Defense Sparks First-Place Women's Volleyball to 3-0 Win Over Cornell

Holte's 10 blocks helped limit Cornell to a -.008 percentage (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard women's volleyball team maintained its lead in the Ivy League with a straight-set victory over Cornell Friday night at the Malkin Athletic Center, 25-16, 25-9, 26-24.

Harvard (12-9, 8-3 Ivy League) holds a one-match lead over Dartmouth (10-10, 7-4 Ivy League) and Princeton (12-8, 7-4 Ivy League) following the Big Green's 3-1 win versus Columbia and the Tigers' 3-1 triumph over Yale. The Crimson controls its own destiny with just three matches remaining, beginning tomorrow night with Senior Night versus Columbia. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Harvard was dominant on the defensive side of the net, holding Cornell (6-15, 2-9 Ivy League) to a -.008 hitting percentage. Caroline Holte led the charge with 10 blocks, including two solo, and needs just one block tomorrow to match former standout Suzie Trimble '08 for second place on the program's career blocks list with 370. Christina Cornelius and Jocelyn Meyer both added five blocks, with Corinne Bain and Kathleen Wallace contributing four apiece.

Bain, Cornelius and Wallace each scored seven kills with Meyer adding six. Bain also tallied 18 assists and 10 digs for her 16th double-double of the year to go with a 14-assist, eight-dig performance from Hannah Schmidt. Sindhu Vegesena, meanwhile, chipped in a match-high 13 digs.

The Crimson took control of the match early, opening the first set with a 5-1 run. A 5-0 stretch extended the margin to 20-11, and a Big Red service error gave Harvard the frame, 25-16.

It was all Crimson in the second as the hosts sprinted out to a 19-4 advantage before taking the victory by a 25-9 score. Harvard hit .400 in the set while limiting Cornell to a -.098 percentage.

The Big Red put up a fight in the third and held a 24-21 edge late. Harvard rallied, however, and tied the frame at 24 on a Schmidt kill before consecutive blocks from Holte and Bain stole the set away.