Nicola Ivica posted 16 kills and seven digs in the win
(photo courtesy of DSPics.com).
NEWARK, N.J. - Sophomore Matt Jones recorded 20 kills as the Crimson downed NJIT, 3-0, to pick up the team's first win of the season at the Fleisher Athletic Center Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Nikola Ivica played an important role both offensively and defensively, as he recorded 16 kills and committed just three errors on 23 attack attempts and also notched seven digs in the match.
Ivica recorded a kill for the Crimson to grab the opening point in the first set and Harvard never looked back. Attack errors plagued the Highlanders, and the Crimson offense quickly built a 10-5 lead. A kill by Ivica and two consecutive attack errors by NJIT spurred an 8-2 Crimson run that gave Harvard a 10 point lead with the score at 20-10. The Highlanders had a burst of offense led by Christian Puszies to close the Harvard lead to six, but a kill by Jones stopped the host’s run and propelled Harvard to a 30-21 set win.
The second set played out much like the first, as Harvard jumped out to a 10-6 lead following a service ace by senior Soren Rosier and an Ivica kill. The Crimson used several offensive spurts to quickly bring the lead to 23-16. Harvard used a 4-1 run, capped by a Rosier kill, to claim a 30-24 win.
The third set was very close in the beginning, as the teams traded points and a kill by NJIT’s Puszies gave the Highlanders its first lead of the afternoon. Senior Gil Weintraub used a kill to put a stop to the Highlanders offense, as the Crimson scored three unanswered points to regain a 9-7 lead. Harvard never trailed from there, and later went on a 6-0 run to bring the lead to 19-10. The teams again traded points, but the Highlanders never got within six. A kill by Weintraub gave Harvard a 30-22 win to capture the match win.
Weintraub handed out 47 assists and recorded two kills. Defensively, freshman Derek Jansma and Ivica led the team in digs, with seven and eight, respectively. Rosier recorded seven blocks in the match.
Harvard led in every statistical category in the match, as the team had 53 kills, eight service aces, 30 digs and eight total blocks.
The Crimson returns home to host Springfield Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m.