NCAA men: Beach, UCI, Loyola, UCLA, Stanford among Friday winners

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TJ DeFalco-Long Beach State- NCAA Men's volleyball 1/26/2019
Long Beach's TJ DeFalco hits a transition set against a three-man USC block/Jim Wolf photography

Top-ranked Long Beach State finally lost a set, but the Beach served USC off the court as it improved to 7-0 on a night in NCAA men’s Division I-II volleyball that included more non-conference matchups, including No. 3 UC Irvine of the Big West bouncing back with a win over Concordia of the MPSF, and 10th-ranked UC Santa Barbara of the Big West beating No. 9 Lewis of the MIVA.

And it also included EIVA play, where No. 14 George Mason beat Charleston for the second time in league action.

The recaps follow, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule.

In the Big West, UCSB gets another MIVA team from Chicago when No. 5 Loyola visits, No. 11 CSUN gets the MIVA’s Lewis, and UC San Diego plays host to Grand Canyon of the MPSF. 

Eighth-ranked Stanford of the MPSF, which beat visiting No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne of the MIVA on Friday, plays host to the Mastodons again on Saturday.

Other MIVA teams in action include No. 12 Ohio State playing host to No. 13 Ball State of the EIVA, Lindenwood at Penn State of the EIVA, McKendree at the EIVA’s Saint Francis, and Quincy playing host to Benedictine. 

And Conference Carolinas has Emmanuel at Mount Olive, King at Belmont Abbey, Erskine at Barton and North Greenville at Lees-McRae.

Long Beach State of the Big West beat visiting USC of the MPSF (5-3) 25-17, 26-24, 19-25, 25-17 in its home opener as TJ DeFalco led with 12 kills, six assists, two of his teams 13 aces against 18 service errors, four digs and three blocks, one solo. The third-set loss broke a season-opening string of 20 sets in a row for the Beach, which hit .384.

Kyle Ensing had 11 kills, hit .304, and had six aces, two digs and two blocks. Setter Josh Tuaniga had five kills in six errorless swings to hit .833, had 35 assists, five aces and seven digs and two blocks.

Long Beach State dropped its banner from winning last year’s NCAA title.

USC, which was coming off an upset of UCI, was led by Ryan Moss, who had 14 kills, hitting .444, to go with an assist, four of his team’s eight aces, four digs and a block. Gianluca Grasso had nine kills, four digs and two blocks …

UC Irvine (7-2) was coming off its upset loss to USC on Wednesday, but the Anteaters rebounded with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22 win over visiting Concordia (3-7), its rival from two miles away. 

Joel Schneidmiller led with 16 kills and hit .429 to go with an assist, an ace, nine digs and four blocks, two solo. Austin Wilmot had 11 kills and hit .618 after having no errors in 18 swings. He added an ace, two digs and six blocks, and Karl Apfelbach had 10 kills, four digs and six blocks. Scott Stadick added nine kills, hitting .375, and had five blocks. Setter Dante Chakravorti had three kills in six errorless swings, 40 assists, nine digs and three blocks.

Jordan Hoppe had 19 kills for Concordia to go with an assist and three digs. Luke Krzmarzick had 15 kills, five of his team’s six aces, three digs and two blocks …

Fifth-ranked Loyola won at No. 11 CSUN, escaping the first set en route to a 34-32, 25-19, 25-21 sweep. Loyola (6-1) got 15 kills from Luke Denton, who hit .524 and had five digs and four blocks. Collin Mahan had 12 kills, three assists, an ace, 10 digs and three blocks, and Will Tischler had 10 kills, hit .368, and had an assist, an ace, four digs and three blocks. 

“I’m really proud of the way the group prepared and executed on the front end of a tough road trip,” Loyola coach Mark Hulse said. “The guys played smart volleyball at tough moments, and we battled for a win against a very good team.”

CSUN (5-3) got 13 kills from Ksawery Tomsia, who added an ace, five digs and three blocks. Dimitar Kalchev had 12 kills, an assist, an ace and six digs, and Daniel Wetter had six kills in 10 errorless attacks … 

Dylan Missry-NCAA men's volleyball 1/26/2019
UCLA’s Dylan Missry congratulates Austin Matautia after putting away an unorthodox set/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Seventh-ranked UCLA (6-2) of the MPSF won at UC San Diego of the Big West (2-5) 20-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-23 behind a big match from Brandon Rattray, the Hawai’i transfer who is from San Diego and led with 21 kills while hitting .576. He had two errors in 33 attacks to go with three of his team’s nine aces, four digs and two blocks. Austin Matautia had 11 kills, hit .333, and had seven digs and a block. Daenan Gyimah had nine kills, hit .500, two aces, three digs and four blocks, one solo. And Dylan Missry had eight kills with no errors in 18 swings to go with an assist, an ace and six digs.

