Harvard took to the court for the first time in the 2012 season as it opened up against Endicott College. (courtesy Jon Luszcz)
BEVERLY, Mass. - Senior Matt Jones recorded a double-double (17 kills and 10 digs) to help lead the Crimson to a 3-1 victory over Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., Tuesday night. Harvard got the necessary offense while holding the Gulls hitting percentage under .200 in all four sets played.
In the first set, the two squads played a tight contest that saw nine lead changes. Harvard began to pull away after sophomore Nick Madden recorded a kill making it 18-17. Harvard scored eight of the next 12 points to secure a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Crimson jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the second set, forcing Endicott to call a timeout. Freshmen DJ White and Caleb Zimmick combined for five of the Crimson's next 10 points to push the score to 20-14. Harvard went on to score four of the next seven points to close out the set, 25-17, and increase its lead to 2-0.
Harvard was ahead by six points in the third set (18-12) but the Gulls wouldn't go quietly. Endicott scored eight of 11 points to cut the deficit to 21-20. The two teams traded points towards the end of the set as the Gulls took its first lead of the game off a Michael Owen error, putting Endicott up 27-26. It was Harvard's turn to fight back next as Zimmick evened the score twice before Endicott pulled away for good, winning the set 30-28.
The teams traded points early in the fourth stanza after an Aaron Jessee service error knotted the set up, 9-9. A kill from Jones and two errors forced Endicott to take an early timeout as the Crimson jumped out to the 12-9 advantage. The Crimson scored four of the next five points, increasing its lead to 16-10 and wouldn't look back as it closed out the set, 25-17, and the match 3-1.
Harvard saw its freshman class contribute right away as Zimmick finished his day with 13 kills and five block assists, while White recorded seven kills and three digs. Nick Madden provided the Crimson plenty of offense from the outside registering 14 kills during the match.
Harvard will be back in action on Friday Jan. 27, when it heads to Rivier. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start.