No. 15 Men’s Volleyball Closes Out Home Regular Season with 3-2 Win Against Saint Francis (Pa.)

The Crimson honored its five players in the Class of 2014 prior to first serve (photo courtesy Zack Williamson).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 15 Harvard men's volleyball team defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) in four sets Saturday afternoon at the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson closed out its 2014 regular season home campaign by set scores of 25-19, 25-16, 18-25 and 25-16.

Prior to first serve, Harvard honored the playing careers of its five graduating seniors, Will Chambers, Chris Gibbons, Nick Madden, Michael Owen and Kyle Rehkemper.

Junior DJ White had a match-high 15 kills to lead Harvard's (13-7, 9-3 EIVA) attack for the 12th time this season. Madden and Rehkemper contributed 13 kill and nine kills, respectively, to the Crimson offense that hit .406.

The Crimson defense held Saint Francis (10-13, 5-6 EIVA) to a .252 hitting percentage, thanks in-part to a career high, nine-dig effort from freshman Nick Bendell, who also handed out 45 assists. Madden added eight digs to the defensive effort while junior Caleb Zimmick turned in six blocks.

Harvard's victory was its sixth straight over Saint Francis (10-13, 5-6 EIVA) and the seventh in the all-time meetings between the two programs. Redshirt senior Mark Kochan paced the Red Flash with 11 kills and a .389 hitting percentage as redshirt sophomore Mike Kresch added 10 kills.

The Crimson took control of the first set after a block from DJ White and Rehkemper moved the score to 9-6. The Red Flash kept the set close, however, before a kill from DJ White and an ace from his brother, Casey White, pushed the lead back to five points, 17-15. Another DJ White Kill gave Harvard a 20-15 edge and the Crimson took set point on DJ White's seventh strike of the set, 25-19.

A pair of Madden kills and one from Rehkemper and DJ White allowed Harvard to take a 4-0 lead to open the second set. A 5-0 stretch gave the Crimson a 9-2 margin before a Harvard rotation error made it a two-point set, 10-8. Rehkemper and DJ White's second block of the night sandwiched by scoring kills from Madden and Zimmick kept Harvard in front and gave the host its largest lead of the stanza, 18-10. Chambers tallied two straight kills before an ace by Madden put the frame away, 25-16.

Saint Francis rebounded in the third set and went on top by six, 17-11, midway through the stanza. Harvard could not formulate a rally as the Red Flash scored nine of the last 16 points to take the set, 25-18.

It was all Harvard in the fourth set as the Crimson rolled to a 17-11 lead of its own. A 4-1 stretch moved the score to 21-12 before Harvard finished the afternoon off with a kill from Chambers for match point, 25-16.

Harvard returns to action next weekend as it wrap up the regular season on the road. The Crimson will visit NJIT Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m., before taking on Rutgers-Newark Saturday April 12 at 2 p.m.