Efficient Hitting Leads Men’s Volleyball to 3-0 Win over Saint Francis

Clemens leads Harvard in kills for the fifth-straight match (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At the MAC for the first of a three-match homestand, Harvard overpowered Saint Francis (Pa.) in straight sets, 3-0. The victory came by set scores of 25-16, 25-15, and 25-13.

The Crimson (9-4, 3-1 EIVA) played on the same wavelength against the Red Flash (2-13, 1-2 EIVA), combining to hit for a season-high .525 as a team. Branden Clemens recorded his second-career double-double, finishing the night with 10 kills and a career-high 11 digs. DJ White and Caleb Zimmick each tallied seven kills, and Casey White pitched in six.

Defensively, Harvard limited Saint Francis (Pa.) to a .062 hitting percentage, and held the Red Flash's three-leaders in kills per set to a negative percentage. Zimmick posted a game-high four blocks, while Nick Bendell and Clemens were close behind with three apiece.

Harvard hopped out to an early lead in the first period, using a pair of three-point runs to gain an 8-4 advantage. The Red Storm would not get any closer, as four Crimson hitters recorded at least two kills to help Harvard hit .625 in the set and get out to a 1-0 match lead.

The Crimson scored six of the first seven points in the second set, led by two scores from DJ White and Bendell. Harvard continued its dominant play throughout the frame, recording a trio of three-point chains to put the period out of reach, eventually winning the set 25-15.

Persistent in its strong play, Harvard got out to a big lead early in the final period, 12-4. Zimmick recorded five kills on five attacks in the set, aiding the Crimson to its second stanza hitting over .500. Harvard maintained its double-digit lead throughout the period, eventually finishing off the Red Storm with a Casey White kill.

Harvard faces Penn State on Saturday, Feb. 28 in an EIVA matchup at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m., and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.