ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

Men’s Volleyball Looks to Snap Three-Match Skid Against George Mason


Game Info
Date
Time

Venue
Video
Talent
Radio
Talent
Stats
Series Record
Last Meeting
Streak

Harvard vs. George Mason
Friday, April 17
7 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Ivy League Digital Network
Ben Altsher, Bill Spaulding
95.3 FM/WHRB.org
Megan Walcek, Franklin Li
Live Stats
Harvard trails, 9-4
W, 3-1 (3/28/15)
W1


Against Saint Francis, DJ White became the first Crimson student-athlete to compile 1,000 kills and 500 digs (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With three spots in the EIVA playoffs up for grabs, third-place Harvard hosts fourth-place George Mason in a pivotal clash for postseason seeding on April 17 at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network and by 95.3 FM/WHRB.org.

Last Time Out
In its final road trip of the 2015 regular season, Harvard dropped a pair of contests to No. 7 Penn State and Saint Francis (Pa.).

Competing in its first five-set match of 2015, Harvard fell in a close battle to No. 7 Penn State, 3-2. Caleb Zimmick recorded 13 kills to lead the attack, while Branden Clemens and DJ White posted 11 and 10 kills, respectively. The Crimson limited the Nittany Lions to a .178 hitting percentage, but hit just .212 in the match.

Facing the Red Flash, DJ White became the second Harvard men's volleyball player in school history to top 1,000 kills, but the Crimson could not overcome an early deficit, suffering a 3-1 defeat. White led the way with 13 kills to pace the Crimson, while Clemens and Alec Schlossman also broke into double-digits with 12 kills and 10 kills, respectively. Marko Kostich, meanwhile, dished a career-best 45 assists.

Social Stream
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.

Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here

Record Setter
With his third kill against Saint Francis, DJ White became the second Harvard student-athlete to eclipse 1,000 kills in his career and the first to record 1,000 kills and 500 digs. White is currently second in the Crimson record books in both categories.

Can You Dig It?
Through 22 matches Harvard ranks sixth in the country in digs per set (9.68). Casey White (8th, 2.38), DJ White (25th, 2.06), and Branden Clemens (43rd, 1.76) all rank in the top-50 nationally in keeping the opponent's attack alive.

Hitting .300
Harvard has been one of the country's most efficient attacking teams, boasting the nation's 10th-best hitting percentage (.276). The Crimson has hit .300 or better 11 times, including a season-best .525 at home against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 27.

From Both Angles
Outside hitters DJ White and Branden Clemens pace the Crimson with 3.24 and 3.07 kills per set, respectively, ranking 28th and 34th in the country. White recorded a season-best 5.33 kills per frame in a three-set loss to IPFW, while Clemens' season high is 4.25, logged most recently at home against NJIT.

Short and Sweet
Through 22 matches, Harvard has only played a fifth set one time, doing so against Penn State on April 10. This season, 14 outings have gone to four sets, while seven were completed in three.

Player of the Month
Outside hitter Branden Clemens was named the Off the Block/Springbak National Player of the Month for February. Clemens was a focal point of the Crimson attack during its eight February matches, as he posted double-digit kills and hit .300 or better six times. He was named the MVP of the Hall of Fame Morgan Classic, held February 20-21, after recording 32 kills in the two matches to go with 10 digs and nine blocks. He also hit .475 at the tournament. Clemens received 10,518 votes to win the award.

Related Link: Clemens Named Off The Block/Springbak National Player of the Month

Honor Roll
Senior outside hitter DJ White was named the EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on April 13. White recorded nine digs in matches against Penn State and Saint Francis (Pa.), and added six blocks versus the Nittany Lions to win the award. White became the second Harvard men's volleyball player to reach 1,000 kills against the Red Flash, and is the first in program history with 1,000 kills and 500 digs. The Hermosa Beach, California native was named EIVA Offensive Player of the Week on February 9.

Casey White has been selected as the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week (January 26) and Defensive Player of the Week (March 23) this season, while Caleb Zimmick has earned three EIVA Defensive Player of the Week Awards (January 26, February 23, and March 30).

Related Links: DJ White Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week; Caleb Zimmick Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week; White Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week ; Zimmick Named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week; DJ White Named EIVA Offensive Player of the Week ; White, Zimmick Sweep EIVA Weekly Awards

Poll Position
Harvard rose to No. 13 in the AVCA Division I-II Top 15 Poll on February 9, tying the program record for highest ranking. The Crimson has been ranked in each of the last four seasons, and for three weeks in 2015.

