The men's volleyball team had only ever beaten Penn State once in the 30-year history of the matchup. The 2018 squad reversed the trend.
In its inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Crimson squared off with 19-time champion UCLA on the Bruins' home turf. Under the lights of the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif., Harvard went up one game before dropping three consecutively.
In a 3-1 decision over Princeton at George Mason’s Recreation Athletic Complex, Harvard clinched its first ever EIVA Championship title and punched its subsequent first ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard and Penn State entered their matchup on Thursday with a spot in the EIVA tournament final on the line. In a back and forth affair, the Crimson alternated winning sets with the Nittany Lions, winning the first and third before ultimately taking the deciding fifth set, 15-11, to secure the victory.
Harvard is one of the four teams that will be descending on Fairfax, Va., in an effort to grab the EIVA tournament trophy and punch it’s ticket to the national bracket. Seeded third, the Crimson will square up against No. 2 seeded Penn State in the semi-final match Thursday.
With a six-game win streak and recent defeat of 11-season consecutive EIVA division champion Penn State in the rearview mirror, Harvard traveled to George Mason for the EIVA regular season championship match with a beefy résumé.