HANOVER, N.H. — On a night honoring former head coach Ann Marie Larese, the Dartmouth volleyball team defeated Harvard with a 3-1 victory. The Big Green used 21 kills from senior Madeline Baird (Austin, Texas) to improve to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in the Ivy League. The Crimson dropped to 10-8 and 3-5 in the conference.
Dartmouth won the first two sets, but Harvard took the third after the 10-minute intermission. The Big Green held off going to five sets by coming out strong to win the fourth.
Baird added 16 digs to her 21 kills and is now four kills away from tying the all-time kills record at 1,180 held by Ashley Dean ’02. Sophomore Meghan Cooney (Martinez, Calif.) tried to keep pace with Baird, recording 17 kills and 13 digs. Senior Amber Bryant (Libertyville, Ill.) led the team in digs with 22 and junior Alissa Santa Maria (Yorba Linda, Calif.) tallied a double-double with 45 assists and 11 digs.
In the first set, the Big Green fell behind, 11-7, but stormed back with 8-2 run to take a 15-13 lead. The Crimson tried to regain the lead, but Dartmouth stretched the lead to 24-19. Harvard fought off three set points, but the Big Green won the set, 25-22, on an attack error by Taylor Docter.
The second set was closer than the first with the teams tied 18-18. Dartmouth won five out of next seven points, highlighted by two kills by Cooney, to take a 23-20 advantage. The Crimson responded with two points to cut the lead to one. After a service error by Olivia Staffron and an attack error by senior Annie Villanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Dartmouth won the set, 25-23, on a kill by Baird.
Harvard completely controlled the third set. The Crimson used a seven-point run early to take an 11-5 lead. Dartmouth tried to make a run, but Harvard won six of the last eight points to win the set, 25-19.
Dartmouth reversed the momentum in the fourth by imposing its will on Harvard. The Big Green hit a match-high .296 in the fourth, and held the Crimson to .071 to take the set, 25-15.
For the contest, Dartmouth hit .231 compared to .180 for Harvard. The Big Green totaled five service aces and had seven team blocks. The Crimson had one service ace and seven team blocks. The win gave Dartmouth a sweep of Harvard this year and marked the sixth straight victory over the Crimson.
Larese was honored for her 17 years of coaching the Big Green, totaling 206 wins over that span. She was the only head coach in the history of the program before Erin Lindsey took control of the team this year.
Dartmouth returns to action at home next weekend on Oct. 29-30 against Princeton and Penn.