Ranking Superlatives
Total Weeks Ranked by AVCA – 13
Consecutive Weeks Ranked – 4, April 9-May 7, 2012
Current Weeks Ranked- N/A
Highest Ranking – No. 13, January 6-13, 2014 and February 9, 2015
Overall Record When Ranked – 10-8 
     When No. 13 – 1-3
     When No. 14 – 0-2
     When No. 15 – 9-3
Home Record When Ranked – 6-3
Road Record When Ranked – 4-4
Neutral Site Record When Ranked – 0-1
In 2015, when ranked:  5-1

2015 AVCA Weekly Ranking
Dec. 10- N/A
Jan. 12- N/A
Jan. 19- N/A
Jan. 26- No. 15
Feb. 2- No. 15
Feb. 9- No. 13
Feb. 16- RV
Feb. 23- RV
March 2- RV
March 9- RV
March 16- N/A
March 23- N/A
March 30- N/A
April 6- N/A
April 13- N/A

At the MAC
The Crimson has played 40 matches under the roof of the Malkin Athletic Center over the past three-plus years, and boasts a 31-9 (.775) mark during that span. Harvard's home-court advantage includes a program-best nine-match home win streak that lasted more than a calendar year from February 18, 2012 to April 5, 2013. In its last series at home, Harvard came away with a split against Princeton and NJIT.

Scouting George Mason
George Mason sits at 4-4 in conference play, and 11-11 overall entering the matchup with the Crimson. Paco Velez paces the country with 0.62 aces per set, to go with 2.80 kills per set. Jack Wilson leads the Patriots with 2.85 kills per set.

Around the EIVA
Penn State (15-9, 9-0 EIVA) remains undefeated in conference play, and is the only team to clinch a berth in the EIVA playoffs. Princeton (10-10, 5-4 EIVA) holds a narrow lead for second over Harvard (11-11, 5-5 EIVA) and George Mason (11-11, 4-4 EIVA), and Saint Francis (6-17, 4-5 EIVA) is looking to make a run for the fourth seed, currently sitting 0.5 matches behind the Patriots.

Chasing Records
Through 22 matches, multiple Harvard student-athletes are looking to ascend the Crimson record books:

Kills

 
 

1.
2.

Matt Jones '12
DJ White '15

1,218
1,010

Digs

 
 

1.
2.
8.
9.

Chris Gibbons '14
DJ White '15
Ed Panaku '00
Branden Clemens '16

789
540
357
322

Solo Bocks

 
 

1.
3.
4.

Ryan Estendorf '96
Brady Weissbourd '09
Caleb Zimmick '15

89
68
50

Block Assists

 
 

1.
2.

Ed Panaku '00
Caleb Zimmick '15

340
306

Total Blocks

 
 

1.
2.

Ed Panaku '00
Caleb Zimmick '15

494
356

Assists

 
 

1.
9.
10.

Rob Lothman '13
Abbas Hyderi '95-96
Marko Kostich '18

3094
458
289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preseason Poll
Harvard was picked fourth in the EIVA Preseason Poll with 33 points, slotting in behind Penn State, Princeton, and George Mason.

No.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Team

Penn State
Princeton
George Mason
Harvard
Saint Francis
NJIT
Sacred Heart

Votes (first place)

48 (7)
38 (1)
34
33
16
14
13

Season Preview

Fresh Faces
Volleyball Magazine named Harvard's freshman class the eighth-best in the country, with three of the freshmen appearing on its "Fab-50" list. Brad Gretsch, Jack Heavey, Marko Kostich, and Riley Moore joined the Crimson in July.

A Year Ago
Harvard finished 2014 with a 15-8 record, including an 11-3 mark in conference play. The Crimson earned a berth to the EIVA Tournament for the third consecutive year, but fell to Princeton, 3-1, in the semifinals. DJ White led the squad with 3.30 kills per set and a .312 hitting percentage, while Caleb Zimmick ranked sixth in the country in hitting percentage (.440) and led the Crimson with 1.11 blocks per set. Both White and Zimmick were recognized as honorable mention All-Americans by the AVCA. 

On The Sidelines
Head coach Brian Baise returns for his seventh season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program. Baise owns an 88-72 record on the sidelines, including a 63-33 mark over the past three-plus seasons. The Crimson has been ranked in each season since 2012, with 12 student-athletes earning all-EIVA recognition.

Jeffrey Aucoin and Ahmed Ibrahim returned as assistant coaches for their second and fourth seasons, respectively. 

What's Next?
Harvard hosts Sacred Heart for Senior Night on Saturday, April 25 at the Malkin Athletic Center. First serve is slated for 4 p.m., and can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.

ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS