NCAA men: Hawai’i, Lewis win conference showdowns, Long Beach rolls on

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UC Irvine-david Parker-NCAA mens volleyball 3/2/2019
UCI libero David Parker lays out for a dig/Jim Wolf photography

AVCA No. 2 Hawai’i and No. 10 Lewis won critical conference showdowns in Friday’s NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball action.

Hawai’i swept No. 3 UC Irvine in the first of two matchups, Lewis defeated No. 7 Loyola at home to gain a one-game lead in the MIVA standings, and Long Beach State kicked off its Big West conference play with a win over No. 11 CSUN.

Recaps follow, but first Saturday’s schedule.

In the Big West, Long Beach plays CSUN again, and Hawai’i stays at UC Irvine.

The MPSF schedule shows two matches as BYU goes to Stanford, while Pepperdine plays at USC.

The lone MIVA match has Quincy going to Ball State.

The EIVA has a full schedule as Princeton goes to Saint Francis, Harvard plays at Charleston, Sacred Heart goes to No. 14 George Mason, and Penn State is at home for NJIT.

Conference Carolinas has Saturday off.

Rado Parapunov-Hawaii-NCAA mens volleyball 3/2/2019
Hawai’i’s Rado Parapunov scored 18 kills Friday to lead all attackers/Jim Wolf photography

In a most anticipated Big West match, No. 2 Hawai’i (11-0, 1-0) defeated No. 3 UC Irvine (13-3, 2-1) 33-31, 25-19, 25-14. The UH sweep sets a program record for consecutive sets won with 33. The Warriors’ offense hit for for .411 while holding the Anteaters to .182. Warriors opposite Rado Parapunov put down 18 kills with an ace, four blocks and six digs. Colton Cowell contributed 11 kills, an ace, a solo block and three digs. Stijn van Tilburg chipped in nine kills, two assists, and six digs.

VolleyballMag.com’s Rob Espero interviewed Hawai’i coach Charlie Wade following the win:

No Anteater reached double-figure kills as Joel Schneidmiller had nine, Karl Apfelbach eight, Aaron Koubi five, Austin Wilmot four, and Scott Stadick three. Hawai’i will face UC Irvine again Saturday evening.

Top-ranked and undefeated Long Beach State (14-0, 1-0) opened its Big West conference play with a sweep of No. 11 CSUN (8-7, 0-1) 25-14, 25-17, 28-26. The Beach christened their new Taraflex floor, hitting .493 to .211 for the Matadors. Josh Tuaniga led a balanced offense for Long Beach, with Kyle Ensing scoring 12 kills, TJ DeFalco and Nick Amado seven, Louis Richard six, and Simon Anderson five.

Dimitar Kalchev led CSUN with 14 kills, a .400 percentage, a block and two digs. No other Matador reached double figures in kills.

No. 5 UC Santa Barbara (14-3) swept UC San Diego (6-11) in Robertson Gym 25-17, 25-13, 25-21. The win is the Gauchos’ 11th consecutive win as they outhit San Diego .400 to .162. Ryan Wilcox led Santa Barbara with 10 kills, two aces and a dig. Spencer Fredrick contributed nine kills, an ace, five digs and four blocks, one solo.

Wyatt Harrison led San Diego with seven kills for a .294 percentage, two aces, two digs and two blocks.

In the only MPSF match of the night, No. 6 UCLA (14-4, 6-0) defeated Grand Canyon (7-11, 0-6) 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23. Bruin setter Micah Ma’a set a balanced attack as four Bruins scored double-digit kills with Brandon Rattray scoring 15, Daenan Gyimah 14, Austin Matautia 12, and Sam Kobrine 11.

Grand Canyon’s Christian Janke and David Kisiel each scored 13 kills, with Janke adding an ace, two blocks and eight digs, while Kisiel contributed a solo block and a dig.

Will Tischler-Matt Yoshimoto-TJ Murray-Ryan Coenen-Lewis-Loyola-NCAA mens volleyball 3/2/2019
Loyola’s Will Tischler takes on the Lewis block of Matt Yoshimoto, TJ Murray, and Ryan Coenen/Michael Gomez photography

In the MIVA, No. 10 Lewis (14-4, 7-0) gained ground in the standings by defeating No. 7 Loyola (13-4, 6-1) 26-28, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 in an important early season matchup.

Lewis snapped Loyola’s seven-match winning streak while extending their own win streak to seven. Lewis recorded 52 kills against 14 errors while the Ramblers recorded 55 kills against 24 errors.

Julian Moses led the Flyers with 15 kills, a .591 percentage, five digs and three blocks.

“We’re just really excited,” Moses told VBM’s Kristen Keller. “We executed our game plan really well. Just happy that we had a top-to-bottom, really nice performance. Everyone contributed. Everyone did their job. It was a nice team win.”

