NCAA: BYU, GCU men score upsets, big East vs. West beach day ahead

Jaylen Jasper-Louis Richard-Nick Amado-Long Beach State-NCAA volleyball 3/8/2019
Stanford's Jaylen Jasper is blocked by Long Beach's Louis Richard and Nick Amado in March 2019/Jim Wolf photography

Tenth-ranked BYU upset No. 3 UC Irvine and unranked Grand Canyon stunned No. 9 Loyola  in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball Friday as the schedule was sprinkled with non-conference matches.

Saturday’s schedule offers more of the same, including a UCI-BYU rematch and top-ranked Long Beach State home for Saint Francis.

But the focus of NCAA volleyball on Saturday is on Manhattan Beach for the East Meets West Challenge.

All eight of the teams competing are ranked in the AVCA top 20, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Pepperdine, No. 4 Florida State, No. 5 Hawai’i, No. 6 LSU, No. 9 Florida International, and No. 19 TCU. 

The most daunting schedule for the weekend faces LSU, which plays UCLA and Pepperdine on Saturday and USC and Hawai’i on Sunday.

Among the others matches Saturday, seventh-ranked Cal Poly is competing in a pairs tournament with CSUN and CSU Bakersfield, No. 10 South Carolina stays in state as it goes to Coastal Carolina to play the Chanticleers and UNC Wilmington, and No. 11 Cal goes to Palo Alto to face UC Davis and No. 13 Stanford.

The BYU men of the MSPF (9-5) scored their biggest win of the season with a 20-25, 25-17, 32-20, 25-19 outcome over visiting UC Irvine of the Big West (13-5), which had no answer for Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Davide Gardini. 

Garcia Fernandez led with 23 kills and hit .415. He added two assists, three of his team’s five aces, seven digs and two blocks, while Gardini had 21 kills and hit .444 to go with seven digs and four blocks. Their teammates combined for 14 kills as BYU hit .404.

UCI hit .325, which included 23 kills by Joel Schneidmiller. who hit .385 and had all four of the Anteaters’ aces. He added four digs and a block. Aaron Koubi, who had seven digs and three blocks, and Alexandre Nsakanda, who hit .407, had 14 kills each … 

The MPSF’s Grand Canyon (8-11), which had lost six matches in a row, beat visiting Loyola of the MIVA (13-5) 25-18, 17-25, 20-25, 25-20,15-9.

Christian Janke led a balanced GCU attack with 14 kills. Trevor Weary added 11, Ian McLain had 10 and Will Schwob and Alex Shmelev had eight each. Shmelev had no errors in 10 swings and hit .800.

Loyola, which hit .168, got 19 kills from Will Tischler, who hit .303, had three assists, 11 digs and two blocks. Kyle Piekarski had 12 kills and hit .455 and Collin Mahan had 11 kills and two of the Ramblers’ nine aces. 

Long Beach State-TJ DeFalco-NCAA volleyball 3/9/2019
Long Beach State’s TJ DeFalco hits off the Stanford block/Jim Wolf photography

No. 1 Long Beach State of the Big West (16-0), which has dropped just one set this season, crushed visiting No. 8 Stanford of the MPSF (12-7) 25-18, 25-13, 25-14.

TJ DeFalco led with 11 kills and hit .600 and had two aces, an assist, two digs and a block. Kyle Ensing had 10 kills, also hit .600, and had an ace, three digs and a block. The Beach hit a school-record .655 as setter Josh Tuaniga not only had five kills in six swings to hit .667, but had 34 assists, making him the fifth player in program history with more than 4,000 in his career.

Stanford hit .230 as Jordan Ewert led with seven kills, hitting .357 …

Another Big West team, No. 2 Hawai’i, improved to 14-0 — its best start ever — with a 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 win over visiting No. 15 Ball State of the MIVA (9-10). 

Hawai’i, which won its 42nd set in a row, got 19 kills from Rado Parapunov and 12 from Stijn van Tilburg. Parapunov hit .571 while van Tilburg, who had two aces and a solo block, hit .417. Matt Szews led Ball State with 15 kills. 

Hawai’i hit .453, while Ball State hit .316

Also at Hawai’i’s Outrigger Resorts Invitational, No. 6 Pepperdine of the MPSF (13-4) made short work of the Conference Carolinas’ King (10-7) 25-21, 25-16 , 25-18. Clay Carr and Kaleb Denmark had 12 kills each for the Waves … 

In other matches involving Big West teams, No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (15-3) beat visiting Lindenwood of the MIVA (7-12), No. 12 CSUN (9-8) beat Saint Francis of the EIVA (11-7), and UC San Diego (6-12) lost in five to the MPSF’s Concordia (8-13), which got 24 kills from Raymond Barsemian, who had had five blocks and five digs. 

Lindenwood, which hit .068, took a set off of UCSB, which won its 12th match in a row. The 25-16, 25-14, 20-25, 25-20 victory saw Ryan Wilcox led wtih 11 kills. The Gauchos hit .248 … 

CSUN’s Maciej Ptaszynski had 11 kills with one error in 15 attacks to hit .667. The Matadors hit .417. SFU’s Michael Fisher had 18 kills and hit .654 after having one error in 26 swings. He added an ace, four digs and three blocks … 

Two other MPSF teams got victories Friday as No. 11 USC (10-7) beat visiting Penn State of the EIVA (8-9) in five and No. 5 UCLA (15-4) swept visiting Ohio State of the MIVA (6-13). 

USC’s 25-18, 24-26, 25-13, 23-25, 15-13 victory saw the Trojans’ Ryan Moss lead with 23 kills. He hit .513 after having just three errors in 39 attacks. Gianluca Grasso had 17 kills and hit .423 as his team hit .377. Penn State’s Brett Wildman led the Nittany Lions with 16 kills, while Henrik Falck Lauten had 14 kills, five digs, two blocks and two aces … 

Austin Matautia led UCLA with nine kills. Ohio State hit .017 …

In the only MIVA match of the day, McKendree (8-8, 5-4) swept Quincy (4-15, 0-9). Wyatt Dimke led with 11 kills and hit .563 …

There were two EIVA matches as Princeton (10-8, 8-1) held its league lead as it won at NJIT (4-11, 0-7) in five and Charleston (7-12) beat visiting Emmanuel of the Conference Carolinas (6-14) in four. George Huhmann and Greg Luck had 13 kills each for Princeton, which won despite getting out-hit .265 to .167, and Parker Dixon had 12   

And in Conference Carolinas, Mount Olive (6-10) beat independent Lincoln Memorial (10-7) in four as Iyanu Adebisi had 19 kills for Mount Olive and Evan Cory had 19 for LM.


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