Clemens contributed 18 kills in the first round of Morgan Classic (Gil Talbot).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team rolled to a four-set win over the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Friday night to open play in the 29th Annual Morgan Classic at Blake Arena. The victory came by set scores of 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, and 25-18.
Three Harvard (3-3) student-athletes registered 10-plus kills including Branden Clemens with 18, and Casey White and Brad Gretsch with 11 apiece. Riley Moore led the match with seven blocks while Marko Kostich followed with six blocks and 43 assists. After tallying two aces in the victory, Clemens is now tied for seventh on Harvard's all-time list with 58.
The University of Puerto Rico paced the first stanza as it out-hit Harvard .290 to .167. The Crimson would not go down without a fight, however, as it went on a 9-3 run to go up, 12-7. The Bulldogs knotted the set at 19, and the Crimson would not see another lead as Puerto Rico closed out the stanza on a 7-0 run, 25-19.
The second set went back and forth as it saw 21 ties, with netiher team able to secure a two-point lead at any time during the frame. Knotted at 24, Harvard stole the final points off an attack error by the Bulldogs and a block from Kostich and Moore, ending the set with the Crimsn on top, 26-24.
The Bulldogs held a 12-11 lead in the third set until a Clemens Kill sparked a 14-4 run as Harvard ran away with the 25-16 victory.
The momentum carried over into the fourth as the Crimson hit .308 and led beginning to end to take set point, 25-18.
Harvard will be back in action tomorrow at Blake Arena against Springfield College as the teams meet for a second-straight year with the Morgan Classic title on the line. The match is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Springfield Portal.