Men’s Volleyball Resumes EIVA Play Against George Mason

Men’s Volleyball Resumes EIVA Play Against George Mason

Game Info

Series Record
Last Meeting

Harvard vs. George Mason
Saturday, March 28
3 p.m.
Recreation & Athletics Complex
Live Stats
Harvard trails, 9-3
L, 3-0 (3/7/14)

Casey White is the reigning EIVA Defensive Player of the Week (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Concluding the first cycle of EIVA action, Harvard men's volleyball travels to George Mason for a Saturday tilt at 3 p.m.

Last Time Out
Ending its three-match stay in southern California, Harvard fell to Pepperdine, 3-1, on March 17 at Firestone Fieldhouse. The defeat came by set scores of 25-17, 25-21, 27-25, and 25-19.

In his first career start at libero, Casey White tallied a career-high 20 digs, while Branden Clemens led the Harvard attack with 14 kills. DJ White and Brad Gretsch, meanwhile, each tallied 13 kills. Setter Nick Bendell recorded 48 assists.

Entering the match, Harvard was limiting its opponents to a combined .234 hitting percentage, but Pepperdine hit for an efficient .347. Parker Kalmbach led the Waves' attack with 21 kills.

Social Stream
Use the all new Social Stream on to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.

Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.

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 17 matches Harvard ranks seventh in the country in digs per set (9.69). Casey White (9th, 2.39), DJ White (24th, 2.07), and Branden Clemens (45th, 1.79) 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 (.285). 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 3.42 and 3.02 kills per set, respectively, ranking 25th and 38th in the country. 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 final of the Hall of Fame Morgan Classic against Springfield.

Short and Sweet
Through 17 matches, Harvard is yet to play in a five-set contest. 10 outings went to four sets, while seven were completed in three.

Lending a Hand
Setter Nick Bendell is one of 13 student-athletes averaging north of 10 assists per set, with the Crimson sophomore checking in at 10.25 per period. Bendell has eclipsed the 40-assist plateau five 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
Casey White was named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week after his strong performance against Pepperdine on March 17. In his first career start at libero, White recorded a career-best 20 digs in just four sets, marking his second-straight match in double-digits and fifth total contest in 2015. The conference award was the second of the year for White, who was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week on January 26.

Caleb Zimmick earned EIVA Defensive Player of the Week Awards on February 23 and January 26, and DJ White earned EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors on February 9.

Related Links: White Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week ; 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
March 23- 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 George Mason
George Mason is 7-9 on the season, including 2-2 in EIVA play. The Patriots have been tough to beat at home, sporting a 3-1 mark in Fairfax, Virginia. Paco Velez leads the country in aces per set (0.69) and also leads the team in kills per set (2.87) and points per set (3.88). George Mason ranks second in the conference, trailing Harvard, with a .272 hitting percentage.

Around the EIVA
Penn State (10-9, 4-0 EIVA) took control of the conference, jumping to the top of the EIVA standings with wins over Harvard and Sacred Heart. Princeton (8-7, 4-1 EIVA) fell to fourth-place George Mason (7-9, 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 17 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 86-69 record on the sidelines, including a 61-30 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 returns to the Malkin Athletic Center April 3-4 for home contests with Princeton and NJIT to start the second cycle of EIVA competition. Both matches can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.