“[Against NJIT] we started off slow,” Clemens said. “We realized that we needed to get things together.”
The teams traded the first two sets, with the Crimson claiming the first and NJIT grabbing the second. According to Madden, the Highlanders were initially playing at a high level—but once Harvard cracked the code, the dynamic of the match shifted.
“We had a couple of lapses, we dropped one game, [and] they were planning really well,” Madden said. “They were passing really well but as soon as we started stopping them on defense, we started pulling ahead.”
The third and fourth sets were not close. NJIT hit at a .421 clip in the opening two games before regressing to only .153 in the latter two. The Crimson was led on both sides of the net by Madden. The senior put together 17 kills to go along with 10 digs, leading both teams in these categories for his eighth career double-double.
Under Madden’s leadership, Harvard closed out the match, 25-19, 25-19. However, all in all, the weekend’s performance was one that the Crimson will look to improve on going into postseason play.
“Overall this weekend wasn’t our best volleyball,” Clemens said. “We are definitely better than how we performed.”
—Staff writer Julian Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.