Clemens recorded 19 kills in Harvard's first conference win (Zack Williamson).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team rolled to a three-set win over No. 15 St. Francis Saturday night at the Malkin Athletic Center with set scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-20.
Harvard's (4-5, 1-1 EIVA) attack was led by Branden Clemens and Brad Gretsch who posted 19 and 13 kills, respectively, while Marko Kostich tallied 40 assists. As a team, the Crimson combined for a season-high .494 hitting percentage, its highest since hitting .525 versus the Red Flash at home last season on Feb. 27. The last time Harvard defeated a ranked opponent was Jan. 23, 2015 against No. 14 Ball State, 3-0.
St. Francis (5-6, 0-3 EIVA) only saw Brandon Buck with double-digits, as he registered 13 kills. Jeff Hogan finished with eight kills as Daniel Ford recorded 34 assists.
Harvard got off to a quick start building a four-point lead, 8-4, before St. Francis would cut the lead to two with a 7-3 run, 14-12. Holding a slight 18-15 edge, Trevor Dow scored the first of three-straight points for the Crimson which carried the momentum the rest of the way for the 25-19 win.
The teams battled through 18 ties and 10 lead changes in the second set and found themselves knotted at 23-all late. Clemens gave Harvard a slight edge with his sixth kill of the frame, and a blocking error by St. Francis put the set to bed, 25-23.
It was another tight affair in the third set with eight tie scores, until Harvard broke the frame open with a 7-4 run to take a 20-16 lead. Harvard fended off any hope of a late rally by St. Francis, and Kostich set up Trevor Dow for match point, 25-20.
The Crimson travels to Fairfax, Virginia for two matches against conference foe George Mason on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20. 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.