Men’s Volleyball Drops Five Set Affair to St. Francis

Men’s Volleyball Drops Five Set Affair to St. Francis

Clemens climbed to third with 494 digs on Harvard's leaderboard (Zack Williamson).

NEWARK, N.J. – The Harvard men's volleyball team dropped a 3-2 match against conference foe St. Francis on Saturday evening at the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center. The Red Flash downed the Crimson by set scores of 22-25, 25-17, 25-13, 23-25, and 15-13. 

Senior Branden Clemens paced the Crimson with a match-high 16 kills, while also finishing the night with seven digs. Casey White also notched double-digit kills, finishing with 12, as Marko Kostich notched 43 assists and Riley Moore recorded four blocks. 
Four Red Flash players tallied double-digit kills with Jeff Hogan pacing St. Francis with 16 and Mike Marshman recording 15. Brandon Buck and Stephen Braswell were the other two St. Francis' players notching 12 and 11 kills, respectively.
With the loss, Harvard (11-10, 7-5 EIVA) sits tied for fourth in the conference, while St. Francis (17-8, 8-4 EIVA) climbs the ranks to second. While the Crimson fell in the standings, Clemens climbed to third on Harvard's leaderboards with 494 digs, while White improves to fifth in digs with 464. 

The two teams battled evenly in the opening set, until the Crimson took a three-point lead, 11-7. St. Francis rallied on a 10-5 run, taking a 19-17 advantage. An 8-3 run by the Crimson gave Harvard the set point, 25-22. A hitting percentage of .138 and seven errors by the Red Flash proved to be the difference, as Harvard fended off St. Francis in the first set.

Harvard knotted the second frame once at two apiece, as St. Francis controlled the pace of the second set with a .542 hitting percentage. The Crimson came within one, 15-14, but lost momentum as the Red Flash went on a 10-3 run to finish off a 25-17 set.

With four St. Francis' players recording a perfect hitting percentage, the Red Flash registered its highest of the match with a .571 clip in the third set taking its second set, 25-13. Hogan tallied four of St. Francis' 13 kills, while Harvard's White notched four of his own out of the Crimson's nine.

The Crimson maintained the lead for mostly all of the fourth set until the Red Flash tied the frame at 22 and taking its only lead, 23-22, late. Harvard responded with three-straight points, including kills by Clemens, Alec Schlossman, and Dow to finish the Crimson's second match point, 25-23, forcing the contest into a fifth set.

Harvard registered its highest hitting percentage of the evening, .300, as St. Francis tallied a .318 clip as the Red Flash kept the lead throughout the deciding set. The Crimson came within one, 9-8 and then points were traded back and forth, until Braswell tallied his 11th kill of the match giving St. Francis match point, 15-13.

The Crimson will honor its three seniors on Friday, April 8 before its match against Princeton at 7 p.m. Harvard will also face NJIT on Saturday, April 9 at 4 p.m. and honor the classes of 1983, 1985, 1993, and 2001 men's volleyball Ivy League Tournament Championships in between sets. Both will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.