NCAA volleyball: Mason thumps USC, Hawai’i, Long Beach, BYU, UCI win

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NCAA mens volleyball 1/11/2020-Hawaii volleyball-Colton Cowell
Hawai'i's Colton Cowell hits over the block of Harvard's Griffin Schmit/Hawai'i Athletics

George Mason of the EIVA is the host team for the National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship in May. Accordingly, many teams from the West Coast’s MPSF and Big West have scheduled to play at Mason.

Be careful what you wish for.

Friday night, the Patriots swept visiting USC, the No. 12 team in the AVCA preseason ranking, the second big men’s volleyball upset in as many nights.

Otherwise Friday it was pretty much business as usual, although McKendree took the first set off No. 2 Long Beach State before losing in four. 

Among the matches between ranked teams, No. 3 BYU of the MPSF swept visiting No. 15 Penn State of the EIVA, and No. 8 UC Irvine of the Big West beat visiting No. 11 Loyola of the MIVA.

The recaps follow but first a look at Saturday’s schedule.

Starting back in Fairfax, Virginia, home of George Mason, the Patriots of the EIVA play No. 7 Stanford of the MPSF before USC of the MPSF takes on the EIVA’s NJIT. 

Action continues in Santa Barbara where UCSB of the Big West entertains the MIVA’s McKendree, the Big West’s Long Beach plays Concordia of the MPSF, and No. 13 CSUN of the Big West plays Benedictine Mesa.

At Hawai’i, the top-ranked Rainbow Warriors of the Big West play host to the MPSF’s Grand Canyon, and Harvard of the EIVA plays Emmanuel of Conference Carolinas.

Penn State and BYU are back at it again in Provo.

Princeton — which won at Charleston on Friday to open the EIVA season — plays at the West Virginia school again.

In the MIVA, Purdue Fort Wayne is home for Belmont Abbey of Conference Carolinas, Lewis is at UC San Diego of the Big West, and Ball State plays Queens and Quincy plays Lincoln Memorial.

And Mount Olive of Conference Carolinas plays twice, first against Urbana and then against host Tusculum.

To watch any matches that are being shown, go to the VolleyballMag.com TV listings page for direct links to the broadcasts.

George Mason (1-1) hit .443 and knocked off USC (1-1) 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 as Hayden Wagner had 14 kills and hit .538 after making no errors in 26 attacks. He had an ace, three blocks and four digs. Sam Greenslade had eight kills, hit .429 and added an assist, an ace, four blocks and six digs. Jack Reese had seven kills in eight swings with one error and hit .750 and had an ace and three blocks. Mason had three aces and 14 errors.

“Our boys played better tonight and I thought we cleaned up a few things from last time out,” said Mason coach Jay Hosack, referring to his team’s loss to UCLA to open the season January 4. “It’s a work in progress, so we have more work to do.”

USC had one ace and 14 errors and hit .288. Billy Fauntleroy and Brandon Browning had 10 kills each. Fauntleroy had a block and a dig and Browning had the ace and two digs … 

In the other match at Mason, Stanford hit .402 and got past NJIT 21-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-14. Stanford, which improved to 3-1, got 11 kills from Jaylen Jasper, who hit .474 and had an ace, two blocks and five digs. Eric Beatty, Stephen Moye and Will Rottman had eight kills each. Kyler Presho had five kills in six errorless attacks and eight blocks, three solo. Setter Paul Bischoff had three kills in as many attempts, 37 assists, six digs and four blocks, one solo. The Cardinal had six aces and 11 errors. NJIT, playing its season opener, hit .089. Alvaro Gimeno led with 13 kills … 

Hawai’i improved to 4-0 with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 beatdown of visiting Harvard (1-1) as Colton Cowell had 13 kills and Rado Parapunov had 12. Cowell hit .423 and had an assist, and ace, two blocks and six digs, while Parapunov had nine digs and three blocks, one solo. Campbell Schoenfeld had 11 kills for Harvard, which hit .120 and had two aces and 10 errors. Hawai’i hit .329 and had four aces and seven errors …

In the other match at Hawai’i, Grand Canyon (1-1) beat Emmanuel (0-2) 25-11, 25-16, 25-22 as Christian Janke and Camden Gianni had eight kills each. Janke had three aces, a block and five digs. The Lopes had seven aces — four by Hugo Fisher, who had five kills in eight errorless swings — and hit .405. Don Thompson had 10 kills for Emmanuel, which hit .080 …

BYU (3-0) hit .464 and beat visiting Penn State (0-1) 25-23, 25-19, 25-23 behind 14 kills by Gabi Garcia Fernandez and 13 by Davide Gardini. Garcia hit .455 and had an assist, two digs and a block, while Gardini had one error in 16 attacks to hit .750. He added two assists, an ace, eight digs and a block. The Cougars had three aces and 16 errors. 

“I felt that at a few key moments, we made some big plays,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Those three sets were pretty close, so hats off to them and their coach. Some of their players just embraced the atmosphere and the crowd here and in some ways it fed to their offense and they enjoyed it.”

Penn State hit .299 and had five aces and 20 errors. 

“The one lesson I wanted our guys to know after this game that this was a great example of how fine a line it is to win each and every night in this game,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. “It really boils down to how long can you execute at your best level through the third touch.”

Brett Wildman led with 11 kills and hit .421 to go with an assist, three digs and a block. Calvin Mende had nine kills, two assists, an ace, five digs and two blocks, and Henrik Falck Lauten had eight kills … 

UC Irvine (2-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lewis the night before to beat Loyola (1-3) 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 25-22. Joel Schneidmiller and Alexandre Nsakanda had 13 kills each. Schneidmiller had three assists, an ace, 12 digs and three blocks. Nsakanda had an assist, nine digs and a block. Scott Stadick had 11 kills, hit .476, and had 10 blocks, two solo. 

