No. 13 Men’s Volleyball Heads Across the Border for Set of Matches Against Laval

No. 13 Men’s Volleyball Heads Across the Border for Set of Matches Against Laval

The Crimson looks for its first win of the season (photo courtesy Ben Barnhart).

– The No. 13 Harvard men's volleyball team will cross the border for the first time in program history when the squad travels to Quebec City for two matches against Canadian foe Laval Jan. 8-9. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, each of Harvard's 11 home matches will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and On-Demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.

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Last Time Out
The Harvard men's volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, Jan. 4 as then No. 4 Long Beach State knocked off the Crimson, 3-1, in the championship match of the 50th Asics Invitational at Rob Gymnasium. Set scores were 18-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-13.

Junior DJ White and senior Kyle Rehkemper, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team, led the attacked for Harvard (0-1) with 14 kills and 13 kills, respectively. In his collegiate opener, freshman Nick Bendell notched 42 assists while senior Nick Madden added to the defensive effort with 12 digs and three blocks. Senior Chris Gibbons, who tallied nine digs, was also named to the all-tournament team following the conclusion of play.

The Crimson advanced to the championship match by opening the tournament with a 3-1 record in pool play that included a straight set victory over then No. 2 Stanford (28-27, 25-20) and a comeback defeat of host then No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 11-25, 25-20, 18-16.

Related Link: Men's Volleyball Drops Championship Match at 50th Asics Invitational, 3-1

Rank and File
After knocking off two ranked opponents, Harvard entered the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Poll at a program-best 13th this week. The Crimson, which received votes in the preseason poll, emerged in the national poll for the first time since appearing at No. 14 Feb. 25, 2013.

Week         AVCA
Preseason         RV
Jan. 6         13th 

Related Links:
AVCA Division I-II National Poll | Men's Volleyball Breaches AVCA Poll at Program-Best 13th 

Moving Up
Nick Madden and DJ White are moving up in the ranks in the Crimson's record book. Madden sits third on the all-time career block assists list with 179 while White's 601 career kills rank eighth.

Related Link: Men's Volleyball Record Book

Seniors Chris Gibbons and Kyle Rehkemper earned spots on the 50th Asics Invitational All-Tournament team after helping Harvard down two ranked opponents - then No. 5 Stanford and then No. 8 UCSB - to reach the championship round of the invite. Rehkemper contributed to the Crimson's offense with 13 kills and a .792 hitting percentage while Gibbons registered nine digs.

About Laval
Laval enters the matches with an 8-2 overall record having won seven straight. Tommy Belisle boasts a 3.91 kps average and has hit .229 on the year. Bruno Lortie, meanwhile, has chipped in 2.59 kps with Olivier Jannini adding 2.19 kps. Marc-Andrew Morency has dished out 10.20 aps. The Red and Gold's defense is led by Vincent Thibault-B's 3.56 dps with Belisle (2.44 dps) and Jermie Houle (0.75 bps) contributing to the effort.

Inside the Series
The Crimson and the Red and Gold will take the court for the first time in program history.

Coming Up
After a week off, Harvard will host its first weekend matches at the Malkin Athletic Center when the Crimson welcomes Lewis to Cambridge Friday, Jan. 24 and Loyola (Ill.) Saturday, Jan. 25.