NCAA volleyball first-round: ESPN+ with no early matches, plenty of overlap
November 29, 2023
February 15, 2023
The AVCA was busy this week as the coaches organization had not only its weekly NCAA men’s volleyball poll, the player of the week, but also its preseason NCAA beach poll.
Two NCAA women’s indoor programs, including North Carolina, hired coaches and another lost one.
And men’s season continues, highlighted by the first MPSF match of the season.
AVCA MEN’S POLL: This week’s top 15 saw the most movement this season. Hawai’i is still No. 1, but UCLA jumped two spots up to No. 2. Penn State stayed at No. 3 and Long Beach State dropped two notches to fourth.Â
There were no huge leaps or drops, but seven other teams had movement. UC Santa Barbara finally dropped out and Charleston, which is 11-0, moved in at No. 15.
Click here for the complete AVCA Men’s National Collegiate Coaches Poll.
AVCA POW: The national player of the week is UCLA freshman Andrew Rowan, the setter who took over the job fulltime when reigning MPSF player of the year Miles Partain left the team. Rowan averaged 11.0 assists per set, one blocks and one dig in two victories over Long Beach State.
AVCA BEACH POLL: UCLA is No. 1 in the AVCA Collegiate Beach Preseason Coaches Poll.Â
The season starts next week.
Florida State is No. 2, TCU is No. 3, and the fourth slot went to two-time defending NCAA-champion USC. LSU is fifth.
Click here for the complete top 20.
WEDNESDAY MEN: MPSF play gets underway when undefeated No. 5 Grand Canyon (11-0) goes to No. 12 USC (6-4). Â
There are two MIVA matches when Quincy goes to Lewis and Lindenwood is at McKendree. Two Conference Carolinas teams play independents when Mount Olive is home for Queens and Emmanuel entertains Limestone. Also, Maryville is at Fontbonne.
TUESDAY MEN: There were two Conference Carolinas matches. Michael Marsans had a career-high 25 kills as Lees-McRae (6-3, 3-0), off to its best start in recent memory, beat visiting King (8-9, 3-1) for the first time since 2014. Marsans hit .583 in the 25-21, 23-25, 25-27, 25-15, 18-16 victory with four errors in 36 attacks and added an ace (but he had 11 errors), two blocks and three digs. M.J. Doyle had 11 kills, hit .333, and had an ace and seven errors, two blocks and two digs. Sebastian Heer had 10 kills, an ace, three digs and four blocks, one solo. Lees-McRae hit .330 and had six aces and 27 errors. King, which hit .190, had six aces and 19 errors. Warren Davis led with 18 kills, three aces, two blocks and three digs. Jackson Carroll had 13 kills, an assist, a solo block and four digs …Â
North Greenville (8-3, 3-1) beat visiting Belmont Abbey (3-8 2-2) as four players had 10 or more kills in the 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 27-25 victory. Mark Autry and Michael de la Cruz had 12 each. Autry had two aces, six blocks and five digs. de la Cruz hit .429 and had an assist, three aces, a dig and five blocks, one solo. Jackson Caldwell had 11 digs and three assists as North Greenville hit .248 and had six aces and 13 errors. Belmont Abbey’s Matteo Miselli had 22 kills, hit .311, and had eight digs and two blocks, one solo. Matthew Staskunas had 12 kills, an assist and 12 digs. BA hit .256 and had three aces and 13 errors …Â
UC San Diego (6-6) of the Big West swept visiting Westcliff (0-2), which hit .000. UCSD’s Ryan Ka had 12 kills, an assist, four digs and seven blocks, three solo … in a battle of independents, Lincoln Memorial (10-4) swept at Tusculum (3-10) by hitting .500. Justin Sharfenaker had 11 kills in 12 errorless attacks, an assist, four digs and a solo block.
UNC PROMOTES SCHALL: Assistant coach Mike Schall is the new head coach at North Carolina. He takes over after five years with Joe Sagula, who retired last month. We interviewed Sagula when it was announced. Schall was previously an assistant at Penn State.
Read the UNC news release here.
GEORGETOWN HIRES BONETTI: AJ Bonetti, an assistant at Maryland the past five seasons, is the coach in D.C. He previously was an assistant at Tennessee, UNC Wilmington and George Washington. He takes over a program that finished 4-25 last season, 2-16 in the Big East. The opening was created when David Heller resigned after taking over as head coach in 2020.
Georgetown has been to the NCAA Tournament twice, in 1998 and 1999.Â
ETSU COACH TO MICHIGAN: Benavia Johnson, the head coach at East Tennessee State the past four seasons, is now an associate head coach at Michigan. Johnson, who went 64-40 at ETSU, was the 2022 Southern Conference coach of the year. The Bucs finished 21-8 last season, 15-1 in the SoCon. They were upset by Furman in the confernce tournament quarterfinals.
Johnson, an All-American middle at Florida who played professionally from 2005-2014, joins the staff of new Michigan coach Erin Virtue. Virtue previously hired the Pawlikowskis, Dan as associate head coach and Coley as director of operations.
WHICH MEANS: As best as we can tell — as coaches can go on the road to recruit for the first time this week — there are still Division I women’s head-coaching jobs open at:
Fairfield (Todd Kress left for San Jose State), Nicholls State (Kallie Noble resigned), Louisiana-Monroe (Charlie Olson is not there but the school never made an announcement), Oral Roberts (Frank Craig III was fired), UNC Asheville (Frederico Santos resigned), Prairie View (Tacho Tyler resigned), and, of course, now ETSU.
ICYMI: Earlier this week we did a Zoom interview with Penn State coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley. Click here to read the story and watch the interview.