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Women's Volleyball To Host Holy Cross, Hofstra in Harvard Invitational

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team will open its 33rd season of play this weekend by hosting Holy Cross and Hofstra in the eighth annual Harvard Invitational. The Crimson will first take to the court Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. versus Holy Cross before welcoming Hofstra on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

The Crusaders and Pride will also square off against one another Saturday at 1 p.m.

Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, each of Harvard's 11 home matches will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and On-Demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.

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Harvard Invitational

The Crimson went 2-1 at last year's Harvard Invitational and is 12-9 all-time in the tournament which dates back to 2006. This year's senior class of Erin Cooney, Natalie Doyle and Teresa Skelly is 5-4 in the event, with Cooney being named to the 2011 all-tournament team.

Holy Cross has appeared in the tournament once and went 0-3 in its lone appearance in 2011. This will mark Hofstra's first time competing in the tournament.

Welcome Back
Harvard returns 10 letterwinners to the court in 2013 including co-captains Kristen Casey and Natalie Doyle. Casey, who played outside hitter as a freshman but made the transition to libero as a sophomore, will return to the outside as a six-rotation player for the Crimson. Doyle, meanwhile, will be relied upon in the back row after averaging 2.39 dps a year ago.

Also returning for the Crimson is Caroline Walters (1.06 bps), an All-Ivy League second team performer in 2012, Erin Cooney (2.14 kps), Caroline Holte (1.00 bps), Hannah Schmidt (4.78 aps), Teresa Skelly (0.88 bps) and Kathleen Wallace (2.81 kps).

New To The Scene
Earlier this summer, head coach Jennifer Weiss announced the addition of five freshmen for 2013; Corinne Bain, Whitney Hansen, Jane Labanowski, Danielle Leavitt and Grace Weghorst. This group, which represents California, Florida and Texas, has combined for three state championships, eight district championships and seven league championships.

Related Link: Five Freshmen Set to Join Women's Volleyball in 2013

On The Sidelines
Head coach Jennifer Weiss returns for her 21st season at the helm of the Harvard women's volleyball program. Weiss owns a 251-293 record on the sidelines and guided Harvard to its only Ivy League championship in 2004. She has mentored 48 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.

Weiss is joined this season by first-year assistants Arturo Rivera and Jeffrey Aucoin.

Related Links: Arturo Rivera Joins Women's Volleyball Coaching Staff; Jeffrey Aucoin Named Men's and Women's Volleyball Assistant

Scouting Holy Cross (1-2)
Holy Cross opened its 2013 campaign last week with a 1-2 showing at the Crusader Classic. Holy Cross dropped a pair of straight-set matches to Scared Heart and Stony Brook before taking down Manhattan, 3-1, for its first victory of the year. The Crusaders are led by Mandy Sifferlen who posted 2.89 kps and 1.33 dps over the first weekend of play while Natalie Welsch added 2.80 kps while hitting .429.

Scouting Hofstra (4-0)
Hofstra enters the weekend a perfect 4-0 after going undefeated last weekend at the Hofstra Asics Invitational. The Pride won all four matches in straight sets, taking down Delaware State, Coppin State, St. Francis (Pa.) and Siena. Kelsie Wills averaged 4.58 kps, 1.67 dps and hit .377 for the weekend with Sara Campolina adding 2.75 kps, 1.17 bps and hitting .448.