Madden’s Double-Double Lifts Men’s Volleyball Over Princeton, 3-2

Madden helped the Crimson down the Tigers with his sixth double-double (photo courtesy Zack Williamson).

PRINCETON, N.J. – Senior Nick Madden recorded his second double-double of the season and sixth of his career to lift the Harvard men's volleyball team over Princeton, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at the Dillon Gym. The victory came by set scores of 20-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-18 and 15-12. 

With the win, Harvard (9-5, 7-2 EIVA) earned a series sweep of Princeton (7-7, 6-2 EIVA) in the regular season and ended the Tigers' six-match win streak. The five-set match marks the second time this year and fourth time in the previous five meeting between the two programs that the match went the distance with the Crimson owning each five-set thrilling win. 

Madden's 10 kill, 11 dig effort paced Harvard's attack while freshman Casey White scored 10 kills and was one dig shy of a double-double with nine. Brother DJ White notched nine kills while senior Kyle Rehkemper and junior Caleb Zimmick chipped in eight kills each. Freshman Nick Bendell handled the setting responsibilities, dishing out 36 assists. Senior Chris Gibbons and Rehkemper contributed to the defensive effort with 11 digs and five blocks, respectively. 

Junior Cody Kessell and senior Pat Schwagler each posted 16 kills for the Tigers. 

Harvard dropped the first set, 25-20, despite jumping out to a 3-1 edge to begin the match. Princeton evened the score at 15-15 on a kill from Kessell and rolled to a 22-14 advantage, forcing a Crimson timeout. Out of the break a Zimmick kill ended the Tigers run, but the host earned the set on an attack error for DJ White. 

Trailing 11-13 in the second stanza, the Crimson bounced back and went on a 7-2 stretch to hold an 18-15 lead following two aces from sophomore Brendan Clemens. Harvard went on to score eight of the final 11 points to claim the set, 25-20, and equalize the match at one win each. 

After back-and-fourth action to start the third frame, Princeton rolled to a 14-9 lead after five consecutive points. The Tigers brought its lead to as many as eight, 19-11, before the Crimson rallied back within five on four occasions with the last brining the score to 23-18. Princeton notched two straight points to take the set, 25-18. 

Roles reversed in the fourth frame as Harvard capitalized on four Princeton attack errors to lead 9-5. The teams traded points, but the Crimson managed to hold onto the advantage, 20-16. Harvard closed the set strong using a 5-1 run, including four straight points, to take the set, 25-18, and force a fifth set. 

The final set saw see-saw action including nine ties before Harvard went ahead 11-10. The Crimson held onto the slim edge and earned the win off an ace by Bendell, 15-12. 

The Crimson returns to action Tuesday, March 11 when it welcomes Marymount (Va.) to Cambridge. The first set is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.