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Big West men’s volleyball takes spotlight as UCI rallies against UCSB, Hawai’i faces LBSU

Things are heating up in the Big West.

Thursday night in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball, No. 6 UC Irvine had to pull off a reverse sweep to win at UC Santa Barbara. The same teams play at again Friday at UCI. Also in the Big West, UC San Diego upset No. 12 CSUN to break the Matadors’ eight-match winning streak.

The big Big West showdown is Friday at Hawai’i, when the fourth-ranked 49ers play at No 1 Hawai’i in their first rematch since Hawai’i won the NCAA championship last May. Hawai’i (17-1) took its first loss last weekend but is coming off a win over No. 2 UCLA. Long Beach is 11-2 and has won five in a row. 

There is a key MPSF match Friday when UCLA goes to No. 10 Stanford. Two other MPSF teams are in action when No. 5 Grand Canyon plays host to the EIVA’s Princeton and No. 7 Pepperdine entertains the NEC’s Daemen.

Non-conference play continues around the nation when No. 14 Charleston of the EIVA goes to the MIVA’s Purdue Fort Wayne, the EIVA’s George Mason is home for the NEC’s Fairleigh Dickinson and the EIVA’s NJIT goes to independent Queens.

In Conference Carolinas, Barton is at Emmanuel and Mount Olive is at Erskine.

There are two SIAC matches when Edward Waters goes to Benedict and Fort Valley State plays at independent Tusculum. The NEC’s Merrimack is home for independent American International.

Want to watch a match? If it’s being televised or streamed, we have the viewing link in the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.

CSUN’s Kyle Hobus hits against the UCSD triple block/Steve Fitzgerald photo

THURSDAY: UCI (13-6, 3-0) lost the first two sets but then roared back to a 23-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-11, 15-11 victory at UCSB (5-12, 1-3) as Francesco Sani had 21 kills and six aces. The Anteaters had lost seven in a row to UCSB since 2019. Sano had two errors in 47 attacks and hit .404 to go with seven service errors, two blocks and 11 digs. Hilir Henno had 18 kills, four aces and six errors, a block and eight digs. Joe Karlous had 53 assists, an ace, two blocks and 12 digs, and Cole Power had 12 digs and six assists. The Anteaters hit .301 and had 12 aces and 22 errors. The Gauchos, who hit .165 and had five aces and 15 errors, got 17 kills from Nick Amoruso. He added an ace, a block and 10 digs. Ryan Wilcox had 11 kills and Dayne Chalmers 10. Jack Walmer had 39 assists, two aces and 12 digs … 

UCSD (7-12, 1-4) not only scored the upset, but swept at No. 12 CSUN (12-6, 1-1). Ryan Ka had 13 kills  and nine digs in the 25-21, 25-22, 25-20 victory. CSUN got 15 kills from Kyle Hobus … 

No, 9 Loyola Chicago (17-2) of the MIVA beat visiting No. 14 Charleston (17-2) of the EIVA 25-14, 16-25, 25-21, 25-16 as the Ramblers hit .408. Parker Van Buren led with 18 kills and hit .455 after having three errors in 33 attacks. He had nine digs. Colton Brooks had 13 kills, hit .400, and had three aces, three blocks and three digs, and Cole Schlothauer had 12 kills. Charleston’s Luuk Hoge Bavel had 15 kills with no errors in 24 attacks, Lachlan Bray had 12 kills and Garret Schnitker had 11 … 

In the NEC, visiting LIU (10-8, 5-1) won at Saint Francis Brooklyn (6-9, 3-3) in five as Luke Chandler had 22 kills, hit .514, and had an ace, four digs and four blocks, two solo. Caden Satterfield had 18 kills, hit .441, and had an assist, four blocks and four digs. Livan Morena had 10 kills, three assists, two aces, 11 digs and three blocks, one solo. Patrick Rogers had 15 kills for St. Francis and Andrea Lancianese had 13 …

Saint Francis (PA) (7-10) came away with a four-set win over the EIVA’s NJIT (7-11) in a match played in Charlotte, North Carolina. Blake Liprando had 14 kills and hit .400 to go with two aces and seven digs. Andrew Deardorff had 13 kills … 

Matteo Miselli had 24 kills as Belmont Abbey (9-12) of Conference Carolinas beat visiting FDU (4-10) of the NEC. Miselli hit .383 and had an assist, an ace, nine digs and four blocks, three solo. Matthew Staskunas added 19 kills, hit .356, and had eight digs and two blocks. FDU’s Jamal Ellis Carballo had 21 kills, an assist, an ace, 16 digs and four blocks, one solo.

WEDNESDAY: The big result was in the MIVA when No. 12 Ball State (12-7, 5-2) swept visting No. 15 Ohio State (11-9 4-3). Kaleb Jenness and Tinaishe Nadvazocheva had 12 kills each and Dyer Ball 11 in the 26-24, 25-15, 25-20 victory. Jenness had one error in 23 swings and hit .478 and had a block and six digs. Ndavazocheva hit .348 and had an assist, two aces, a solo block and six digs. Ohio State’s Shane Wetzel had 17 kills and hit .536 …

In MPSF-EIVA matches, Grand Canyon (19-1) swept visiting Princeton (8-9) and Pepperdine (13-8) swept visiting Harvard (6-10) as Jaylen Jasper had 19 kills, hitting .577 … the MPSF’s Concordia Irvine (6-12) swept visiting Daemen (11-2), which had won 10 in a row .. Independent Limestone swept Edward Waters and Missouri S&T did the same to Missouri Baptist.