NCAA volleyball: UCSD rolls on, Penn State survives, GCU upsets UCLA, FSU wins in beach, Radford hires a coach

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NCAA mens volleyball 2/22/2020-Purdue Fort Wayne volleyball-Sean Califf
Purdue Fort Wayne's Sean Califf runs down a dig against Ball State/Paul Yoder photography

What a busy Friday in NCAA volleyball.

The 10th-ranked UC San Diego men continued to surge, this time knocking off No. 6 UC Irvine for their fifth victory in a row.

Two players combined for 45 kills as No. 9 Penn State won a five-set match at Sacred Heart.

No. 13 Grand Canyon knocked off No. 8 UCLA.

There were some big numbers in a non-conference match between Lincoln Memorial and Belmont Abbey.

And the Radford women’s program has a new head coach, and beach volleyball began in earnest around the country, including a sweep for preseason No. 2 Florida State.

The recaps and news follow, but first a look at what’s ahead for Saturday.

There are two MPSF matches as No. 2 BYU is home for USC, while Concordia goes to No. 12 Stanford.

The MIVA has four matches, including No. 5 Lewis home for Lindenwood and No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne playing host to Ohio State. Ball State goes to Loyola and Quincy is at McKendree.

In the EIVA, Penn State goes to Harvard, No. 11 Princeton is at No. 15 George Mason, and Saint Francis is at Sacred Heart.

Conference Carolinas action includes Barton at Belmont Abbey and Limestone at Lees-McRae. Also, Emmanuel is home for Lincoln Memorial.

The Big West has Saturday off.

In beach volleyball, the two biggest gatherings are at Hawai’i and Florida State.

In Hawai’i, the No. 5 Sandbows are host to quite a field, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 LSU,and No. 19 Stanford.

Click here for the Hawai’i tournament schedule and more on the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Classic.

Florida State is playing host to a field that includes No. 7 Cal Poly, No. 9 Stetson, No.13 South Carolina, and No. 16 TCU. The Seminoles opened the beach season with a 5-0 victory, winning in two on each court. That included a 21-9, 21-13 at No. 1 for Molly McBain and Alaina Chacon over Louisiana-Monroe’s Gabby Love and Kayla Gallant. FSU plays Houston Baptist, Stetson and TCU on Saturday, while the Warhawks face Stetson and Tampa.

Click here to read more and see the Seminole Beach Bash schedule.

Among the other season-opening tournaments is one at San Jose State, which plays host to Ottawa, Santa Clara, Oregon and UC Davis for the first competitions ever on campus at the new Spartan Beach Courts.

Gabriela Griego-Irvine Valley College beach volleyball-Pepperdine beach volleyball-Brook Bauer
IVC’s Gabriela Griego jousts with Pepperdine’s Brook Bauer/Jim Wolf photography

And No. 6 Pepperdine opened with two victories at Irvine Valley College. Click here for results.

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

Friday’s recaps: UC San Diego (12-3, 2-0 Big West) dispatched visiting UC Irvine (7-6, 0-2) 25-22, 25-18, 25-23 as the Tritons hit .357. Kyle McCauley led with 17 kills and Wyatt Harrison had 16. McCauley hit .393 and had two aces and two digs, while Harrison had three assists and four digs. Connor Walbrecht had 45 assists, an ace, two blocks and 12 digs. His team had four aces and 17 errors.

“I think they had 14 stuff blocks on us last week, and our offense took a hit because of that, just the ability to get the setting going, the rhythm, being able to go after the block, hit high in the attack zone, we did a much better job with that. I think they finished the night with four stuff blocks.,” said UCSD coach Kevin Ring, whose team opened Big West play with a five-set win at Irvine last Saturday .

“We missed eight serves in the first set, but we really steadied out from the service line, but didn’t back off our serves. That was really key to keep them out of rhythm, and we just played some big points big.

