Harvard had its 12-match home win streak snapped Saturday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team saw its 12-match home win streak come to an end Saturday, as George Mason rallied past the Crimson, 25-22, 23-25, 16-25, 22-25, at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Nick Madden paced the Crimson (14-8, 7-4) with a match-high 15 kills, while Branden Clemens recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Caleb Zimmick hit .429 to finish with eight kills, and he also was in on seven of the team's eight blocks with one solo and six assisted. Rob Lothman chipped in with 39 assists and seven digs on his Senior Day.
It looked like the Crimson would carry the momentum from the previous night's thrilling five-set win over Princeton after taking the first set. Harvard led 11-10 when Clemens sparked a 5-0 run while serving to make it 16-10; however, the Patriots responded by taking the next four points to cut the advantage to two. The Crimson was able to maintain its lead for the rest of the set, earning the victory on a service error to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Patriots jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the second to stymie the Harvard momentum. The Crimson then won eight of the next 10 points, sparked by a pair of kills from Kyle Rehkemper and Clemens and multiple George Mason miscues, to even things at 16. The two teams traded points until Harvard took the lead at 21-20, but, following a kill by Michael Kvidahl, Javier Perez sparked a 3-0 mini spurt to put the green and gold back in front at 23-21 before holding on for a 25-22 win.
George Mason carried the momentum into the third. After Harvard took a 9-8 lead, the Patriots scored the next five points by taking advantage of multiple attack errors. The Crimson closed to within 15-14 before another burst by the Patriots pushed the deficit to six points at 20-14, and Harvard could not recover, falling 25-16.
In the fourth, Harvard flipped the script, capitalizing on four attack errors by the Patriots to turn a three-point deficit into a 10-6 lead. The Crimson kept George Mason at bay for much of the set, maintaining an advantage until the Patriots won three consecutive points to tie it at 18. Harvard rebounded to take a 20-18 lead, continuing to benefit from Patriot errors. George Mason answered with a kill and blocks on four consecutive points to go ahead 23-20 before closing out the match with a kill by Sibley.
Prior to the match, class of 2013 members Rob Lothman, Derek Jansma and Lothman were honored as part of Senior Day ceremonies.
Harvard returns to action April 12 at home against New Jersey Institute of Technology at the Malkin Athletic Center at 7 p.m.