NCAA men: UCI, Stanford win in five, BYU breaks four-match skid

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BYU-Felipe de Brito Ferreira-NCAA mens volleyball 2/15/2019
BYU's Felipe de Brito Ferreira attacks against Concordia/BYU photo

Third-ranked UC Irvine had to go five to with UC San Diego to get away with a Big West victory Thursday in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

In the MPSF, No. 9 Stanford also won in five over No. 14 USC behind 29 kills from Jaylen Jasper, and No. 8 BYU broke its four-match losing streak by sweeping Concordia.

There are three matches in the Big West, including No. 2 Hawai’i playing host to independent Lincoln Memorial. No. 6 UC Santa Barbara tries to keep things rolling at UC San Diego, and No. 11 CSUN goes out of conference at Cal Lutheran.

Fifth-ranked Pepperdine is at Grand Canyon in the only MPSF match of the day.

There’s a big one in the MIVA, when No. 12 Ball State goes to No. 10 Lewis, while No. 7 Loyola plays host to No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne. Also, Ohio State is at Lindenwood.

The EIVA slate shows No. 13 George Mason at NJIT, Harvard at Penn State and Sacred Heart at Saint Francis.

And in Conference Carolinas, King goes to Barton, Lees-McRae is at Mount Olive and Belmont Abbey plays at Erskine. Emmanuel plays host to Webber International.

UC Irvine (13-2, 2-0 Big West) eked out a five-set victory against UC San Diego (5-8, 0-2) 25-19, 25-27, 23-25, 25-14, 16-14.

UCI, up 13-11 in the fifth set in which it hit .714, finally closed it out on back-to-back errors by UCSD. The Anteaters hit .368, led by Aaron Koubi’s 17 kills. He hit .469, had four assists, five digs and three blocks. Joel Schneidmiller had 11 kills, four of UCI’s eight aces, 10 digs and two blocks, and Alexandre Nsakanda had a career-high 10 kills with one error in 12 attacks to hit .750, had two aces and a block. Karl Apfelbach had nine kills, an ace, eight digs and two blocks, and Scott Stadick had eight kills, hit .353, and had five blocks, one solo.

“Koubi was steady to go with the explosiveness of Nsakanda,” UCI coach David Kniffin said. “I felt we uncovered some of our strengths tonight. When things were tough it was nice to see people step up and make things happen.”

UCSD’s Shannon Collin had a career-high 21 kills and hit .500. He had an assist, two of the Tritons’ three aces, a dig and a block. Gabe Avillion had 12 kills with one error in 19 swings and hit. 579 to go with an assist and two blocks, and Wyatt Harrison had 10 kills, seven digs and three blocks.

UCI, which beat the Tritons in four last week, has beaten UCSD 18 times in a row …

Stanford (8-5, 1-2 MPSF) outlasted visiting USC (7-5, 1-1) 25-15, 26-28, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12.

Jasper’s 29 kills were a career high and the most by a Stanford player in two years. He had 11 errors in 59 attacks and hit .305 to go with an assist, an ace, eight digs and three blocks. Kyler Presho added 11 kills, hit .563, and had a dig and three blocks. Jordan Ewert had 10 kills, 10 digs, an ace and a block. Stephen Moye added seven kills, hit .308, and had an ace, five digs and seven blocks, two solo. Setter Paul Bischoff not only had 57 assists, but two kills in four errorless swings, an ace, 12 digs and a block.

Gianluca Grasso led USC with 19 kills, hitting .441. He had two assists, two of the Trojans’ three aces, six digs and a block. Ryan Moss had 17 kills, 12 digs, an assist and four blocks, one solo, and Jack Wyett had 14 kills, two digs, and four blocks …

BYU, which lost four matches in a row for the first time since 2007, made the most of being at home as the Cougars (5-4, 1-2 MPSF) got past the first set and swept visiting Concordia (5-9, 1-1) 32-30, 25-18, 25-13.

“I”m happy for the guys – they needed this,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It was a tough little road stretch, and for them to be able to come in here and put that behind them was really important. We all believed we could be better and we definitely saw improvement in the areas we wanted to focus on tonight.”

Davide Gardini and Gabi Garcia Fernandez had 14 kills each for BYU, which hit .463. Gardini, who hit .455, had five digs, an ace and a block, while Fernandez hit .400 and had three of his team’s five aces, a dig and a block. Andrew Lincoln and Felipe de Brito Ferreira had eight kills each.

Jordan Hoppe led Concordia with 15 kills and hit .323 to go with three digs and a block. Hunter Howell had six kills, hit .455, and had a dig and four blocks, one solo …

In the MIVA, McKendree (6-5, 3-1) won  a tough one at Quincy (4-9, 0-3) 23-25, 27-25, 25-18, 27-25.

Wyatt Dimke led McKendree with 14 kills and hit .684 after making just one error in 19 swings. He had two digs and three blocks. Lucas Galifos had 12 kills, hit .450, and had four digs and two blocks. Zach Schnittker had nine kills and two of his team’s four aces to go with five digs and three blocks.

Omara Wheeler led Quincy with 15 kills but hit .087. He had three of his team’s nine aces, nine digs and three blocks, one solo. Stevie Bresser had 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks, and Jacob Sheets had nine kills, hit .667 with one error in 12 swings, and Blake Sprecher had five kills in eight errorless attacks and had six blocks, four solo.

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