The regular season ended with a flourish in the MIVA on Saturday as three teams — Ball State, Loyola Chicago and Ohio State — tied for first, the first time that’s happened since 1996. The MIVA Tournament is set in a league where three other teams tied for fourth.
Third-ranked Penn State won the EIVA regular-season title, staying three games ahead of surging Princeton with a handful of matches left next weekend.
Top-ranked Hawai’i and No. 4 Long Beach State stayed tied atop the conference as they swept their respective Big West matches.
And in the MPSF, No. 2 UCLA rolled on, but the battle for second place muddled as No. 8 Pepperdine bounced back and No. 9 Stanford knocked off No. 5 Grand Canyon for the second day in a row.
There is no NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball again until Thursday.
MIVA: The tournament is set. Ball State (11-3) will be the No. 1 seed, winning the three-way tiebreaker against Loyola Chicago (11-3) and Ohio State (11-3). No. 2 Loyola won the subsequent tiebreaker against No. 3 Ohio State. Lewis (7-7) won the tiebreaker against Purdue Fort Wayne (7-7) and Lindenwood (7-7) to earn the No. 4 seed and the final first-round home match. The No. 5 Mastodons won the next tiebreaker against No. 6 Lindenwood. No. 7 McKendree (1-13) won the tiebreaker against No. 8 Quincy (1-13). The tournament starts at the home sites Saturday.
In Ohio State’s 29-27, 28-26, 25-23 sweep of visiting Loyola, the Buckeyes had four fewer kills (40-36). Five players had five or more kills, nine each by Shane Wetzel and Jacob Pasteur. Parker Van Buren had 18 kills for Loyola .
Ball State had a much easier time of it as the Cardinals swept visiting PFW 25-17, 25-17, 25-22. Kaleb Jenness had 15 kills. Jon Diedrich and Mark Frazier had 10 each for the Mastodons .
Lewis won in four at Quincy as Christian Prayer had 19 kills and Max Roquet 13, and Lindenwood beat visiting McKendree in four as Ian Schuller had 17 kills. Kyle Wilson had 17 for McKendree.
EIVA: Penn State (22-3, 8-0) won its third EIVA title in a row by sweeping for the second straight day at George Mason (10-14, 2-6). As a result the Nittany Lions will be the host for the EIVA Tournament that starts April 19. Penn State still has two regular-season matches left, next weekend at Charleston. Against Mason, Cal Fisher led with 14 kills and hit .591 after having one error in 22 attacks. Michal Kowal had 13 kills and hit .440.
Princeton (12-11, 6-3) won again at No. 14 Charleston (22-4, 5-3) for its fourth victory in five matches. Ben Harrington led with 17 kills in the 25-22, 22-25, 27-25, 26-24 win. Garret Schnitker had 15 kills for Charleston.
Harvard (9-13, 2-6) won in five at NJIT (8-15, 2-7). NJIT had more kills (59-40), blocks (10-9) and digs (46-39).
BIG WEST: Hawai’i (24-2, 7-1) swept visiting UC Irvine (16-8, 6-2) before more than 8,000 fans and dropped the Anteaters out of first place. Dimitrios Mouchlias had 12 kills to lead a balanced attack in the 26-24, 25-20, 25-19 victory. Chaz Galloway and Sypros Chakas had nine kills each. Hawai’i hit .424 as setter Jakob Thelle had three kills in five errorless tries, 36 assists, an ace, three blocks and a dig. Francesco Sani had 15 kills for UCI and Cole Gillis had 12.
Long Beach State (18-3, 7-1) kept pace with a 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 victory over visiting No. 15 CSUN (12-13, 1-7). Long Beach, which won its sixth in a row, got nine kills each from Sotiris Siapanis and Clarke Godbold, eight from Simon Torwie and seven from Spencer Olivier. Torwie had one error in 12 attacks and nine blocks, two solo. CSUN’s Kyle Hobus had 11 kills.
Hawai’i finishes the regular season with two home matches next weekend against UC San Diego, while Long Beach has a home-and-home with UCI.
MPSF: UCLA (25-2, 10-0) had already clinched first place. But right behind are BYU (16-6, 6-4), Stanford (13-10, 6-4), GCU (21-6, 6-6), and Pepperdine (16-11, 5-5). The regular season concludes next week with two matches each as UCLA plays Pepperdine, Stanford plays BYU and USC (8-15, 1-9) plays Concordia Irvine (8-16, 2-8) to see who stays out of last place. GCU awaits the MPSF Tournament that begins April 19.
Saturday, UCLA swept at USC as David Ido had 17 kills and hit .407 with two assists, two digs and two blocks.
In Pepperdine’s sweep of CUI, a day after losing to the Eagles in four, got 20 kills from Jaylen Jasper and 11 from Jacob Steele. Jasper hit .532 and had an ace, a block and five digs. Uriel Batista had 21 kills of CUI’s 37 kills. He had three errors in 31 attacks and hit .581 to go with an assist, two aces, two blocks and five digs.
Stanford battled to a 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-10 victory over visiting GCU as four players had 12 or more kills. Ethan Hill had 15 and hit .684 after having two errors in 19 attacks. Will Rottman had 14 kills and three aces, Nathaniel Gates had 13 kills with one error in 18 attacks, and Kevin Lamp had 12 kills. GCU got 14 kills each from Camden Gianni and Jackson Hickman and 13 from Christian Janke.
AROUND THE NATION: Daemen held its one-game lead in the NEC by sweeping Merrimack and Saint Francis (PA) kept pace and broke the tie for second by sweeping LIU, which dropped the Sharks a game back into third. Sacred Heart swept D’Youville and St. Francis Brooklyn won in four at Fairleigh Dickinson.
Mount Olive of Conference Carolinas beat independent Tusculum in four, while independent Lincoln Memorial swept ConfCarolinas’ Barton.
The SIAC was off.