CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Led by freshmen Olympia Nagel-Caland with a career-best 12 kills, Tori Dozier and her 35 assists, and Lauren Douglas with 19 digs, Dartmouth volleyball played well, but fell to Harvard, 3-1 (12-25, 25-19, 23-25, 20-25) in the Ivy League opener on Friday night.
The Big Green dipped to 4-6 overall and 1-0 in conference action, while the Crimson improved to 6-4 and 1-0.
“I thought we showed some resiliency after starting very slowly in game one,” head coach Gilad Doron said. “From that point on, we played smarter and tougher and the game could have gone either way. Unfortunately, it didn’t end our way tonight, but I am proud of how we responded and we have a lot to look forward to so we can grow from here.”
Harvard controlled the first set right from the start, opening the match with a 3-0 advantage. Dartmouth got within two (6-4) following kills by Dozier and Nagel-Caland and a pair of errors on the other side of the net, but that would prove to be the closest the visitors would get, as a handful of multi-point runs gave the first set to the Crimson (25-12).
The Big Green returned for set two as a different team, winning the first point and staying comfortably ahead until the end of the set. Harvard made it interesting when it tied the score at 19-all, but that turned out to be the last point Dartmouth would allow. A trio of kills by senior Sara Lindquist, one by Dozier and two Crimson errors gave set two to the Green (25-19).
Dartmouth opened the third set with an ace by sophomore Corinne Cox and a kill by freshman Elise Petit (2-0), but a large Harvard run put the home team in charge (7-2). Over the next few minutes, Nagel-Caland and Lindquist both had multiple kills and sophomore Maddy Schoenberger had an ace to help the Big Green get within one (13-12). A 4-1 Crimson run made it an 17-13 set, but a host of Harvard errors made it a close set (18-17). Petit’s kill and ace tied the score for the first time (19-19) and, from there, the teams traded points until the score was, once again, tied (22-22). With Harvard at set point (24-22), a tip by Lindquist got Dartmouth one point closer, but a Crimson kill ended the set before it could go to extra points (25-23).
After barely winning the third set, Harvard came out strongly in the fourth, leading from the beginning (11-7). Dartmouth did not back down and, following two Crimson errors, an ace by Cox and a kill by freshman Tola Akinwumi, was trailing by one (12-11). Harvard increased its lead (20-14), but errors worked in the visitors’ favor to get them within three (20-17). The Big Green got three points closer, but could not fully catch up before Harvard ended it (25-20).
Dartmouth will return home next weekend to host Columbia and Cornell.