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Harvard Men's Volleyball Meets Non-Conference Foes MIT and Emmanuel in Midweek Action

Harvard Men's Volleyball Meets Non-Conference Foes MIT and Emmanuel in Midweek Action

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A pair of midweek matches await the Harvard men's volleyball team, which is returning home after falling in two matches of conference play last weekend.  The Crimson looks to get back on track as it hosts MIT on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. and visits Emmanuel Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

A live video stream featuring play-by-play man Ben Altsher will be available through GoCrimson.com byclicking here. Live stats will be available by clicking here. Thursday's match can be streamed throughGoECSaints.com.

Last Time Out
The Harvard men's volleyball team fell in a four-set decision at Princeton, 18-25, 22-25, 25-14 and 14-25. DJ White and Nick Madden paced the Crimson with nine kills each. The loss followed a straight-set defeat at George Mason, marking the first time since the 2011 season that Harvard has been swept during a weekend slate.

Around the League
Harvard is currently in fourth place of the EIVA standings with a 5-3 conference mark and a 9-4 overall record. The Crimson is third in the conference in hitting percentage (.256) and assists (11.47), fourth in kills (12.31) and blocks (2.40), and ranks seventh in digs (8.62).
Individually, Branden Clemens and Caleb Zimmick rank second and third with hitting percentages of .309 and .302, respectively. Chris Gibbons comes in second among liberos with 2.49 dps, while Rob Lothman is third among EIVA setters with 10.05 aps. Zimmick also boasts the third best blocking average at 1.18 bps withKyle Rehkemper chipping in 0.97 bps, 10th in the conference.

National Scene
Men's volleyball national ranking summary through games played March 3.

National Leader
National Leader
Kyle Rehkemper
Michael Owen
Rob Lothman
Caleb Zimmick
Chris Gibbons
Branden Clemens

Scouting MIT
MIT heads into the week ranked No. 13 among the NCAA DIII teams and carries an 11-9 record into Tuesday's match. MIT dropped its last two matches, 3-2, including a contest with top-ranked Springfield College. As a unit, the Engineers have averaged 12.20 kps while hitting .235. MIT also produces 11.10 aps, 11.56 dps and 1.55 bps.
Matt Hoehenberger leads the Engineers' attack with 4.21 kps while Ken Siebert adds 2.71 kps. Paul Syta has served as the team's primary setter and has dished out 9.81 aps. Defensively, MIT is paced by libero Brendan Chang's 3.30 dps.

Scouting Emmanuel
Emmanuel received votes in the most recent AVCA poll, but is not carrying a ranking after falling to Springfield College in straight sets last weekend. Emmanuel is 4-9 on the year. The Saints are hitting .200 through 13 matches and average 11.38 kps, 10.38 aps, 1.63 bps and 8.38 dps.
Ashanti Jackson (2.65 kps) is the leading hitter for Emmanuel, while Zach Whitermore (1.98), Julian Huss (1.93) and Wyatt Cooper (1.88) are also targets for Nick Updike (9.30 aps). Updike also leads the Saints with 1.55 dps. Garret McGarry tops the blocking column with 0.84 bps.

Winning Ways
Harvard won six straight matches from Feb. 2 to Feb. 23, it longest streak since winning 13 in a row in 2005. During that span, the Crimson won four matches in straight sets, also matching the 2005 team's streak of four consecutive sweeps.

National News
Harvard has fallen from the AVCA Division I-II Poll after being ranked in consecutive weeks. The Crimson reached as high as No. 14, the highest ranking in program history.

Taking Home the Hardware
Sophomore DJ White recently earned a pair of honors, being named both the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week and EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. The praise comes after White averaged 4.17 kills per set and hit .477 as the Crimson knocked off No. 9 Penn State and St. Francis (Pa.) in straight sets.
White is the first member of the Crimson to earn the national recognition. He has been named the conference's offensive player of the week twice this season and has earned the distinction three times in his career.

Slump Busters
The Crimson ended a 51-match drought for conference opponents versus Penn State when it upset the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions Feb. 15, 3-0. Penn State's last loss to an EIVA conference foe came on March 7, 2008 to George Mason, 3-1.

Ranked Wins
Harvard's 3-0 victory over then ninth-ranked Penn State marked the team's second win over a ranked opponent in as many years. Last season, the Crimson knocked off No. 12 Call State Northridge, 3-1, to record the program's first victory against a ranked team under head coach Brian Baise.

MAC Attack
Harvard is 19-6 in the friendly confines of the Malkin Athletic Center since the start of 2011 including a 3-0 mark this year.  The Crimson has won seven straight matches at home dating back to last season and has captured each of its last three home openers.

Block Party
The Crimson recorded 17.5 blocks at No. 6 Penn State, the team's highest total over the last three seasons. Caleb Zimmick led the way with eight total blocks as Michael Owen and Kyle Rehkemper each turned in seven. Nick Madden and Rob Lothman also got in on the action, registering six blocks and four blocks, respectively.
Harvard's season high for blocks in 2012 was 17 at Rutgers-Newark.

Quick Start
Harvard swept Stevens, NYU and St. Francis (Pa.) to open the year, marking the third straight season that the Crimson has started the year with at least two victories. Harvard's three straight-set victories, meanwhile, had not been accomplished since 1993 when the squad posted four sweeps in its first four matches.


Story courtesy of Harvard