Harvard continued its win streak with a straight set victory at NJIT (Ben Barnhardt).
NEWARK, N.J. – The No. 15 Harvard men's volleyball team ran its win streak to five Friday night with a 3-0 victory at NJIT. The match was decided by set scores of 25-20, 25-14 and 25-23.
DJ White led the Crimson attack for a third straight match with nine kills and a .353 hitting percentage. Branden Clemens hit .455 and scored eight kills while Michael Owen registered six kills, three aces and four digs. Harvard combined for a .299 hitting percentage as Rob Lothman notched 29 assists.
The Crimson combined for nine blocks while limiting NJIT (2-10, 0-3 EIVA) to a .125 hitting percentage. Kyle Rehkemper picked up a team-best four blocks in the winning effort to go along with four aces and four kills. Will Chambers contributed two solo blocks with Lothman tallying five digs.
Harvard improved to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in the EIVA with the victory. Following George Mason's loss at No. 9 Penn State this evening, the Crimson are now one-half game behind the Nittany Lions for first place in the conference standings. Harvard has won each of its last three matches in straight sets and has posted six sweeps on the year.
The first set was evenly played early until a 9-3 run by the Crimson opened a 17-11 advantage. Owen and Rehkemper contributed a pair of kills apiece during the run with Own also assisting on two blocks. Harvard maintained its margin throughout the remainder of the frame and scored set point, 25-20, on a White kill.
NJIT took the initial 1-0 lead in the second set but it was all Harvard after that, as the Crimson went on a 6-1 run to go in front, 7-2. The Highlanders almost pulled even with a run of their own, 10-9, before seven straight points by Harvard which included two Owen aces put the score at 17-9. The Crimson cruised to set point on an NJIT error, 25-14.
Harvard maintained its momentum in the third and final set and went on top 10-6 following three straight Highlander errors. NJIT was able to pull back within two, but a kill from White and a block by Chambers gave the Crimson a 22-18 edge late. The Highlanders eventually tied the set at 23 before kills from Clemens and Rehkemper secured the victory, 25-23.
Harvard will be back in action tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 23 as it faces Rutgers-Newark at 2 p.m.