holte have helped Harvard average 2.27 bps, good for second in the Ivy League. Holte leads the team with 57 total blocks and a 0.97 bps average. Walters ranks a close second with 54 total blocks and an average of 0.92 bps with Skelly chipping in 21 total blocks and 0.88 bps in limited action.
Keep an Eye Out For…
Beth Kinsella, Taylor Docter and Teresa Skelly each have a chance to make their marks on the Harvard record books this season. Kinsella currently ranks sixth all-time with 1,546 assists and has averaged 7.19 aps for her career. Docter has moved into a tie with current assistant coach Christine Wu ’12 for sixth place in career aces (93) while her career 2.60 kps are good for ninth. She is also just 50 kills shy of joining Harvard’s all-time top 10 with 872. Skelly, meanwhile, is just six block assists (178) short of entering the program’s top 10 and needs 35 total blocks (204) to join that list as well.
Scouting Cornell (5-11, 1-4 Ivy League)
Cornell picked up a 3-2 win over Binghamton on Tuesday to snap a two-match losing streak and move to 5-11 overall on the year, 1-4 in the Ivy League. Breanna Wong and Kelly Marble rank seventh and eighth in the conference with 2.89 kps and 2.85 kps, respectively, while Rachel D’Epagnier’s .312 hitting percentage is good for eighth. Kelly Reinke boasts the second-highest assists per set average (8.92) with D’Epagnier’s 1.08 bps placing her fourth.
Harvard was swept by Cornell in the season series a year ago despite having won four straight against the Big Red previously. Taylor Docter averaged 3.33 kps and 2.56 dps in the two matches last year, and connected for five aces. Kristen Casey and Erin Cooney, meanwhile, each notched 2.00 kps with Casey adding 2.33 dps and Cooney 1.50 bps.
Scouting Columbia (7-7, 2-3 Ivy League)
Yale opened the conference slate with a pair of wins over Cornell and Brown, but has since dropped three straight to fall to 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the Ancient Eight. The Lions lead the Ivy League with 2.86 bps as Heather Braunagel and Savannah Fletcher rank first and third, respectively, with 1.33 bps and 1.21 bps. Braunagel also boasts the conference’s top hitting percentage at .379 with Fletcher ranking sixth with a .333 mark. Colleen Brennan has dished out 5.39 aps, the 10th-best average in the league, while Molly Winger ranks seventh with 3.96 dps.
Harvard leads the all-time series with Columbia, 35-12, but has split the season series each of the last two years. Kristen Casey was dominate in the two meetings last season, averaging 4.00 kps and 3.00 dps while hitting .261. Taylor Docter and Teresa Skelly each contributed 2.50 kps and Erin Cooney added 2.33 kps.
Holte of the Block
Freshman Caroline Holte turned in a stellar performance against Brown, recording a career-high eight block assists while adding six kills and hitting .625. Holte’s eight blocks were the most in a three-set match for the Crimson since 2008, and the fifth most overall.
Harvard finished the match against Brown with a season-high 15 blocks, marking the highest total for the team since turning in 17 in a 3-2 win over Georgia State in 2011.
Seniors Taylor Docter and Beth Kinsella and freshman Hannah Schmidt have combined for 14 double-doubles this season. Each recorded a double-double in back-to-back matches two weeks ago against Princeton and Penn, while Docter’s streak of consecutive double-doubles reached five.
Harvard has recorded double-digit blocks in five matches this season, most recently turning in 15 in a 3-0 win over Brown. Harvard currently ranks second in the Ivy League with 2.27 bps, its highest average since 2003.
Taylor Docter set a new career-high with 23 kills at Dartmouth and finished the evening hitting .284 on 67 attempts with just four errors. Docter’s 23 kills are the second most for any Crimson student-athlete since 2008, with Kathryn McKinley’s ’09 total of 26 at Yale in 2008 topping the list.
Serving it Up
Taylor Docter matched her career-high with five aces at New Hampshire, marking the fourth time the senior has tallied five in a single match. Docter’s five aces were also the second-highest total of any Crimson since 2008, with Katherine Kocurek’s ’10 six aces at Dartmouth in 2008 leading the way.
Hitting it Home
Harvard registered a .474 hitting percentage against Providence, by far the highest hitting percentage of the season recorded by an Ivy League school. The Crimson converted 40 kills against the Friars on 78 attempts while only committing three errors. Caroline Walters hit a match-high .750 (6-0-8) while Kathleen Wallace hit .667 (12-0-18), the third-highest individual hitting percentage with a minimum of 10 attempts in the Ancient Eight this season. Caroline Holte (7-1-10) and Jennifer Shults (4-0-7) also got in on the action, hitting .600 and .571, respectively.
Harvard last hit .400 for a match on Sept. 27, 2008, when the squad combined for a .456 hitting percentage (35-4-68) in a 3-0 win over St. Francis (Pa.).
Senior co-captain Taylor Docter was named to both the Hokie Invitational and Harvard Invitational all-tournament teams. She was joined on the Harvard Invitational All-Tournament Team by freshman Kathleen Wallace and sophomore Caroline Walters, while Kristen Casey was named to the New England Challenge All-Tournament Team, marking the first all-tourney honor of each of their careers.
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."
Head coach Jen Weiss is in her 20th season at the helm of the Crimson. Weiss owns a 246-289 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.
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.