NCAA men: No. 3 UC Santa Barbara goes to top-ranked Long Beach

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Kyle Ensing-Long Beach men's volleyball-NCAA mens volleyball 3/14/2019
Long Beach's Kyle Ensing, hitting here against UCLA's Micah Ma'a in a match this past January, and his teammates take on UC Santa Barbara on Thursday/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

We’ll catch up on the week in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball as two key Big West matchups loom large.

It starts Thursday when the surprise team of the season, third-ranked UC Santa Barbara (15-3 overall, 2-0 Big West) goes to No. 1 Long Beach State (17-0, 2-0). Then the same teams turn around and play at UCSB on Friday in two matches that could go a long way in determining seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Second-place and second-ranked Hawai’i (15-0, 2-0) plays host to CSUN  (10-8, 2-2) on Friday and Saturday. The other two teams in the Big West, No. 5 UC Irvine (14-6, 2-2) and UC San Diego (7-13, 0-4) are idle.

There are three matches in the MPSF on Thursday as league-leading No. 4 UCLA (16-4, 6-0)  goes to No. 9 BYU (9-6, 4-3) , No. 6 Pepperdine (14-5, 4-2) plays at No. 8 Stanford (13-7, 4-3) and No. 10 USC (11-7, 3-3) goes to Grand Canyon (9-11, 0-6).

The MIVA is off, but the six matches Friday include No. 11 Loyola (13-6, 6-1) at No. 9 Lewis (16-4, 7-0).

The EIVA is off until Friday with four non-conference matches.

And Conference Carolinas has one match on tap when Lees-McRae goes to Alderson Broaddus.

There were a handful of matches this past week, including a surprise outcome Wednesday when the MPSF’s Concordia (10-13) not only upset UC Irvine, but swept the visiting Anteaters 25-22, 25-19, 25-21.

The victory was Concordia coach Shawn Patchell’s 100th. It was the Eagles’ first win over UCI.

Raymond Barsemian and Jordan Hoppe had 13 kills each and Zachary Meyer had 12. Meyer hit .400.

UCI hit just .125. Austin Wilmot led with seven kills and Aaron Koubi and Karl Apfelbach had five each …

On Tuesday, Pepperdine rolled past visiting No. 14 George Mason of the EIVA (12-5) 25-19, 25-17, 25-21.

David Wieczorek led Pepperdine with 13 kills and hit .619 after having no errors in 21 swings. Michael Wexter had 10 kills and hit .444. Hayden Wagner led Mason with 15 kills. The Patriots hit .135 …

Two Conference Carolinas teams were swept Tuesday in non-league matches, North Greenville at Life and Erskine at Lourdes. On Wednesday, Limestone beat Lourdes in five, while Belmont Abbey beat Queens in four.

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