Clemens led the Crimson attack with 16 kills (Gil Talbot).
NEWARK, N.J. – In its third-straight EIVA match on the road, No. 13 Harvard men's volleyball knocked off NJIT, 3-1. The victory came by set scores of 24-26, 25-22, 25-23, and 26-24.
DJ White tallied his second-straight double-double, finishing the match with 15 kills and 10 digs, while also recording four blocks. Branden Clemens led the team with 16 kills, and came within a dig of posting his own double-double. Nick Bendell, meanwhile, dished a season-high 49 assists.
Harvard (6-4, 2-1 EIVA) hit .343 as a team, marking the seventh time in the last eight matches that the Crimson has hit .300 or better. The Crimson totaled 8.5 total team blocks against the NJIT (5-5, 0-3 EIVA) attack.
Despite getting out to an early lead, Harvard dropped the first set, 26-24. The Crimson led 11-7 after kills from Caleb Zimmick and Casey White, but the Highlanders responded with a run of their own, eventually tying the set at 13. A three-point spurt late in the set helped the Crimson gain a two-point separation, 23-21, but could not finish off the game.
Harvard used multiple two-point runs in the second set to tie the match at one apiece. With the frame tied at 16-16, Harvard forced a series of NJIT errors to gain a three-point advantage, 21-18. The Highlanders were provoked into an attacking error on the last play, allowing the Crimson to even the match.
NJIT built a small lead, 12-9, early in the third set, but was ultimately unable to hold on. Points from Clemens and Brad Gretsch helped Harvard regain control, and Harvard would not surrender the lead for the remainder of the set, winning 25-23.
One stanza from victory, Harvard built a five-point lead in the middle of the fourth game, keyed by a service ace from Clemens and a block from Zimmick and Bendell. The Crimson had multiple chances to put the match away, and finally ended it after Gretsch and Casey White blocked an NJIT attack attempt straight to the floor.
Harvard continues its season at the Hall of Fame Classic, hosted by Springfield College. The Crimson will take on Concordia-Irvine in the first round on Friday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m.