Lewis coach Dan Friend always enjoys matching up against the Ramblers in what has become a tremendous Chicago rivalry.

“Rankings aside, it’s always a pretty great match against these guys over the years,” Friend said. “For us, I think we did a nice job bringing on a lot of serving pressure. We left some points on the table early in the match, but I thought we started to capitalize on those as the match progressed in terms of our blocks, defense and transition swings. Just proud of the guys. Last year, these guys beat us a couple of times so I think the guys were itching to come back after them and they responded well.”

Loyola’s Collin Mahan led all attackers with 18 kills, the 13th Rambler to reach 1,000 kills.

No. 15 Ball State (8-8, 2-4) defended Worthen Arena, sweeping Lindenwood (7-10, 3-4) 25-20, 25-16, 25-14 to return to a .500 record overall. The Cardinals outhit the Lions .337 to .061. Matt Szews led the way for Ball State with 13 kills for a .478 percentage, an assist, two aces, and five blocks, one solo with four digs. Ben Chinnici contributed nine kills, an assist, three blocks and five digs.

Charley Hlavin led Lindenwood with nine kills, an assist, five blocks, one solo and five digs.

Ohio State (6-11, 2-5) snapped a two-game losing streak as opposite Jake Hanes returned to the lineup, defeating McKendree (6-8, 3-4) 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 26-24. Hanes returned with 25 kills, a .370 percentage, an ace, six digs, and a solo block. Ethan Talley became only the fifth Buckeye to score a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage (with a minimum of ten attempts), scoring 10 kills, a dig and a block.

McKendree’s Zach Schnittker had 12 kills, two aces, two digs and three blocks, followed by Will Frank’s nine kills, an assist, an ace, eight digs and a block.

In the EIVA, first-place Princeton (8-7, 6-0) defeated second-place Penn State (7-8, 4-2) 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20. The win is the program’s third straight win over the Nittany Lions. The Tigers had never won at Penn State before last season.

Prinecton’s sixth win in a row put the Tigers two games up in the loss column.

George Huhmann scored 18 kills with six blocks. Greg Luck followed with 17 kills, an ace and two blocks. Penn State’s Matthew McLaren scored 12 kills for a .304 average, adding six blocks and eight digs while Henrik Falck Lauten had 11 kills, an assist, four digs and two blocks.

No. 14 George Mason (11-4, 5-2) swept Sacred Heart (2-9, 1-5) 25-22, 25-21, 25-20. The win is the Patriots’ 10th consecutive win over the Pioneers as Mason moved into sole possession of second place.

Mason’s play was highlighted by efficiency as the Patriots outhit the Pioneers .470 to .244. Junior Hayden Wagner hit for .387 with 16 kills. Senior Kyle Barnes scored nine kills with no errors for a .562 percentage. Emerson Waumans led the Pioneers with 13 kills and six digs in the loss.

Saint Francis (10-6, 4-2) won its third straight EIVA contest, defeating NJIT (4-8, 0-4) 25-21, 25-22, 25-22. Michael Fisher led the Red Flash with a contest-leading 19 kills, an ace and six digs. Cole Thompson and Patrick Bryan both had eight kills. Thompson also contributed an assist and a dig, while Bryan tallied an assist, three blocks and two digs. Alvaro Gimeno led the Highlanders with 13 kills, two assists, four blocks and three digs.

Charleston (5-11) defeated Harvard (3-9) for the first time in program history 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-21. The Golden Eagles’ Eugene Stuart led all attackers with 12 kills but nine errors for a .103 percentage, adding an ace, a block and two digs. Adriel Roberts, Ian Barker, and Max Senica each followed with nine kills. Griffin Schmit led the Crimson with 11 kills, four blocks, one solo and five digs.

In the Conference Carolinas only league match, Barton (12-3, 7-1) defeated Belmont Abbey (8-5, 4-4) 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18 for its sixth consecutive win. Angelo Mandilaris scored a career-high 32 kills for the Bulldogs, with an ace, four digs and three blocks.

Belmont Abbey’s Andrew Kohut and Liam Maxwell each contributed 17 kills, Kohut adding an ace, a dig and a block, while Maxwell’s line included three aces, three digs and two blocks.

King (10-5) earned a comeback win against Queens University (4-14) after erasing a 0-2 deficit 25-27, 14-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-10. King’s Joshua Kim led the Tornado offense with 18 kills, while the Royals’ Nic Cavallaro led all scorers with 28 kills in a losing effort.

Emmanuel (6-12) lost to Coker (5-8) 25-23, 28-26, 23-25, 25-19. Joao Victor Santos led Coker — which lost to Emmanuel in three February 23 — with 20 kills, while Don Thompson led Emmanuel with 15.

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