USC is off to its best start in NCAA men’s volleyball since 2011, McKendree opened MIVA play with an upset of No. 12 Ohio State, Ball State got another big victory when it beat Lewis, and Idaho hired Chris Gonzales to coach its women.

Thursday’s recaps follow, but first a look at Friday’s men’s schedule.

There are four Big West-vs.-MPSF matches, including a showcase featuring top-ranked Long Beach State of the Big West at home against No. 2 UCLA of the MPSF. Also, No. 5 Pepperdine of the MPSF goes to UC Irvine, No. 8 UC Santa Barbara of the Big West is at No. 9 Grand Canyon, and No. 14 UC San Diego of the Big West is at No. 11 BYU. 

Third-ranked Hawai’i of the Big West is home again against independent LIU, a team it swept twice earlier in the week. 

No. 13 Stanford of the MPSF is home for Menlo College.

In the MIVA, No. 10 Ball State goes to McKendree, No. 12 Ohio State goes to No. 6 Lewis, Purdue Fort Wayne is home for Quincy, and Lindenwood goes to Loyola Chicago.

The three-match EIVA slate has No. 4 Penn State at Harvard, George Mason at NJIT, and Saint Francis (PA) at Sacred Heart.

Conference Carolinas play continues with four matches: Barton at Belmont Abbey, Emmanuel at Lees-McRae, Mount Olive at North Greenville, and Erkine at King.

Unbeaten independent Lincoln Memorial, which moved into the AVCA poll for the first time this week at No. 15, plays host to independent Queens, and there are two matches involving SIAC teams — Central State is home for Maryville, and Fort Valley State goes to the EIVA’s Charleston.

Want to watch a match? We have the viewing links in our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.

USC SWEEPS CSUN — The Trojans of the MPSF improved to 10-2, their best start since 2011, with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 sweep of visiting CSUN (3-2) of the Big West.

USC hit .303 and had two aces and 13 serving errors. Sam Kobrine led with 13 kills, hit .385 and had an assist, an ace, and two digs. Simon Gallas chipped in 10 kills, an assist, three digs, and three blocks, one solo. CSUN, which had one player with eight kills and three with seven, hit .120 and had two aces and 11 errors.

McKendree’s Patrick Ross attacks against the Ohio State block of Sean Ryan, left, and Cole Young/Breelyn Craig photo

MCKENDREE UPSETS OHIO STATE — McKendree (4-3) beat visiting Ohio State 25-15, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22 and won its sixth straight MIVA opener. 

McKendree, which beat Ohio State for the third time in a row, hit .231 and had three aces and 12 errors. Patrick Ross led with 16 kills, hit .600 with just one error in 25 attacks and added an ace, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo. Ethan Carroll, who had an ace, four digs, and four blocks, and Kevin Scheule, who had an ace, three blocks, and seven digs, had 10 kills each. Ryan Serrano had a kill, 40 assists, three blocks, and four digs.

Ohio State (4-4) hit .200 and had two aces, both by Ethan Talley, and 17 errors. Sean Ryan had 14 kills, hit .455, and had a block and four digs. Jacob Pasteur had 13 kills, two assists, four digs, and six blocks, one solo. Samuel Clark had 11 kills, an assist, a block, and nine digs.

BALL STATE TOPS LEWIS — Angelos Mandilaris had 18 kills, and Kaleb Jenness had 17 as Ball State improved to 7-1 with a 31-29, 25-22, 25-20 sweep of Lewis (6-3), its first win at the Romeoville, Illinois, school since 2010.

Mandilaris had two errors in 27 attacks, hit .593 and added two assists, an ace, two blocks, and five digs. Jenness had four errors in 35 attacks, hit .371 and had an assist, an ace, a block, and two digs. Their teammates combined for 14 kills, including seven by Nick Martinski, who had an ace, two blocks, and nine digs. Ball State hit .435 and had five aces and 12 errors. Setter Quinn Isaacson had two kills in four errorless tries, 41 assists, an ace, two blocks, and four digs.

Lewis, which hit .266 and had five aces and eight errors, got 15 kills from Tyler Mitchem, who had three errors in 23 attacks, hit .522 and had an ace, two digs, and two blocks, one solo. Kevin Kauling, Michael Sack, and John Davis had seven kills each.

LOYOLA SWEEPS QUINCY — Loyola (5-5) hit .472 and routed visiting Quincy 25-11, 25-20, 25-18.

Parker Van Buren had 16 kills with one error in 22 swings to hit .682 and added an ace, a block, and three digs. Henry Payne and Colton Brooks had seven kills each. Payne had one error in 14 attacks, and Brooks had one error in 11 attacks. Andrew Lyons had five kills in eight errorless attacks, two aces and three blocks. Loyola had 10 aces and 14 errors.

Quincy (3-4) hit .163 and had one ace and 10 errors. Nathan Lawton had 14 kills; his teammates combined for 15.

IDAHO TABS GONZALEZ — Chris Gonzalez, who coached in Japan for the past three years, takes over a women’s program that has won just 11 matches the past two seasons.

He has coached internationally and in the NCAA, including as an assistant at Long Beach when it won the 1998 NCAA title. Click here to read more about Gonzalez.

Idaho finished 5-20 last season, 2-14 in the Big Sky. Debbie Buchanan retired after 22 years at Idaho.

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