“We had a great second set, there were a lot of unorthodox little plays that a guy just extended a rally, and we found a way to win a lot of those. We were playing really well in the third set, and we got a couple of kind of passes off the net, made a couple of attack errors, it got a little dicey at the end.”

NCAA mens volleyball 2/22/2020-Alexandre Nsakanda-UC Irvine volleyball
UC Irvine’s Alexandre Nsakanda displays his impressive vertical leap/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

UCI, which hit .274, had one ace and 10 errors. Alexandre Nsakanda led with eight kills and Scott Stadick had seven with no errors in 11 attacks to go with three blocks … 

Third-ranked UC Santa Barbara of the Big West (10-2) swept visiting No. 6 Pepperdine of the MPSF (6-4) 25-19, 25-21, 25-23. UCSB hit .417 as Randy DeWeese had 13 kills and hit .435, Keenan Sanders had 12 kils and hit .562, and Roy McFarland had 10 kills. Casey McGarry had three kills in four attempts, 40 assists and six digs. His team had two aces and 19 errors. Pepperdine hit .181 and had three aces and 10 errors. Noah Dyer led with 11 kills and Austin Wilmot had eight as he hit .429 …

In non-conference action, the Big West’s CSUN swept Vanguard and No. 4 Long Beach State of the Big West did the same to Westcliff. CSUN (4-9) hit .410 as it won 25-17, 25-21, 37-35, while Long Beach (8-1) hit .410 as 12 players had kills. Westcliff hit minus .161 …

NCAA mens volleyball 2/22/2020-Ryan Poole-Long Beach State mens volleyball
Long Beach State’s Ryan Poole reaches for a set against Westcliff/David Berke photo

Grand Canyon (11-3, 3-1) came up with a big MPSF victory as the Lopes had 11 aces — six by Christian Janke — to beat visiting UCLA (7-7, 2-3) 20-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19. Grand Canyon, which hit .379 and had 25 errors, got 17 kills from Camden Gianni, who hit .467 to go with four of those aces, three digs and four blocks, one solo. Hugo Fischer had 11 kills and hit .304 and had an assist, three digs and two blocks, one solo. He did, however, have no aces and seven errors. Heath Hughes had a kill in two errorless tries, 35 assists, an ace, three blocks and two digs. UCLA hit .330 and had four aces and 24 errors. Cole Ketrzynski led with 14 kills as he hit .500 and had a block and a dig. Daenan Gyimah had 11 kills and hit .391 and Mads Kyed Jensen had nine kills with one error in 12 attempts to hit .667 and had 27 assists, six digs and two blocks, one solo … 

The EIVA has been anything but boring this season and Penn State’s 25-27, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-11 victory at Sacred Heart (4-5, 0-4) is a perfect example. Penn State improved to 7-6, 3-0) as Cal Fisher led with 23 kills, hitting .476, and Brett Wildman had 22 kills, hitting .306. Fisher had five of his team’s 13 aces, two blocks and 10 digs, while Wildman hit .306, had two aces and four blocks, one solo. Jason Donorovich had eight kills, hit .333, and had two aces, two digs and four blocks. Cole Bogner had two kills in four errorless tries, 57 assists and eight digs as his team hit .345 and had 21 serving errors. Connor Mahony led Sacred Heart with 20 kills and hit .364. His team hit .294 and had three aces and 12 errors. Calin Butler added 14 kills, an ace, seven digs and four blocks, one solo, and Rob Chatteron had 10 kills, an ace, two digs and five blocks, one solo …

George Mason (8-5, 3-1) beat visiting NJIT (6-5, 0-3) 26-28, 25-21, 25-17, 27-25 as the Patriots hit .412 behind 15 kills each by Sam Greenslade and Richie Hoff. Greenslade hit .313 and had two assists, an ace, seven digs and three blocks, one solo. Hoff hit .393 and had an assist, two aces, two blocks and nine digs. The Patriots had seven aces, three by Richie Creamer, and nine errors. NJIT’s Alvaro Gimeno had a big night with 26 kills as he hit .523 and had an assist, four of his team’s eight aces, two blocks and a dig. Jens Feldthus had 12 kills.

