Harvard new recruiting class enters with high expectations

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot

The defending EIVA champs have bolstered its 2019 roster with multiple recruits who have earned state and national accolades.

Harvard recently announced that high school graduates Ryan Hong, Eric Li, Campbell Schoenfeld, Buddy Scott and Jason Shen have committed to play for the Crimson beginning next season.

“Our expectations are high for this group of freshmen,” coach Brian Baise said in a statement. “They come to us from some of the top juniors programs in the country, which will give them the experience necessary to be impact players next year. It’s also a high-character group, with strong work ethic and competitive spirit. Our four departing seniors have left big shoes to fill, but we believe that these guys are up to the challenge.”

Hong, a 6-foot-2 middle attacker and outside attacker from Honolulu, helped lead his high school team to back-to-back undefeated teams as a junior and senior. During those two years, he was a Fab 15 All-State honorable mention and earned second-team all-league honors.

Li, a 6-foot-6 outside attacker from Edison, New Jersey, was a first-team all-state selection and was named the 2017 Home News Tribune Boys’ Volleyball Player of the Year. He also led all New Jersey high school players with 441 kills in 2017 as he helped his team reach the sectional finals for the first time in school history.

Schoenfeld, a 6-foot-8 middle attacker and outside attacker from North Tonawanda, New York, earned the 2017 Niagara Gazette Boys’ Volleyball Player of the Year. In addition, Schoenfeld earned all-section honors and along with volleyball he played tennis as a two-sport high school athlete.

Scott, a 6-foot-6 setter from Honolulu, earned first-team all-state honors in his junior season as he helped lead his high school team to a state championship three-peat. He also made the the USA Volleyball High Performance A1 Selection for six consecutive years beginning in 2012.

Shen, a 5-foot-11 libero and outside attacker from Cupertino, California, made the 17 Open division All-Tournament Team at the 2017 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships. He also was a first-team all-league selection as a senior and helped his high school team win the regional championship.

Harvard last season won the EIVA Tournament championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Crimson return four starters from that championship team, including All-EIVA setter Matthew Ctvrtlik.