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Men's Volleyball Drops Conference Opener to Rutgers-Newark, 3-0

Matt Jones recorded five digs and a block (photo courtesy of DSPics.com).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard men's volleyball team dropped its conference opener to Rutgers-Newark, 3-0, Saturday afternoon at the Malkin Athletic Center. Senior Gil Weintraub led the Crimson with 12 kills and just three attack errors. Freshman Rob Lothman handed out 27 assists in the match.

The Scarlet Raiders (3-9, 3-0 EIVA Hay Division) jumped out to a 7-1 lead, forcing the Crimson (0-8, 0-1 EIVA Hay Division) to call a timeout. Out of the break, Harvard went on a 5-2 run to get within three points. The Scarlet Raiders used nine blocks in the set to keep the Crimson offense quiet, as the visitors went on to win the opening set, 30-22.

In the second set, Harvard gained its first lead of the afternoon, and eventually built a 16-10 advantage. Out of a timeout, Rutgers-Newark went on a 7-2 run to come within one point at 18-17. Consecutive blocks by Dane Mulligan and Jon Keller provided stiff defense for the Scarlet Raiders. There were 24 ties and lead changes in the middle set, but the Scarlet Raiders managed to hold off the Crimson, 34-32, to grab a 2-0 overall lead.

The Crimson was unable to get its offense going in the third set, committing eight errors while Rutgers-Newark recorded 18 kills. The Scarlet Raiders won the match with a 30-20 win in the third set.

Harvard travels to New Jersey next weekend to take on Stevens Institute Friday at 7 p.m., and NJIT Saturday at 2 p.m.