NCAA volleyball: USC women finally get a coach, USC men upset Stanford

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NCAA mens volleyball, 2/20/2020-Branden Oberender-BYU mens volleyball
BYU's Branden Oberender gets the kill against Concordia/BYU photo

USC had two breakthroughs Thursday.

The school finally has a women’s volleyball coach after it hired UCLA assistant Brad Keller.

And the men’s team finally won a match, snapping a five-match losing streak with an MPSF upset of No. 12 Stanford.

All the NCAA Division I-II men’s results from Thursday and Friday’s schedule follow.

USC hires Keller: Keller might be setting some kind of record of having jobs at two rivalry schools. 

The former USC men’s assistant coach, who then was a UCLA men’s assistant and for the past year a UCLA women’s assistant, is back at USC one month and six days after Brent Crouch suddenly resigned to go to Auburn.

Keller, 40, said in a USC statement, “This is a dream for me. I started at USC, so it’s so nice to be back here. This is a very exciting time and I can’t wait to start working with this team to build on USC’s incredible women’s volleyball tradition.”

We profiled Keller last August about how he had moved down the hall at UCLA from the men’s to women’s program. 

Keller, who is from San Jose, played two years at Loyola Marymount but then the school dropped the sport. He coached at the high school level and then had a boys club in Northern California before becoming a men’s assistant at USC for four seasons before then joining men’s coach John Speraw’s staff at UC Irvine. 

Short stints with the UConn and Santa Clara women’s programs followed before he went to UCLA with Speraw in 2012. 

NCAA Division I coaches were first allowed to recruit last weekend and Keller was in Kansas City for the Triple Crown NIT in his UCLA gear.

Thursday men: USC (3-11, 1-4 MPSF) was wallowing in a five-match skid before Billy Fauntleroy went off for a career-high 23 kills in a 25-21, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21 victory at Stanford (5-8, 1-3).

Fauntleroy hit .500 and had an assist, two aces, four digs and a block. Brandon Browning had 11 kills, hit .364, and had an assist, five digs and a block. Adam Flood also had 11 kills and had two aces, a block and three digs. Jameson McKibbin had a kill, 56 assists, four digs and two blocks as his team hit .389 and had eight aces and 25 errors.

Stanford lost despite hitting .391. The Cardinal had two aces and 12 errors. Jaylen Jasper led with 20 kills as he hit .429 and had three digs and four blocks, one solo. Will Rottman had 11 kills, hit .400, and had three digs and two blocks, one solo …

Second-ranked BYU improved to 14-0, 4-0 in the MPSF, with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-20 sweep of visiting Concordia (5-9, 1-3) as the Cougars hit .424. Gabi Garcia Fernandez led a balanced attack with 10 kills as he hit .368 and had three of his team’s five aces, three digs and four blocks. Davide Gardini had nine kills with one error in 16 attacks to hit .500 and added an ace, five digs and three blocks. Zach Eschenberg had eight kills, hit .312, and had an ace, four digs and three blocks. Miki Jauhiainen had three kills in five errorless attempts and seven blocks and Branden Oberender had five kills in six errorless swings.

Concordia, which hit .133 with no aces and 14 errors, got 11 kills from Raymond Barsemian … 

In the lone MIVA match, McKendree (8-6,2-2) beat visiting Lindenwood (9-5,2-1) 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 28-26. McKendree, which hit .360 and had eight aces and 13 errors, had four players with eight or more kills. Ethan Carroll led with 10 and added three aces and a dig. Wyatt Dimke, who hit .429, and Lucas Galifos, who hit .692 after having no errors in 13 swings, had nine kills each. Jeremy Kirch had 12 kills, Sam Schindler 11 and AJ Lewis 10 for Lindenwood. Schindler had no errors in 14 attacks and hit .786. Their team hit .293 and had four aces and 13 errors …

Also, Emmanuel of Conference Carolinas beat Reinhardt in four and Queens swept Alderson Broaddus.

Friday men: There are two big matches involving Big West teams as No. 6 UC Irvine of the Big West goes to No. 10 UC San Diego and No. 6 Pepperdine of the MPSF is at the Big West’s No. 3 UC Santa Barbara. 

Two other Big West teams are playing non-conference matches as No. 4 Long Beach State is home for Westcliff and CSUN is home for Vanguard. 

In the MPSF, No. 8 UCLA goes to No. 13 Grand Canyon.

In the MIVA, No.14 Purdue Fort Wayne is home for Ball State, while Ohio State goes to Loyola.

The three EIVA matches show No. 9 Penn State at Sacred Heart, No. 15 George Mason home for NJIT, and Saint Francis at Harvard. 

And in Conference Carolinas, there are three non-league matches as North Greenville is home for Alderson Broaddus, Barton goes to Queens and Belmont Abbey plays host to Lincoln Memorial. 

To watch any match that is being streamed or broadcast, go to the VolleyballMag.com TV listings.

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