NCAA men: Long Beach, Ohio State roll on, GCU wins again

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Pepperdine's Joshua Stewart and Mitchell Penning block UCLA's JT Hatch/Martin A. Folb photo

Red-hot Long Beach State walloped UC San Diego on Saturday night and has built a two-game lead in the win column atop the MPSF standings. Also in that league, Stanford lost a set 43-41 but won a five-set match.

Ohio State is unstoppable, but don’t sleep on Grand Canyon, which won again and at 5-1 is alone in second place in the MIVA.

The EIVA was anything but boring Saturday, with three of its four matches going five.

And in Conference Carolinas, Mount Olive, King, and Barton have separated from the pack.

In Sunday’s only matches involving teams from the four conferences, Mason (4-5 overall, 1-1 EIVA) goes to Harvard (3-3, 1-0) and Quincy (3-8, 1-4) plays an MIVA match at McKendree (5-10, 1-4).

MPSF: Higher-ranked teams all win

Start with No. 2 Long Beach State, which beat UCSD 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 to improve to 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the league with its seventh consecutive victory. The Beach was down seven in the third set but responded with a 9-1 run.

TJ DeFalco had a big match with 14 kills and three blocks. He hit .407. Kyle Ensing had eight kills, nine digs and two each of his team’s service aces and errors. LBSU had nine of each, a rare match where a team in the MPSF is not in the negative in serving.

UCSD, which had won five in a row, dropped to 5-7, 2-6, with its second straight loss. Tanner Syftestad led with 16 kills. He had five digs, four blocks and an ace but three errors. UCSD had three aces and 13 errors. Shane Beamer added six kills and hit .714.

Injury-plagued UCLA got off the schneid as the No. 4 Bruins won at No. 9 Pepperdine 23-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-7. UCLA is 10-4, 7-3, while the Waves dropped to 5-4, 3-3.

JT Hatch had 24 kills, hit .340 and a career best 16 digs. Mitch Stahl finished with a season-best 11 kills, hit .611 and had five blocks to move past Scott Morrow into third place on the all-time school block assist and total blocks lists. Dylan Missry and Micah Ma’a added eight kills apiece.

Hatch had two of his team’s five aces and two of its 17 errors.

Pepperdine had three aces and 18 errors. David Wieczorek led with 15 kills, eight digs and four of those errors. Michael Wexter added 14 kills, six blocks, and eight digs, but also had five service errors. Setter Joshua Stewart had 11 digs, four kills and hit .667, and three blocks, one solo. Michael Penning had nine blocks, one solo.

Fifth-ranked Hawai’i won for the seventh time in a row by overpowering Cal Baptist 25-13, 25-17, 25-19. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 12-2, 5-2, while Cal Baptist dropped to 3-9, 1-7.

Hawai’i, which hit .427, got 10 kills each from Stijn van Tilburg and Brett Rosenmeier. Van Tilburg had no errors in 10 swings and hit .526 and also had five blocks. Rosenmeier hit .421, had 11 digs, had two aces of his team’s four aces and one of its 13 errors. Also, Hendrik Mol had six blocks and Kupono Fey had nine kills, hit .375, but five errors without an ace.

Kevin Vaz had eight kills for CBU.

Check out these scores from No. 8 Stanford’s comeback victory over visiting No. 12 UCSB: 23-25, 41-43, 26-24, 25-15, 15-10.

It left the Cardinal 8-4, 5-2, while UCSB dropped to 6-7, 3-7.

Stanford had 12 set points in the marathon second set but could never close it out. With 25 tie scores and 11 lead changes, it was the longest set played by Stanford since a 41-39 loss to Pepperdine on March 29, 2003.

Sophomore Jordan Ewert set another career-high with a match-best 26 kills to go with nine digs and three blocks. Junior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw also recorded a career-high with 19 kills on .586 hitting and five blocks.

