Harvard recorded 15 team blocks to advance to Hall of Fame Classic final (Gil Talbot).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – In the opening round of the Hall of Fame Classic, the Harvard men's volleyball team took down Concordia-Irvine, 3-1, to advance to the Hall of Fame Classic championship match. The victory came by set scores of 17-25, 25-21, 25-19, and 25-19.
Branden Clemens sparked the Harvard (7-4) offense with 15 kills while hitting .519. DJ White finished the match with eight kills, and Caleb Zimmick finished with seven. Samuel Murphy neared double-digit digs, recording nine, while Casey White chipped in seven.
The Crimson defense was in peak form against the Eagles (6-4), finishing with 15 team blocks to help limit its opponents to a .154 hitting percentage. Zimmick led the way with a season-high nine blocks, while DJ White tallied five.
Harvard fell behind early in the first set, and could not recover as Concordia took a 1-0 lead. The Eagles opened up a five-point lead, 11-6, and would not allow the Crimson to get any closer for the rest of the period.
With the score knotted at 13-13 in the second frame, Harvard scored four of the next five points to seize control. Trading points, Nick Bendell set up DJ White for a kill to end the period and tie the match.
The Crimson trailed 14-13 midway through the third set, but put together a trio of three-point runs to help Harvard win the set. Zimmick and Bendell tallied kills to help Harvard take the lead, and Riley Moore tallied a kill and a block to push the lead out of reach.
Harvard secured an early lead in the fourth set, 13-9, when Branden Clemens sparked four-point run with a kill and block. The Eagles cut the lead to three, 17-14, but a second four-point spurt helped Harvard advance to the championship match, winning the frame 25-19.
Harvard will take on host Springfield at 7:30 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Classic Finale. It can be streamed live via the Springfield Pride Portal.