UCI hit .316 and had four aces and 15 errors. Loyola hit .248 and had six aces and 13 errors. Cole Schlothauer led with 21 kills, hit .348, and had three of those aces, 11 digs and five blocks. Luke Denton added 11 kills, 12 digs and three blocks, and Devin Joslyn had nine kills and eight digs … 

NCAA mens volleyball 1/11/2020-Ryan Wilcox-UCSB volleyball
Ryan Wilcox of UCSB hits against the Benedictine block/UCSB photo

At UCSB, the Gauchos improved to 2-0 with a 25-12, 25-21, 25-18 victory over Benedictine Mesa. Ryan Wilcox led with 15 kills, hit .458 and had an ace, four digs and two blocks. Frederick Spencer had nine kills, hit .333 and had two aces, six digs and three blocks. Benedictine (0-2) hit .067 and had four aces and 10 errors …

Long Beach State (2-0) bounced back from a first-set loss to beat McKendree (1-1) 15-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23. Simon Andersen and Spencer Olivier had 13 kills each for Long Beach, which hit .293 and had five aces and 18 errors. Anderson had no hitting errors in 18 attacks and hit .722 and had two blocks and three digs. Olivier had an ace, two blocks and six digs. Ryan Poole had 12 kills, hit .417, and had 12 digs. McKendree hit .264, had four aces and five errors. Zach Schnittker led with 14 kills, three blocks and seven digs. Wyatt Dimke had 12 kills, hit .550 after having one error in 20 swings, and had three blocks and a dig … 

In the other match at UCSB, Concordia (2-1) surprised CSUN (0-2). The second set alone was a match in itself. This is from the CSUN news release:

In a marathon second set, the Matadors forced an early Concordia timeout as an Eagle hitting error put the CSUN in front 13-9. A (Maciej) Ptaszynski kill extended the Matador lead to six at 18-12 when the Eagles scored six straight points to even the set. Neither team could forge more than a one-point lead over the next 40 points as the two teams traded sideouts while saving set points. CSUN had swings at the set on four occasions while Concordia had six attempts before cashing in their seventh in a 40-38 win. The set was the longest for the Matadors since 42-40 loss to UC Irvine in 2009.

Concordia, which hit .209, had five aces and 22 service errors. Raymond Barsemian led with 20 kills and had an ace, eight digs and three blocks. Jordan Hoppe had 13 kills, three assists, a block and seven digs. Noah Lassandro had nine kills in 15 errorless attacks and hit .600 to go with an assist, an ace, two digs and four blocks, one solo. 

Kyle Hobus had 29 kills for CSUN as he hit .291 and had an assist, an ace, a block and 14 digs. Daniel Wetter had 14 kills, hit .500, and had an assist, two blocks and two digs, and Maciej Ptaszynski had 10 kills, an assist, an ace, 14 digs and five blocks, one solo. CSUN hit .239 and had two aces and 29 serving errors … 

Princeton had a tough start to its schedule but improved to 1-3 with its 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 victory at Charleston as the Tigers hit .402. Jerod Nelsen led with 11 kills, hit .360, and had an ace, a block and four digs. Parker Dixon had nine kills and hit .500 and had an ace, two blocks and six digs, while George Huhmann had eight kills, two assists, three aces, two blocks, and four digs. The Tigers had five aces and 18 errors. Jake Vorburger had eight kills for Charleston, which hit .222 and had seven aces and 16 errors … 

Also in the EIVA, Sacred Heart swept St. Francis Brooklyn in the season opener for both teams.  Connor Mahony had nine kills and Timothy McIntosh and Calin Butler eight each in the 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 victory. Butler had no errors in 19 attacks and hit .421 and had an ace, six digs and five blocks. SHU hit .316 and had three aces and 13 errors. St. Francis hit .047 … 

The MIVA’s Ball State opened its season with a  25-21, 25-20, 25-17 sweep of visiting Belmont Abbey (1-1) as Blake Reardon and Matt Szews had seven kills each. Ball State won despite hitting .133 and had eight aces and 12 errors. Belmont Abbey hit minus .014 and had four aces and 14 errors … 

Also in the MIVA, Jon Diedrich went off for 28 kills as Purdue Fort Wayne opened it season by beating Queens in four and Lindenwood (1-1) beat Lincoln Memorial (1-1) in four. 

Diedrich hit .438 and had an ace and three blocks. Kade Bontrager had 12 kills, two assists, five aces, a block and nine digs, and Wilmer Hernandez had 11 kills, hit .400, and had an ace, six digs and three blocks, one solo. PFW hit .350 and had eight aces and 18 errors. Queens, which hit .217 and had four aces and 11 errors, got 14 kills from Tristan Santoyo and 10 from Cody Nix, who hit .750 and had four blocks … 

Lindenwood hit .355 and had three aces and 16 errors. AJ Lewis led a balanced attack with 16 kills, an ace, three blocks and two digs. Diego Negron had 13 kills, hit .429, and had an ace, four blocks and six digs, while Jeremy Kirch had 12 kills, hit .417, and had an ace, a block and eight digs. Lincoln Memorial hit .233 and had three aces and 17 errors. Evan Cory led with 23 kills as he hit .326 and had an assist, two aces and six digs … 

Also in Conference Carolinas, Mount Olive (2-1) swept at Quincy of the MIVA (0-1) 25-20 25-17 25-20 and King (2-2) did the same to Urbana (0-3) 25-19, 25-22, 25-19. Tobi Azeez had 10 kills for Mount Olive, while Sean Kohlhase had nine kills and hit .571 for King.

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