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Harvard Men’s Volleyball Drops First Contest of the Year

Sophomore Will Chambers' seven kills wasn't enough to keep the Crimson from dropping its first match of the year, 3-0, against George Mason (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
The Harvard men's volleyball team fell to conference rival George Mason in three sets to drop to 5-1 on the season. Senior Matt Jones once again led in kills for the Crimson with 11 and freshman Caleb Zimmick recorded the team's best hitting percentage of .583 with eight kills.

George Mason came out firing in the first set scoring the first three points, as Andrew Dentler recorded two kills and extended that lead to 10-3 off a kill by Mark Jones. The Crimson fought back scoring seven of the next 10 points to cut the deficit to 13-10. Freshman DJ White brought Harvard within one, slamming down a kill, pushing the score to 15-14, George Mason.  The Patriots didn't allow Harvard to even the score however, as they went on a 10-7 run to close out the set, 25-21.

The Crimson and Patriots battled it out in the beginning part of the second set as there were seven tied scores in the set's first 20 points as the score stood at 10-10. With the set at 12-12, Harvard briefly pulled away scoring the next three points thanks to kills from Jones and sophomore Will Chambers, putting Harvard up 15-12. A service ace by Andrew Dentler and two errors on the Crimson knotted the score back up at 15-15. The Patriots started to pull away after that going on a 10-6 run  including four straight points led by Dentler who posted two kills, as George Mason earned its second set of the match, 25-21.

Back-to-Back kills from Dentler and Pete Cuppernull put George Mason up 9-5 and forced Harvard to take an early timeout. The Patriots would keep up the pace however as Dentler recorded a kill later in the set, pushing the score to 15-11 George Mason. The Crimson battled back to even the score on a service ace from Zimmick and a service error on Mark Jones,  tying the set, 19-19. The two teams traded points as the score was knotted up five times in the tail end of the set, but two kills from Mark Jones sealed the deal for the Patriots taking the set 26-24, and the match 3-0.

Harvard had trouble keeping the ball in play during the first two sets recording hitting percentages of.300 and .094 but fought back hard in the third recording a .429 average. Junior Rob Lothman once again led the Crimson with 34 assists while Chambers and Jones tied for the team lead in blocks with two apiece.

Harvard will be back in action Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when it hosts EIVA rival Princeton at the Malkin Athletic Center.