No. 5 Penn State Rolls Past Harvard Men’s Volleyball, 3-0

Jones was tied for the team lead in kills with seven, but was unable to find an answer for No. 5 Penn State, dropping the contest, 3-0. (Gil Talbot)

The Harvard men's volleyball team struggled against the efficient attack of No. 5 Penn State, dropping its second match of the season, 3-0. With the loss Harvard falls to 6-2 and 1-2 in conference play.

Harvard kept it close in the early goings of the first set, as there were four lead changes in the first 13 points. A kill by Penn State's Joe Sunder gave the Nittany Lions a four-point lead, as the Crimson trailed 14-10. Sophomore Nick Madden slammed down a kill to cut it to 14-11, but Penn State scored four of the next six points to increase its lead to 18-13. Harvard cut it back down to a four-point Penn State lead as freshman DJ White recorded a kill pushing the score to 20-16. However the Nittany Lions wouldn't relent, tallying five of the next nine points, to close it out 25-20.

Penn State jumped on the Crimson again in the second stanza, as Sunder made it 5-2. Harvard fought back making it 5-4, off a Caleb Zimmick kill and an attack error by Sunder, but Penn State scored five of the next eight points to make it 10-7. The Nittany Lions extended its lead to 15-10 off an attack error by Matt Jones, prompting a Harvard timeout. The break didn't halt the Penn State's momentum as it scored the next five points pushing the lead to 20-10. The Nittany Lions didn't look back in the set, dispatching the Crimson 25-13. 

In the third set Harvard looked to rebound as it took an early 8-6 advantage off a service error by Sunder. Two service aces from Nick Turko put Penn State up 9-8, but Harvard responded, knotting it up off a kill by Zimmick. The two teams continued to battle as the score was tied three times before a Nick Goodell kill put the Nittany Lions up 14-13. That kill would spark the Penn State offense going on an 11-3 run to clinch the set, 25-17 and the match, 3-0.

Harvard was paced by White, Jones and  Madden who all recorded seven kills apiece. Junior Rob Lothman dished out 22 assists while Jones led the team in digs with four. The Nittany Lions were spurred on by the offensive efforts of Nick Goodell who recorded 15 kills and a .750 hitting percentage.

Harvard will next play EIVA opponent, Saint Francis (Pa.), on Saturday afternoon. The match is slated for 4 p.m.