How about the Mastodons?
Purdue Fort Wayne, which finished the MIVA regular season 6-8 in conference play and was seeded sixth in the conference tournament, pulled off its second upset in five days by knocking out 11th-ranked and second-seeded Loyola Chicago on Wednesday night.
Purdue Fort Wayne will play top-seeded Ball State, which swept Lewis, in the conference tourney championship match on Saturday.
The EIVA semifinals are set after NJIT and Princeton advanced.
So are the MPSF semis after USC, Pepperdine and Stanford all won.
And the Big West tournament gets underway Thursday at Hawai’i.
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Purdue Fort Wayne (17-12), coming off its quarterfinals upset of third-seeded McKendree, bounced Loyola Chicago (18-9) by going extra time in two of the three sets 32-30, 25-23, 27-25.
The Mastodons got 16 kills from Jon Diedrich, who hit .387 and had two assists, a block and six digs. Rico Wardlow had 15 kills with no errors in 24 attacks to hit .615 with an ace and two blocks. Vicente Ibarra had 12 kills, hit .321, and had an assist and five digs. Kade Bontrager had nine kills, hit .333, and had an ace and 13 digs. Zach Solomon had a kill, 50 assists, three aces, a block and 12 digs. His team hit .388 and had four aces and eight errors.
Loyola, which hit .375 and had three aces and 14 errors, got 17 kills apiece from Cole Schlothauer and Parker Van Buren. Schlothauer hit .424 and had an assist, seven digs and three blocks, one solo. Van Buren hit .366 and had an ace and six digs. Garrett Zolg had a kill, 46 assists, two aces, two blocks and 11 digs.
Ball State (22-3) advanced with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-15 sweep of fourth-seeded Lewis (16-12). Kaleb Jenness led a balanced attack with 10 kills in 18 errorless attacks. He added three aces, nine digs and two blocks, one solo. Nick Martinski had nine kills with one error in 19 attacks to go with two digs and three blocks, one solo. Felix Egharevba had six kills with one error in seven attacks, a dig and five blocks. Ball State hit .342 and had seven aces and nine errors.
Loyola hit .125 and had four aces and 11 errors. Tyler Mitchem led with 11 of his team’s 33 kills as he hit .300 and had an ace, a dig and five blocks, one solo.
In their only meeting this season, Ball State won in five at Fort Wayne on February
Thursday’s semifinals at Penn State pit the host and top-seeded Nittany Lions (23-2) vs. Princeton (13-12) and second-seeded Harvard (12-12) against NJIT (16-10).
Fourth-seeded Princeton beat Saint Francis (PA) 25-21, 25-21, 25-23. James Hartley had 12 kills, an ace, a block and six digs, and Ben Harrington had 11 kills with one error in 19 attacks to go with two assists, two aces and four digs. The Tiger hit .276 and had four aces and 10 errors.
Saint Francis, which ended its season 15-13, hit .269 and had three aces and 19 errors. Nathan Zini led with 10 kills, an assist, a block and nine digs …
Third-seeded NJIT beat sixth-seeded Mason 34-32, 25-20, 21-253, 25-21. Julian Meissner led with 23 kills as NJIT hit .383 and had seven aces with 27 errors. Meissner had two errors in 37 attacks and hit .568 to go with four aces, two blocks and eight digs. Alessandro Negri had 16 kills, hit .333, and had two assists, an ace, a block and six digs.
Mason’s season ended 13-15. Jack Bolz had 17 kills, hit .452, and had an assist, four blocks and six digs. Omar Hoyos had 16 kills, hit .300, and had an assist, no aces and seven errors, and digs. The Patriots hit .248 and had three aces and 17 errors.
Thursday’s semifinals at UCLA pit the top-seeded Bruins (21-3) against fifth-seeded Stanford (13-13) and second-seeded USC (22-6) against third-seeded Pepperdine (17-9).
Stanford got 25 kills from Will Rottman and advanced by beating fourth-seeded Grand Canyon (16-12) 25-21-25-20, 22-25, 25-22. Rottman had more than half of the Cardinal’s 46 kills as he hit .396 and had an assist, an ace, a block and five digs. Kevin Lamp added nine kills, two aces, three blocks and three digs. Ethan Hill had seven blocks and Nathan Lietzke had three kills in four errorless tries, 35 assists, four blocks and 11 digs. His team hit .293 and had nine aces and 15 errors.
GCU hit .213 and had seven aces and 17 errors. Christian Janke had 12 kills, an assist, four aces, two blocks and nine digs. Camden Gianni had 10 kills, an ace and five digs …
USC (22-6) hit .462 and swept seventh-seeded Concordia 25-19, 25-22, 25-19. Sam Kobrine had 14 kills, hit .480, and had four aces, an assist, a block and five digs. Simon Gallas had 10 kills with one error in 22 attacks to hit .409 and had three assists, five digs and three blocks, one solo. Brandon Browning had nine kills with one error in 16 attacks to hit .500 and had two digs, and Chris Hall had two kills in as many tries, 37 assists, two aces, a block and six digs.
Concordia’s season ended 10-16. The Eagles hit .222 and had three aces and 13 errors.
Sixth-seeded BYU (8-17) battled tough, but the program’s worst season in recent history came to an end with a 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 16-14 defeat to Pepperdine (17-9). Pepperdine, which hit .291 and had four aces and 19 errors, had five players with 10 or more kills. Alex Gettinger led with 16 as he hit .433 and had two assists, an ace, two blocks and four digs. Jaylen Jasper had 12 kills, an ace, two blocks and five digs. Bryce Dvorak had two kills, 53 assists, an ace, four blocks and four digs, and Trey Cole had 12 digs and three assists.
BYU hit .239 and had four aces and 13 errors. Davide Gardini ended his spectacular college career with 22 kills while hitting .360 to go with four blocks and eight digs. Luke Benson had 11 kills with one error in 17 attacks, an ace, two blocks and five digs. Gavin Julien had eight kills in 11 errorless attacks and nine blocks. Noa Haine had two kills, 53 assists, nine digs and five blocks, one solo.
The conference tournament begins Thursday when fifth-seeded UC Irvine (10-15) plays fourth-seeded UC San Diego (13-10) and third-seeded UC Santa Barbara (18-8) plays sixth-seeded CSUN (6-15).
The UCI winner plays top-seeded Long Beach State on Friday, and the UCSB-CSUN winner gets No. 2 Hawai’i.
The semifinals are Friday when top-seeded North Greenville (18-5) plays Emmanuel (15-13) and Mount Olive (15-6) plays second-seeded King (17-11).
The inaugural season conference tournament continues Thursday when top-seeded Central State (12-13) plays second-seeded Edward Waters (14-20). Central State won their match Wednesday and wins the title with a victory. If EWU wins, they’ll play a second winner-take-all match.
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