Harvard Men’s Volleyball Rebounds With Win Against Saint Francis (Pa.)

Jones was the offensive catalyst for the Crimson on Saturday, recording 11 kills, helping Harvard to a 3-0 against Saint Fraincis (Pa.) (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team rebounded from a three-set loss to Penn State Friday night with a three-set sweep against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon. Senior Matt Jones led the way offensively with 11 kills, while freshman Caleb Zimmick was a force in the middle registering a season-high nine blocks. With the win Harvard is now 7-2 and 2-2 in the EIVA.

Harvard came out firing in the first set, quickly opening up a 10-6 lead against the Red Flash, getting offense from Jones, Zimmick and freshman DJ White. Harvard continued to pour it on going on an 8-2 run helped by kills from sophomore Nick Madden and Jones, putting the Crimson up 18-8, forcing a Saint Francis timeout. Kills from Zimmick and Jones inched the Crimson closer to a set win, pushing the score to 23-10. The Red Flash attempted to come back with a kill by Alex Kane and an attack error by Zimmick, but Harvard's Madden struck right back with a kill of his own, making it 24-12. An attack error by Mark Kochran, sealed the set for Harvard, 25-12.

Saint Francis fought hard in the second set, evening the score four times in the matches first 14 points. With the score at 7-7, Harvard began to pull away as Madden slammed down a kill helping the Crimson to go on a 4-2 run and forcing a Red Flash timeout. The break was beneficial for Saint Francis as back-to-back attack errors by Jones and a Kill by Logan Patterson pulled the Red Flash to within one, 14-13. The two teams played each other tight the rest of the way as a Kane kill decreased the Crimson advantage to two. Zimmick responded in kind, recording a kill and increasing the lead back to three, and Harvard never looked back closing out the set 25-21.

In the third set the Crimson jumped out to an early 4-0 lead behind three errors on Saint Francis and a service ace by Madden, causing the Red Flash to call a quick timeout to regroup. The Crimson didn't relent however, scoring six of the next 11 points to take a 10-5 lead. Saint Francis tried to pull the score even as it tallied five of the next nine points putting the line to 14-10, Harvard. The Crimson kept the pressure up however, getting two kills from sophomore Will Chambers and a kill from Jones, which helped to increase the score to 16-11. Harvard remained in the driver's seat for the rest of the way, going on a 9-5 run close out the set, 25-16, and the match 3-0

Jones led the team in kills 11, while Zimmick followed behind with nine. Zimmick had his best day in the middle recording nine of the teams 11 blocks. Junior Rob Lothman continued his torrid assist pace recording another 30. The Red Flash had an uncharacteristic day on offense, with its highest hitting percentage coming in the second set, as the team recorded a .241 average (14 kills, 7 errors). Kane paced Saint Francis with nine kills while Kochan led the team with four blocks.

Harvard will finish out its homestand next week when it takes on Emmanuel on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., and Sacred Heart, Saturday at 2 p.m.