Women's Volleyball Edged By Penn, 3-0

Christina Cornelius led Harvard with a .438 hitting percentage on the night against Penn. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Grace Roberts Burbank notched 11 kills, sophomore Christina Cornelius had nine kills, and senior Corinne Bain added 15 assists and 11 digs, but the Harvard women's volleyball team (6-12, 4-5 Ivy League) fell 3-0 to Penn (9-12, 4-5 Ivy League) at Malkin Athletic Center on Friday night. The Quakers won by set scores of 25-21, 25-23, and 25-22.

The Crimson fell despite holding Penn to just .161 hitting and recording 13 total blocks. But the Quakers had more kills (40-37) and recorded 14 service aces, winning the key points late in each set.

In the deciding third set, Harvard jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third set including a Bain solo block at the net. Penn cut the lead to 11-10, but Paige Kebe and Cornelius stopped the run with another block for Harvard. The Quakers took their first lead of the set on a run to 16-14, and extended to 20-16 before four straight points for the Crimson tied the set up at 20-20. Penn took the next four points to stop Harvard's momentum, then closed the match out at 25-22.

With a 4-3 record in home matched, Harvard appeared to have the early momentum in the opening set, jumping out to an 8-4 lead with five straight points, and forcing a Penn timeout on a run that included kills from Cornelius and Kebe. The Quakers regained the lead at 13-12, and continued their run after a Harvard timeout. Penn closed out the set at 25-21 after the Crimson misplayed a point on their own side. Cornelius had five kills to lead the way for Harvard in the frame.

In the second set, with Harvard trailing 12-10, two incredible saves on either side of the court by Kebe and Erin McCarthy led to a block at the net by Bain and a huge cheer from the home crowd. The Crimson would take the lead again at 16-15 on a Roberts Burbank kill.

But Penn regained momentum, winning seven of the next nine points to take a 22-18 lead. Harvard got back on serve at 24-21 on Kebe's cross-court kill and won the next three points to cut the lead to 24-23, but the Quakers' Sydney Morton finished out the frame with a kill at the net.

Harvard takes on Princeton tomorrow night at Malkin Athletic Center, with first serve at 5 p.m.. The game will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network.