Men’s Volleyball Concludes West Coast Swing at No. 4 Pepperdine

Men’s Volleyball Concludes West Coast Swing at No. 4 Pepperdine

Game Info

Series Record
Last Meeting

Harvard vs. No. 4 Pepperdine
Tuesday, March 16
10 p.m.
Firestone Fieldhouse
Live Stats
Harvard trails, 2-0
L, 3-1 (3/12/12)

DJ White moved into second-place all-time in kills and digs in the Harvard record book (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its final outing of a three-match California road trip, Harvard travels to Malibu to face No. 4 Pepperdine on Tuesday, March 17 at 10 p.m.

Last Time Out
Finishing its stay at the Asics Tournament at Long Beach State, Harvard fell in four sets, 3-1, to CSUN. The loss came by set scores of 25-18, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-19. Caleb Zimmick was named to the All-Tournament team, after combining for 14 kills and nine blocks while hitting .370 in the two matches.

DJ White moved into second place all-time in the Harvard record book in kills (940) and digs (490) with a 14-kill, six-dig performance. Branden Clemens tied for the team-high with 14 kills to go with eight digs and six blocks.

Defensively, Harvard combined for 52 digs, led by Nick Bendell and Casey White with 11 apiece, and 11 team blocks. Harvard limited CSUN to a .250 hitting percentage, but only hit .120 through the four frames.

Social Stream
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Ivy League Digital Network
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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

Can You Dig It?
Through 16 matches Harvard ranks eighth in the country in digs per set (9.63). Casey White (18th, 2.19), DJ White (21st, 2.09), Samuel Murphy (34th, 1.87) and Branden Clemens (40th, 1.82) all rank in the top-50 nationally in keeping the opponent's attack alive.

Hitting .300
Harvard has been one of the country's most efficient attacking teams, boasting the nation's ninth-best hitting percentage (.288). The Crimson has hit .300 or better 10 times, including a season-best .525 at home against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 27.

From Both Angles
Outside hitters DJ White and Branden Clemens pace the Crimson with 3.44 and 2.98 kills per set, respectively, with both ranking in the country's top-40. White recorded a season-best 5.33 kills per frame in a three-set loss to IPFW, while Clemens' season high is 4.25, logged in the finals of the Hall of Fame Morgan Classic against Springfield.

Short and Sweet
Through 16 matches, Harvard is yet to play in a five-set contest. Nine outings went to four sets, while seven were completed in three.

Lending a Hand
Setter Nick Bendell is one of 14 student-athletes averaging north of 10 assists per set, with the Crimson sophomore checking in at 10.11 per period. Bendell has eclipsed the 40-set plateau four times this season, with a season-best 49 coming at the hands of NJIT and Springfield.

Player of the Month
Outside hitter Branden Clemens was named the Off the Block/Springbak National Player of the Month for February. Clemens was a focal point of the Crimson attack during its eight February matches, as he posted double-digit kills and hit .300 or better six times. He was named the MVP of the Hall of Fame Morgan Classic, held February 20-21, after recording 32 kills in the two matches to go with 10 digs and nine blocks. He also hit .475 at the tournament. Clemens received over 10,518 votes to win the award.

Related Link: Clemens Named Off The Block/Springbak National Player of the Month

Honor Roll
Caleb Zimmick was named the EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on February 23 after a pair of dominant performances at the net. In the first round of the Hall of Fame Morgan Classic, a 3-1 win over Concordia-Irvine, Zimmick blocked a season-high nine attacks, while also contributing seven kills. The middle blocker backed up his performance with a pair of blocks in the championship match over Springfield, another 3-1 victory for the Crimson. The award was Zimmick's second weekly EIVA honor of the season, and sixth total conference award.

Earlier in the season, DJ White was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week on February 9, marking the first time in 2015 and fifth in his career that he won an EIVA weekly award. Casey White and Zimmick swept the weekly EIVA awards for January 19-25, with White earning offensive honors and Zimmick taking the defensive award. The award was the first of Casey White's career.

Related Links: Zimmick Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week; DJ White Named EIVA Offensive Player of the Week ; White, Zimmick Sweep EIVA Weekly Awards

Poll Position
Harvard rose to No. 13 in the AVCA Division I-II Top 15 Poll on February 9, tying the program record for highest ranking. The Crimson has been ranked in each of the last four seasons, and for three weeks in 2015.

Ranking Superlatives
Total Weeks Ranked by AVCA – 13
Consecutive Weeks Ranked – 4, April 9-May 7, 2012
Current Weeks Ranked- N/A
Highest Ranking – No. 13, January 6-13, 2014 and February 9, 2015
Overall Record When Ranked – 10-8 
     When No. 13 – 1-3
     When No. 14 – 0-2
     When No. 15 – 9-3
Home Record When Ranked – 6-3
Road Record When Ranked – 4-4
Neutral Site Record When Ranked – 0-1
In 2015, when ranked:  5-1

2015 AVCA Weekly Ranking
Dec. 10- N/A
Jan. 12- N/A
Jan. 19- N/A
Jan. 26- No. 15
Feb. 2- No. 15
Feb. 9- No. 13
Feb. 16- RV
Feb. 23- RV
March 2- RV
March 9- RV
March 16- N/A 

At the MAC
The Crimson has played 38 matches under the roof of the Malkin Athletic Center over the past three-plus years, and boasts a 30-8 (.789) 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, the Crimson toppled Springfield 3-1.

Scouting No. 4 Pepperdine
Pepperdine is 14-4 on the season, including a 10-4 mark in MPSF play. The Waves attack is led by Parker Kalmbach with 4.00 kills per set, while Josh Taylor is close behind with a 3.53 kps mark. Pepperdine ranks in the top-10 nationally in assists, blocks, and kills per set and is fourth in hitting percentage.

Around the EIVA
Penn State (9-9, 4-0 EIVA) took control of the conference, jumping to the top of the EIVA standings with wins over Harvard and Sacred Heart. Princeton (8-5, 4-1 EIVA) fell to fourth-place George Mason (5-9, 2-2 EIVA) for its first loss in league play, dropping the Tigers to second place. Harvard sits third in the EIVA, at 3-2.

Chasing Records
Through 16 matches, multiple Harvard student-athletes are looking to ascend the Crimson record books:




Matt Jones '12
DJ White '15





Chris Gibbons '14
DJ White '15


Solo Bocks



Ryan Estendorf '96
Brady Weissbourd '09
Caleb Zimmick '15


Block Assists



Ed Panaku '00
Caleb Zimmick '15


Total Blocks



Ed Panaku '00
Evan Mager '99
Caleb Zimmick '15





Rob Lothman '13
Gil Weintruab '10
Nick Bendell '17 


















Preseason Poll
Harvard was picked fourth in the EIVA Preseason Poll with 33 points, slotting in behind Penn State, Princeton, and George Mason.










Penn State


George Mason


St. Francis (Pa.)


Sacred Heart

Votes (first place)

48 (7)

38 (1)






Season Preview

Fresh Faces
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.

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. 

On The Sidelines
Head coach Brian Baise returns for his seventh season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program. Baise owns an 86-68 record on the sidelines, including a 61-29 mark over the past three-plus seasons. The Crimson has been ranked in each season since 2012, with 12 student-athletes earning all-EIVA recognition.

Jeffrey Aucoin and Ahmed Ibrahim return as assistant coaches for their second and fourth seasons, respectively. 

What's Next?
Harvard travels to George Mason to complete the first EIVA cycle on Saturday, March 28 at 3 p.m.