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No. 13 Men’s Volleyball Falls to Laval, 3-1, in Exhibition Match

With 14 kills and 13 digs, White notched a double-double (photo courtesy Mark Selders).

QUÉBEC CITY, Québec -  In the second exhibition match between the No. 13 Harvard men's volleyball team and Laval, the Crimson was upset by the host Red and Gold, 3-1, at PEPS Thursday night. The defeat came by set scores of 25-15, 17-15, 35-33, 27-25. 

Junior DJ White contributed on both ends of play with a double-double effort of 14 kills and 13 digs while freshman Casey White notched 10 kills and seven digs. Classmate Nick Bendell handled setting responsibilities with 35 assists. 

A trio of Crimson joined the White brothers in the defensive effort with double-digit digs contribution. Sophomore Brenden Clemens notched 13 digs while Bendell added 12 and senior Chris Gibbons posted 11. At the net, senior Kyle Rehkemper led the block party with six while junior Caleb Zimmick recorded four.

Laval received a 26-kill effort from Olivier Jannini, as Marc-Andrew Morency turned in 50 assist and Vincent Thibault-B. A trio of Red and Gold led the defensive attack as Vincent Thibault-B notched 15 digs while Sylvain Beneix and Jannini tallied 12 digs and 11 digs, respectively.

The first two sets mirrored the first meeting. Laval built an early lead in the first frame, 10-5, and never looked back to take an early the first set of the match, 25-15. Harvard answered in the second stanza. The squads battled back-and-forth until the Crimson opened the game after taking a 10-9 lead, and finished the set, 25-17. 

The true test came in the third set. Neither team emerged with a substantial lead as the score sea-sawed for the majority of the contest. Harvard kept the set going with tremendous defensive, but Laval strung together two-straight points, which would be the difference to take the set, 35-33.  

Laval sprinted out to a 160-10 lead to being the fourth frame, but Harvard would not let up as the Crimson came back to knot the score, 18-18. The teams traded scores for the remainder of the set, but the Red and Gold was able to combine to back-to-back points to finish the frame and match, 27-25.  

After a week off, Harvard will hosts its first set of weekend matches as the Crimson welcomes Lewis to Cambridge, Friday, Jan. 24, and entertains Loyola Chicago at the Malkin Athletic Center, Saturday, Jan. 25.