Thursday night, in a playoff matchup against George Mason, the season did not end the way that Harvard men’s volleyball wanted it to. But it ended nonetheless.
This weekend, in a pair of matches against Princeton and NJIT, Harvard experienced what were likely the biggest stages of the year. In both contests, Clemens—who played every second of every point—led decisive sequences that erased deficits.
Stuck in a tie for fourth at the start of the weekend, the Harvard men’s volleyball team faced all kinds of playoff scenarios as it angled to outcompete a crowded EIVA field and make the final four-team tournament. In the end, all the different what-ifs reduced to a simple dichotomy: Win two matches, or leave empty-handed.
With matchups against Princeton and NJIT on tap this weekend, the Crimson could clinch an EIVA playoff spot or see its season end in disappointing fashion on its home court.
By losing to St. Francis and Penn State, the Crimson (11-10, 7-5 EIVA) plummeted into a two-way tie for fourth, putting the team at risk of missing conference playoffs.
In a pair of lopsided wins, the Crimson moved beyond memories of recent defeat and slipped into second place in the EIVA.
On Saturday night, still owning a claim to second place in the EIVA, Harvard suited up to face the Pioneers once more. In a 3-0 defeat, the Crimson resembled a timid version of its former self, hitting to .187 on a night when the closest set was 25-17.
Now in mid-March, the Crimson confronted the No. 15 program in the nation for a third time when it hosted California Baptist (10-13, 4-13 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) at the Malkin Athletic Center. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, the match result was perfectly pedestrian, as Harvard lost in four sets after taking the first frame.
The Harvard men’s volleyball team welcomed the Holy Names Hawks from Oakland, California to the Malkin Athletic Center for the first ever meeting on Friday evening. Despite comfortable wins in the first two sets, a nail-biter third set was necessary for Harvard to take down the Hawks, 3-0.