NCAA men: Ohio State, USC, GCU, UCLA come away with victories

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Leo Durkin-BYU-BYU volleyball-Cougars
BYU setter Leo Durkin dives for the pancake at UC San Diego/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

League play got under way in earnest on Thursday in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

That included No. 5 Ohio State having to go five to hold off Ball State in MIVA action. In the MPSF, No. 14 USC beat Stanford in five, while 10th-ranked Grand Canyon had to go five against No. 11 Pepperdine and No. 2 UCLA swept Concordia.

Also, top-ranked and the only unbeaten team left, Long Beach State of the Big West, rolled on by sweeping the EIVA’s Harvard and No. 7 BYU of the MPSF beat UC San Diego of the Big West.

There are just five matches on Friday’s schedule, including Princeton facing Charleston in the EIVA and Quincy at No. 8 Lewis and Quincy at No. 6 Loyola in the MIVA.

Christian Rupert-BYU volleyball-Cougars
BYU’s Christian Rupert elevates for a quick set at UCSD/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Buckeyes win MIVA opener: Ohio State held off Ball State 21-25, 25-13, 18-25, 27-25, 15-10, ending the match on a 4-1 run. It left the Buckeyes 8-2 overall, while Ball State fell to 5-6.

Maxime Hervoir led with 19 kills and hit .400. He had 10 digs and two blocks. Jake Hanes added 18 kills. He had three of OSU’s nine aces, six digs and two blocks. And Nicolas Szerszen had 15 kills, hit .333, and had an ace, 13 digs and two blocks.

Matt Walsh had 15 kills for the Cardinals while hitting .556. He had five blocks, one solo, and an ace. Mitch Weiler had 11 kills, hit .370 and nine digs, three blocks and an ace. Blake Reardon had 10 kills but hit .000 to go with 11 digs.

MPSF: Visiting Stanford’s woes continued as USC came away with a 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 15-10 victory. USC is 4-7, 1-0, while the Cardinal is 2-9, 0-1.

Jack Wyett had 22 kills, hit .439, and had eight digs for USC. Ryan Moss had 18 kills, 10 digs, four blocks — two solo — and two aces, while Gianluca Grasso added 16 kills, a solo block and eight digs. Sam Lewis had nine kills, hit .538, and four blocks.

Kevin Rakestraw led Stanford with 18 kills and hit .516. Jaylen Jasper had 14 kills and four of his team’s seven aces. Kyler Presho added 12 kills while hitting .476.

Grand Canyon beat Pepperdine 17-25, 17-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-9. GCU’s fifth win in a row left the Lopes 11-2, 0-1, while Pepperdine fell to 4-3, 0-1.

Cullen Mosher led GCU with 15 kills and an ace. Luke Turner added 12 kills and Will Schwob had 11, four blocks and six digs.

“We have been getting off to slow starts in the last few matches and it has hurt us,” GCU coach Matt Werle said. “Pepperdine came out ripping from the service line and attacked aggressively. Our service game needs to improve and get tougher in order to keep teams like that out of system.”

Alex Harthaller had 14 kills and three blocks for the Waves. Colby Harriman added 11 kills, two aces, three digs and a block. And David Wieczorek had 11 kills, three aces, four digs and four blocks, one solo.

UCLA hit .400 en route to a 25-18, 28-26, 25-17 victory that left the Bruins 12-1.

Christian Hessenauer led with 12 kills while hitting .333. He had two of UCLA’s nine aces, five digs and two blocks, one solo. JT Hatch had eight kills and hit .353 and Oliver Martin had six kills with no errors, two aces and two blocks. Jake Arnitz had seven kills, two aces, four digs and two blocks. And Micah Ma’a had five kills in six errorless swings, an ace, seven digs and three blocks, one solo, to go with his 36 assists.

Concordia (3-4, 0-1) got 12 kills from Raymond Barsemian.

BYU went to UCSD and came away with a 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 that left both teams 7-4.

Brenden Sander led BYU with 15 kills while hitting .419 and getting a career-high 11 digs and three of his team’s seven aces. Gabi Garcia had 11 kills but hit .000, eight digs and six blocks.

“We had a few key guys carry us through the first part of the match,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Brenden did a phenomenal job leading the group, and we followed his lead. We were happy with our service pressure tonight.”

Tanner Syftestad led UCSD with 15 kills while hitting .407. He added three blocks.

Long Beach sweeps: The 25-15, 25-15, 25-20 win left the Beach 11-0 after hitting .431. TJ DeFalco led a balanced attack with eight kills. He hit .412, had an ace, six digs and three blocks. Kyle Ensing had six kills and five blocks.

Harvard is 1-4.

Also Thursday, Lees-McRae of Conference Carolinas lost a non-league match to Queens 27-25, 22-25, 29-27, 29-27. Both teams are 2-8.

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