White recorded a career-high 20 digs in the match (Gil Talbot).
MALIBU, Calif. – Ending its three-match stay in southern California, Harvard men's volleyball fell to Pepperdine, 3-1, on March 17 at Firestone Fieldhouse. The defeat came by set scores of 25-17, 25-21, 27-25, and 25-19.
In his first career start at libero, Casey White tallied a career-high 20 digs, while Branden Clemens led the Harvard attack with 14 kills. DJ White and Brad Gretsch, meanwhile, each tallied 13 kills. Setter Nick Bendell recorded 48 assists.
Entering the match, Harvard (9-8) was limiting its opponents to a combined .234 hitting percentage, but Pepperdine (15-4) hit for an efficient .347. Parker Kalmbach led the Waves' attack with 21 kills.
The Crimson was locked in a tight first frame with Pepperdine, and took its first lead of the match, 8-7, when Clemens and Riley Moore rejected Scott Rhein's attack attempt. The Waves responded with a six-point run to take control, and went on to take the first set, 25-17.
Harvard trailed early in the second period, 7-4, though points from Gretsch and Clemens helped the Crimson knot the score at 11 apiece. Pepperdine, however, rattled off six of the next seven points to acquire the lead, and though Harvard would make a late run, the Waves took a 2-0 match lead.
In the third set, Harvard found itself six points behind, 18-12, before unleashing a six-point run lead by a pair of blocks by Moore, Gretsch and DJ White to even the score at 18-18. With the score level at 24-24, DJ White notched a timely kill to take a 25-24 lead, and Harvard would go on to win the set 27-25.
Harvard hung in with Pepperdine for the first half of the fourth stanza, as DJ White and Clemens each tallied three kills to start the set. With the score level at 12-12, Pepperdine went on an 11-4 run to gain control and win the match, 3-1.
The Crimson returns to EIVA action in its next match, finishing the first cycle of conference play at George Mason on March 28 at 3 p.m.