|Harvard vs. Penn
Oct. 6, 2017
ESPN3 | Ivy League Network
Paul Agostini, Adrian Rivera
Harvard trails, 16-45
L, 0-3 (Oct. 28, 2016)
|Harvard vs. Princeton
Oct. 7, 2017
Ivy League Network
Harvard trails, 14-51
L, 2-3 (Oct. 29, 2016)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's volleyball team will take its first road trip in Ivy League play this coming weekend. On Friday, the Crimson are set to face off against Penn at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Network and ESPN3. The following day, the Crimson squares off against Princeton, the only other unbeaten team in conference play.
Last Time Out
Harvard women's volleyball (8-4, 3-0 Ivy) continued to steam roll through the Ivy League with a 3-0 victory over Columbia (5-7, 0-3 Ivy) on Saturday evening. The Crimson handedly beat the Lions 25-14 and 25-15 in sets one and two, before slowly but surely securing set three with a 25-22 win. Harvard registered a .396 overall hitting percentage, with five different players hitting .275 or better. Jocelyn Meyer played one of her best matches of the season to date, putting down nine kills with zero errors for a .600 hitting percentage, a new team season high. Meyer added four aces, a dig and a block for 13.5 points.
Harvard's hitting percentage of .396 is the highest mark since the Crimson registered .474 against Providence in 2012. With the win over Columbia, Harvard upped its win streak to seven matches, the longest run since an 11-match streak in 2014. Harvard is also 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004.
The Crimson's attack is competing at a high level, with four players averaging over 2.00 kills per set and another two just under that mark. Christina Cornelius and Maclaine Fields are also hitting above .300 on the season. Defensively, Anna Uhr is leading the team with 113 total digs, averaging 2.63 per set. At the net, Cornelius and Fields have recorded 46 and 37 blocks respectively, while Jocelyn Meyer and Erin McCarthy have each contributed 22.
Heading into the weekend, Penn holds a 6-6 overall record, is 1-2 in Ivy League play and is 1-1 at The Palestra. The Quakers also have a balanced attack, with four players averaging over two kills per set, led by rookie Parker Jones. Through 12 matches, Penn is, on average, tallying two more digs than the Crimson, but is not as effective at the net with blocks.
Princeton enters this weekend as the only other unbeaten team in Ivy League play, and will face Dartmouth on Friday evening before facing off against the Crimson on Saturday. The Tigers are also unbeaten in two matches at Dillon Gymnasium, taking wins against Penn and Seton Hall. Natasha Skov and Maggie O'Connell lead the Tigers with 3.67 and 3.30 kills per set respectively. Primary setter Jessie Harris remains atop of the Ivy League averaging 10.73 assists per set. Harvard will go up against two of the top-10 blockers in the conference, Nnenna Ibe and Caroline Sklaver who have contributed 97 blocks combined on the season.
R P High
On Monday, the NCAA released the first women's volleyball RPI Rankings of the 2017 season. Harvard came in at 123, third in the Ivy League, behind Princeton (71) and Yale (82). The Crimson posted the largest turnaround in the Ivy League, finishing at 202 in 2016, good for a +79 jump.
Leading the Ivy League
Harvard continues to improve its ranks in the Ivy League, holding a spot in the top four in four of six categories. The Crimson leads the conference in hitting percentage with a .255 mark. After totaling nine aces against Columbia, Harvard now ranks third among Ivies, averaging 1.29 aces per set. Harvard also ranks fourth in the conference in both kills per set and assists per set, averaging 12.36 and 11.53 respectively. Individually, seven Crimson players rank in the top 10 of the Ivy League in their respective categories. Leading the pack is Erin McCarthy posting 10.22 assists per set, good for second in the Ivy League, and Maclaine Fields who is averaging a .351 hitting percentage, good for fifth in the conference.
Rising in the Rankings
Nationally, Harvard sits in the top-50 of over 330 programs with its .255 hitting percentage. Individually, Erin McCarthy and Maclaine Fields are both raking in top-100 ratings on assists per set and hitting percentage.
Ivy League Network
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The Crimson will return to the Malkin Athletic Center next Friday to take on Brown at 7 p.m. The next day, Harvard will celebrate Alumni Day at its match against Yale, set to begin at 5 p.m.