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Late Rally by Men’s Volleyball Cut Short Against No. 12 Cal Baptist

Harvard dropped its Monday-night contest to No. 12 Californica Baptist (photo courtesty Gil Talbot).

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Harvard men's volleyball team rallied late, but fell short in its quest for victory at No. 12 California Baptist University on Monday night in Van Dyne Gym. The Crimson was defeated, 3-1.

Harvard (12-6) looked to Nick Madden for a team-high 12 kills on an impressive .333 hitting percentage and Kyle Rehkemper was flawless in his 5-for-9 (.556) attack. Rob Lothman registered 27 assists and tied Chris Gibbons with a team-best eight digs. Caleb Zimmick led all players with three blocks.

The Crimson posted more blocks than the 12th-ranked Lancers (11-11), 6.5-6, but a strong hitting night for CBU (.318) was too much for Harvard to overcome late. Levi Cabral charged Cal Baptist with 13 kills and a .308 hitting percentage.  

Kills by Madden, Zimmick and Rehkemper helped Harvard go point-for-point with Cal Baptist early in the first set. After the sides exchanged service errors at 7-9, the Lancers used a 10-3 run to pull away. Harvard produced its highest hitting percentage of the night (.240), but the margin was maintained behind a .476 attack and Cal Baptist won, 25-16, in the first frame.

The Crimson was subject to another run in the second set. The Lancers stretched their lead by five, 14-9, before kills from Madden and Branden Clemens helped pull within three, 15-12. From there, CBU managed to out-hit Harvard, .258-.231, to take the set, 25-17.

Harvard found itself trailing again early in the third, but Madden delivered three of four Crimson points to close the margin at 10-9. The Lancers distanced themselves once more, but Harvard rallied around a .231 attack to erase a six-point deficit and pull even at 22. The sides then traded points, with the Crimson serving for the set at 25-24, but a block and kill tipped the set in favor of Cal Baptist, who went on to win, 28-26.

Harvard wraps up its time in California tomorrow night at Concordia. Match time is set for 10 p.m. (EDT).