NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball returned home in style on Friday night, snapping a six-match losing steak by stunning Harvard, 3-1. The Lions earned the victory by set scores of 25-20, 25-19, 17-25, 25-19.
Sophomores Katarina Jovicic and Bailey Springer led the Columbia (6-16, 4-9 Ivy League) offense with 10 kills apiece on the night, including an impressive .667 hitting percentage by Jovicic. On the defensive end, the Lions got strong performances from a trio of taleneted first-years, led by a career-high 18 digs from Cassie Wes, another 13 digs from Jennifer Petrovich, and a career-best nine blocks (three solo) from Kesi Neblett.
Harvard (13-9, 8-5 Ivy League) saw a match-high 16 kills from Kathleen Wallace and outkilled the Lions 55 to 45 but was unable to overcome 28 costly attacking errors on the night.
The Lions upset the Crimson from early on, rattling off five unanswered points to open action in the first set. Harvard attempted to make a comeback with a 5-0 run of its own later in the set, but Columbia held on to win it 25-20.
Momentum carried over into the second set the for the Lions as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but this time the Crimson persisted by quickly tying the score and taking over by as much as 10-6. A Jovicic kill sparked another 5-0 Columbia run, however, and the Lions roared back on top the grab the second set win.
Harvard kept its hopes alive with a third set victory to cut the Lions' match lead, 2-1, but Columbia left little to question in the fourth set, quickly building an 8-1 lead without looking back the rest of the way.
The Lions close out the 2013 season on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. with a special senior night to honor seniors Colleen Brennan and Savannah Fletcher.