|Matchup||No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn State|
|Date||April 19, 2018|
|Venue||Recreation and Athletic Complex|
|Live Stats||Harvard vs. Penn State|
|Tournament||Tournament Central Page|
|Series||Harvard trails, 2-16|
|Last Meeting||W, 3-2 (March 30, 2018)|
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team is set to take on Penn State in the semifinals of the 2018 EIVA Tournament at George Mason this Thursday, April 19. The Crimson will enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed, while Penn State sits at No 2. Thursday's contest is slated to begin at 5 p.m. and will be available to watch on FloVolleyball.tv.
Last Time Out
The Crimson dropped a pair of conference matches at George Mason last weekend, April 13-14. Senior Brad Gretsch recorded a career-high 23 kills on Friday night and notched his second double-double of his career, adding 11 digs to his tally. During Saturday's contest, Marko Kostich registered his fourth double-double of the season with 10 assists and 13 kills to hit .545 on the night.
Scouting Penn State
Penn State will enter the tournament at the No. 2 seed after splitting last weekend's contests with a 3-0 loss to Princeton and 3-1 win over NJIT to finish the season at 10-4 in conference play. The Nittany Lions lead the EIVA in hitting percentage at .286, while Luke Braswell sits at the top in assists per set at 9.53. The Crimson previously upset Penn State earlier this season with a 3-2 victory at the end of March.
Four squad members were honored with All-EIVA accolades as Brad Gretsch and Marko Kostich were named to the first team and Riley Moore and Matthew Ctvrtlik were tabbed second team. Ctvrtlik, Gretsch and Moore all earned honors for the first time in their careers, while Kostich received his third career accolade.
Around the EIVA
Harvard (11-13, 10-4) clinched the third seed in the 2018 EIVA Tournament, facing No. 2 Penn State (15-10, 10-4) in the semifinals. Host George Mason (17-11, 13-1) claimed the No. 1 seed after suffering only one conference loss all season and will take on No. 4 Princeton (11-15, 7-7). The winners of the two matches will play for a berth in the NCAA Tournament on May 1.
The Crimson has advanced to the EIVA Tournament five times under the reign of head coach Brian Baise. Harvard has advanced to the championship round once in the past six years and hold a 1-4 record in postseason play.
The Crimson ranks sixth in the nation in digs per set at 9.86 through its 24 matches this season. Sophomore libero Chase Howard sits at seventh in the nation and second in the EIVA in digs per set at 2.60, while Matthew Ctvrtlik ranks 37th in the nation with 1.90 to help the Harvard defense.
The Crimson boasted an 8-2 record at the Malkin Athletic Center this year, ending the season on an eight-match winning streak on home court dating back to March 2. Of those eight wins, three included three-set sweeps with only two five-setters. In Cambridge, the Crimson has outscored its opponents 26-13.
We Want Moore
Senior co-captain Riley Moore has dominated for the Crimson on attack. The 6-5 middle blocker has led the Crimson in hitting percentage all season at .424, consistently ranking among the top-five in the nation and EIVA, while placing eighth in program history. Moore has registered hitting percentages over .600 in eight matches this season when tallying seven or more kills and has notched zero errors in six matches when hitting above .400.
Head coach Brian Baise is in the midst of his 10th season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program this weekend. Baise owns a 112-96 record on the sidelines, including an 87-58 record over the past six seasons.
For six-years straight, the Harvard men's volleyball team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. As one of 19 collegiate men's programs in the nation to earn the award, the team compiled for a top-five GPA among all men's programs.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth 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 Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here.
With a victory over Penn State, the Crimson will face the winner of No. 1 George Mason and No. 4 Princeton in the EIVA Championship match on Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m.