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Men’s Volleyball Runs Win Streak to Four With 3-1 Win Over Saint Francis (Pa.)

Madden's double-double helped the Crimson remain unbeaten in EIVA play (photo courtesy Zach Williamson).

LORETTO, Pa. -  Behind a double-double performance from senior Nick Madden the Harvard men's volleyball lteam ran its season-high win streak to four Friday night with a 3-1 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) at DelGol Arena. The victory came by set scores of 19-25, 25-15, 25-18 and 25-19.

Madden recorded 14 kills and 13 digs for his first double-double of the season and the fifth of his career. Junior DJ White complimented Madden with a match-high 17 kills, two aces, three digs and three blocks while brother Casey White chipped in 10 kills. Harvard (5-3, 4-0 EIVA) finished the evening with a .358 hitting percentage, its fourth match and third straight over .300.

Senior Chris Gibbons added 11 digs to the defensive effort while junior Caleb Zimmick and senior Kyle Rehkemper led the defense at the net with five blocks and four blocks, respectively.

Saint Francis (Pa.) (7-5, 2-2 EIVA) was led by Logan Patterson's eight kills.

Harvard felled into a 7-3 hole in the first set behind a 4-0 Saint Francis (Pa.) run. The Crimson pulled within two on two Red Flash errors, but the host would go on to 3-1 spurt to stretch its lead back to four, 11-7. Saint Francis (Pa.)'s largest lead of the set, 19-11, came after a 5-1 run, but Harvard rallied and inched back using a 5-1 run of its own to inch back within three, 21-18. The Red Flash would go on to score four of the next five points, including three straight to take the first frame, 25-19. 

It was the Crimson who took an early lead in the second set, 12-4. A strike by Madden pushed Harvard's advantage to 14-7 at the midway point as the Crimson continued its momentum to score set point on a kill by DJ White, 25-15.

A 7-2 run to open the third put Harvard in control early, 9-3. The Red Flash rallied to pull within three, 12-9, before a 5-2 stretch which included two kills from DJ White held a 17-11 edge in favor of the Crimson. Saint Francis (Pa.) attempted another comeback and fourth back to within three points of the leader, 19-16, but that run was ended by a Rehkemper kill and Red Flash error for a 21-16 edge. Harvard went on to tally five of the final seven points and Zimmick's kill finished the stanza, 25-18.

Looking to take the match the distance, Saint Francis (Pa.) recorded six of the first seven points to open the fourth frame. Harvard rallied behind two DJ White kills to even the score at 8-8, before the match see-sawed back in fourth and knotted at 14-14. Kills by Zimmick and Casey White along with a bad set by the Red Flash was the difference as Harvard took a slim 17-14 advantage. Harvard remained out in front for the remainder of the contest and used a 7-2 stretch to close the match, 25-19.

The Crimson returns to action tomorrow afternoon in a battle of the EIVA unbeaten, as Harvard and No. 12 Penn State clash for first place in the conference at 3 p.m. at South Gym.