Men’s Volleyball Drops Five-Set Affair to No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 3-2

Men’s Volleyball Drops Five-Set Affair to No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 3-2

White recorded his career-high in kills, posting 19 against the Gauchos (Gil Talbot).

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -  Harvard men's volleyball (6-9, 3-4 EIVA) fell in a close battle to No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 3-2. The defeat came by set scores of 25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 33-31, and 17-15.

Casey White recorded a career-high 19 kills to lead Harvard's attack, while Erik Johnsson and Riley Moore posted 11 and nine kills, respectively. Matthew Ctvrtlik dished 30 assists on the night, with support from Marko Kostich who earned 29 helpers.

Trevor Dow tallied seven blocks to lead the Crimson defense, helping to limit UCSB to a .243 hitting percentage. Four members of the Crimson added double-digit digs: White (14), Chase Howard (13), Ctvrtlik (12) and Kostich (11).
In the first set, Harvard pulled away with an 8-6 advantage over the Gauchos. In the middle of the stanza, Dow, White and Kostich all recorded two kills to put the Crimson ahead, 19-15. A balanced effort from the Crimson attack led the team to a 25-20 decision.
Harvard extended their lead to two sets in the second frame, with a 25-22 victory. The two teams traded points through the first 28 points of the set, but a service error from UCSB started the Crimson on a 5-1 run, to lead the Gauchos by two, 20-18. A kill from White helped put the final stamp on the set to lead UCSB, 2-0.
UCSB took the lead in the third set, recording a five-point lead at the midway point. Although the Crimson recorded a 5-2 run to come within two points, the Gauchos capitalized on successive service errors to lead 19-17. White stepped up and recorded two back-to-back kills to tie the set at 20 apiece, but the Gauchos took the set with a kill from Spencer Fredrick, 25-23.
The Crimson took a 4-0 lead in the fourth stanza, after falling the Gauchos in the third period. UCSB battled back to tie the set after facing an early four-point deficit, but a timely block by Dow and Johnson set up the opportunity for Harvard to win the period. Tied at 25 points, the teams battled back-and-forth until both remained tied at 31 apiece. UCSB recorded two consecutive kills to take the fourth set, 33-31.
Harvard had a chance to put the match away, leading 8-6 in the decisive fifth set. UCSB battled to tie the match at 11-11, and used its momentum to win five of the last six points in the period to win the set, 17-15.
Harvard will face USC tonight at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center. The game will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network.