Outrigger Resorts Invitational
The Crimson squad will be led by senior captain Clemens who is ranked ninth all-time at Harvard in digs (348) and block assists (116) (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team starts off its 2016 season in Honolulu, Hawaii competing in the 22nd Outrigger Resorts Invitational against No. 8 Lewis on Jan. 7 at 4 p.m., No. 7 Hawaii on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. and King on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
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About the Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
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A Year Ago
Harvard finished 2015 with a 13-12 record, including a 7-5 mark in conference play. The Crimson earned a berth to the EIVA Tournament for the fourth-consecutive year, but fell to George Mason, 3-1, in the semifinals. DJ White led the Crimson with 3.24 kills per set, while AVCA honorable mention All-American Caleb Zimmick ranked 13th in the country in blocks per set (1.17) and 16th in hitting percentage (.359). White was also ranked 11th in digs per set with 2.29. As a team, Harvard ranked 11th in the nation with a .277 hitting percentage and 12th in blocks per set at 2.48.
Back in Crimson
Head coach Brian Baise welcomes back three starters including senior captain Brendan Clemens and sophomores Brad Gretsch and Marko Kostich. Clemens was selected to the All-EIVA first team last season after posting a career-high 3.11 kills per set and 1.79 digs per set. Kostich sits on Harvard's career assist list with 423, while Gretsch finished his freshmen year with 1.76 kills per set. Senior Alister Bent and junior Samuel Murphy will both see time at libero this season.
Scouting No. 8 Lewis
Lewis was ranked No. 8 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches' Poll and is off to a 1-0 start after defeating No. 9 UC Santa Barbara, 3-1. The Flyers return three starters from last year including two middle blockers and the setter. Bobby Walsh and Scott Fifer were named to the 2016 preseason All-MIVA team and named Off the Block Preseason All-American's, first and second team, respectively. Five student-athletes were added to the 2015-16 roster, including Cal Baptist transfers Danny Maurer and Giovanni Llinas Rosa, as well as freshmen Jacob Kerschner, Matt Yoshimoto and Kyle Radecki. Lewis went 27-4 in the 2015 season, falling to No. 3 Loyola in the national championship match, 3-2.
Scouting No. 7 Hawaii
Hawaii's 2015 season concluded with a 24-7 overall record and a No. 6 ranking to Penn State, 3-1, in a NCAA play-in match. Hawaii will open its 2016 schedule this weekend ranked No. 7 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches' Poll. Three Warriors were named to the 2016 Off the Block Preseason All-America teams, including seniors Sinisa Zarkovic and Kolby Kanetake, who were chosen for the first team, and junior Jennings Franciskovic who was named to the second team.
Scouting King (Tenn.)
King concluded the 2015 season with a 15-13 overall record after losing to Limestone, 3-2, in the Conference Carolinas Tournament quarterfinal. Four freshmen were added to King's roster for the 2016 season. King will be opening its season this weekend at the Outrigger Resort Invitational with its first match against Hawaii on Thursday, Jan. 7
Around the EIVA
Harvard was picked sixth in the EIVA Preseason Poll with 33 points, just behind NJIT and St. Francis (Pa.) which are tied for fourth (35 points). The Crimson was voted to finish ahead of St. Francis (Pa.) (16), NJIT (14), and Sacred Heart (13). Penn State (62), George Mason (58) and Princeton (38) rounded out the first, second and third rankings in the poll.
Aye, Aye Captain
Senior Branden Clemens was elected captain for the 2016 season. Last year, Clemens was voted All-EIVA first team and EIVA All-Academic team after posting a career-high 3.11 kills per set and 1.79 digs per set. The Carmel, Indiana native continues to climb Harvard's record books, ranking ninth in career digs (348) and block assists (116), while also standing 10th in solo blocks (24).
On The Sidelines
Head coach Brian Baise returns for his eighth season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program. Baise owns an 89-72 record on the sidelines, including a 64-35 mark over the past four seasons.
Assistant coach Jeffrey Aucoin will return for his third season, with Harrison Hodgin and Christian Vandergeest joining the team as assistant coaches. Ahmed Ibrahim will also return with the Crimson but as its operations assistant.
The Crimson heads to Indiana to face off against No. 14 Ball State on Jan. 15 and IPFW on Jan. 16.