|Matchup||Harvard vs. UCLA|
|Date||May 1, 2018|
|Time||10:30 p.m. EST|
|Live Stats||Harvard vs. UCLA|
|Tournament||Tournament Central Page|
|Series||Harvard trails, 0-1|
|Last Meeting||L, 0-3 (March 11, 2017)|
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's volleyball team's quest for its first national title begins this Tuesday, May 1, as the Crimson heads to Los Angeles, Calif. to face UCLA at Pauley Pavilion in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. First serve is set for 10:30 p.m. EST and will be available to watch on NCAA.com and PAC-12.com.
Champions at Last
The Crimson clinched its first EIVA Championship title in program history on April 21 as Harvard took down Princeton by a score of 3-1 in the 2018 EIVA Tournament finals at George Mason. Prior to the finals, Harvard defeated Penn State 3-2 in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. Senior Brad Gretsch was named Most Outstanding Player across the course of the tournament after recording 30 kills and averaging a .378 attack percentage. Seniors Marko Kostich and Riley Moore were also tabbed to the All-Tournament Team.
Harvard earned its first bid to the NCAA Men's Volleyball Tournament in program history with its victory against Princeton to claim the EIVA Championship crown. Set to face UCLA in the opening round, the Crimson and Bruins have met once in the all-time series, as UCLA topped Harvard last season, 3-0.
The Bruins finished the regular season with a 24-7 overall record and 9-3 mark in conference play, boasting a 17-1 record on home court. At the No. 2 seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship match, UCLA fell to top-seeded BYU in four sets. The Bruins will rely on the arm of senior Christian Hessenauer who averages 3.40 kills per set, while sophomore Daenan Gyimah tops the lineup with a .535 attack percentage. Gyimah leads the team defensively as well, putting up 1.22 blocks per set at the net.
The Crimson ranks fifth in the nation in digs per set at 9.79 through its 26 matches this season. Sophomore libero Chase Howard sits at seventh in the nation and second in the EIVA in digs per set at 2.61, while Matthew Ctvrtlik ranks 37th in the nation with 1.89 to help the Harvard defense.
The Crimson boasted an 8-2 record at the Malkin Athletic Center this year, ending the season on an eight-match winning streak on home court dating back to March 2. Of those eight wins, three included three-set sweeps with only two five-setters. In Cambridge, the Crimson holds a set advantage of 26-13 against its opponents.
We Want Moore
Senior co-captain Riley Moore has dominated for the Crimson attack. The 6-5 middle blocker has led the Crimson in hitting percentage all season at .410, consistently ranking among the top-five in the nation and EIVA, while placing eighth in program history. Moore has registered hitting percentages over .600 in nine matches this season when tallying seven or more kills and has notched zero errors in six matches when hitting above .400.
Four squad members were honored with All-EIVA accolades as Brad Gretsch and Marko Kostich were named to the first team and Riley Moore and Matthew Ctvrtlik were tabbed second team. Ctvrtlik, Gretsch and Moore all earned honors for the first time in their careers, while Kostich received his third career accolade.
Five squad members were named to the EIVA All-Academic Team, as seniors Brad Gretsch, Marko Kostich and Riley Moore, as well as sophomores Matthew Ctvrtlik and Erik Johnsson were all honored for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher this past academic year as well as participating in at least 60% of Harvard's games.
Head coach Brian Baise is in the midst of his 10th season at the helm of the Harvard men's volleyball program this weekend. Baise owns a 112-96 record on the sidelines, including an 87-58 record over the past six seasons.
For six-years straight, the Harvard men's volleyball team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. As one of 19 collegiate men's programs in the nation to earn the award, the team compiled for a top-five GPA among all men's programs.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here.
The winner of the match will go on to face No. 2 seed BYU in the semifinal round on May 3.