Unranked George Mason had lost to 11th-ranked Ohio State the last 16 times it played the Buckeyes.
But Friday night, the Patriots finally broke through, winning in four in Columbus.
There was plenty of excitement around the nation Friday in men’s NCAA volleyball, as six matches went to five sets.
No. 4 BYU defeated Penn State at Rec Hall in five, including three deuce sets. No. 7 Loyola gave No. 5 Pepperdine its first loss, a five-setter in Chicago. No. 12 UC Santa Barbara won a tough away five-setter against No. 14 Ball State. No. 10 CSU Northridge recovered from an 0-2 deficit to beat No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne. The Conference Carolina’s Barton College also came back from 0-2 to defeat the No. 15 Grand Canyon University. North Greenville defeated Life University in the sixth five-setter of the night.
The recaps follow, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule.
Certainly the most anticipated contest is a rematch of the 2018 championship as top-ranked Long Beach State goes to No. 6 UCLA. Last time the two teams met at Pauley Pavilion, Long Beach claimed the championship in five sets.
At the Grow the Game Challenge in Lebanon, Tennessee, DIII Bluefield faces the MCVL’s Fontbonne, independent Lincoln Memorial plays Conference Carolina’s Limestone, the NAIA’s Cumberland faces Fontbonne, the MPSF’s USC will face ConfCarolina’s Barton, and the MIVA’s Grand Canyon plays the MIVA’s Lindenwood.
Ohio State of the MIVA plays host to the Conference Carolina’s Erskine. The MPSF’s BYU heads to the EIVA’s Saint Francis. In the Conference Carolinas, Emmanuel takes on DIII Brewton-Parker.
George Mason (4-1) snapped a 16-match losing streak to No. 11 Ohio State (2-3) 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 25-11. The Patriots’ Hayden Wagner hit .303, with 17 kills, one ace, two digs, and a block. George Mason committed 10 serving errors to Ohio State’s 21.
“Could not be more proud of our boys tonight,” Mason coach Jay Hosack said. “Ohio State is a very good team, and we proved tonight that we can compete with the best of them.”
The Buckeyes’ opposite Jake Hanes led all scorers with 19 kills, three digs and three blocks while hitting .389.
Penn State (1-2) took No. 4 BYU (3-0) the distance, but the Cougars came up winners 25-22, 25-27, 28-26, 25-19, 15-13. Gabi Garcia Fernandez played big for BYU with a season-high 27 kills, two aces, and five blocks, while Davide Gardini had 17 kills, an ace, three blocks, two assists, and 11 digs.
Wil Stanley set BYU to a .328 percentage to the Nittany Lions’ .259.
Penn State was led by Matthew McLaren with 16 kills and five digs.
No. 7 Loyola (4-1) used home court advantage to give No. 5 Pepperdine (4-1) its first loss of the season 17-25, 26-24, 25-17, 22-25, 15-9. Will Tischler had 20 kills, one block, one ace, and 12 digs for the Ramblers, while Collin Mahan scored 18 digs, five blocks, one ace, and 12 digs. Loyola outhit the Waves .328 to .273.
David Wieczorek paced Pepperdine, hitting .354 with 21 kills, six blocks, and five digs.
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (4-3) defeated No. 14 Ball State (2-4) at home in yet another five-setter, 22-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-25, 15-13. Corey Chavers led the Gauchos with 21 kills, three aces, four digs and two blocks. Haotian Xia wasn’t far behind with 18 kills, two aces, five digs, one assist, and two blocks.
The Cardinal’s Kaleb Jenness led his team with 22 kills, an assist, an ace, and five digs while hitting .410.
No. 10 CSU Northridge (5-1) came back from an 0-2 deficit to beat No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne (4-1) 17-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-11. Three Matadors were in double figures as Dimitar Kalchev scored 15 kills and 12 digs, Ksawery Tomsia had 14 kills, 3 blocks, and an ace, and Daniel Wetter had 13 kills, two aces, and four blocks.
Pelegrin Vargas led all scorers as the Mastodon had 23 kills, five blocks, and an ace.
No. 8 Lewis (5-1) swept UC San Diego (2-3) 25-19, 25-11, 25-12 at home. Ryan Coenen led the Flyers with 12 kills, four blocks, and an ace, while Connor Pallman finished with eight kills and seven blocks.
The Tritons hit a season-low .011 with 25 kills and 24 errors. Sophomore Wyatt Harrison tallied eight kills, four digs, and a block to lead UCSD.
At the Grow the Game Challenge in Lebanon, Tenessee, Lindenwood (1-2) swept Limestone (0-1) 25-21, 25-18, 25-19. Connor Hipelius led Lindenwood with a .882 hitting percentage, 15 kills, one ace, one dig and two blocks.
Conference Carolina’s Barton College (1-2) overcame a two-set deficit to beat the MIVA’s Grand Canyon (3-3) 27-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-13. The win is the Division II program’s first win over a ranked Division I opponent. The Mandilaris brothers were key, as Angelos scored 24 points on 19 kills, two aces, nine digs and three blocks, while Vasilis tallied 20 points on 12 kills, an ace, six digs, and two blocks.
DIII Bluefield College (1-1) swept first-year NAIA Cumberland (0-1) 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 as Alberto Chiaparini contributed 12 kills, eight blocks, and three digs for the Rams.
In the last match of Friday’s Grow the Game challenge, the MPSF’s USC (3-1) swept independent Lincoln Memorial (3-1) 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. Ryan Moss led all scorers with a .571 percentage, 14 kills, an ace, an assist, five digs, and two blocks.
The EIVA’s Charleston (3-2) got a home win against the Conference Carolina’s King (1-3) 25-16, 25-19, 25-27, 25-22. Max Senica led Charleston with 19 kills, 10 digs, three blocks, and two aces.
ConfCarolina’s Erskine (1-4) defeated the NAIA’s Cincinnati Christian (0-1) in their opener 25-13, 25-10, 25-13.
Independent Queens University (1-4) swept ConfCarolina foe Lees-McRae (1-2) 25-20, 25-13, 25-15. The Royals’ Tristan Santoyo had 12 kills and two aces to lead his team.
The Conference Carolina’s North Greenville (2-3) won their first home match against the NAIA’s Life University (2-1) 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 15-10. NGU hit .232 to the Running Eagles’ .252. Jackson Gilbert led NGU with 20 kills, while Livan Moreno tallied 29 for Life.