The Crimson will go for their eighth straight home win on Tuesday against MIT (Gil Talbot).
A pair of midweek matches await the Harvard men's volleyball team, which is returning home after falling in two matches of conference play last weekend. The Crimson looks to get back on track as it hosts MIT on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. and visits Emmanuel Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m.
A live video stream featuring play-by-play man Ben Altsher will be available through GoCrimson.com by clicking here. Live stats will be available by clicking here. Thursday's match can be streamed through GoECSaints.com.
Last Time Out
The Harvard men's volleyball team fell in a four-set decision at Princeton, 18-25, 22-25, 25-14 and 14-25. DJ White and Nick Madden paced the Crimson with nine kills each. The loss followed a straight-set defeat at George Mason, marking the first time since the 2011 season that Harvard has been swept during a weekend slate.
Around the League
Harvard is currently in fourth place of the EIVA standings with a 5-3 conference mark and a 9-4 overall record. The Crimson is third in the conference in hitting percentage (.256) and assists (11.47), fourth in kills (12.31) and blocks (2.40), and ranks seventh in digs (8.62).
Individually, Branden Clemens and Caleb Zimmick rank second and third with hitting percentages of .309 and .302, respectively. Chris Gibbons comes in second among liberos with 2.49 dps, while Rob Lothman is third among EIVA setters with 10.05 aps. Zimmick also boasts the third best blocking average at 1.18 bps with Kyle Rehkemper chipping in 0.97 bps, 10th in the conference.
Men's volleyball national ranking summary through games played March 3.
MIT heads into the week ranked No. 13 among the NCAA DIII teams and carries an 11-9 record into Tuesday's match. MIT dropped its last two matches, 3-2, including a contest with top-ranked Springfield College. As a unit, the Engineers have averaged 12.20 kps while hitting .235. MIT also produces 11.10 aps, 11.56 dps and 1.55 bps.
Matt Hoehenberger leads the Engineers' attack with 4.21 kps while Ken Siebert adds 2.71 kps. Paul Syta has served as the team's primary setter and has dished out 9.81 aps. Defensively, MIT is paced by libero Brendan Chang's 3.30 dps.
Emmanuel received votes in the most recent AVCA poll, but is not carrying a ranking after falling to Springfield College in straight sets last weekend. Emmanuel is 4-9 on the year. The Saints are hitting .200 through 13 matches and average 11.38 kps, 10.38 aps, 1.63 bps and 8.38 dps.
Ashanti Jackson (2.65 kps) is the leading hitter for Emmanuel, while Zach Whitermore (1.98), Julian Huss (1.93) and Wyatt Cooper (1.88) are also targets for Nick Updike (9.30 aps). Updike also leads the Saints with 1.55 dps. Garret McGarry tops the blocking column with 0.84 bps.
Harvard won six straight matches from Feb. 2 to Feb. 23, it longest streak since winning 13 in a row in 2005. During that span, the Crimson won four matches in straight sets, also matching the 2005 team's streak of four consecutive sweeps.
Harvard has fallen from the AVCA Division I-II Poll after being ranked in consecutive weeks. The Crimson reached as high as No. 14, the highest ranking in program history.
Taking Home the Hardware
Sophomore DJ White recently earned a pair of honors, being named both the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week and EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. The praise comes after White averaged 4.17 kills per set and hit .477 as the Crimson knocked off No. 9 Penn State and St. Francis (Pa.) in straight sets.
White is the first member of the Crimson to earn the national recognition. He has been named the conference's offensive player of the week twice this season and has earned the distinction three times in his career.
The Crimson ended a 51-match drought for conference opponents versus Penn State when it upset the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions Feb. 15, 3-0. Penn State's last loss to an EIVA conference foe came on March 7, 2008 to George Mason, 3-1.
Harvard's 3-0 victory over then ninth-ranked Penn State marked the team's second win over a ranked opponent in as many years. Last season, the Crimson knocked off No. 12 Call State Northridge, 3-1, to record the program's first victory against a ranked team under head coach Brian Baise.
Harvard is 19-6 in the friendly confines of the Malkin Athletic Center since the start of 2011 including a 3-0 mark this year. The Crimson has won seven straight matches at home dating back to last season and has captured each of its last three home openers.
The Crimson recorded 17.5 blocks at No. 6 Penn State, the team's highest total over the last three seasons. Caleb Zimmick led the way with eight total blocks as Michael Owen and Kyle Rehkemper each turned in seven. Nick Madden and Rob Lothman also got in on the action, registering six blocks and four blocks, respectively.
Harvard's season high for blocks in 2012 was 17 at Rutgers-Newark.
Harvard swept Stevens, NYU and St. Francis (Pa.) to open the year, marking the third straight season that the Crimson has started the year with at least two victories. Harvard's three straight-set victories, meanwhile, had not been accomplished since 1993 when the squad posted four sweeps in its first four matches.
Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard will host 11 home matches at the Malkin Athletic Center this season and each will be streamed live online through GoCrimson.com. Fans can also watch each match On Demand approximately two hours after completion. One-year subscriptions are available for $49.95 and allow access to every home event streamed by the Crimson, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey and men's soccer. For more information or to sign up today, click here.
Captaining the Ship
Rob Lothman and Nick Madden will serve as the team's captains for the 2013 season. Lothman was named to the All-EIVA second team in 2012 after setting a career-high with 888 assists, the fifth-best single-season total in program history. Lothman directed the Crimson attack to a .298 hitting percentage, which ranked seventh in the NCAA, while his 10.1 assists per set were good for 18th in the nation. Madden, meanwhile, started all 24 matches last year for the Crimson and ranked second on the squad in kills (3.01) and points (3.6). His 268 kills in 2012 were good for eighth in program history while his 147 career blocks rank his sixth all-time.
Harvard is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, as the Crimson earned its first-ever national ranking in 2012 and finished the year at No. 15 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. Harvard posted an 18-6 overall record and took second in the EIVA with a 10-4 conference mark, with the team's 18 wins representing the third-highest total ever.
Head coach Brian Baise was tabbed as the EIVA Coach of the Year as a result of the squad's success while Matt Jones, DJ White and Rob Lothman all earned all-conference accolades.