Senior outside hitter Gabriel Vega had a season-high 16 kills on .303 hitting, six digs, four blocks and Stanford’s only service ace. Mason Tufuga added 13 kills, six digs and three blocks.

The Cardinal had 14 service errors. Visiting UCSB had three aces and 16 errors, meaning the teams combined for four aces and 30 errors in the five sets.

The Gauchos were led by senior outside hitter Jacob Delson’s 19 kills, 11 digs, five blocks and two aces. Freshman setter Randy Deweese finished with 56 assists, 10 digs, five kills and four blocks. Connor Drake had 12 kills and hit .524 and had seven blocks, one solo.

And in another five-setter, No. 7 UC Irvine got past No 13 CSUN 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 15-9. It left the Anteaters 9-5, 6-4, while visiting Northridge dropped to 9-5, 2-5.

UCI senior outside hitter Tamir Hershko tied his season-high with a match-best 19 kills. He also added two aces, four digs and five total blocks. Senior Thomas Hodges had 15 kills, while sophomore Karl Apfelbach had a season-high 12 kills and a career-high six block assists.

Arvis Greene led CSUN with 17 kills and Dimitar Kalchev added 15. He had one of his team’s seven aces but five of its 17 errors.

UCI had six aces, but 28 errors, meaning the teams combined for 13 aces and 45 errors.

McKendree's Brenden Schmidt hits against
McKendree’s Brendan Schmidt hits against Lewis blockers Jacob Schmiegelt, left, and Mitch Perinar/McKendree photo

MIVA: Grand Canyon, Lewis, Ohio State all win

Here come the Lopes. They won at Quincy for the second straight night and their 25-18, 25-16, 22-25, 25-21 victory left them 7-5 overall, 5-1 in the MIVA. Quincy is 3-8, 1-4.

Drake Silbernagel had a big match for the Lopes, with 18 kills, four blocks — one solo — five digs and a .783 hitting percentage after not making an error in 23 swings. Ashton King added 15 kills and hit .667 and also had five blocks. They each had one of their team’s three aces. The Lopes had nine errors.

Quincy got 11 kills from David Siebum and 10 from Jarrod Kelso, who had his team’s only ace. Quincy had 10 errors.

No. 6 Lewis, perhaps still reeling from a Thursday loss at Ohio State, had to rally and grind out a five-set win at McKendree 20-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 15-7.

It left Lewis 9-3, 4-2, and McKendree, which plays host to Hawai’i for two non-conference matches later in the week, 5-10, 1-4.

Lewis was led by Mitch Perinar, who had 21 kills and hit .486. He also had three blocks and six digs. Trevor Weiskircher had 14 kills and hit .429. He had one of his team’s two aces but four of its nine errors. Jacob Schmiegelt had four kills and six blocks.

Maalik Walker led a balanced McKendree attack with 18 kills while hitting .313. He had three of his team’s 21 service errors. Nolan Rueter had 14 kills, two of McKendree’s eight aces but also five errors. Brendan Schmidt had 12 kills, hit .444, but also five errors.

No. 1 Ohio State mowed down its 36th victim in a row by whipping No. 10 Loyola 25-22, 25-18, 25-19. It left the Buckeyes, who hit .412, 13-0, 4-0. Loyola dropped to 7-4, 3-1.

Miles Johnson had 18 kills on 27 swings with one error to hit .630, while Nicolas Szerszen connected on 13 kills at a .391 attacking rate.

Szerszen had two of his team’s three aces but three of its 19 errors.

Jeff Jendryk, held to three killls and an .071 hitting percentage, had Loyola’s only ace but three of its 12 errors. The teams then combined for four aces and 31 errors.

Ben Plaisted led the Ramblers with 11 kills and hit .333. Loyola had just two blocks total in the match.

EIVA: Penn State, Harvard, NJIT all win in five

No. 14 Penn State won at Princeton 22-25, 25-27, 25-19, 27-25, 15-9 as Calvin Mende had a career-high 29 kills while hitting .659. The freshman also had six blocks. However, he also had five of his team’s 18 service errors against one ace by Chris Nugent, who had 19 kills and hit .412.

