CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Columbia volleyball won its second straight match with a gutsy 3-1 victory over Harvard Friday night. The Lions pulled out clutch wins in extra points in the first and final sets of the evening, defeating the Crimson by scores of 27-25, 19-25, 25-18, 28-26.
The win pushed Columbia (11-9, 6-5 Ivy League) ahead in the Ivy League standings after pacing evenly with Harvard (8-14, 5-6) coming into tonight's match.
Columbia started out on top in the first set and held its lead up to an 11-11 tie, when a back-and-forth battle broke out. The next 24 points were scored relatively evenly, resulting in 12 more ties up to a 25-all set that was forced into extra points. The Lions showed their dominance, finishing things off with a kill by first-year Atlanta Moye-McLaren followed by a service ace by junior Colleen Brennan to secure the win.
The second set was also close, as Columbia once again broke out following a 9-9 tie to build up to a 14-10 lead. Harvard outscored the Lions 5-2 over the next seven points to retie the score, 15-all. The teams remained neck-and-neck up to a 19-19 tie, until the Crimson surged with a 6-0 run to take the win and even the series, 1-1.
In the third set, the Lions started out on top, but after a 3-3 tie, Harvard scored two straight and took over. Columbia struggled to find its way back to the top, calling a timeout after the Crimson built its lead to 14-9. A kill by Caitlin Brenton sparked a 7-0 Columbia run as the Lions roared into the lead, taking over 17-15. The Crimson responded with a kill by Caroline Walters to make it a one-point set, but that would be the closest they would come the rest of the way as Columbia outscored Harvard 8-2 to take a 2-1 series advantage.
The fourth and final set of the night may have been the toughest as the Lions and the Crimson kept pace with one another the entire way. Following a 19-19 tie, Columbia pushed ahead with a 3-1 run that included two kills by first-year Bailey Springer. But Harvard held on, rallying to even the set, 25-25. McLaren smacked a kill to put the Lions ahead, but Taylor Docter responded with one of her own for the Crimson to make it 26-26. A Harvard serving error followed by a kill by senior Megan Gaughn completed the win as the Lions took the set and won the match.
Gaughn led the way for the Lions with 20 kills to go with nine digs, while Brennan set a new career-high with 57 assists. Denise Dearman also had a solid attacking day as she recorded 11 kills.
The Lions will look to roll at Dartmouth tomorrow night for a 5 p.m. match.