PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – In the final match of the 2012 season, the Brown women's volleyball team went toe-to-toe with the Harvard Crimson for four exciting sets before falling, 3-1. The final set scores were 21-25, 25-21, 20-25 and 27-29, but even those do not illuminate the closeness of the contest, as the equally matched squads battled for every point. The outcome solidified both teams' records for the season, dropping the Bears to 7-17 (3-11 Ivy) and improving the Crimson to 10-16 (7-7 Ivy).
Play began with a Harvard point, but then saw the two teams trade leads on lengthy rallies with the Crimson building a 10-6 lead. Brown fought back however, scoring seven of the next eight points to gain a 13-11 advantage. In the spirit of the match, Harvard answered, scoring the next six points en route to the 25-21 win.
The Bears made things interesting in the second set, as a kill by Thea Derrough (La Jolla, CA) halted the Crimson's forward momentum and helped Brown take a one-point lead. The teams traded four-point streaks before a kill by Harvard's Kathleen Wallace tied the set, 15-15. Three consecutive Crimson errors contributed to the Bears' lead, as they scored seven of the next eight points to grab a 25-21 win over their opponents.
Harvard built a 14-9 lead on two consecutive kills in the third set, but Brown kept the Crimson within their sights, narrowing their lead to two points on a kill by senior captain Kathryn Glickman (San Francisco, CA). It wasn't enough however, as Harvard tallied a service ace and two kills to take the next three points and the set, 25-20.
Both teams playing hungrily in the fourth and final set of the night's match, with Harvard the ultimate victor, 29-27. Brown took the early lead, building a five-point margin on kills by Derrough and Maddie Lord (La Jolla, CA) as well as a service ace by senior Katrina Post (Casadena, CA). A four-point run by the Crimson tied the score, 16-16, and saw them pull ahead before the Bears fought back to tie the score, 20-20. Two Brown errors gave Harvard the lead, and they held on for the win in the night's longest and most closely contested set.
Derrough tallied a team-high, ten kills, in the Bears' loss, while Taylor Bantle (Pacific Palisades, CA), Post, Glickman and Lord each contributed eight. Post also added three service aces and 14 digs to her nightly total, while Derrough and Bantle had five and six blocks, respectively. Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, CA) assisted on 27 of the Bears' points, a match-high, and libero Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, CA) added a match-high of her own, digging 25 times in the game. Conner currently ranks second in the Ivy League in total digs and digs per set.
After the match, the Bears honored the careers of the members of the Class of 2013, as Saturday's game was the last in the Pizzitola Sports Center for Glickman and Post, as well as setter Alexandra Ilstad (Alamo, CA) and setter/defensive specialist Bailey Wendzel (San Clemente, CA).