The Harvard men's volleyball team dropped a match to MIT in straight sets, 15-6, 15-7 and 17-15, on Saturday at the Malkin Athletic Center.
The loss marked the second time in four days that the Crimson have been swept--Boston College did the damage on Wednesday.
The first two sets began and ended in a similar fashion. In both cases, the games started out very close, with numerous side-outs and see-sawing scores. Unfortunately for the Crimson, MIT gained the momentum about halfway into both games and cruised to victory.
The third set was a heartbreaker. Leading 14-11, the Crimson faltered and was unable to put the game away. The Engineers took advantage of the opportunity and outscored the Crimson, 6-1, to take the set and the match.
"We played better than we did on Wednesday. There was a definite improvement in overall effort and intensity," junior David Stonehill said.
"We are starting to gain confidence in ourselves," sophomore Henry Chang said, "but we still have to work on our concentration."
A bright spot for Harvard was senior Don Gajewski's fine play, especially his hitting on the strong side. (The strong side refers to the side from which the hitter can best see the set. For a right-handed hitter, the left is the strong side.)
Throughout the match Coach Ihsan Gurdal juggled his lineup in an effort to find the elusive successful combination to put on the court. Unlike Wednesday, when Harvard stuck strictly to a 5-1 lineup (five hitters and one setter), Gurdal opted to use a 6-2 combination, with two setters on the court, in all three sets.
"This combination should help us offensively and should not detract from our defense," Chang said.