ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

Men's Volleyball Opens Three-Match Homestand with Sacred Heart


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

Harvard vs. Sacred Heart
Saturday, March 5, 2016
4 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Ivy League Digital Network
Live stats
Harvard leads, 26-7
W, 3-2 (April 25, 2015)
W8


Harvard looks to extend its win streak to nine against conference foe Sacred Heart (Zack Williamson).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team opens a three-match homestand, by welcoming Sacred Heart on Saturday, March 5. The 4 p.m. contest will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network. 

Last Time Out
The Crimson split a pair of conference matches last weekend earning a win against Princeton, 3-0, and falling to NJIT, 3-2. Branden Clemens posted his 10th double-double with 19 kills and 11 digs against NJIT, while also recording 16 kills against Princeton. Trevor Dow posted a career-high six blocks against both opponents, while also matching his personal best with six kills against Princeton. 

Related Link: Men's Volleyball Cruises to 3-0 Victory Over Princeton
Men's Volleyball Drops Five Set Affair to NJIT, 3-2

Scouting Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart sports a 3-10 overall mark and a 3-3 EIVA record, placing them tied for fourth with Princeton. The Pioneers' Austin Arcala was named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 8. Sacred Heart has four student-athletes on the conference leaderboards. Eduardo Zardo is ranked fifth in assists per set averaging 9.14, as Taylor Blookquist also sits fifth in blocks per set averaging 0.96. Joshua Ayzenberg is averaging 2.49 digs per set, good for third, while Chris Delucie tallies 3.42 kills per set, seventh in the conference. 

Honor Roll
Freshman Trevor Dow was named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 29 after registering a career-high six blocks in a 3-0 victory at Princeton and matching it after falling to NJIT, 3-2. The Needham, Massachusetts native also was named Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honorable mention on Feb. 22 and Feb. 29.

Related Link: Dow Recognized as EIVA Defensive Player of the Week

Vs. Ranked Opponents
Harvard surpassed No. 15 St. Francis on Feb. 13, 3-0. It marked the first time the Crimson had defeated a ranked opponent since Jan. 23, 2015 against No. 14 Ball State, 3-0. 

#HarvardTop5
Men's volleyball earned the fifth spot on Harvard's Top Five Plays of the Week video on Feb. 17. In an all-around effort by Branden Clemens, the senior recovered the ball by the Crimson bench off a bad dig, keeping Harvard alive in the point. After St. Francis was unable to capitalize, Marko Kostich set the ball for Clemens to hammer down the kill. The Crimson would take the match in three sets.

Related Link: Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week – Feb. 17, 2016

Around the EIVA
Penn State stands atop the EIVA standings with a 7-0 record, while Harvard and St. Francis (Pa.) follow at 4-2 and 4-3, respectively. Princeton and Sacred Heart sit tied for fourth with 3-3 records, while NJIT (2-2), George Mason (1-4), and Charleston (0-7) round out the bottom three.  

EIVA Leaders
As a team, the Crimson is second in multiple categories, including hitting percentage (.292), opponent hitting percentage (.249), kills per set (12.06), blocks per set (2.41), service aces per set (1.29), and digs per set (9.06). Harvard is also third in assists per set averaging 11.21.

Branden Clemens holds a .326 hitting percentage, good for third, while also ranking fourth with 3.85 kills per set and fifth in digs per set with 2.21. Marko Kostich averages 10.04 assists per set for a second-place ranking. Freshman Trevor Dow is second in blocks per set (1.03) and sophomore Riley Moore is close behind averaging 1.00 in third place. Junior outside hitter Casey White ranks sixth in digs averaging 2.08 per set and eighth in hitting percentage with a .264 clip, while Brad Gretsch sits third in service aces with 0.37 per set. 

Double-Digit Kills
Branden Clemens has posted double-digit kills in 12 of the last 13 matches. For his career, Clemens has tallied double-digit kills in 41 matches.

Chasing Records
Head coach Brian Baise is in his eighth season at Harvard and is four 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
5. Evan Mager '99
6. Justin Denham '02
7. Branden Clemens '16
2009-12
1996-99
1999-02
2012-pres.
1,218
775
770
763
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
905
Service Aces    
1. Matt Jones '12
4. Evan Beachy '98
5. Gil Weintruab '10
6. Branden Clemens '16
2009-12
1995-98
2007-10
2012-16

97
79
67
64

Digs     

1. Chris Gibbons '14
2. DJ White '15
3. Nick Madden '14
4. Branden Clemens '16
5. Matt Jones '12
6. Brian Rapp '08
7. Joe Herger
8. Casey White '17 

2010-14
2011-15
2010-14
2012-pres.  
2009-12
2005-08
1997-00
2013-pres.
789
556
486
454
452
421
412
411
Solo Blocks    
1. Ryan Estendorf '96
5. Dave Olson '98
6. Ryan Oliver '98
    Seamus McKiernan '06
7. Matt Jones '12
    Branden Clemens '16
1993-96
1995-96, 98
1995-98
2004-06
2009-12
2012-pres.  
89
41
29
29
28
28
Block Assists    
1. Ed Panaku '00
5. Kyle Rehkemper '14
6. Matt Jones '12
7. Branden Clemens '16 
1997-00
2010-14
2009-12
2012-pres
340
199
178
147 
Total Blocks    
1. Ed Panaku '00
7. Matt Jones '12
8. Ryan Westendorf '96
9. Branden Clemens '16
1997-00
2009-12
1993-96
2012-pres
494
206
201
175

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. Brad Gretsch recently received the accolade as he won on Feb. 17.

Related Link:
 

Branden Clemens – Men's Volleyball
Casey White – Men's Volleyball
Brad Gretsch – 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 fourth in digs (454), sixth in aces (64), seventh in block assists (147), solo blocks (28) and kills (763), and ninth in total blocks (175). 

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 831, 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 96-78 record on the sidelines, including a 71-40 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 welcomes non-conference opponent Holy Names on Friday, March 11 for a 7 p.m. match, which will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS