Freshman Chris Gibbons tallied 13 kills against MIT Saturday evening (photo courtesy Harvard Athletic Communications).
The Harvard men’s volleyball team welcomes the Rivier Raiders to the Malkin Athletic Center for a Wednesday night showdown. The Crimson enters the match with a 3-1 record after downing MIT Saturday.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard’s 3-1 start this season is the best start since the 2008 season when the Crimson opened the season with three victories before falling to Springfield.
On Saturday, in front of a packed house at the Malkin Athletic Center, the Crimson secured its first come-from-behind win of the season over MIT. After dropping the first set, 26-24, Harvard rebounded to take the next three, including a thrilling 31-29 fourth-set victory to seal the match.
Harvard holds a 6-3 series lead over the Raiders. The Crimson has lost the last two meetings with Rivier with Harvard’s last victory coming in January of 2008.
Scouting The Raiders
Rivier enters the contest against the Crimson with a 10-3 mark and is ranked No. 11 in the AVCA Division III poll. The Raiders opened the season with eight victories before losing Jan. 29 to Baruch at the Rutgers-Newark Classic.
The Raiders are 2-2 since that loss with wins over D’Youville and Emmanuel, but with losses to Stevens and New York University.
Jared Andreozzi paces the Raiders with a 4.0 kills per set average. Andreozzi also leads the team in hitting percentage (.273) and service aces per set (0.39). Alex Xenidis (1.70), Sam Kazlas (1.68) and John Furka (1.53) have also been tallying at least 1.50 kills per set this season.
Harvard is 3-0 when junior Matt Jones notches double-digit kills. Jones has tallied 56 kills through the first four matches, a 3.73 per set average.
Harvard is also 3-0 when the team records at least 10 blocks in a match. The Crimson had 19 blocks against Endicott (Jan. 28), 14 against MIT (Feb. 5) and 10 against Newbury (Jan. 25).
Nick Madden leads the Crimson with 25 total blocks this season, while Kyle Rehkemper (17), Jones (12) and Michael Owen (11) are also having an active season at the net.
AVCA Division III No. 6 Stevens awaits the Crimson Saturday night. First serve is set for 7 p.m.