DJ White lead the Crimson's attack in the setback (photo courtesy Zach Williamson).
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Harvard men's volleyball team had its four-match win streak snapped Saturday afternoon with a straight set loss at No. 12 Penn State. The Nittany Lions took the match by set scores of 25-19, 25-15 and 25-22.
Juniors DJ White and Caleb Zimmick scored nine kills and seven kills, respectively, for the Crimson (5-4, 4-1 EIVA), with Zimmick hitting a team-best .462. Freshman Nick Bendell dished out 23 assists. Defensively, seniors Chris Gibbons and Nick Madden led the Crimson with 12 digs each, while Zimmick added four blocks.
Redshirt junior Nick Goodell notched a match-high 11 kills on .393 hitting to help the Penn State (12-2, 5-0 EIVA) run its nation's best win-streak to 12 matches and take sole possession of first place in the conference standings as the lone unbeaten team.
Despite six kills from Zimmick in the first set, the Crimson fell to the Nittany Lions, 25-19. The battle of the EIVA unbeaten started as a back and forth affair. Following a 6-6 tie, Penn State used a 6-2 spurt to jump out to a 12-8 lead. Out of a Harvard timeout, the Crimson surged on an 8-2 run to pull within two, 16-14. Harvard was unable to gain the lead as the hosts tallied 11 of the final 14 points to take the first frame.
Trailing 15-8 at the halfway mark of the second set, the Crimson could not patch a run together and a block by redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert sealed the 25-15 victory to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 advantage.
Harvard came out strong in the final frame, keeping it a see-saw match with nine ties until the set was deadlocked at the midway point, 14-14. A flurry of Penn State points, culminating in two Crimson attack errors gave the Nittany Lions a 17-14 edge. Harvard inched back within one on two occasions, but Penn State did not falter the rest of the way en route to a 25-22 victory.
Harvard steps out of EIVA action Tuesday, Feb. 25 when the Crimson welcomes Concordia to the MAC for a 7 p.m. match.