No. 13 Men’s Volleyball Rallies Past Laval, 3-2

Madden recorded a double-double effort (photo courtesy Ben Barnhart).

QUÉBEC CITY, Québec – Trailing, 16-15 in the fourth set, the No. 13 Harvard men's volleyball team forced five sets against Laval in an exhibition contest Wednesday night at PEPS and won a tightly-contested fifth frame, 15-12, to complete the comeback, 3-2. 

Junior DJ White tallied 21 kills and a .513 hitting percentage to lead Harvard's attack while senior Nick Madden contributed a double-double effort with 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior Caleb Zimmick, who was named the Crimson's player of the game, registered 12 kills and Nick Bendell handled setting duties, as the freshman handed out a career-high 53 assists.

Madden, who also recorded four blocks, was joined on the defensive charge by his co-captain, senior Chris Gibbons who notched 11 digs and Zimmick who posted three blocks.

Laval was paced by Olivier Jannini's match-best 28 kills as Sylvain Benexi turned in 12 digs.

The Red and Gold pulled away early in the first set for a 16-10 advantage. Laval never allowed Harvard to come within three points as the hosts closed the set, 25-21.

The teams battled back and forth to open the second frame, but once the Crimson took the lead, 16-14, Harvard never looked back to finish off the set, 25-21.

Laval bounced back in the third stanza and jumped out to a 6-2 lead. For the remainder of the set, the Red and Gold held a commanding 6-point lead and maintained that advantage to win the set, 25-18.

With the match on the line, Harvard burst out in the fourth set. The Crimson held a narrow edge, but it wasn't enough to hold of the Red and Gold's comeback, as the Canadian's regained the lead, 12-11. After trading scores, the Crimson came out in front, 22-21, and went on to push the match to five sets, 27-25.

After trailing, 8-5 in the final set, Harvard gained momentum and emerged victorious, 15-12.

The Crimson and Red and Gold will clash in a rematch tomorrow at 7 p.m. at PEPS.