Matt Jones tallied 15 kills in the Crimson victory over Newbury (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard men's volleyball team opened the 2011 season with a 3-1 victory over Newbury Tuesday night. The Crimson jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Newbury won the third set. Harvard rebounded with great kill efficiency in the fourth set to capture the match.
Freshmen Kyle Rehkemper and Michael Owen made an early impact for the Crimson, each scoring two services aces in the first set to help Harvard build a 10-6 lead. With Derek Jansma serving, the Crimson built an 18-9 lead behind two kills from Matt Jones and an ace by Jansma. Newbury made a four-point run to bring the score to 23-19 late in the first set before two Nighthawk attack errors secured the opening set for Harvard.
The early half of the second set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team taking a definitive lead and the score becoming tied six times, the latest at 12-12. Harvard made a surge behind two more service aces from Rehkemper to give Harvard an 18-14 lead and force a Newbury timeout. The teams exchanged points throughout the end of the set with the Crimson grabbing a 25-18 win and two-set lead.
In the third set, the Nighthawks took advantage of a streak of service aces by Danny Kim and Crimson errors to close the set gap to one. With the score 17-16 in Newbury's favor, Kim scored four aces and the Crimson committed two receiving errors to give the Nighthawks a 23-16 lead that Harvard could not overcome. Newbury took the third set, 25-20.
Harvard wasted no time recovering as it jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set. The Crimson converted 41.7 percent of its kill attempts in the fourth set to ensure that they would win both the set and the match, winning the set 25-20.
Jones led Harvard with 15 kills in the match, while Rob Lothman tallied 27 assists. Rehkemper finished the match with eight kills, five service aces and four blocking assists. The Crimson finished the match with 42 kills and 12 aces.
Harvard will be back in action at the Malkin Athletic Center Friday night as Endicott visits Cambridge. Match time is slated for 7 p.m.