By Jasper Fu
By JASPER FU
In recent weeks Harvard’s Men’s Volleyball team has gone from one strength to another. Going 10-2 in their last 12 games, the Crimson has defeated Sacred Heart, Alderson Broaddus, Saint Francis (PA), Penn State, Princeton, and NJIT, with only two of those games (Princeton and Penn State) even going to five sets. Its March 31st victory against Penn State cemented Harvard’s second place in the 2018 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Championships, in an underdog victory against Penn State (EIVA champion for 15 out of the past 17 years), with the Crimson hitting .370 to the Nittany Lion’s .279.
I spoke with a member of the Volleyball team, hoping to get his perspective on his time on the team and their performance.
What have been the best and worst parts of the season for you? What were the team’s lowest points, and its highest?
Anon: The best part of this season for me personally was beating nationally ranked team Penn State. It was the second time we beat them in the last 40 years. The lowest point of the season was the beginning where we started off with a 1-8 record (conference and out of conference). Since then, we’ve bounced back to a 10-2 run in the conference.
What makes you proud of/enjoy being part of the Harvard Volleyball team?
Anon: I’m proud of being part of a program such as Harvard Volleyball not because of its history but rather the people, who work tirelessly and support each other so that we can all succeed.
Did you play volleyball in high school? Did you expect to play volleyball for Harvard? What did you not expect about being on the team?
Anon: Yes, I did play volleyball in high school. I did not expect to play volleyball for Harvard. I did not expect lift to be as important as it is. I thought lift would make me really tired for practice, but it in fact has actually given me more energy.
How has the team changed over the year(s) you’ve been on it? Where do you see the team going/hope it will go?
Anon: The team has changed a lot for the better. In the future, I see our team winning the EIVA championship.
Where do you want to go with volleyball? Why do you play, what are your goals, why do you enjoy it?
Anon: I enjoy volleyball because it is a competitive sport that really tests people’s mental fortitude. I find that incredibly intriguing and fascinating.
Only the second Crimson victory against Penn, and its first in five years, it was shortly followed by the announcement of senior and co-captain Riley Moore as EIVA Offensive Player of the week (having been named Defensive Player of the previous week) , and junior Trevor Dow as EIVA Defensive player. Both players were instrumental in the victory against Penn State, with Dow scoring 9 kills with a .562 hit percentage and 3 of the team’s 7 aces to Dow’s 14 kills and .875. The Penn State game was trailed by a 3 – 2 victory against Princeton and a 3 – 0 close-out against NJIT, bringing Harvard to a 10 – 2 record in conference play, and an overall record of 11-11.
The last two games of the year are against conference leader George Mason (11 – 1 in conference, and 15-11 overall), and two consecutive victories on April 13th and 14th could clinch the first conference title for the Crimson since its Hay Division victory (when the EIVA was split into a Hay and Tait divisions) in 2009. Though it has come close in title match appearances against George Mason in 2015 and against Penn State in 2013, this is a chance for the Crimson to claim its first EIVA championship since the Hay and Tait divisions merged in the 2011-2012 season.