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A valiant effort by the Harvard men’s volleyball team was not enough to top defending Division III national champion Springfield College, the conference’s top team. The Crimson came close but could not topple the Pride, falling 3-2.
Harvard (5-6, 3-4 Hay) arrived at Blake Arena ready to play, taking the first game of the match, 30-27. The Pride (16-6, 11-0 Hay), responded, squeaking by in the next two games, 30-28 and 32-30. Springfield’s offense heated up behind the attack of sophomore outside hitter Brandon Mueller, who compiled 24 kills over the match.
Harvard, however, kept right with the Pride, using its offensive diversity to decisively take the fourth game, 30-23. Crimson sophomore outside hitter Will Reppun led five Harvard players with double digit kills.
“Offensively, we were firing at all cylinders for most of the match,” captain setter Mike Bookman said.
The Crimson seemed to have all the momentum going into the final game but stalled and could not close out the match. Instead, it was Springfield who took the win, shutting Harvard down 15-7 in the final game.
“For the first four games, we were playing solid ball,” Reppun said. “We slipped in the last set which cost us big.”
“We were right there and had an opportunity to win it,” Bookman added. “Unfortunately we just didn’t come through with a win in the fifth set.”
While yesterday’s loss was a tough one for the Crimson, Harvard coach Rob Keller is pleased with his player’s efforts and improvement this season.
“We’ve been battling all year,” Keller said. “I’m just really proud of these guys. They’ve come a tremendous way since the beginning of the year.”
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