While UCLA had nine aces and 24 errors, UCSD had eight aces and 19 errors.

“For the first couple games, I thought that our service game, which can be a pretty big strength of ours, carried those two sets pretty easily,” UCLA coach John Speraw said. “But in volleyball, it’s never over. It’s not like a clock in football or basketball when you’re up pretty big and you can just run the clock out.

“They came back and made some great serves. They got us in some trouble early, we had to fight our way back and I’m really pleased with our poise. Especially when the expectation is that traditionally we’re going to beat San Diego, they played great, and I thought that we handled that pretty well.”

Wyatt Harrison led UCSD with 13 kills. He hit .478 and had an assist, two aces, four digs and a block. Viad Pesic had 10 kills, hit .500, an ace, a dig and a block …

Stanford (6-1) held off Purdue Fort Wayne (4-3) 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23 behind 17 kills from Jaylen Jasper, who had an assist, an ace, 10 digs and five blocks. Jordan Ewert had 15 kills, four assists, nine digs and four blocks, one solo. Paul Bischoff, Leo Henken and Kyler Presho had six kills each. Bischoff had 41 assists, hit .625 and had nine digs and two blocks and Presho had two digs and seven blocks. 

Colton Stone and Pelegrin Vargas had 15 kills each for the Mastodons. Stone hit .367 and had an assist, eight digs, two aces and three blocks, while Vargas had four assists, seven digs and two blocks. Richie Diedrich added seven kills, an ace and eight blocks … 

UCSB (6-3) came away with a 19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13 victory over visiting Lewis (5-3) as Corey Chavers had 19 kills. He hit .441 and had seven digs and four blocks. Ryan Wilcox had 12 kills, hit .320, and had two assists, an ace and three digs. Xia Haotian had 11 kills, an ace, three digs and a block.

“Not the steadiest match for either team, but we played well when it really counted most in game five just like we did at Ball State last week,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said. “We will have to play better tomorrow night against a very good Loyola team. But our guys know that and I think we will. Should be another good match.”

TJ Murray and Tyler Mitchem had 11 kills apiece for Lewis and Dalen Instenes had 10. Mitchem hit .350 and had three blocks, two solo …

No. 14 Mason (6-1, 2-0 EIVA), which at Charleston (3-4, 0-2) last Saturday, came home to win 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.

Mason, which hit .444, got 13 kills from Hayden Wagner, who hit .417 and had an assist, an ace, five digs and three blocks, one solo. Kyle Barnes had 11 kills and hit .563 to go with three digs and two blocks, and Sam Greenslade had 10 kills, hit .318, and had an ace, four digs and a solo block. Langston Payne had seven kills, hit .545, and had an ace and two blocks. 

“Really happy with the way our guys responded to having a couple days off this week,” Mason coach Jay Hosack said. “We wanted to get [the players] fresh and ready to go for a good Charleston team. I thought we did a nice job of containing them, they are a much improved program.”

Bartels Maarten led Charleston with 12 kills and hit .429 to go with an ace, four digs and a block …

A third of the top 15 had Friday off, No. 2 Hawai’i, No. 4 BYU, No. 6 Pepperdine, No. 12 Ohio State and No. 13 Ball State

Also in the MIVA, McKendree was swept at Penn State of the EIVA, while Lindenwood won at the EIVA’s Saint Francis despite big numbers from two of the SFU attackers. 

Penn State (3-2)  won 27-25, 25-17, 25-19 behind nine kills each by Jason Donorovich and Henrik Lauten. Donorovich had no errors in 12 swings and hit .750 to go with an assist, an ace, two digs and four blocks, two solo. Lauten hit .500 and had an ace, three digs and two blocks. Patrick Ross had eight kills for McKendree … 

Connor Hipelius had 14 kills and hit .450 to go with seven blocks — one solo — and an assist and two digs in Lindenwood’s 25-22, 28-20, 25-16, 20-25, 15-13 win over SFU. Nick Stevenson added 10 kills for Lindenwood (2-4). Cole Thompson and Michael Fisher had 21 kills apiece for Saint Francis (3-3). Thompson hit .385, had an assist, two aces, three digs and a block … 

There was one other match involving an MPSF team as Grand Canyon (6-3) won at Saint Katherine (2-2) 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-16. Christian Janke had 16 kills and hit .357 for GCU. The University of Saint Katherine, whose nickname is the Firebirds, is located in San Marcos, California   

And in Conference Carolinas, Barton (4-2, 1-0) opened league play with a sweep of Emmanuel (3-3, 0-2) as Angelos Mandilaris led with 19 kills, seven of his team’s 11 aces, five digs and four blocks.

Also, Mount Olive (1-4, 1-0) swept Erskine (2-6, 1-1) behind 14 kills by Brad Monaghan before 76 fans, and Limestone had a non-league sweep of Queens.

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