FAIRFAX, Va. - Clinching its first EIVA Championship title and trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history, the Harvard men's volleyball team took down Princeton in the 2018 EIVA Tournament finals by a score of 3-1 tonight, April 21, at the Recreation Athletic Complex at George Mason. The Crimson defeated the Tigers for the third time this season by set scores of 25-20, 26-24, 17-25 and 25-23. With tonight's victory, Harvard earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will await its seeding during the NCAA Selection Show this Sunday, April 22.
The Crimson once again dominated on attack against the Tigers as three Harvard players tallied double-digit kills. Trevor Dow slammed down a career-high 12 kills and zero erros, registering a remarkable team-high .800 hitting percentage. Sophomore Erik Johnsson and senior Brad Gretsch led the team with 16 kills apiece, a new career-high for Johnsson as well. Marko Kostich and Matthew Ctvrtlik also came within striking distance of double figures, notching eight and six kills respectively. The duo connected Harvard to 61 kills on the night, while dishing out an additional 30 and 26 assists each.
Chase Howard returned to the lineup tonight as libero for the Crimson, registering a team-leading 11 digs to stop the Tiger's offense, as Kostich and Gretsch followed closely behind with nine and eight, respectively. Harvard commanded the blocking battle, putting up 14 at the net compared to Princeton's six. Trevor Dow led the Crimson with four, while Gretsch and Riley Moore each had three. The Crimson out-hit Princeton .403 to .355 after a dominant first set that ended with a .517 attack percentage.
Concluding the tournament, Gretsch was named Most Outstanding Player in the 2018 EIVA Tournament, while Moore and Kostich were also tabbed to the All-Tournament Team. Between the two matches, Gretsch led the Crimson attack, recording 30 kills and averaging a .378 attack percentage.
The Crimson will await its seeding in the 2018 NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Selection Show tomorrow, April 22 at 1 p.m. Further details can be found on NCAA.com.