Men’s Volleyball Hits the Road to Continue EIVA Play

Men’s Volleyball Hits the Road to Continue EIVA Play

Erik Johnsson paces the Crimson with 2.63 kills/set (Gil Talbot). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team will travel to Pennsylvania this weekend to compete against Penn State and Saint Francis. The Crimson will face the Nittany Lions on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. and the Red Flash on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.

Last Time Out
The men's volleyball team was unable to edge No. 15 George Mason on Feb. 12, falling 3-0 to the Patriots at the Malkin Athletic Center. Casey White led the Crimson (3-4, 1-1 EIVA) attack with nine kills, while Erik Johnsson and Brad Gretsch added seven and six kills, respectively. Marko Kostich notched 14 assists to lead Harvard, with support from White and Grestch who earned six and five digs.
Double-Double Trouble
Senior Casey White has recorded a double-double in four of the past five games:
Jan. 13 at Lewis 11 kills, 10 digs
Jan. 19 vs Fort Wayne 11 kills, 18 digs
Jan. 20 vs Ball State 13 kills, 10 digs
Feb. 4 vs Alderson Broaddus 11 kills, 11 digs

Fresh on the Court
Though Erik Johnsson and Matthew Ctvrtlik are new to Harvard, the freshmen are making their presence known on the court. Johnsson has earned 71 kills and five service aces so far this season, while Ctvrtlik has registered 92 assists for the year.
Big Blocks
Junior Riley Moore, senior Casey White, sophomore Trevor Dow and junior Brad Gretsch have registered a combined 77 blocks since the beginning of the season. Six members of the Crimson have tallied 10 blocks or more. Harvard currently averages 2.38 blocks per set, which is first in EIVA.  

Climbing the Ranks
Casey White and Riley Moore are moving up the ranks in the Harvard record book. For complete information, click here.
Digs in a Single Match
No.      Name                         Opponent                    Year     Digs
1.         Brian Rapp '08            vs. NYU                       2008    28
2.         Chris Gibbons '14        at George Mason        2012    23
3.         Casey White '17         vs. Sacred Heart        2016    21
Digs in a Season
No.      Name                          Year     Digs
1.         Chris Gibbons '14        2013    219
2.         Chris Gibbons '14        2014    216
3.         Joe Herger '00             2000    215
4.         Chris Gibbons '14        2012    211
5.         Casey White '17         2015    208
Career Digs
No.      Name              Year              Digs
1. Chris Gibbons '14    2010-14           789
2. DJ White '15           2011-15           556
3. Casey White '17   2013-pres.      552
Total Blocks in a Match
1. Ed Pankau '00                     vs. Eastern Mennonite 1999   21
2. Kyle Rehkemper '14            vs. Princeton   2011               13
3. Caleb Zimmick '15              vs. Concordia 2014                  12
    Riley Moore '18                  vs George Mason 2017          12
Home Court Advantage
Harvard posted a 7-2 record at the Malkin Athletic Center in 2016 and holds a 32-11 mark at home during the last three seasons.
Scouting Penn State
No. 13 Penn State finished last season with an 19-10 overall record. The Nittany Lions will rely on senior Chris Nugent who has recorded 175 kills this season, and freshman Luke Braswell who has notched 441 helpers in 12 games. Junior Kevin Gear leads the Nittany Lions with 54 blocks this season.  Harvard trails Penn State in the overall series, 1-13. The Crimson dropped a 3-0 decision to the Nittany Lions in the last meeting on April 8, 2016.
Scouting Saint Francis
The Red Flash finished last season with a 19-10 overall record, including a 9-5 mark in EIVA play. The Red Flash will rely on efforts from freshman Michael Fisher who has recorded 182 kills this season, and senior Daniel Ford, who has notched 547 helpers. Junior Keith Kegerreis leads the Red Flash with 38 total blocks this season. Harvard leads Saint Francis in the overall series, 9-5. The Crimson dropped a 3-2 decision to the Red Flash in the last meeting on April 9, 2016.
Returning to the Court
The Crimson returns eight members of the 2016 squad, including co-captains Casey White and Samuel Murphy. White posted 219.5 points last season, tallying a team-high 162 digs and 179 kills. Murphy registered 82 digs and 17 assists during his junior campaign.
Welcome to Cambridge
Harvard welcomes five newcomers to the team this season: Jack Connolly, Matthew Ctvrlik, Marty Heavey, Chase Howard and Erik Johnsson. This group joins the Crimson from five states around the country.
Five-Year Streak
The Harvard men's volleyball team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for five-straight years, and is one of just 11 men's programs in the country to earn that distinction. Additionally, Brad Gretsch and Marko Kostich were named to the EIVA All-Academic team at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
On the Sidelines
Brian Baise enters his ninth season as head coach of the Harvard men's volleyball team in 2017. Over eight seasons, he has ushered in an era of unprecedented success for the Crimson. Baise owns a 103-84 record on the sidelines, including a 78-46 mark over the past five seasons. The Crimson were selected sixth in the 2017 EIVA Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Matthew Jones '12 was named the coaching assistant for the men's and women's volleyball teams on May 5, 2016. The former outside hitter's name floods Harvard's career record book, Jones ranks first in kills (1,218) and aces (97), third in kills per set (3.76), sixth in digs (452) and block assists (178), seventh in total blocks (206), and ninth in solo blocks (28).
Christian Vandergeest and Rob Lothman were added to the Crimson staff in December 2016.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Social Stream
Use the Social Stream on to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
What's Next?
Harvard will host back-to-back contests on Feb. 24 & 25. Harvard will face Princeton on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. and NJIT on Saturday Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.