By Daniel Cross, Sports Information Graduate Intern
RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- In just its fifth home match this season California Baptist University faced the Crimson of Harvard University in a difficult five set match.
CBU lost to the Crimson (22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 15-9), in the fifth straight match the Lancers have taken to five sets.
"Tonight was just a real tough match for us," said Interim Head Coach Allan Vince. "We came out really strong in the first set, but were unable to hold on in the second and third. It seemed like the momentum was back and forth, but as a team we need to be able to hold onto the momentum and build from it."
In the opening set, the Lancers took command hitting a blazing .394 with 18 kills on 33 attempts. Aaron McCalmont who had eight of the teams 18 kills led the Lancers; McCalmont hit .615 and tallied four digs and one block. Kristopher Johnson went a perfect 5-for-5 hitting 1.000.
The score was tied 11 times and changed hands seven times. It wasn't until two big kills by McCalmont and Jonathan Tuttle that pushed the lead to 23-19 where the Lancers gained control. The final point of the set would come off a McCalmont ace.
The second set was all Crimson, as they hit a game high .524 off 13 kills on 21 attempts. The only production for Crimson came from Nick Madden who hit .722. The Lancers hit .294 with 14 kills on 29 attempts and forced seven attacking errors.
The score was tied a tremendous 17 times, but only changed hands twice in the set.
The Crimson carried their momentum into the third and managed to just out-hit the Lancers .258 to .250. Both teams recorded 13 kills and the Crimson continued to out-block the Lancers 11-3 on the match.
After losing the first three points in the fourth set the Lancers turned the momentum around with two big blocks, which gave the Lancers their first lead at 7-6. The Lancers would never look back and hold onto the lead for the rest of the set.
CBU recorded 15 kills on 29 attempts and hit .310, while the Crimson hit a game low .185 off 11 kills on 27 attempts.
In the fifth set, the Lancers came out on fire with two huge blocks by Johnson to force a Crimson timeout at 4-1. Harvard would respond and take advantage of the set at 11-7 and force a Lancer timeout. The Crimson would continue to put on the pressure and tally two big kills to take the victory in the set and match.
"I thought Kristopher (Johnson) did a really good job tonight after McCalmont went out with an injury," said Vince. "It was just unfortunate what happened and too bad we couldn't hold on in the end."
The Lancers finished the match hitting .245, while the Crimson finished hitting .280. Harvard out-blocked the Lancers 16-9.5, but the Lancers out-dug the Crimson 51-40.
The Lancers move to 10-14 on the season and will play next on March 27/28 when they will take on Lindenwood in the Van Dyne Gym for back-to-back matches.