Harvard Clinches EIVA Playoffs Berth with 3-1 Win Over George Mason

Kostich posted his first-career double-double against the Patriots (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a pivotal match with important postseason ramifications, Harvard dominated at the net to defeat George Mason, 3-1, and clinch a berth to the 2015 EIVA Playoffs. The victory came by set scores of 25-18, 18-25, 25-19, and 25-15.

DJ White paced the Crimson with a match-high 13 kills, while Branden Clemens neared a double-double with 11 kills and nine digs. Marko Kostich produced the first double-double of his career, finishing with 37 assists and 10 digs.

Harvard (12-11, 6-5 EIVA) continually denied George Mason (11-12, 4-5 EIVA) at the net, finishing with 12.5 total team blocks. Caleb Zimmick led the way with six rejections, while Riley Moore added five. All of the Crimson's front row-eligible players ended with two blocks or more, helping to limit the Patriots to a .106 hitting percentage.

The Crimson got off to a quick start with a 25-18 victory in the first frame. Clemens contributed six kills in the early period, including four of Harvard's final eight scores. The tally was knotted at 17-17, but back-to-back kills from Clemens and DJ White prompted a Mason timeout. Undeterred, Harvard finished the set after rattling off six of the next seven points.

George Mason evened up the score in the second set, 1-1. Trailing 9-8, Harvard gave up six consecutive points that extended Mason's lead to 15-8. The Crimson managed to cut the deficit to three points, 16-13, but the Patriots were able to withstand the rally and tie the match.

Harvard took control of the match in the third stanza, utilizing a balanced attack to regain the lead. The set was tied at 14 apiece midway through the frame, but the Crimson scored seven of the next nine points to gain a five-point advantage. Unable to break Harvard's momentum, Mason ceded the frame, 25-19.

The Crimson defense took over in the final period, as six players recorded a block to limit Mason to a -.032 hitting percentage in the set. DJ White and Riley Moore registered four kills each to spur the offense, helping Harvard record multiple runs of at least four points to claim the victory.

Harvard finishes its regular season on Senior Night against Sacred Heart April 25 at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is slated for 4 p.m., and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.