Men’s Volleyball Comes Up Short Against No. 7 Penn State, 3-0

Gretsch led the Crimson offense with nine kills (Zack Williamson).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team lost in three sets to No. 7 Penn State at home Friday night, falling by set scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-21.

Brad Gretsch led Harvard (3-5, 0-1 EIVA) with nine kills, while Riley Moore followed with seven. Marko Kostich finished the night with 23 assists as middle blocker Trevor Dow matched his career blocks with four blocks.

The Nittany Lions' (7-2, 2-0) Chris Nugent contributed 19 kills in the win, while teammate Aiden Albrecht chipped in 13 kills. Setter Taylor Hammond totaled 41 assists in the victory to help Penn State to a .314 hitting percentage.

The Crimson got off to a quick start beginning with a 3-0 run which included a pair of blocks by Gretsch, Dow, and Branden Clemens. Harvard extended its lead to 12-6 off a Penn State error, and maintained a 20-17 edge heading into the stretch. The Nittany Lions rallied, however, taking their first lead off four-straight points, 23-21.After a timeout by Harvard, Gretsch knotted the set up at 23, but the Nittany Lions closed out the stanza with two-straight points, 25-23.

Harvard was on fire in the second set, hitting a .381 clip (12-4-21), its highest hitting percentage of the night. Dow and Moore registered four kills apiece in the frame. The two teams knotted the frame seven times before the Nittany Lions wrapped up the stanza with a 6-1 run to give Penn State its second set, 25-21.

Clemens registered two aces during a 6-0 run early in the third set to give Harvard a 6-2 lead. Penn State once again made a comeback and went back in front, 12-11, but the Crimson responded and held an 18-16 advantage following a kill by Dow. Harvard was unable to maintain its momentum, however, as the Nittany Lions closed the frame on a 9-3 run to take match point, 25-21. 

The Crimson will be back in action tomorrow at the Malkin Athletic Center as it takes on No. 15 Saint Francis at 7 p.m. The match can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.