Cambridge, Mass. – The Harvard volleyball team celebrated three seniors and faced Cornell on Saturday, November 5. Harvard (5-15, 4-8 Ivy) fell to Cornell (5-16, 3-9 Ivy) 1-3 in four sets. from 23-25, 17-25, 25-19 and 14-25.
The Crimson and Big Red programs went into the night relatively evenly, with a previous contest this season going the way of Harvard. With several players out due to injury, Harvard took a few points to warm up. Cornell started the night with a lead in the first set, which was eventually tied by Harvard but ended up going Big Red’s way. Cornell also took an early lead in the second set and held on to secure a 2-0 lead. Harvard took an early lead in the third set, which consisted of three draws and two lead changes, but gave the Crimsons their first set victory of the night as they pulled away towards the end. The final set of the night went to the Big Red as they managed to retire and win the match after the teams tied at nine points.
- Today’s game honored all three Crimson seniors, Bella Almanca, Kate Condra and Jaime Rao, for their dedication and commitment to the Harvard volleyball program over the past four seasons. Details of their time at Harvard are listed below.
- Brynne Faltinsky led the team in kills with 11, followed by Katie Vorhies and Almanza with nine.
- Almanza scored three aces for the second game in a row and Vorhies scored one to net the team’s four aces on the night.
- Rocky Aguire led the team in assists with 19, followed by Almanza with 15.
- Hannah Nguyen led the team in digs with ten followed by Almanza with eight.
- On her senior night, Almanza appeared in the Harvard team’s top three in kills, assists, aces, and digs.
- Three players posted three assists each in Ava Rauser, Olivia Cooper and Ariana White.
Tribute to our elders
Bella Almanca: Almanza majors in sociology with a secondary in global health and health policy. The Pforzheimer House resident was voted team captain in her senior season and has been an influential player on the pitch. She touched the field in 82 games with Crimson, breaking the 1,000 assists barrier in the 2021 season. She was a starting setter in her 4 years and is currently ranked in the Ivy League’s top ten in three categories : blocks, aces and assists. She’s played the Ivy League Honors and was recently named Co-op Athlete of the Week. During her four years at Harvard, she worked for Raise Uganda Now, a Harvard-affiliated philanthropic organization, volunteered at the campus Y2Y homeless shelter, and was part of the after-school tutoring program at Harvard. Harvard, Mission Hill. She plans to explore different career paths related to her post-grad concentration!
Kate Condra: Condra from Cabot House focuses on human development and regenerative biology with a secondary in global health and health policy and a citation in French. She was instrumental in the team on and off the pitch. Sidelined with injury last year, she worked hard to get back on the pitch and made an impact on the team’s training and competition. This season she has stepped into 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 non-profit organization Pre-College Research Institute (PCRi) where she is also Associate Director of Biology. She also works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Fishman Laboratory which studies the development of the intracardiac nervous system, where she is working on her thesis. After graduation, she plans to take a year off before going to medical school.
Jaime Rao: Rao is a resident of Cabot House and has a major in computer science with a secondary in economics. As captain for two seasons, she was named to the All-Ivy Honorable Mention Team and earned All-Ivy Academic Honors in her junior season. In her 57 career games, she has totaled 503 kills, 119 blocks and 91 digs. While at Harvard, she served on the Harvard College Deans Student Advisory Board and the Big Fish Little Fish program at Cabot House. After graduation, she will move to Los Angeles as an incoming investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley.
Harvard Volleyball will wrap up its regular season on the road next weekend at Brown on Friday, November 11 and at Yale on Saturday, November 12. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.