NCAA men: USC upsets Pepperdine, SFU knocks off Princeton, Hawai’i sweeps UCI again

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Alexander Nsakanda-UC Irvine-NCAA mens volleyball 3/3/2019
UC Irvine's Alexandre Nsakanda gets a one-on-one opportunity/Jim Wolf photography

There were some surprises Saturday in NCAA men’s Division I-II volleyball as No. 13 USC upset No. 4 Pepperdine in the MPSF and Saint Francis upset EIVA leader Princeton.

And No. 2 Hawai’i swept No. 3 UC Irvine for the second time in as many nights.

There are just two matches on Sunday’s schedule as the Big West, MPSF, EIVA, and Conference Carolinas are off. There are two matches in the MIVA when McKendree visits Ohio State and Lindenwood heads to No. 12 Purdue Fort Wayne.

Big West: In the marquee league match of the evening, No. 2 Hawai’i (12-0, 2-0) again swept No. 3 UC Irvine (13-4, 2-2) 25-13, 25-22, 25-20, this time in 78 minutes. The sweep allows the Rainbow Warriors to keep the Pineapple-Orange Crate, a rivalry trophy started last year. Hawai’i out-hit Irvine .529 to .155.

Rob Espero interviewed Hawai’i coach Charlie Wade:

Hawai’i’s Rado Parapunov again led all attackers with 16 kills, a .565 percentage, two aces, one block and one dig. Stijn van Tilburg had 13 kills, hitting .688 with an assist, an ace, four blocks and two digs.

The Anteaters’ Aaron Koubi had 10 kills, Joel Schneidmiller added nine, and Alexandre Nsakanda eight.

Top-ranked and undefeated Long Beach State (15-0, 2-0) swept No. 9 CSUN (8-8, 0-2) for the second time in as many nights, this time in Northridge 25-11, 25-20, 25-18. Opposite Kyle Ensing again led with 12 kills, hitting .500 with two aces, eight blocks and a dig. Josh Tuaniga set his squad to a .525 hitting percentage with 31 assists, two kills and two aces.

CSUN’s Dimitar Kalchev led all attackers with 13 kills, an ace, three blocks and two digs.

MPSF: No. 13 USC (9-7, 3-3) upset No. 4 Pepperdine (11-4, 4-2) in four, 25-19, 25-27, 28-26, 25-20. The win is USC’s second straight upset of the Waves, after disappointing Pepperdine in the 2018 MPSF tournament quarterfinals 3-1.

The Trojans’ Jack Wyett led all players with 21 kills, an assist, an ace, a block and four digs. Ryan Moss had 16 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks and 12 digs. Gianluca Grasso contributed 15 kills, a block and nine digs.

Pepperdine’s Michael Wexter had 15 kills and hit .268, while David Wieczorek added 14 kils, hitting .270.

No. 8 Stanford (12-6, 4-3) recovered from Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Provo to defeat No. 9 BYU (8-5, 4-3) at home 25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21. The Cardinal outhit the Cougars .336 to .296 and out-dug them 48 to 26.

Three Cardinals reached double-figure kills, Jordan Ewert (22), Eli Wopat (11), and Jaylen Jasper (10). Ewert’s line also included four assists, and nine digs while hitting at a .405 clip.

BYU’s Davide Gardini and Gabi Garcia Fernandez both had 13 kills. Gardini also contributed five blocks and 10 digs, while Fernandez had two blocks and two digs.

MIVA: In the league’s only match, No. 15 Ball State (9-8, 3-4) got the best of Quincy (4-12, 0-6) 25-22, 25-20, 25-12.

Ball State out-hit Quincy .232 to .023. Both teams ran balanced offenses as BSU’s Blake Reardon led with 10 kills, Ben Chinnici nine, Matt Szews seven. Quincy’s Omari Wheeler put down 11 kills, with Ben Rachilla contributing seven and Brendon Estrada five as their team hit .023.

EIVA: Saint Francis (11-6, 5-2) blemished Princeton’s (8-8, 6-1) perfect EIVA record with a 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 26-24 win in DeGol Arena. Two Red Flashes earned double-digits kills as Michael Fisher scored 18 kills for a .517 percentage, an ace, two blocks and four digs. Evan Feltz scored 11 kills with two assists, an ace, two blocks and five digs.

Three Tigers reached double figures as George Huhmann had 15 kills, Greg Luck and Parker Dixon 13.

No. 14 George Mason (12-4, 6-2) defeated Sacred Heart (2-10, 1-6) for the second consecutive evening, this time 19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-15. Mason setter Luis Velez reached career highs with 44 assists and 14 digs, although the Patriots hit .213, while SHU hit .160.

Hayden Wagner led all attackers with 18 kills, adding three blocks, one solo and six digs. Sam Greenslade had 11 kills with an assist, three blocks, one solo and nine digs.
Emerson Waumans led Sacred Heart with nine kills while contributing five blocks and six digs.

Harvard (4-9) avenged Friday night’s loss to Charleston (5-12), sweeping the Golden Eagles 25-14, 25-22, 25-20. The Crimson’s offense dominated the contest, out-hitting Charleston .350 to .128. Campbell Schoenfeld led all attackers with 13 kills while hitting .542 and adding eight digs.

Bray Lachlan led Charleston with six kills, two assists, an ace, three blocks and three digs.

Penn State (8-8, 5-2) defeated NJIT (4-9, 0-5) 25-23, 16-25, 25-16, 25-23. Henrik Falck Lauten scored a season-best 18 kills, hitting .538 with an assist, an ace, a block and eight digs. Matthew McLaren scored 15 kills and added an assist, three aces, a block and four digs. Calvin Mende added 13 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks and a dig. Luke Braswell set a Nittany Lion season-high 47 assists along with a kill and six digs.

Alvaro Gimeno contributed 19 kills for NJIT with two aces, four blocks and three digs.

Conference Carolinas was off Saturday.

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