NCAA volleyball: MPSF, MIVA tourneys begin, UCSB upsets UCI

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Gabi Garcia Fernandez-BYU-Cougars-MPSF-Freshman of the Year
BYU's Gabi Garcia Fernandez is the MPSF freshman of the year/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

The regular season is coming to a close in the Big West, EIVA and Conference Carolinas, but the two other NCAA Division I-II men’s conferences start their tournaments with automatic bids on the line.

Friday, there are four MIVA quarterfinal matches. The MPSF has three quarterfinals on Saturday (BYU got a bye into the semifinals) and both leagues have announced their postseason honors.

There was an upset Thursday as No. 12 UC Santa Barbara scored a Big West win over No. 3 UC Irvine.

A conference-by-conference breakdown follows.

But first, there is NCAA beach volleyball on Friday, including No. 9 South Carolina is the host for No. 19 Tulane, No. 20 Coastal Carolina and Missouri State.

Saturday’s schedule includes No. 2 Pepperdine at home for No. 5 Cal Poly and No. 12 Arizona.

No. 3 Hawai’i is home Saturday and Sunday for Arizona State and Boise State.

Fourth-ranked USC is at Washington, where it plays the hosts and No. 14 Stanford on Saturday and No. 13 Cal and Oregon on Sunday.

No. 6 Long Beach State is home Saturday for Long Beach City, Utah and CSU Bakersfield and plays No. 16 Loyola Marymount on Sunday.

The weekend slate includes a big gathering for No. 8 LSU, which includes No. 7 Florida State (they play each other Sunday), No. 11 Georgia State, TCU, New Orleans and Houston Baptist.

And No. 17 Stetson is trying to clinch its fourth consecutive ASUN title when it plays host to North Florida, and Jacksonville.

MPSF: Pepperdine junior outside David Wieczorek is the MPSF player of the year, while BYU opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez is the league’s freshman of the year. Click here for the complete list that includes the first and second teams, honorable mentions and all-freshmen team.

There are three matches Saturday as Wieczorek’s Pepperdine (15-7, 8-4 MPSF) plays host to USC (7-19, 3-9), Grand Canyon (18-10 , 4-8) goes to Concordia (15-14, 8-7) and Stanford (6-19, 3-9) is at UCLA (22-6, 9-3). The three winners advance to the semifinals on April 19 at BYU (20-6, 10-2) with the championship match April 21 at BYU.

MIVA: The league also announced its postseason awards and Ohio State senior outside Nicolas Szerszen is the player of the year. Loyola setter Garrett Zolg is the freshman of the year, and top coach honors went to Loyola’s Mark Hulse. Click here for a complete list of the first and second teams and all-freshman teams.

The tournament begins Saturday with Quincy at Ohio State. Ohio State is the two-time-defending NCAA champion.  McKendree is at Ball State, Lindenwood goes to Loyola and Fort Wayne plays at Lewis.

The semifinals are April 18 with the title match April 21. The higher seeds will continue to host.

Big West: The league winds up its regular season Friday and Saturday. Friday, UC San Diego is at CSUN and No. 1 Long Beach State is at Hawai’i. Then Saturday, CSUN goes to UCSB, Long Beach and Hawai’i go at it again, and UCSB goes to UCI.

UCSB won a wild one at home Thursday, holding off UC Irvine 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13. UCSB (11-11, 4-5) did nothing to help the NCAA at-large chances of UCI (19-8, 5-4).

Roy McFarland led the Gauchos with 16 kills. He added four digs and two blocks. Keenan Sanders had 10 kills, seven dig and two blocks, one solo, and Brandon Hopper had nine kills, hit .615 and had two blocks. UCSB hit .280 and had two aces and 19 errors before an announced crowd of 273.

UCI’s Karl Apfelbach had 17 kills, three of his team’s eight aces against 27 errors and had five digs and a block. Aaron Koubi had 16 kills, two aces, nine digs and three blocks. Scott Stadick had 10 kills, three digs and seven blocks, three solo.

EIVA: There are four matches on tap Friday as league-leader George Mason (15-11, 11-1) plays host to Harvard (11-11, 10-2). The same teams play again Saturday with the regular-season title on the line.

In the battle for third place — and possible second if Penn State wins out and Mason beats Harvard twice — Princeton (10-14, 6-6) goes to Penn State (14-9, 9-3).

Also, Sacred Heart (6-14, 1-11) goes to Charleston (15-9, 4-8) and NJIT (8-16, 4-8) is at Saint Francis. There was one match Thursday as Sacred Heart swept independent Alderson Broaddus.

Conference Carolinas: The tournament starts Tuesday, but Erskine finishes the regular season Friday at Lees-McRae. The tournament bracket will be announced after that match.

 

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