NJIT hit .368 and had 18 serving errors … 

Harvard improved to 9-3, 3-1 in the EIVA, with a 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-27, 15-13 victory over visiting Saint Francis (3-9, 0-3). Harvard hit .302 and had six aces and 17 errors. Campbell Schoenfeld led with 15 kills as he hit .306 with an ace, six digs and two blocks. Eric Li had 12 kills, hit .429, and had an assist, an ace, six digs and a block. Saint Francis hit .235 and had 11 aces and a whopping 32 errors. Blake Lipandro had 20 kills and hit .400 to go with two aces and dive digs, Michael Fisher had 19 kills, five aces, six digs and a block, and AJ Schmidt had 13 kills, an ace and eight digs … 

In the MIVA, Loyola (5-9, 2-2) beat visiting Ohio State (9-5, 1-2) 25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22. Loyola hit .356 and had nine aces and 17 errors. Cole Schlothauer led with 17 kills as he hit .500 and had an assist, two aces, eight digs and three blocks. Devin Joslyn had 13 kills, hit .423, and had an ace, three digs and three blocks. Ian Cowen had two kills, 44 assists, seven digs and a block.

“I really loved the way we played,” Loyola coach Mark Hulse said. “I thought the guys were really tough, played with some passion and some emotion. We flew around, we were just sticking together, we were dealing with some of the failure. Ohio State is just tough. They put a lot of pressure on you with the way they serve and the way they play. I thought we just dealt with that in a way that we’ve been working on getting to.”

Ohio State hit .324 and had five aces and 15 errors. Martin Lallemand led with 15 kills as he hit .345 and had an assist, two aces, nine digs and three blocks. Samuel Clark had 13 kills with no errors in 15 attacks to hit .867 and Reese Devilbiss had 12 kills. Michael Wright had two kills in three errorless tries, 44 assists, an ace and seven digs … 

Also in the MIVA on Friday, Purdue Fort Wayne (7-4, 2-2) beat visiting Ball State (8-5, 1-2) 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22. Pelegrin Vargas led with 15 kills and hit .333 to go with an ace, a block and two digs. Jon Diedrich had 13 kills with no errors in 32 attacks and hit .406. He had an assist, an ace, five blocks and a dig. Richie Diedrich had nine kills, hit .500, and had 10 blocks, one solo. PFW hit .345 and had two aces and 13 errors. Sean Callif, making his first start, had two kills, 44 assists, four blocks and four digs. Ball State hit .248 and had four aces and 15 errors. Kaleb Jenness led with 17 kills, two assists, an ace, two blocks and 10 digs … 

Conference Carolinas had three matches, all non-league, as North Greenville swept winless Alderson Broaddus, Barton beat Queens in four and Belmont Abbey lost in five to Lincoln Memorial. Four players had six kills each for North Greenville, which hit .490 … Adrian Iglesias had 16 kills for Barton with one error in 25 attacks to hit .600 and he added two assists, three aces, six digs and a block … And Lincoln Memorial’s Evan Cory had 24 kills and hit .391 to go with an assist, an ace, 14 digs and two blocks, while Belmont Abbey’s Liam Maxwell had 28 kills, hit .387, and had an assist, seven digs and two blocks.

Radford hires Sherisa Livingston: The Big South school stayed inside the conference to hire the Winthrop assistant. Livingston had previously been an assistant at Tennessee Tech, Antelope Valley, Seattle University, and Nebraska. She played at Wisconsin and professionally. The Radford opening was created when Marci Byers left for Virginia Tech.

That leaves Division I openings still at Canisius, Fairleigh Dickinson, Merrimack, Penn, San Jose State, St. Peters, and UNC Wilmington.

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