Just when you thought USC was going into the tank, the Trojans not only upset No. 6 Stanford, they swept the visiting Trojans.
There were two other ranked teams in action Thursday, but they won.
First Friday’s busy schedule for the four NCAA men’s Division I-II conferences.
Start with the MPSF, where No. 3 BYU (10-2, 5-1) plays host to UC San Diego (5-7, 2-6) for the first of two matches in as many nights. BYU hasn’t played in a week, but has won four in a row, and is trying to keep pace with first-place Long Beach State (12-2, 8-1). No. 14 CSUN (10-5, 3-5) goes to No. 12 UCSB (6-8, 3-8), where both teams have sustained all their combined losses in league play.
In the MIVA, No. 1 Ohio State (13-0, 4-0), which has won 36 matches in a row, plays host to Quincy (3-8, 1-4), while No. 11 Ball State (11-2, 3-1) entertains No. 7 Lewis (9-3, 4-2) in big match for both teams, not only in the standings but for potential post-season rankings.
In the EIVA, Harvard (3-4, 1-1) goes to No. 13 Penn State (8-5, 3-1), No. 15 George Mason (5-5, 2-1) goes to NJIT (5-6, 1-2) and Sacred Heart (9-1, 2-0), the only team unbeaten in league play, goes to Saint Francis (5-8, 1-3.
There are four matches in the Conference Carolinas, including a battle for the lead, when first-place Mount Olive (7-4, 6-0) goes to second-place King (10-1, 5-0).
Third-place Barton (7-3, 6-1) wants to stay in the chase when it plays at Lees-McRae (4-6, 2-3). And fourth-place Limestone (4-4, 4-3) plays host to Pfeiffer (0-5, 0-5).
Also, since everyone everywhere seems to take on Alderson Broaddus, the independent Battlers (3-10) visit Belmont Abbey (3-6, 2-4).
USC stuns Stanford: Lucas Yoder had 15 kills and Woody Cook added 10 and five digs to lead the unranked Trojans 25-19, 25-20, 25-23. It was USC’s first three-set victory in 16 matches as it improved to 4-9 overall and 3-7 in the MPSF, while Stanford fell to 8-5, 5-5.
Matt Douglas had 10 digs for the Trojans, Andy Benesh hit .538 with seven kills, Ryan Moss had a match-high five blocks and both Gert Lisha and Lucas Lossone had six digs. The Trojans were again without recent junior college transfer Gianluca Grasso, a starting outside hitter who missed his second match with an ankle sprain.
USC hit .286 to Stanford’s .089.
Jordan Ewert led Stanford with 12 kills and eight digs, while Gabriel Vega added 10 kills and two blocks, one solo. Evan Enriques had 10 digs.
Pepperdine beats Cal Baptist: The No. 9 Waves won 25-19, 25-22, 25-21 to improve to 6-4, 3-4, while Cal Baptist dropped to 3-10, 1-8.
Colby Harriman led Pepperdine with 16 kills and hit .520. He also had six digs, an ace and two blocks. David Wieczorek had 15 kills and Mitchell Penning had seven kills without an error to hit .875. He also had an ace and four blocks.
The visiting Lancers got 20 kills from Kevin Vaz, who hit .371, and 14 from Luis Palos.
Loyola downs Fort Wayne: The 10th-ranked Ramblers won 25-23, 26-28, 25-20, 25-20. It left Loyola 8-4, 4-1 MIVA, while the visiting Mastodons dropped to 4-12, 1-4.
Collin Mahan led Loyola with 19 kills and hit .630. He also had eight digs. Ben Plaisted had 17 kills and eight digs but he and Mahan each had five of their team’s 15 service errors.
Jeff Jendryk added 11 kills, hit .455, and had seven blocks, one solo.
Vargas Pelegrin led Fort Wayne with 16 kills, Alex Dickmann added 14 and Colton Stone had 13.