Junior Maclaine Fields set a career-high 20 kills in the Crimson's 3-2 win. (Gil Talbot)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Opening the Fairfield Invitational with its first victory of the 2018 season, the Harvard women's volleyball team (1-3) defeated Central Connecticut State (2-6) in a five-set stunner today, Sept. 7 at Alumni Hall. The win came by set scores of 21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23 and 15-12.
Junior Maclaine Fields led the Crimson attack with a career-high and team-best 20 kills and only two errors to hit .486 on the night, while senior co-captain Christina Cornelius knocked down 14. Freshman Bella Almanza continues to impress for the Crimson, connecting Harvard on 60 total kills with 30 assists. Adding to Harvard's defensive efforts, Anna Uhr notched 20 digs as Fields put up a team-leading six blocks at the net.
After dropping two closely contested opening sets to the Blue Devils, the Crimson rallied back to take the next three straight and secure the win. Harvard came out firing on all cylinders in set three, hitting .314 off 16 kills. Cornelius and Fields combined for nine of the Crimson's 16 kills in set three, en route to the duo both securing double-digit kills.
Through a fourth set that tied 11 times, the Crimson forced a decisive fifth set after Almanza dropped in two final kills to take set four. Holding the Blue Devils to a .160 hitting percentage in the final frame, Harvard registered eight kills and zero errors for a .400 attack percentage to clinch its win.
- Fields set a career-high 20 kills against the Blue Devils, securing all but three of the Crimson's nine kills in the fourth set.
- Cornelius and Fields both tallied double-digit kills to lead Harvard to its first win of the season.
- Freshmen Grace Varsames made her collegiate debut, recording 16 assists and two service aces.
- Harvard improves its lead to 9-4 in its all-time series against Central Connecticut State.
- The Crimson tied the score 11 times in set four to force a decisive fifth set that led to its first win of the season.
The Crimson returns to action tomorrow, Sept. 8 to close out the Fairfield Invitational with a doubleheader. Harvard will first face Michigan State at 10 a.m. before taking on tournament host Fairfield at 3 p.m.