The Crimson resumes EIVA action against Sacred Heart on Wednesday night (Ben Barnhardt).
The Harvard men's volleyball team hosts conference foe Sacred Heart Wednesday night at 7 p.m., before jetting to the west coast for a trio of matches in the Golden State. After netting victories in both of its matches last week, the Crimson looks to pick up its 10th straight win in the Malkin Athletic Center with a victory over the Pioneers.
A live video stream featuring play-by-play man Ben Altsher will be available through GoCrimson.com by clicking here. Live stats will be available by clicking here.
EIVA Rally Night
Wednesday night is Harvard's first-ever EIVA Rally night. The Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) formed the "EIVA Rallies" campaign to benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the largest programs of clinical research in the world. Research conducted at the center combines efforts of laboratory and clinical investigations in various disciplines and departments to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Please join the EIVA's efforts by supporting the mission of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the EIVA. For more information, please visit mskcc.org/giving.
Last Time Out
The Harvard men's volleyball team picked up its second win of the week on Thursday with a 3-1 victory at Emmanuel College. The Crimson took the match by set scores of 19-25, 25-13, 25-18 and 25-19. Harvard's attack was evenly spread out as five different Crimson tallied at least five kills. Caleb Zimmick and DJ White led the way with seven kills apiece, and finished the night with hitting percentages of .583 and .312, respectively. Nick Madden and Michael Owen turned in six kills each while Kyle Rehkemper notched five.
Related Link: Men's Volleyball Serves up a 3-1 Win at Emmanuel
Around the League
Harvard is currently in fourth place of the EIVA standings with a 5-3 conference mark and an 11-4 overall record. The Crimson is second in the conference in aces (1.29), third in hitting percentage (.258), fourth in assists (11.25), kills (12.06) and blocks (2.33), and ranks seventh in digs (8.69).
Individually, DJ White and and Caleb Zimmick top the league with hitting percentages of .382 and .319, respectively, while Branden Clemens ranks fourth at .295. White also ranks third in the EIVA for kills per set at 3.66. Chris Gibbons comes in third among liberos with 2.50 dps, while Rob Lothman is third among EIVA setters with 10.11 aps. Zimmick also boasts the second best blocking average at 1.20 bps with Kyle Rehkemper chipping in 0.84 bps, eighth in the conference. At the service line, Rehkemper is tied for the second highest aces per set average (0.34), while Michael Owen is seventh at 0.30.
Men's volleyball national ranking summary through games played March 10.
Scouting Sacred Heart
The Pioneers enter the match on a five-game skid, with three of those losses coming in straight sets. Sacred Heart stands at 2-13 on the year and is 1-7 in EIVA play. The Pioneers are registering slightly fewer kills per set (11.15) than they are giving up (11.27). SHU has registered a hitting percentage of .151, 9.52 dps and 1.47 bps so far this season.
Junior Brad Borsay paces the Sacred Heart lineup with 2.81 kps, with Nick Hunt (2.67) and Jason Kinney (2.55) also being leading contributors. The Pioneer offense flows through Benjamin Thomas (9.25 aps), while the defense begins with libero AJ Logosh (2.24 dps) and middle blocker Raymond Satagaj (0.65 bps).
Harvard won six straight matches from Feb. 2 to Feb. 23, it longest streak since winning 13 in a row in 2005. During that span the Crimson won four matches in straight sets, also matching the 2005 team's streak of four consecutive sweeps.
Harvard has fallen from the AVCA Division I-II Poll after being ranked in consecutive weeks. The Crimson reached as high as No. 14, the highest ranking in program history.
Taking Home the Hardware
Sophomore DJ White recently earned a pair of honors, being named both the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week and EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. The praise comes after White averaged 4.17 kills per set and hit .477 as the Crimson knocked off No. 9 Penn State and St. Francis (Pa.) in straight sets.
White is the first member of the Crimson to earn the national recognition. He has been named the conference's offensive player of the week twice this season and has earned the distinction three times in his career.
The Crimson ended a 51-match drought for conference opponents versus Penn State when it upset the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions Feb. 15, 3-0. Penn State's last loss to an EIVA conference foe came on March 7, 2008 to George Mason, 3-1.
Harvard's 3-0 victory over then ninth-ranked Penn State marked the team's second win over a ranked opponent in as many years. Last season, the Crimson knocked off No. 12 Call State Northridge, 3-1, to record the program's first victory against a ranked team under head coach Brian Baise.
Harvard is 20-6 in the friendly confines of the Malkin Athletic Center since the start of 2011 including a 4-0 mark this year. The Crimson has won nine straight matches at home dating back to last season and has captured each of its last three home openers.
The Crimson recorded 17.5 blocks at No. 6 Penn State, the team's highest total over the last three seasons. Caleb Zimmick led the way with eight total blocks as Michael Owen and Kyle Rehkemper each turned in seven. Nick Madden and Rob Lothman also got in on the action, registering six blocks and four blocks, respectively.
Harvard's season high for blocks in 2012 was 17 at Rutgers-Newark.
Harvard swept Stevens, NYU and St. Francis (Pa.) to open the year, marking the third straight season that the Crimson has started the year with at least two victories. Harvard's three straight-set victories, meanwhile, had not been accomplished since 1993 when the squad posted four sweeps in its first four matches.
Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard will host 11 home matches at the Malkin Athletic Center this season and each will be streamed live online through GoCrimson.com. Fans can also watch each match On Demand approximately two hours after completion. One-year subscriptions are available for $49.95 and allow access to every home event streamed by the Crimson, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey and men's soccer. For more information or to sign up today, click here.
Captaining the Ship
Rob Lothman and Nick Madden will serve as the team's captains for the 2013 season. Lothman was named to the All-EIVA second team in 2012 after setting a career-high with 888 assists, the fifth-best single-season total in program history. Lothman directed the Crimson attack to a .298 hitting percentage, which ranked seventh in the NCAA, while his 10.1 assists per set were good for 18th in the nation. Madden, meanwhile, started all 24 matches last year for the Crimson and ranked second on the squad in kills (3.01) and points (3.6). His 268 kills in 2012 were good for eighth in program history while his 147 career blocks rank his sixth all-time.
Harvard is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, as the Crimson earned its first-ever national ranking in 2012 and finished the year at No. 15 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. Harvard posted an 18-6 overall record and took second in the EIVA with a 10-4 conference mark, with the team's 18 wins representing the third-highest total ever.
Head coach Brian Baise was tabbed as the EIVA Coach of the Year as a result of the squad's success while Matt Jones, DJ White and Rob Lothman all earned all-conference accolades.