The Harvard men’s volleyball team had some early hiccups, but recovered to take control of the match, as it downed conference foe Rutgers-Newark, 3-1, at the Malkin Athletic Center on Friday night.
The Crimson (15-3, 7-2 EIVA) started out strong, taking a comfortable 25-20 victory in the first set. Co-captain Matt Jones doled out five of 15 kills in the opening frame, and Harvard appeared in control.
But the second set saw the momentum turn. The Scarlet Raiders (8-11, 1-8 EIVA) jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead through several Crimson attack errors and three service aces from Rutgers-Newark. Harvard began a 3-0 run as it searched for a foothold in the game, but the Scarlet Raiders responded with a run of their own. And despite two timeouts from Crimson coach Brian Baise, Rutgers-Newark appeared set to take the game with ease. But with the score at 20-9, Harvard ended the game on a 9-5 run, and appeared to regain energy despite dropping the set, 25-18.
After an extended meeting in the locker room with Baise, the Crimson came out firing in the third, and though the Scarlet Raiders kept in close in the opening exchanges, Harvard’s improved passing was evident as it charged to a 25-15 victory.
With an energetic crowd behind it, the Crimson continued the strong offensive play, as Rutgers-Newark fell to mental errors of its own, with Harvard taking the game and the match, 25-20.
The Crimson returns to the Malkin Athletic Center Saturday afternoon for its final home game and Senior Night against NJIT.
--Check thecrimson.com for updates.
--Staff writer Peter G. Cornick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org