Women's Volleyball Can't Hold Off Dartmouth, Falls in Five

Cornelius hit at a .545 clip and totaled seven blocks (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team was upended by Dartmouth Friday night, 3-2, as both teams opened Ivy League play at the Malkin Athletic Center. The defeat came by set scores of 25-19, 19-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 13-15.

Christina Cornelius controlled the middle for Harvard (4-7, 0-1 Ivy League), finishing the night with 13 kills, a .545 hitting percentage and seven blocks. Grace Weghorst contributed 13 kills of her own, while Caroline Labanowski chipped in 10.

Corinne Bain just missed a triple-double with nine kills, 29 assists and 23 digs, matching her career-high. Sindhu Vegesena added 22 digs with Hannah Schmidt totaling 21 assists.

Dartmouth (4-6, 1-0 Ivy League) was paced by Emily Astarita's 23-kills, to go with double-doubles from Paige Caridi (13k, 13d) and Sierra Lyle (11k, 11d). The loss was Harvard's fourth five-set defeat of the year, and its second straight.

The Crimson used a 5-0 run midway through the first set to pull away from the Big Green, and held off a late charge by the visitors to take the victory. Dartmouth evened the match in the second, however, scoring five straight points to finish the frame and build momentum heading into the third.

Harvard overcame an early deficit to take a 20-16 lead in the third, but the Big Green rallied with a 9-2 run down the stretch to steal the set. A 10-3 spurt midway through the fourth helped the Crimson pull even, sending the match to a fifth set.

Dartmouth won the race to eight and added three consecutive points after the switch for an 11-7 margin. Harvard pulled to within 13-12 on a Kathleen Wallace kill, and fended off the Big Green's first match point with a strike from Cornelius, 14-13. A service error by Schmidt ended the Crimson's comeback attempt, however, marking the second straight season that Dartmouth has defeated Harvard in the conference opener.

Harvard returns to action next weekend as it hosts Princeton and Penn. The Tigers will first visit Cambridge on Friday, Oct. 2 for a 7 p.m. showdown, before the Quakers come to town Saturday, Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. Both matches can be seen live online via the Ivy League Digital Network.