Princeton had eight aces — four from Kendall Ratter, who had another great night — and 12 errors. Ratter had 27 kills, hit .362 and had four blocks and three digs. He also had three service errors. Ratter had 26 kills Friday in a win over Saint Francis. George Huhmann and Parker Dixon added nine kills apiece.

Penn State improved to 8-4, 3-0 EIVA, while Princeton is 3-6, 1-1.

The league’s other ranked team, No. 15 George Mason, lost in five at Harvard 18-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-10. It left Mason 4-5, 1-1, while the Crimson improved to 3-3 in its EIVA opener.

Freshman outside hitter Erik Johnsson led Harvard with 13 kills and two blocks. Riley Moore set a career high 12 blocks.

Radoslav Popov led Mason with 18 kills. Bryce Gatling had 13 and Kyle Barnes, Langston Payne and Jack Wilson had 11 each. Mason had seven aces and 24 errors. Harvard had four and 12.

NJIT kept Saint Francis winless in league play with a 25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-11 victory. It left NJIT 5-5, 1-1, and Saint Francis 4-8, 0-3.

Raymond Kowalski led NJIT with 16 kills and hit .323 and he had two blocks, one solo, and six digs. Jabarry Goodridge added 15 kills and seven digs. He had one of his team’s four aces and five of its 22 errors. Luke Robbe had 11 kills and hit .647, but no aces and four of those errors.

Brad Thele had an ace and seven errors, two blocks and six digs.

Saint Francis got 17 kills from Michael Fisher, who had two of his team’s five aces and seven of its 21 errors, which meant the teams combined for nine aces and 43 errors.

Jeff Hogan added 15 kills for SFU and led with 12 digs.

Also, Sacred Heart improved to 8-1, 2-0 as it dispatched visiting Charleston 25-16, 25-21, 25-20. It left Charleston 7-5, 0-3.

Emerson Waumans led the winners, who beat Charleston for the second straight night, with 11 kills and hit .421. Christopher DeLucie added 10 kills and hit .500. Their team hit .441 and had four aces against only seven errors.

Ryan Santos led Charleston with nine kills but hit .000. Rajahl Moxey had eight kills and four digs.

Conference Carolinas: crowded at the top

The top three teams in the league have built some separation after Mount Olive swept Limestone, King did the same to Erskine and Barton won in three over North Greenville.

Mount Olive is 7-4, 6-0, a half game up after winning 25-21, 25-23, 26-24. It left Limestone 3-4, 3-4. Robert Poole led the winners with 19 kills and six of their 10 errors against two aces.

Bruno Kretzschmar led Limestone with 14 kills, all three of its aces and three of its 16 errors. Total: Five aces, 26 errors.

King beat Emmanuel 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 to improve to 9-1, 5-0. Erskine is almost the exact opposite at 1-9, 1-5.

Jeff Sprayberry led with 10 kills. Eddie Moushikhian added nine. Isaac Lanier led Erskine with 11 kills. Remarkably, the teams combined for nine aces and only 17 errors.

Barton won for the fourth time in a row by beating North Greenville 25-18, 25-20, 25-8, It left the Bulldogs 7-3 and a game off the lead at 5-1. NGU fell to 3-9, 3-3. Barton hit .408 as Vasilis Mandilaris led with nine kills. He had one of his team’s eight aces against only 10 errors.

NGU had only 20 kills and hit .037, but had four aces and only 10 errors.

There was one other CC match as Lees-McRae (4-6, 2-3) rallied to win in five over last-place Emmanuel (1-9, 0-6). The scores were 24-26, 25-27, 25-21, 25-16, 16-14. And serves? Lees-McRae had 10 aces — five players had two each — and 25 errors. Emmanuel had two aces and 25 errors.

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