Volleyball celebrates Senior Day, falls after Cornell

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Cambridge, Mass. – The Harvard volleyball team celebrated their three seniors and took on Cornell on Saturday, November 5th. Harvard (5-15, 4-8 Ivy) lost to Cornell (5-16, 3-9 Ivy) 3-1 in four sets of 23-25, 17-25, 25-19 and 14-25.

The Crimson and Big Red programs entered the night relatively evenly, with an earlier competition this season going Harvard’s way. With several players out through injury, Harvard picked up a few warm-up points. Cornell started the night with a set one lead that was eventually tied by Harvard but ended up going the way of the Big Red. Cornell also took an early lead in the second set and secured a 2-0 set lead. Harvard took an early lead in the third set, which consisted of three ties and two lead changes, but gave the Crimson their first set win of the night as they retired towards the end. The final set of the night went to Big Red as they pulled away and won the match after the teams tied on nine points.

Harvard Highlights

  • Tonight’s game honored the three Crimson Seniors, Bella Almanza, Kate Condra and Jaimie Rao, for her dedication and commitment to the Harvard Volleyball Program over the past four seasons. Details of her time at Harvard are provided below.
  • Brynne Faltinsky led the team with 11 kills followed by Katie Vorhies and Almanza at nine.
  • Almanza hit three aces in the second straight game and Vorhies hit one to meld the team’s four aces that night.
  • Rocky Aguirre led the team with 19 assists, followed by Almanza with 15.
  • Hannah Nguyen led the team with ten, followed by Almanza with eight.
  • On her final night, Almanza appeared in the Harvard team’s top-3 in kills, assists, aces, and digs.
  • Three players each provided three block assists Ava Rauser, Olivia Cooper and Ariana White.

Honoring our seniors

Bella Almanza: Almanza focuses on sociology with a secondary focus on global health and health policy. The Pforzheim resident was elected team captain during her senior season and was an influential player on the pitch. She’s touched the court in 82 games at Crimson and broke the 1,000 assist mark in the 2021 season. She was a starting setter in her 4 years and is currently in the Ivy League top ten in three categories: Blocks, Aces and Assists. She was an Ivy League honorary and most recently, Coop Athlete of the Week award. During her four years at Harvard, she worked for Raise Uganda Now, a Harvard-affiliated philanthropic organization, volunteered at the on-campus homeless shelter Y2Y, and was part of the Harvard tutoring program Mission Hill. She plans to explore different career paths related to her concentration after graduation!

Kate Condra: Cabot House’s Condra focuses on Human Development and Regenerative Biology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy and a citation in French. She has played a crucial role in the team both on and off the pitch. After missing out through injury last year, she has worked hard to get back on the pitch, influencing team practice and competition. This season she has taken a leadership role and continues to work hard and always puts her teammates first. During her four years at Harvard, she was a founding member of the nonprofit Pre-College Research Institute (PCRi), where she also serves as associate director of biology. She also works as a research assistant in the Fishman lab studying the development of the intracardiac nervous system where she is working on her PhD. After graduation, she plans to do a gap year before entering medical school.

Jaimie Rao: Rao is a resident of Cabot House and has a major in Computer Science with a minor in Economics. After serving as captain for two seasons, she was named to the All-Ivy Honorable Mention team and received Academic All-Ivy Honors in her junior season. In her 57 career matches, she has a total of 503 kills, 119 blocks, and 91 digs. While at Harvard, she was part of the Harvard College Deans’ Student Advisory Panel and the Big Fish Little Fish program at Cabot House. After graduating, she will relocate to Los Angeles as an aspiring investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley.

Next

Harvard Volleyball will finish its regular season next weekend at Brown on Friday, November 11th and Yale on Saturday, November 12th. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.

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