Harvard looks for its first win of the year this weekend at the Malkin Athletic Center (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's volleyball continues the 2015 season with its first weekend at home, facing off against No. 14 Ball State on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. and No. 11 IPFW on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. Both matches can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Last Time Out
The Crimson opened its 2015 campaign on the road at No. 1 Loyola-Chicago and then-No. 5 Lewis, but fell in both games to start the season 0-2.
Sophomore Casey White recorded his first career double-double with 13 kills and 14 digs in Harvard's 3-1 defeat at Lewis. Senior DJ White contributed 12 kills and seven digs, and junior Branden Clemens posted 11 kills and two blocks.
Freshman Brad Gretsch recorded seven kills and two blocks to lead the Crimson at top-ranked Loyola. Casey White and Clemens also contributed seven kills, but Harvard hit just .194 as a team in the match.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Outside hitter Casey White ranks in the top-10 in the country in digs per set and hitting percentage. The sophomore from Hermosa Beach, California's 3.00 digs per set ranks third in the nation, while his .425 hitting percentage is good for 10th. White ranks first in the EIVA in both categories.
At the MAC
The Crimson has played 31 matches under the roof of the Malkin Athletic Center over the past three years, and boasts a 25-6 (.806) mark during that span. Harvard's home court advantage includes a program-best nine-match home win streak that lasted more than a calendar year from February 18, 2012 to April 5, 2013. In its last match at home in 2014, the Crimson beat Saint Francis (Pa.), 3-1.
A Year Ago
Harvard finished 2014 with a 15-8 record, including an 11-3 mark in conference play. The Crimson earned a berth to the EIVA Tournament for the third consecutive year, but fell to Princeton, 3-1, in the semifinals. DJ White led the squad with 3.30 kills per set and a .312 hitting percentage, while Caleb Zimmick ranked sixth in the country in hitting percentage (.440) and led the Crimson with 1.11 blocks per set. Both White and Zimmick were recognized as honorable mention All-Americans by the AVCA.
Scouting No. 14 Ball State
The Cardinals are off to a 4-0 start, and have entered the most recent AVCA national poll at No. 14. Ball State has defeated Mount Olive, Barton, Penn State and Saint Francis (Pa.). Middle blocker Matt Walsh was recently named the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week for January 12-19. The Cardinals' attack is led by Marcin Niemczewski and Shane Witmer, who have tallied 3.20 and 2.50 kills per set, respectively.
Scouting No. 11 IPFW
IPFW is off to a 3-2 start, defeating two ranked teams in the process. The Mastodons have defeated then-No. 13 Cal State-Northridge, Saint Francis (Pa.), and then-No. 10 Penn State, and fell to a pair of top-five teams in UCLA and UC-Santa Barbara. Andrew Sellan was recognized as the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week for January 12-19, and leads IPFW with 3.72 kills per set. Bryan Saunders is second on the team with 2.40 kills per set, and leads the Mastodons with a .452 hitting percentage.
Volleyball Magazine named Harvard's freshman class the eighth-best in the country, with three of the freshmen appearing on its "Fab-50" list. Brad Gretsch, Jack Heavey, Marko Kostich, and Riley Moore joined the Crimson in July.
Entering the 2015 season, multiple Harvard student-athletes are looking to ascend the Crimson record books:
Around the EIVA
Harvard was picked fourth in the EIVA Preseason Poll with 33 points, slotting in behind Penn State (48 points), Princeton (38) and George Mason (34). The Crimson was voted to finish ahead of St. Francis (Pa.) (16), NJIT (14), and Sacred Heart (13).
On The Sidelines
Head coach Brian Baise returns for his seventh season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program. Baise owns a 76-62 record on the sidelines, including a 51-24 mark over the past three-plus seasons. The Crimson has been ranked in each of the past three seasons, with 12 student-athletes earning All-EIVA recognition.
Jeffrey Aucoin and Ahmed Ibrahim return as assistant coaches for their second and fourth seasons, respectively.
The Crimson continues its five-match homestand against Emmanuel on Friday, Jan. 30 and Alderson Broaddus on Saturday, Jan. 31. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, and both matches can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.