NCAA volleyball: Big win for USC men, coaching-carousel update

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NCAA men's volleyball 1/24/2019-Emmanuel-Demetrius Maloney-Don Thompson
Emmanuel's Demetrius Maloney sets Don Thompson against Limestone

In this NCAA volleyball roundup we’ll catch up on the men’s side, which saw unranked USC knock off No. 3 UC Irvine on Wednesday night.

There have also been some hirings in women’s volleyball, so we’ll update the coaching carousel.

NCAA men: Start with USC of the MPSF (5-2), which beat visiting UCI (6-2) 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18. 

Jack Wyett had a big night, leading USC with 19 kills while hitting .361. He had two of his team’s eight aces, 10 digs and two blocks. Ryan Moss added 16 kills and hit .433 to go with four digs and two blocks. Gianluca Grasso had 14 kills, two aces, a block and four digs. 

Joel Schneidmiller led UCI with 12 kills but hit .125 to go with two of his team’s four aces. He had four digs and three blocks. Aaron Koubi had nine kills and 11 digs and Scott Stadick and Karl Apfelbach had eight kills each. Stadick had seven blocks, one solo.

“Our execution wasn’t great tonight,” UCI coach David Kniffin said. “It’s early and as seasoned as we are as a team we need to learn to be more consistent on any given night.”

Both leagues are off until Friday when USC goes to top-ranked Long Beach State of the Big West on a busy night for both leagues.

There was one match in the MIVA on Wednesday when Quincy dropped to 2-2 by losing to Missouri Baptist (4-0) 25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 25-16. Luka Cajic had 12 kills and hit .423 for Missouri Baptist, an NAIA school. He added an assists, five of his team’s 11 aces, four digs and two blocks. Omari Wheeler led Quincy with 14 kills.

The MIVA has a full slate Friday, including No. 5 Loyola at No. 11 CSUN, No. 9 Lewis at No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, and No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne at Stanford.

Conference Carolinas had one match Wednesday as Limestone (1-3. 1-0) beat Emmanuel (3-2, 0-1) in four in the league season opener for both teams. Jordan Barreto led Limestone with 15 kills, hit .412 and had 13 digs and three blocks. F. Salinger Cenzual added 14 kills, an assist, an ace, five digs and three blocks. Don Thompson led Emmanuel with 19 kills, hitting .424.

There is one EIVA match Thursday when defending-champion Harvard and Sacred Heart kick off their respective league seasons. 

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Jon Newman-Gonchar and Alisha Glass Childress coaching the USA in the Pan Am Cup

Coaching moves: The biggest this week was New Mexico hiring Arkansas assistant Jon Newman-Gonchar. Newman-Gonchar, whose resume includes stints as an assistant at Iowa State, Loyola Marymount, UC San Diego and Louisiana-Lafayette, was the head coach of the 2018 USA Pan American Cup team that won the gold medal.

New Mexico was 15-15 last season, 9-9 in the Mountain West. Coach Jeff Nelson was not retained after his 12th season …

Stanford, which won the NCAA title last month, filled its assistant-coach opening with former Penn State star and Olympic setter Alisha Glass Childress. She replaced Erin Lindsey, who took the job as head coach at Santa Clara. Glass Childress was an assistant to Newman-Gonchar last summer on the Pan Am Cup team …

Nicholls State, 3-26 last season including 1-15 in the Southland Conference, hired Kallie Noble and at the same time announced it was adding beach volleyball right away. Noble, who will oversee both programs, has been an assistant at two other Louisiana schools, New Orleans and Tulane. She has a daunting task, since Nicholls has won a combined 24 matches the past four seasons. This past year, first-year coach Jay Van Vark was put on administrative leave in October and never returned …

Marshall announced that it has named Ariana Aganus its new coach “pending completion of a background check,” which makes you wonder why it was announced beforehand. Aganus is the former assistant at Grand Canyon. Marshall of Conference USA finished 10-19 last season, 3-11 in the league, under coach Mitch Jacobs, who retired after being there since 2002 …

There’s an opening at Eastern Michigan, because Kimi Olson, who took her team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance, has been hired as assistant at Michigan State …

Belmont hired College of Charleston assistant Katelyn Harrison. Belmont was 5-23 last season, 5-11 in the Ohio Valley Conference under fifth-year coach Tony Howell … 

And Quinnipiac hired Oklahoma assistant Kyle Robinson. To the best of our knowledge, Robinson and Ray Gooden of Northern Illinois are the only African-American men who are head coaches of NCAA Division I women’s teams. Quinnipiac finished 9-21 last season, 7-11 in the Metro Atlantic.

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