ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

Men's Volleyball Opens Home Slate with Pair of Top-15 Teams


Match Info
Date
Time
Venue
Video
Talent
Stats
Series Record
Last Meeting
Streak

Harvard vs. No. 7 Penn State
Friday, Feb. 12, 2016
7 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Ivy League Digital Network
Ben Altsher and Chris Boscherini
Live Stats
Harvard trails, 1-11
L, 3-2 (April 30, 2015)
L5


Match Info
Date
Time
Venue
Video
Talent
Stats
Series Record
Last Meeting
Streak

Harvard vs. No. 15 St. Francis
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
7 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Ivy League Digitial Network
Ben Altsher and Chris Boscherini
Live Stats
Harvard leads, 8-4
L, 3-1 (April 11, 2015)
L1


Gretsch is second on the team in kills per set with 2.67 (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team will compete at home for the first time this season as it hosts back-to-back conference matches. The Crimson will face No. 7 Penn State on Friday, Feb. 12 and No. 15 Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Feb. 13, are scheduled for 7 p.m. matches at the Malkin Athletic Center and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

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

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.
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.

Scouting No. 7 Penn State
Penn State began the season ranked No. 10 in the AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top-15 Poll and has since climbed to No. 7, its highest ranking of the year. Penn State sits atop four categories in the EIVA including assists (12.79 per set), blocks (2.41 per set), kills (13.46 per set), and opponent hitting percentage (.240). Individually, the Nittany Lions have Taylor Hammond who leads the conference with assists in the EIVA (11.27 per set) and Matt Callaway sitting at No. 1 in blocks (1.11 per set). Chris Nugent has been selected as EIVA Offensive Player of the Week two times in a row, while Matt Seifert earned Defensive Player of the Week honors in January 19.

Scouting No. 15 Saint Francis (Pa.)
St. Francis has been ranked No. 15 in the AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top-15 Poll for two-weeks straight. The Red Flash has been continually recorded as top-five EIVA team leaders in hitting percentage (.279), assists (11.03 per set), blocks (1.86 per set), digs (8.36 per set), opponent hitting percentage (.264), kills (11.81 per set), and service aces (1.19 per set). Mike Marshman leads the conference in hitting percentage with a .468 clip. St. Francis has earned three-straight EIVA Defensive Players of the Week accolades including Jeff Hogan, Keith Kegerreis, and Gabe Woffindin. Hogan was also named Offensive Player of the Week in January.

Last Time Out
Harvard went 1-1 at the 29th Annual Morgan Classic where it surpassed the University of Puerto Rico, 3-1, before falling to Sprinfield in the championship match, 3-2. Branden Clemens and Casey White were named to the All-Tournament Team. Clemens tallied a career-high 23 kills versus Springfield and a match-high 18 kills against Puerto Rico, while White posted 11 kills in each. Brad Gretsch also registered double-digit kills with 11 against Puerto Rico and 13 versus Springfield.

EIVA Leaders
As a team, the Crimson leads the EIVA in service aces (1.44 per set) and digs (10.50 per set). Harvard is also second in multiple categories including opponent hitting percentage (.255), assists (11.44 per set), blocks (2.25 per set), and is third in kills (12.11 per set).

Junior outside hitter Casey White tops the charts in digs averaging 3.06 per set, while sophomore setter Marko Kostich is tied for first in service aces with 0.50 per set.

White holds a .304 hitting percentage, good for fourth place, while also sitting tied for fifth with 0.33 aces per set. Branden Clemens ranks fourth with 3.72 kills per set while also tallying 2.39 digs per set second behind White. Kostich is averaging 10.06 assists per set for a second-place ranking.  Junior libero Samuel Murphy is also tied for fifth averaging 2.00 digs per set. Freshman Trevor Dow is tied for second in blocks per set (1.00) and sophomore Riley Moore directly follows averaging 0.94. Spencer Scott is close behind averaging 0.78 blocks per set, tying for seventh in the conference.

Around the EIVA
With conference play now underway, Princeton stands atop the standings with a 2-0 record. Penn State and George Mason follow at 1-0. Saint Francis and Charleston both lie at the bottom of the group with 0-1 and 0-3 marks, respectively. Harvard, NJIT and Sacred Heart open EIVA play this weekend.

Chasing Records
Head coach Brian Baise is in his eighth season as the Harvard men's volleyball coach and is eight wins away from becoming the second Crimson coach to reach 100 victories. Multiple student-athletes are also looking to ascend the Crimson record books:

Kills    
1. Matt Jones '12
7. Ed Pankau '00
8. Branden Clemens '16
2009-12
1997-00
2012-pres.
1,218
743
686
Assists     
1. Rob Lothman '13
2. Gil Weintruab '09
7. Conor Gaughan '02
8. Marko Kostich '18
2009-13
2007-09
1999
2015-pres.
3,094
1,520
1,008
694 
Service Aces    
1. Matt Jones '12
5. Gil Weintruab '10
6. Nick Madden '14
    Branden Clemens '16 
2009-12
2007-10
2010-14
2012-16

97
67
60
60

Digs     
1. Chris Gibbons '14
5. Brian Rapp '08
6. Joe Herger
7. Rob Lothman '13
8. Branden Clemens '16
9. Casey White '17
2010-14
2005-08
1997-00
2010-13
2012-pres.  
2013-pres.
789
421
412
406
402
375 
Solo Blocks    
1. Ryan Estendorf '96
6. Ryan Oliver '98
     Seamus McKiernan '06
7. Matt Jones '12
8. Joe Herger '00
    Branden Clemens '16  
1993-96
1995-98
2004-06
2009-12
1997-2000
2012-pres.
 
89
29
29
28
26
26
Block Assists    
1. Ed Panaku '00
6. Matt Jones '12
7. DJ White '15
8. Michael Owen '14
    Branden Clemens '16
1997-00
2009-12
2011-15
2010-14
2012-pres.  
340
178
136
131
131
Total Blocks    
1. Ed Panaku '00
8. Ryan Westendorf '96
9. Branden Clemens '16
1997-00
1993-96
2012-pres.
494
201
157

COOP Student-Athlete of the Week
Senior Branden Clemens was named COOP Student-Athlete of the week on Jan. 12, while junior Casey White was voted the same honor on Jan. 19. 

Related Link:
 

Branden Clemens – Men's Volleyball
Casey White – Men's Volleyball

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 sixth in career service aces (60), eighth in block assists (131), kills (686), and digs (402), while also ranking ninth in career solo blocks (26), and total blocks (157).

Back in Crimson
Head coach Brian Baise welcomed 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 eighth on Harvard's career assists list with 694, 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.

Fresh Faces
Harvard added two middle blockers to the 2016 roster; Trevor Dow from Needham, Massachusetts, and Spencer Scott from Oak Lawn, Illinois.

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 '15 led the Crimson with 3.24 kills per set, while AVCA honorable mention All-American Caleb Zimmick '15 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.

On The Sidelines
Head coach Brian Baise returns for his eighth season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program. Baise owns a 92-76 record on the sidelines, including a 67-38 mark over the past five 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.

What's Next?
The Crimson travels to Fairfax, Virginia for two matches against conference foe George Mason on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. Friday's match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start with Saturday's match scheduled for 4 p.m. The matches will be broadcast on George Mason's Patriot Vision.

ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS