Clemens' 10 kills helped the Crimson to a third straight win to open the year (Gil Talbot).
LORETTO, Pa. – The Harvard men's volleyball team registered its third straight sweep to remain unbeaten at St. Francis (Pa.) Friday night, 25-22, 26-24 and 25-23. The win improves the Crimson to 3-0 for the second season in a row and is its first in EIVA play.
Kyle Rehkemper recorded a career-high 12 kills and hit .500 to lead Harvard while adding three block assists. Branden Clemens also set a personal best with 10 kills and five digs, with DJ White and Nick Madden notching seven kills apiece. Rob Lothman, meanwhile, dished out 35 assists, the second-highest total of his career in three sets.
The Crimson defense limited St. Francis (1-6, 0-1 EIVA) to a .161 hitting percentage, marking the third straight match Harvard has held its opponent to below .200 hitting. Madden paced the defense with four blocks as Chris Gibbons tallied eight digs.
The first set saw five lead changes and six tied scores but it was the Crimson who would prevail. Tied at 13, an attack error by the Red Flash and block by Caleb Zimmick and Madden opened a 15-13 margin for Harvard. A White kill and ace by Zimmick improved the lead to 20-16 before Zimmick put the set away with a kill, 25-22.
The Crimson took a 3-0 lead in the second frame following a Rehkemper kill and block by Madden and Rehkemper, but St. Francis stormed back to eventually take the lead, 10-9. Trailing 15-11, Harvard embarked on a 6-2 run to even the score at 17 and regained the advantage, 20-19, off a Red Flash error. St. Francis recovered to take a 24-23 lead, but back-to-back kills from Clemens and a block by Lothman and Zimmick gave the set to the Crimson, 26-24.
Harvard led the entire way in set three thanks to a 7-1 run to open the frame. St. Francis was able to eventually pull even at 23 before a pair of error gave the Crimson match point, 25-23.
Harvard is back in action tomorrow as it travels to University Park, Pa., for a 4 p.m. showdown with No. 6 Penn State.