CAMBRIDGE, Mass. â€“ After dropping the first two sets, the Dartmouth volleyball team executed a perfect comeback, taking the remaining three sets to win its first Ivy League match of the season on the road against Harvard (21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-6).
Freshman Makenzie Arent had a double-double with 27 assists and 12 digs, while sophomore Francesca Meldrum led the team with 14 kills and 17.5 points and classmate Bella Hedley was first with 15 digs and four service aces.
Having traded points at the start of the first set, Harvard (2-8, 0-1) went on an 8-1 run to lead, 11-4. After a timeout, Dartmouth (5-5, 1-0) found its groove and got within two points thanks to kills by sophomore Nicole Liddle and Meldrum, an ace by Hedley and a Crimson error (11-9). The Green stayed within a few points before another Harvard run put distance between the teams (19-13). Kills by senior Carly Tower and Liddle and three straight aces by Hedley got Dartmouth back in the game, but the visitor was not able to get any closer (25-21).
Both squads struggled with errors at the beginning of the second. With Dartmouth down, 3-1, three straight points off a kill and ace by Meldrum and a Harvard error gave the Green their first lead of the match (4-3). There were five ties after that, but the Crimson took off, making it a 13-8 set. The teams traded points and Tower and Meldrum added a kill each before the Crimson took the second set (25-19).
Trailing, 4-3, in set three, Dartmouth went on a 7-0 run thanks to two kills by junior Elise Petit, an ace by sophomore Annemarie Horn and four consecutive Harvard errors to pull ahead (10-4). Errors continued to plague the Crimson, allowing Dartmouth to remain comfortably ahead (20-11). Harvard had a late run, winning six of the next eight points to put some pressure on the Big Green (22-17). Dartmouth managed to hang on, with a Meldrum kill sending the match to the fourth set (25-20).
There were four ties to start the fourth until Harvard moved ahead by three (9-6). Kills by Petit, Tower and Liddle put Dartmouth up by one (10-9), but it did not take long before the Crimson took the lead again. Four ties later, the Big Green got a boost following a Meldrum kill, back-to-back Harvard errors and an ace by Liddle (17-13). The home team went on a 4-1 run to cut Dartmouth’s edge to one (18-17). A 5-0 run, ending with a Tower kill, made it a 2-2 match (25-19).
Dartmouth came out strong in the fifth set and soon had a 5-1 advantage after kills by Meldrum and sophomore Jael Campbell and an ace by Liddle. Another Big Green rally following a few Harvard errors and kills by Meldrum and junior Tola Akinwumi gave Dartmouth a huge lead (10-3). The Green allowed the Crimson to get just three points closer before shutting the set down with an Arent ace (15-6).
The Big Green will play Brown and Yale on the road next weekend.