CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A powerful Harvard offense hit .285 to deliver a 3-1 loss (25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-12) to the Brown volleyball team in Ivy League action at the Malkin Athletic Center on Friday evening. Brown suffers its second straight defeat and moves to 8-12 overall and 4-5 in Ancient Eight play, while the Crimson even the season series to improve to 11-7 overall and 6-3 in the Ivy League.
Junior Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) topped the Bears attackers with nine kills, while freshman Payton Smith (Atherton, Calif.) added eight kills and recorded three total blocks. Freshman Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) dished out 15 assists, sophomore Rachele Killian (Laguna Beach, Calif.) chipped in 13 helpers and junior Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, Calif.) patrolled the back row for 12 digs.
Three players notched double-digit kills for Harvard, led by Grace Weghorst and Kathleen Wallace with 12 each. Weghorst sealed the double-double with 11 digs, while Erin Cooney struck for 10 kills with a .368 attack percentage.
The Bears stormed out of the gate and raced to a 6-2 lead on the strength of back-to-back kills by senior Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.), but the two-time Ivy League Player of the Week was held to just one more kill the entire match as Harvard mounted an 8-3 run to take the lead, 10-9. The Crimson would not trail the rest of the set and prevailed 25-17.
Brown put on its best hitting performance in set two at .231, but a 6-0 Crimson run that turned a 9-9 tie into a 16-9 advantage proved too much for the Bears to overcome en route to a 25-21 decision. Harvard hit the 20-point mark first but a quick 4-0 run by Brown made it a 21-18 game to put the visitors back in contention. Lord spiked her second kill of the set to force a 23-20 score, only to have Weghorst and Caroline Walters notched kills to cap the set.
A hard-fought victory in set three put Brown on the board thanks to a match-high 14 kills by the Bears in the frame. Five different Bears registered kills to get the visitors past the 10-point mark, and senior Taylor Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and freshman Clare Olivares (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) both found the empty floor to get the Crimson off Brown's back and open up a slim 13-11 lead. Harvard grabbed a trio of quick points to reclaim the lead, but Lord and Olivares each delivered equalizing kills and three Crimson errors pushed the Bears ahead 20-18. Olivares tallied another pair of kills to snap the two-set slide and make it a 2-1 match.
Inspired by the spoiled shutout, Harvard got down to business and rushed to a 15-5 lead on three kills by Caroline Holte in the opening rallies of set four. The Crimson lead reached double figures on a point by Corinne Bain, 20-10, and a 5-2 streak ended the match as Harvard marched to a 25-12 victory.
Brown returns to action tomorrow with an Ivy League tilt at Dartmouth at 5 p.m.