Men's Volleyball Hosts No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Thursday Night

Men's Volleyball Hosts No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Thursday Night

The Particulars
After falling to cross-town foe MIT last week, Harvard returns home to host two consecutive matches. The Crimson faces UC Santa Barbara Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Malkin Athletic Center.

Last Time Out
Harvard lost to the Engineers in three sets in the Crimson’s only match away from home in the month of February.

The first set featured five lead changes and 13 ties as the teams traded points. A kill by MIT and a Crimson attack error cost Harvard the final two points as the Engineers won the opening set.

In the second set, the Crimson rallied from a seven point deficit to tie the score at 25-25. The teams traded points until the score was tied at 28, but Harvard was unable to stop MIT, who scored the next two points to pick  up the set win.

In the final set, MIT put together several runs of unanswered points and Harvard was unable to get within reach as it fell, 30-19.

Erik Kuld posted 16 kills in the match while Gil Weintraub added 10. Kuld and Matt Jones each recorded five digs and Weintraub and Derek Jansma each posted four digs. Rob Lothman handed out 26 assists while Weintraub dished out 12 assists.

Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is seeking its first win of the season, having fallen in its first six matches.

Senior Gil Weintraub paces the team with 3.89 kills per set while classmate Erik Kuld adds 3.86 kills per set. Freshman Rob Lothman is handing out 10.29 assists per set. On the defensive side, sophomore Dan Schreff leads the Crimson with 2.16 digs per set and sophomore Nicola Ivica is registering 1.24 blocks per set.

Scouting The Gouchos
The Gouchos, who stand at 6-8 on the season, are ranked ninth in the latest AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches poll. The team holds a 5-1 record on the road.

Junior Jeff Menzel leads the team, as well as the nation, with 5.52 kills per set. Vince Devany is averaging 13.28 assists per set, which ranks sixth in the nation.  Andy McGuire averages 2.80 digs per set, good for 12th in the nation. With 1.06 blocks per set, Sam Moisenco ranks 37th in the nation.

The Last Meeting
Harvard and UC Santa Barbara have met just once before in a matchup in California on March 23, 1998. The Gouchos came away with a 3-0 victory over the Crimson.

On the Bench
Head coach Brian Baise, a 1995 graduate of Princeton, is in his second season at Harvard. He brings an 11-14 overall record into today’s match.