NCAA: Hawai’i, Pepperdine men win; USC wins twice in beach

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Dalton Solbrig-Hawaii-NCAA volleyball 3/8/2019
Hawai'i's Dalton Solbrig led the Rainbow Warriors with eight kills against King/Hawai'i photo

Second-ranked Hawai’i held batting practice Thursday as the Rainbow Warriors of the Big West defeated King of Conference Carolinas 25-8, 25-13, 25-7 in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball. In the only other men’s match of the day, also at Hawai’i, No. 6 Pepperdine of the MPSF swept No. 15 Ball State.

There is a full slate of men’s matches Friday, most non-conference.

At the same time, the NCAA beach season enters into a pivotal weekend that got going Thursday with No. 2 USC beating visiting No. 4 Florida State and No. 15 Stetson.

Friday men: First a look at Friday’s men’s schedule that includes 14 matches, including the teams in Hawai’i flip-flopping opponents when the home team plays Ball State and Pepperdine faces King.

The powerful Big West has five other teams in action. Top-ranked and unbeaten Long Beach State is home for No. 8 Stanford of the MPSF, No. 3 UC Irvine is at No. 10 BYU of the MPSF, No. 4 UC Santa Barbara is home for the MIVA’s Lindenwood, No. 12 CSUN entertains the EIVA’s Saint Francis, and UC San Diego is at the MPSF’s Concordia.

The MPSF plays three non-conference matches. Fifth-ranked UCLA plays host to Ohio State of the MIVA and No. 11 USC plays the EIVA’s Penn State at the Pac-12/Big 10 challenge, and Grand Canyon is home for No. 9 Loyola of the MIVA. 

There is a MIVA match when Quincy goes to McKendree, and an EIVA match when Princeton goes to NJIT. Also, the EIVA’s Charleston plays host to Emmanuel of Conference Carolinas.

Finally, another Conference Carolinas team, Mount Olive, plays independent Lincoln Memorial. 

Hawai’i, Pepperdine men win: Hawai’i is 13-0, which ties the best start in program history, after the Rainbow Warriors manhandled King at the 25th Outrigger Resorts Invitational.

Hawai’i hit .540 in the match that lasted an hour, 9 minutes. 

Dalton Solbrig led Hawai’i with eight kills and hit .545, playing in two sets. Patrick Gasman had seven kills with no errors to hit .778 and had three blocks.

King (10-6) hit minus .036.

Pepperdine (12-4) overpowered Ball State (9-9) 25-13, 25-23, 25-21. Michael Wexter led with 12 kills and hit .550 after having one error in 20 swings. He added three assists, an ace, 12 digs and a block. Kaleb Denmark had 11 kills with no errors in 19 attacks and hit .579 to go with an assist, two aces, three digs and two blocks. 

Pepperdine hit .393, while Ball State hit .167.

Ben Chinnici led Ball State with 13 kills. He hit .345 and had an assist and eight digs. The Cardinals had just two total blocks.

USC wins twice, FSU splits: The Trojans won at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in a tough victory over Florida State. 

VBM 2018 Pair of the Year Abril Bustamante and Tina Graudina defeated Brooke Kuhlman and Payton Rund at No. 1 21-16, 17-21, 15-9.

At No. 2, Terese Cannon and Sammy Slater beat Alaina Chacon and Madison Fitzpatrick 27-25, 19-21, 15-13; and at No. 3 Haley Hallgren and Alexandra Poletto got past Molly McBain and Kate Privett 25-27, 24-22, 15-13.

Against Stetson (5-3), USC lost only at No. 5 when Quinci Birker and Rebecca Ingram beat Cammie Dorn and Mollie Ebertin 21-19, 21-18.

FSU beat No. 8 Long Beach State 5-0 but had to go three sets at Nos. 1, 4 and 5. That included Payton Caffrey and Sara Putt beating Kendra Koelsch and Sophia Major 21-14, 17-21, 17-15. FSU ended the day 9-2.

It was a tough day for No. 8 Long Beach State, which also lost to Stetson 3-2 and fell to 5-3.

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