Clemens tallied a team-high eight kills in the loss (Gil Talbot).
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Harvard men's volleyball team was tripped up by EIVA conference foe Sacred Heart in three sets at the William H. Pitt Center Saturday afternoon, falling by set scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-17.
Branden Clemens led Harvard (9-8, 5-3 EIVA) with eight kills, while Brad Gretsch followed with six. Marko Kostich finished the night with 21 assists as Riley Moore and Clemens notched three blocks apiece in the loss.
The Pioneers' (6-12, 4-4) Austin Arcala contributed a match-high 22 kills in the win, while teammate Michael Comens chipped in 10 kills. The duo of Eduardo Zardo and Noah Richetti totaled 20 and 14 assists, respectively in the victory to help Sacred Heart to a .412 hitting percentage.
Sacred Heart got off to a quick start beginning with a 3-0 run which included three-kills by Arcala. The Pioneers extended their lead to six, 12-6, off a 9-6 run, keeping Harvard far from knotting the set. The Crimson narrowed the frame to five, off a kill by Kostich, but the Pioneers were able to maintain the lead the rest of the way as Arcala tallied the final point in the set giving Sacred Heart the first game, 25-17.
The Pioneers started the second set off with a quick three points again, including two service aces from Comens. Harvard was able to return the three points, knotting the match for the first time, 3-3. A 10-5 run from Sacred Heart extended its lead to eight, 13-5, but the Crimson was able to close the gap to four, 17-13, after Clemens recorded his fifth kill of the afternoon. Sacred Heart persisted with an 8-2 run putting the Pioneers on top once more, 25-15.
The Crimson would cut the lead of the final set to one, 9-8, in favor of the Pioneers as Clemens was set up by Casey White for a kill. Sacred Heart reacted quickly as an 8-3 run opened up the set for a 17-11 advantage for the Pioneers. In the final stretch of the set, the Crimson would only be able to cut the lead to six, 20-14, as Sacred Heart took the final set, 25-17, off Arcala's 22nd kill of the afternoon.
The Crimson takes on Charleston (W.V.) in a double header at the Malkin Athletic Center next weekend. The first match will be played on Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m., while the second is on Saturday, April 2 at 4 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.