The Big West and the MPSF split two matches Wednesday night as No. 6 UC Santa Barbara won its ninth in a row by beating No. 4 UCLA in five, while fifth-ranked Pepperdine swept No. 11 CSUN.
There is a light schedule Thursday in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.
In the Big West, No. 3 UC Irvine plays host to UC San Diego.
Two matches highlight the MPSF slate as No. 8 BYU is home for Concordia and No. 9 Stanford entertains No. 14 USC.
In the MIVA, McKendree goes to Quincy.
The EIVA and Conference Carolinas have Thursday off.
Since UCSB of the Big West lost three in a row in early January — back to back to Pepperdine and then a sweep at UCLA — the Gauchos have been on a roll. Wednesday night they beat visiting UCLA of the MPSF 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-12 to improve to 12-3, while the Bruins dropped to 10-3.
Corey Chavers led UCSB with 20 kills and hit .472 as he had just three errors in 36 attacks. He had three of his team’s six aces, six digs and a block. UCSB, which used just seven players, got 10 kills from Ryan Wilcox, who had seven digs and a block. Keenan Sanders had eight kills and hit .538 to go with a block, and Brandon Hicks had four kills, hit .429, and had an assist, two aces and five blocks.
“Both teams had hot streaks serving,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said, “and it was whoever was going to weather the storm and keep fighting, and I think both teams did a pretty good job, we just got them in the end.
“Brandon Hicks always comes through. He’s probably one of the most competitive guys we have as a freshman. We feel like we’re one of the best teams in the country right now, and we like playing anyone right now.”
UCLA’s Sam Kobrine and Daenan Gyimah had 11 kills each. Kobrine had an ace, nine digs and a block, while Gyimah hit .400 and had two digs and a block. Grant Maleski had nine kills, hit .312 and had two aces, two digs and four blocks, and Brandon Rattray returned from an injury to get eight kills, two aces, and four digs …
The MPSF’s Pepperdine improved to 9-2 with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 victory at the Big West’s CSUN (7-6).
David Wieczorek led the Waves with 13 kills as he hit .417 and had three digs. Michael Wexter had 12 kills, hit .346, and had an assist, four of Pepperdine’s six aces, six digs and a block. Kaleb Denmark had six kills and seven blocks, and Kevin Viaz had six kills with no errors to hit .500 and had an ace, a dig and three blocks, one solo.
Ksawery Tomsia led CSUN with 12 kills, two aces, five digs and two blocks. Dimitar Kalchev added 10 kills and seven digs, and Maciej Ptaszynski had eight kills, an ace, eight digs and a block …
McKendree (5-5, 2-1) had a 24-26, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-11 comeback MIVA victory over visiting Lindenwood (4-9, 0-3).
McKendree hit .205 but go 14 kills from Patrick Ross, who had an ace, eight digs and four blocks, one solo. Zach Schnittker, Wyatt Dimke and Tommy McGrath had seven kills each. Schnittker had 11 digs, an ace and five blocks, Dimke hit .385 and had an ace and seven blocks, and McGrath hit .600 and had two aces, a dig and five blocks, one solo.
Lindenwood’s Phil Swartz had 16 kills and hit .433 to go with six digs and two blocks. Nick Stevenson had 15 kills, eight digs and a block, and Charley Hlavin had 13 kills, three aces, six digs and three blocks …
In Conference Carolinas, Limestone (4-6, 3-3) beat visiting Erskine (4-9, 3-3) 25-22, 25-17, 28-26. Limestone hit .333, led by Geraldo Rivera’s 14 kills. He hit .321 and had an ace, eight digs and a solo block. Jon Igo had 10 kills and hit .500 to go with an ace, four digs and a block.