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Harvard Men’s Volleyball Beats Cross-Town Rival MIT, 3-1

Madden was once again offensive catalyst slamming 16 kills to help Harvard defeat MIT 3-1. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –The Harvard men's volleyball earned its fourth win of the season, beating MIT 3-1 at the Rockwell Cage on Saturday night. The offense of sophomore Nick Madden and Matt Jones sparked the Crimson attack as the duo recorded 16 kills apiece.

The Engineers came out firing in the first set as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Crimson fought to even the score at 10-10 off an attack error by Matt Hohenberger. That's as close as Harvard would come to taking the lead however as the MIT offense took control and scored 15 of the next 20 points to win the set 25-15 and went up 1-0 in the match.

Harvard settled into a groove its own in the second set however trading points with MIT with the score standing at 8-7 Crimson. Harvard and the Engineers continued to battle but the Crimson continued to hold the edge, recording 10 points to MIT's 7 pushing the score to 18-14. Harvard's offense produced just enough through the tail end of the set getting support from freshmen DJ White and Caleb Zimmick and senior Matt Jones helping the Crimson seal the set 25-19.

In the third set Harvard continued its momentum as it quickly jumped out to a 10-7 lead. The Crimson followed that up with a sharp 8-4 run, spurred on by Madden, Zimmick and White who recorded four points in the sequence, forcing MIT to take a time out to regroup. Coming out of the timeout the Engineers mounted a comeback scoring three points to cut the deficit to 18-14. Madden and White quickly extinguished the MIT momentum recording kills on a back to back plays to push the lead to 20-14. Harvard scored five of the next seven points to close out the set 25-16 and take the lead 2-1 in the match.

The Crimson didn't let its foot off the gas in the fourth set, once again jumping out to a sizeable 7-3 lead. An MIT service error and a Zimmick kill made it 9-3 but the Engineers fought back scoring the set's next four points to tighten the score at 9-7. The two squads exchanged points throughout the set until Harvard went on an 8-5 run sparked by the keen offensive work of Jones. The Crimson got the score to 24-17 and had a controversial call overturned in its favor , as a Matt Jones attack which was originally called out of bounds, was later determined that the ball skimmed off a MIT defender and was instead a kill pushing the score to 25-17 and sealed the Harvard victory 3-1.

While Madden and Jones led the team with 32 kills between them, White laid claim to the team's best hitting percentage with .688. Zimmick led the team with two solo blocks while assisting on three others.
Harvard will now prepare for a seven-game home stand beginning with a match on Wednesday, Feb. 8 against Cal Baptist, slated for 7 p.m.