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Dartmouth Drops Ivy League Opener to Harvard

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By John and Matt Risley
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Dartmouth women’s volleyball team dropped its Ivy League opener on Friday, falling, 3-0, to Harvard inside the Malkin Athletic Center.

The Big Green (7-5, 0-1 Ivy) lost their second straight to the Crimson (6-4, 1-0 Ivy) after topping Harvard in their first conference game last season. The shutout loss was just the third this year for Dartmouth and it marked the first time the team from the Upper Valley failed to take a set from the Crimson since October of 2008.

In the first set, the teams traded blows early and Dartmouth raced out to an 11-7 lead thanks to an Emily Astarita kill. From there, Harvard would run off six straight point to hold a 13-11 lead. Later in the opening stanza, a Paige Caridi kill brought the Big Green to within three at 17-14 before the Crimson reeled off 10 of the final 12 points for a 1-0 advantage.

In the second set the streaky played continued as each team went on runs of four or more. The back and forth set saw the conference rivals each hold four point leads. Trailing 9-5, head coach Erin Lindsey’s squad scored a season-best eight straight points thanks to a trio of kills by Astarita and three attack errors by the Crimson. Harvard controlled the second part of the set, going on three separate runs of three or more straight points to take the 2-0 advantage.

During the third set the freshman showed grit for the Big Green as Astarita added three more kills and Molly Kornfeind added two of her own. The hustle and hard work came up short for the Big Green as Harvard took the set for its first league win of the season.

Offensively, Astarita led the attack for the second consecutive contest registering 10 kills. Kaira Lujan had five kills and a team-high .375 attack percentage while co-captains Elisa Scudder and Lucia Pohlman each added four kills of their own. Freshman Stacey Benton continues to adapt to her role as quarterback of the offense, dishing out 25 assists.

Dartmouth returns to the court on Tuesday, Oct. 1, traveling to the Ocean State to take on Bryant in non-conference action. The tilt with the Bulldogs is the final out of conference game of the season for the Green and White and is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start.