NCAA volleyball: 15 of 16 men’s matches end in sweeps, two women’s jobs filled

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NCAA mens volleyball 1/12/2020-Tyler Mitchem-Lewis volleyball
Lewis' Tyler Mitchem beats the UCSD block/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

There were 16 NCAA men’s volleyball matches Saturday and all but one resulted in a  sweep.

That included NJIT upsetting USC, which was ranked No. 12 in the AVCA preseason poll but certain to fall out Monday when the first rankings of the regular season comes out. 

The one that wasn’t over in three sets: Defending national-champion Long Beach State went up 2-0 but then had to go five to beat Concordia.

All the recaps follow, and so do notes about South Florida and Lamar, which hired women’s head coaches.

There are no matches scheduled for Sunday or Monday. On Tuesday Pepperdine faces Daemen, Lincoln Memorial plays Tusculum and Urbana is home for Wittenberg.

Coaching carousel: Lamar of the Southland Conference hired Wofford assistant Jordan Lay. Lay, who was at Wofford of the Southern Conference for four years, previously was the head coach at Division II West Alabama and the NAIA’s Belmont.

Lamar finished 9-17 last season, 4-12 in the Southland.

USF hired Jolene Shepardson, who is from Tampa but has been the coach at San Jose State the past six years. She was the coach at CSU Bakersfield for three seasons before that.

The former Jolene Patton played at USF from 2000-02, which included two NCAA Tournament appearances. She has a lot of work to do to get the Bulls back to postseason play, since USF finished 7-23 last season, 1-15 in the American Athletic Conference.

There are still at least 14 Division I NCAA women’s head-coaching jobs open, including those at Auburn, Ohio State and Rutgers.

Men’s matches: NJIT (the New Jersey Institute of Technology, located in Newark, undergraduate enrollment 7,336) of the EIVA evened its record at 1-1 with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 victory over USC of the MPSF (1-2) at George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia. 

NJIT, which hit .442, beat a ranked team for the first time since it beat then-No. 15 George Mason on February 17, 2017. The Highlanders got 11 kills from Alvaro Gimeno, who hit .529 and had three aces and two blocks. Jens Feldthus had 10 kills, hit .438, and had an ace, four blocks and four digs. Julian Messner had six kills, an assist, seven blocks and two digs. Luca Berger had two kills in three errorless attacks and 11 blocks, two solo. NJIT had five aces and 18 errors. USC hit .044 and had two aces and 13 errors. Billy Fauntleroy led with eight kills. USC, which was coming off a Friday loss to Mason, had beaten NJIT in their previous three meetings … 

In the nightcap at Mason, No. 7 Stanford of the MPSF swept the home team 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 to improve to 4-1, while the Patriots fell to 1-2. Stanford hit .333 and had five aces and 14 errors. Four players combined for 41 of the Cardinal’s 45 kills. Eric Beatty led with 12, hit .364, and had an ace, two blocks and three digs. Jaylen Jasper had 10 kills, an ace, two blocks and eight digs, Will Rottman had 10 kills, hit .500, and added an assist and five digs, and Stephen Moye had nine kills, hit .571, and had had two aces, three digs and three blocks, one solo. Mason hit .077 and had one ace and four errors. The Patriots were without three players against Stanford. Mike Kapusta injured his foot on Friday in the team’s win over USC, leading attacker Hayden Wagner hurt his hand in warmups, and Jack Reese took a blow to the head in the first set while blocking … 

Long Beach State played at Santa Barbara and the 49ers of the Big West (3-0) came away with a 25-22, 25-20, 15-25, 23-25, 15-11 win over Concordia of the MPSF (2-2). Ethan Siegfried led with 21 kills and hit .348 and added an assist and six digs. Spencer Olivier had 14 kills, hit .357, and had an assist, all three of the Beach’s aces and seven of its 26 serving errors, and 12 digs. Simon Anderson had 11 kills with no errors in 19 swings to hit .579 and added a dig and four blocks, one solo. Shane Holdaway had 10 kills, hit .500, and had an assist, a dig and four blocks, two solo. Carlos Rivera had three kills in five errorless attempts, 53 assists, two blocks and 12 digs. Concordia hit .305 and had two aces and 15 errors. Raymond Barsemian had 25 kills as he hit .373 and had two blocks and six digs. Jordan Hoppe had 11 kills, hit .348, and had two assists, an ace, two blocks and nine digs. Mclain Mott had three kills, 42 assists and nine digs … 

In the other matches at UCSB, the fifth-ranked Gauchos of the Big West (3-0) rolled over the MIVA’s McKendree (1-2) 25-19, 25-17, 25-16 as they hit .458, and No. 13 CSUN of the Big West (1-2) swept Benedictine Mesa (0-3) 25-15, 26-24, 25-23.

Roy McFarland and Haotian Xia led with 10 kills each. McFarland had an assist, two digs and a block, while Xia hit .421 and had a dig and two blocks. Brandon Hicks had eight kills in nine errorless attacks to hit .889 and had an assist and three blocks. UCSB had seven aces and 21 errors. McKendree hit .085 and had three aces and 11 errors.

