Men’s Volleyball Hits the Road for Final Time to Face No. 7 Penn State and Saint Francis

Men’s Volleyball Hits the Road for Final Time to Face No. 7 Penn State and Saint Francis

Game Info

Series Record
Last Meeting

Harvard at No. 7 Penn State
Friday, April 10
7 p.m.
Recreation Hall
Live Stats
Harvard trails, 10-1
L, 3-1 (2/28/15)

Game Info

Series Record
Last Meeting

Harvard at Saint Francis (Pa.)
Saturday, April 11
3 p.m.
Maurice Stokes Athletic Center
NEC Front Row
Live Stats
Harvard leads, 8-3
W, 3-0 (2/27/15)


Harvard is currently second in the EIVA standings (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's volleyball will travel to Pennsylvania for its final road trip of 2015, facing off against EIVA foes No. 7 Penn State and Saint Francis.

Last Time Out
Playing host to Princeton and NJIT, Harvard came away with a weekend split.

Branden Clemens paced the Crimson attack against the Tigers with 11 kills, while Brad Gretschadded 10 and DJ White pitched in nine. Harvard overcame a slow start and hit .500 as a team during the match-clinching fourth set. Casey White recorded double-digit digs for the fourth-consecutive contest, posting a match-high 12.

Harvard could not overcome an early deficit to NJIT, falling 3-1. Clemens led the Crimson in kills for the fifth-straight match, ending the clash with 17 kills and .519 hitting percentage. DJ White added a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs, while Gretsch tallied 11 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 20 matches Harvard ranks fourth in the country in digs per set (9.77). Casey White (7th, 2.46), DJ White (21st, 2.07), and Branden Clemens (48th, 1.74) all rank in the top-50 nationally in keeping the opponent's attack alive.

Approaching A Milestone
DJ White is 13 kills away from becoming the second player in Harvard history to join the 1,000-kill club, and will stand as the only student-athlete in Harvard's record book to record 1,000 kills and 500 digs. The outside hitter is currently second all-time in both categories.

Hitting .300
Harvard has been one of the country's most efficient attacking teams, boasting the nation's ninth-best hitting percentage (.286). The Crimson has hit .300 or better 11 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 3.32 and 3.14 kills per set, respectively, ranking 24th and 34th 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 most recently at home against NJIT.

Short and Sweet
Through 20 matches, Harvard is yet to play in a five-set contest. 13 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 ranks 10th, and 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 10,518 votes to win the award.

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

Honor Roll
For the third time this season, Harvard men's volleyball's Caleb Zimmick was named the EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on March 30. A senior captain, Zimmick recorded six total blocks, including a season-high three solo blocks, in Harvard's four-set victory over George Mason on March 28. His sharp play at the net helped limit the Patriots to a .047 hitting percentage. The Middleton, Wisconsin, native also won the award on January 26 and February 23.

Casey White has been selected as the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week (January 26) and Defensive Player of the Week (March 23) this season, while DJ White earned EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors on February 9.

Related Links: Caleb Zimmick Named EIVA Defensive Player of the WeekWhite Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week ; Zimmick Named EIVA Defensive Player of the WeekDJ 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
March 30- N/A
April 6- N/A

At the MAC
The Crimson has played 40 matches under the roof of the Malkin Athletic Center over the past three-plus years, and boasts a 31-9 (.775) 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 series at home, Harvard came away with a split against Princeton and NJIT.

Scouting Penn State
Since starting the season 0-6, Penn State has compiled a 13-3 record and has vaulted to No. 7 in the AVCA Division I-II Rankings. Undefeated in conference play, Aaron Russell is second in the nation in kills per set (4.74) and points per set (5.61), while Nick Goodell also ranks nationally (32nd) with 3.19 kills per set. Penn State came out on top in the first matchup, 3-1.

Scouting Saint Francis
Saint Francis sits at 4-17 overall in 2015, and is 2-5 in EIVA play. Harvard thrashed the Red Flash in the first meeting, 3-0, hitting a season-best .525 in the match. Jeremy Gaston leads the squad with 2.43 kills per set, though Stephen Braswell and Jeff Hogan are close behind with 2.37 and 2.36 kills per set, respectively.

Around the EIVA
Penn State (13-9, 7-0 EIVA) remains undefeated in conference play, and holds a 2.5 match lead over second-place Harvard (11-9, 5-3 EIVA). Princeton (9-10, 5-4 EIVA) fell to third with a pair of conference losses to the Crimson and Sacred Heart (12-9, 3-5 EIVA), and George Mason (9-11, 4-4 EIVA) remains in control of the fourth spot, one match ahead of the Pioneers.

Chasing Records
Through 20 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
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


Saint Francis


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 HeaveyMarko 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 88-70 record on the sidelines, including a 63-31 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 returned as assistant coaches for their second and fourth seasons, respectively. 

What's Next?
Harvard hosts George Mason on Friday, April 17 at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is slated for 7 p.m., and can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.