Men’s Volleyball Secures Spot in EIVA Tournament with 3-1 Win Over NJIT

Clemens records 18 kills for his 19th match with double-digits kills (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team clinched its fifth-straight EIVA Tournament appearance Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 win over NJIT. The victory came with set scores of 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, and 25-19.

Branden Clemens recorded a match-high 18 kills and four blocks, good for his 19th match this season with double-digit kills. Casey White followed with 14 kills and four blocks of his own, while Brad Gretsch and Riley Moore had a match-high of five blocks apiece. Gretsch matched his career-high of five blocks, as Marko Kostich also tallied a career-high of five aces.

The Highlanders' TJ Jurko tallied a team-high 14 kills, as Raphael Anthony recorded a team-high four blocks.

With the win, Harvard (13-10, 9-5 EIVA) now sits third in conference play, while NJIT (8-18, 7-7 EIVA) slips to fifth, falling from a chance to make the playoffs.

Harvard was dominant in the first set as it owned a .400 hitting percentage to NJIT's -.040 clip, which helped it keep the lead throughout the frame. The Crimson finished the set with a 12-6 run, clinching the first game 25-19.

The Crimson started out the second set with a 3-0 run, but the Highlanders would come within one, 11-10, putting pressure on Harvard's offense. A 14-7 run including blocks by Alec Schlossman, Gretsch, Moore, and Clemens, put Harvard on top 25-17.

Eight ties, three lead changes and a .276 hitting percentage by the Highlanders tripped up the Crimson, giving NJIT its first game, 25-20.

NJIT led for most of the fourth set, until White went on a 4-0 run serving, giving Harvard its first lead, 11-10. The Highlanders bounced back with a 9-7 run, giving it a one-point lead. Kostich finished the game with a 7-0 run, the longest of the match, giving the Crimson the frame, 25-19.

The Crimson travels to State College, Pennsylvania for the EIVA Tournament, which begins on Thursday, April 21. The first semifinal match will begin at 5 p.m. and the second is projected with a first serve at 7:30 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast on GoPSUSports.