CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's volleyball topped #15 George Mason in five sets on Saturday night. The Crimson (3-3, 1-0 EIVA) bested the Patriots (4-5, 1-1 EIVA) with set scores of 18-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-10.
Freshman outside hitter Erik Johnsson led Harvard with 13 kills and two blocks during the contest. Marko Kostich added 36 helpers and six blocks, while Riley Moore set a career high 12 blocks. Moore is now tied for third place in Harvard's all-time records with his stoppers.
Harvard and George Mason traded points for the first 22 points of the contest until a kill from Kyle Barnes started the Patriots 8-2 home stretch. The Patriots finished the first set with a kill from Bryce Gatling.
Although the Crimson were able to add 4.5 blocks in the second set, Harvard was unable to gain the match point, falling 25-21. Harvard was limited to a .286 hitting percentage and only eight kills, while the Patriots notched 19 kills and hit at .364 percent.
Harvard went off running in the third set, going point-for-point with George Mason until a big-time block from Spencer Scott and Brad Gretsch gave the Crimson a 10-8 advantage. Harvard's defense took command of the floor, with three from Gretsch and two blocks from Moore. Casey White notched the final two kills of the set to give Harvard a win in the third set.
Although the Patriots added 15 kills to the board, Harvard's defense commanded the floor once again. Moore notched four additional stoppers in the fourth set, with assistance from White, Gretsch and Scott. The Crimson registered a match best .417 hitting percentage in the fourth set, limited their opponent to a .310 percentage.
In the decisive fifth set, Harvard rolled out to an 8-4 advantage. In the last stretch of the match, Gretsch, Scott and Johnsson added a combined four kills and one service ace to give Harvard their first EIVA win of the season.
Harvard and George Mason will play again tomorrow at the Malkin Athletic Center. The first serve is set for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network. For a full archive of tonight's game, please see the ILDN.