“I’m very happy with our improvement throughout the tournament,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said. “We have a lot of work ahead, but it was good for our guys to see where we are at and what we need to work on as we head into two tough matches against Purdue Fort Wayne and Ball State next weekend.”

Steven Rotter had nine kills and hit .316 for CSUN, which hit .324 and had four aces and six errors. Benedictine hit .170, had six aces and 13 errors, and got 11 kills from Charles Pollnow … 

NCAA mens volleyball 1/12/2020-Jacob Kerschner-Lewis volleyball
Lewis’ Jacob Kerschner lunges for a one-handed save at UCSD/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Another MIVA team, No. 6 Lewis, improved to 3-1 with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 win at UC San Diego of the Big West (1-1). Ryan Coenen led the Flyers with 13 kills, hit .333, and had three assists, two aces, two blocks and seven digs. Kyle Bugee and Tyler Mitchem had seven kills each. Mitchem hit .538 after having no errors in 13 swings and had four blocks and a dig, while Bugee had two two aces, three digs and four blocks, one solo. Lewis hit .303 and had nine aces and 13 errors. 

“I thought the guys were focused and steady right from the beginning and pretty much all the way throughout the match,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said. “We talked a lot about how good these guys were going to be serve and pass-wise. They showed that the other night against Loyola. I thought we matched them, and put a ton of service pressure on them, and then finally got into a rhythm blocking some balls.”

UCSD hit .156 and had five aces and 14 errors. Kyle McCauley led with 17 kills as he hit .481 and had two blocks and six digs … 

Top-ranked Hawai’i of the Big West improved to 5-0 as the Rainbow Warriors won their home tournament with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-13 win over Grand Canyon of the MPSF (1-2). Rado Parapunov led with 13 kills and hit .570 to go with an assist, two aces, three blocks and four digs. Patrick Gasman had nine kills and hit .800 to go with two aces and five blocks. The Warriors hit .523 and had six aces and eight errors. GCU hit .107 and had five aces and nine errors. Christian Janke led with nine kills, four of those aces, and two digs …

In the other match in Honolulu, Harvard of the EIVA (2-1) defeated Emmanuel of Conference Carolinas (0-4) 25-11, 25-16, 25-15. Campbell Schoenfeld led the Crimson with 10 kills, hit .364, and had an ace, three digs and two blocks. Harvard had seven aces and 10 errors. Emmanuel hit minus .027 and had one ace and nine errors …

Third-ranked BYU of the MPSF (4-0) went back-to-back by sweeping visiting No. 15 Penn State of the EIVA (0-2) for the second time in as many nights, this time 25-19, 25-22, 25-21. Davide Gardini led with 11 kills, hit .474, and had an assist, ace, two digs and five blocks, while Gabi Garcia Fernandez had eight kills, six digs and six blocks. Felipe de Brito Ferreira had five kills in eight errorless swings and six blocks. BYU hit .328 and had four aces and 10 errors.

“We wanted our guys to come out a little more patient tonight and they responded really well,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They read the game really well and were getting across into the opponent’s court. They did a really good job.”

Penn State hit .210 and had seven aces and 22 errors. Bobby Wilden led with 10 kills and three digs, but had no aces and seven of those errors. Brett Wildman had nine kills, an assist, two aces, three digs and a block … 

In other matches involving MIVA teams, No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne swept Belmont Abbey of Conference Carolinas, Ball State swept Queens, but Quincy was swept by Lincoln Memorial.

PFW (2-0) beat Belmont Abbey 25-19, 25-17, 27-25 as Jon Diedrich led the Mastodons with 20 kills. He hit .444 and had an assist and three digs. Wilmer Hernandez had 15 kills, hit .609 after having one error in 23 attacks, and had an ace, two blocks and four digs. PFW hit .441 and had two aces and 15 errors. Belmont Abbey hit .290 and had no aces and 11 errors. Liam Maxwell led with 12 kills and Andrew Kohut had 10 … 

Ball State (2-0) beat Queens (0-2) 25-20, 25-15, 25-23 and hit .362 with six aces and 14 errors. Matt Szews led with 14 kills, hit .444, and had an assist, two aces, two blocks and eight digs. Tristan Santoyo had 11 kills for Queens, which hit .188 and had three aces and 10 errors … 

Quincy (0-2) lost to visiting Lincoln Memorial (2-1) 25-23, 25-18, 25-23. LM hit just .163 and had three aces and nine errors. Evan Cory led with 11 kills and had an assist, four digs and five blocks, one solo. Quincy hit .085 and had no aces and 13 errors. Michael Ladner led with 13 kills …

Princeton of the EIVA improved to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference as it swept at Charleston (0-4) for the second straight day. The Tigers won despite hitting .147. They had four aces and eight errors. George Huhmann led with eight kills, an ace, five blocks and five digs. Jerod Nelsen and Parker Dixon had seven kills each. Charleston hit .140 and had two aces and 16 errors. Lachlan Bray led with 13 kills as he hit .348 and had two assists, an ace, a block and three digs … 

Also, Mount Olive of Conference Carolinas (4-1) won twice Saturday, beating Urbana and Tusculum.

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