Young Volleyball Squad Steps Up

Published by Martin Kessler on February 11, 2011 at 10:11PM

After losing three of its top players from a team that finished the 2009-10 season 5-16, few could have expected the Harvard men’s volleyball team to have much success this season.

But through five games, the Crimson has gone 4-1—marking its best start since the 2004-05 season. And after picking up just five wins all of last season, Harvard could match that total as soon as this Saturday when the squad hosts Stevens.

Crucial to the team’s success has been the play of its rookie class. Harvard coach Brian Baise was not afraid to throw his latest crop of newcomers into the action—starting four rookies in the Crimson’s season opener against Newbury.

The freshmen did not disappoint, combining for 23 of Harvard’s 42 kills and 12 of the team’s 22 digs. And the newcomers have not looked back, totaling 145 kills. In the Crimson’s most recent matchup—a 3-1 win over Rivier—the four freshmen totaled 31 kills.

Outside hitter Chris Gibbons led the way, notching 14 kills—tying him with junior co-captain Matt Jones for the team high. On the season, Gibbons leads the Crimson in digs with 27 and sits in second in kills with 52. Meanwhile, Gibbons’ classmate Kyle Rehkemper leads Harvard in attack percentage at .338.

The Crimson’s newcomers will look to power the squad to another victory this Saturday when Harvard hosts Stevens at the Malkin Athletic Center.