ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

Men’s Volleyball Welcomes Charleston (W.Va.) for First Meetings this Weekend


Match Info
Date
Time
Venue
Stats
Broadcast
Talent
Last Meeting

Harvard vs. Charleston (W.Va.)
Friday, April 1, 2016
7 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Live stats
Ivy League Digital Network
Ben Altsher and Chris Boscherini
First meeting 


Match Info
Date
Time
Venue
Stats
Broadcast
Talent

Harvard vs. Charleston (W.Va.)
Saturday, April 2, 2016
4 p.m.
Malkin Athletic Center
Live stats
Ivy League Digital Network
Ben Altsher and John Avino


Kostich ranks 11th in the nation in assists per set (10.16), while Dow sits 40th in blocks per set (0.90) (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team welcomes EIVA conference foe Charleston (W.Va.) to the Malkin Athletic Center for the first-ever matchup between the teams. The two teams will meet on Friday, April 1 with a start time of 7 p.m., while the second contest will occur the following day on Saturday, April 2 with the first serve at 4 p.m. 

Last Time Out
The Crimson fell to Sacred Heart, 3-0, to drop to 9-8 overall and 5-3 in conference play. Branden Clemens led Harvard with eight kills, while Brad Gretsch followed with six. Marko Kostich finished with 21 assists as Riley Moore and Clemens notched three blocks apiece in the loss. 

Related Link: Men's Volleyball Gets Tripped Up By Sacred Heart, 3-0

Scouting Charleston (W.Va.)
Charleston sports a 4-19 overall record and a 0-10 EIVA mark. The Golden Eagles' Rajahl Moxey averages 1.98 kills, as Eugene Stuart follows with 1.97 per set. Indy Nenn leads Charleston recording 2.26 digs per set, while David Perez tallies 1.00 blocks per set. 

Around the EIVA
No. 11 Penn State stands atop the EIVA standings with a 7-1 record, while NJIT follows at 6-3, No. 15 Saint Francis (Pa.) and Harvard are tied for third with 5-3 marks each, as George Mason and Sacred Heart stand tied for fifth with even 4-4 records. Princeton and Charleston (W.Va.) round out the conference standings in the final positions with 3-6 and 0-10 marks, respectively.

EIVA Leaders
The Crimson tops the league in hitting percentage (.298) and digs per set (9.03. Harvard ranks second in blocks per set (2.24) and service aces (1.31), while also placing third in opponent hitting percentage (.258), fourth in kills (12.20), and fifth in assists (11.38).

Brad Gretsch sits second in aces averaging 0.42 per set. Branden Clemens holds a .325 hitting percentage, good for third, while also ranking fourth with 3.80 kills per set and eighth in digs per set with 2.10. Marko Kostich averages 10.16 assists per set for a third-place ranking, while Casey White ranks fourth in digs per set with 2.35 and eighth in hitting percentage with a .216 clip. Riley Moore is third, while Trevor Dow is sixth averaging 0.95 and 0.90 blocks per set, respectively.

Honor Roll
Junior Casey White was named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week on March 7 after posting a career-high 21 digs in 3-0 triumph over Sacred Heart. 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 again the following night at NJIT. The Needham, Massachusetts native also was named Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honorable mention on Feb. 22, Feb. 29, and March 7.

Related Links:

 
Dow Recognized as EIVA Defensive Player of the Week
White 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
Against No. 15 Cal Baptist, Marko Kostich saved the ball by the Crimson's bench enough for Brad Gretch to lift it over. The Lancers rallied again, but Gretsch was able to tip the attack as Samuel Murphy dove for the dig, Kostich set up another attempt for Harvard, as Branden Clemens swung and found the back corner of the court.

Riley Moore's kill in the third set against Sacred Heart earned the fifth spot on Harvard's Top Five Plays of the Week video on March 9. After Samuel Murphy received the serve, Marko Kostich set up Moore for the attack but his attempt was blocked by the Pioneer's front line. The ball ricocheted off of Moore's face and hit the ground, giving the Crimson the point.

The Crimson 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 Links:


 
Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week – Feb. 17, 2016
Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week – March 9, 2016
Harvard Top 5 Plays of the Week – March 23, 2016

Double-Digit Kills
Branden Clemens has posted double-digit kills in 15 of the last 17 matches. For his career, Clemens has tallied double-digit kills in 71 matches.

A Grand Old Time
Eight current and former student-athletes have reached the 1,000-assist plateau in their careers. The newest member is sophomore Marko Kostich who tallied 41 assists against No. 15 Cal Baptist on Match 14, surpassing the milestone. The leader, Rob Lotham '13 accumulated 3,094 in his four years in Crimson.

Chasing Records
Head coach Brian Baise is in his eighth season at Harvard and is two 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
3. Brady Weissbourd '09
4. Nick Madden '14
5. Branden Clemens '16
2009-12
2006-09
2010-14
2012-pres.
1,218
936
857
810
Assists     
1. Rob Lothman '13
5. Gil Weintruab '09
6. Nick Bendell '17
7. Marko Kostich '18
2009-13
2007-09
2014-15
2015-pres
3,094
1,520
1,318
1,043
Service Aces    
1. Matt Jones '12
3. Abbas Hyderi '95-96
4. Evan Beachy '98
5. Gil Weintruab '10
    Branden Clemens '16
2009-12
1995-1996
1995-98
2007-10
2012-16

97
80
79
67
67

Digs     

1. Chris Gibbons '14
2. DJ White '15
3. Nick Madden '14
4. Branden Clemens '16
5. Matt Jones '12
6. Casey White '17 

2010-14
2011-15
2010-14
2012-pres.  
2009-12
2013-pres.
789
556
486
476
452
438
Solo Blocks    
1. Ryan Estendorf '96
5. Dave Olson '98
6. Ryan Oliver '98
    Seamus McKiernan '06
    Branden Clemens '16
1993-96
1995-96, 98
1995-98
2004-06
2012-pres. 
89
41
29
29
29
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
153
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
182

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 Links:

 

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 (476), fifth in aces (67) and kills (810), seventh in block assists (153) and solo blocks (29), and ninth in total blocks (182). 

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 seventh on Harvard's career assists list with 1,043, 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 98-80 record on the sidelines, including a 73-42 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 No. 10 Penn State on Friday, April 8 for a 7 p.m. matchup, while also competing against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, April 9 with first serve at 4 p.m.  

ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS