Penn State Tops Men’s Volleyball, 3-1

White's double-double was not enough as Harvard fell to 3-2 in EIVA play (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With first place in the EIVA up for grabs, Harvard men's volleyball fell to Penn State, 3-1, at the Malkin Athletic Center. The defeat came by set scores of 25-21, 14-25, 23-25, and 22-25.

DJ White recorded his third-career double-double, ending the match with 14 kills and 11 digs while hitting .444. Caleb Zimmick and Bendell formed an effective duo at the net, finishing with seven and six blocks, respectively. Branden Clemens, meanwhile, contributed nine kills and Casey White had seven.

Harvard (9-5, 3-2 EIVA) limited Penn State (6-9, 4-0 EIVA) to a .268 hitting percentage, but the Nittany Lions recorded ten aces to only one for the Crimson. Nick Goodell led the Penn State attack with 25 kills.

With the stands at full capacity, Harvard earned a win in the first set. Trailing 12-10 in the period, Harvard used a pair of three-point runs to take the lead, and would not acquiesce for the remainder of the set. Bendell and Zimmick combined for two blocks to spark the run, and DJ White and Casey White each recorded a kill to build a two-point lead. Harvard pulled away late in the set, ending the frame with a kill from Zimmick to take a 1-0 lead.

Leading 6-5 in the second set, the Nittany Lions scored eight of the next nine points to take control and even the match at 1-1. Harvard hit just .050 in the period.

Harvard leapt out to an early lead in the third stanza, 5-1, after a pair of kills from Clemens and a block assist from Zimmick and Bendell.  The advantage evaporated midway through the period when Penn State put together a five-point combination to tie the set at 14-14. The Crimson led late in the set, 22-21, but could not hold on as the Nittany Lions took a 2-1 match lead.

The fourth frame was tightly contested, and went down to the wire before Penn State pulled out the victory. DJ White led the Harvard attack with five kills, keying a comeback effort to tie the set after trailing by as many as five points, 12-7. After evening the score at 17-17, the two teams traded points until the score was 22-22, but the Nittany Lions scored the final three points to end the match.

Harvard hosts Springfield on March 11 at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.