Coach Leonid Yellin of Syracuse retired; Delaware promoted its assistant; the NCAA locked in some women’s rules changes; the AVCA has its men’s poll and POW; and we have Tuesday’s results, including a school record for blocks.

First a look at Wednesday’s NCAA Division I-II men’s schedule.

In the MPSF, top-ranked UCLA plays host to Concordia, and No. 5 USC goes to No. 7 Pepperdine.

There’s one match involving a Big West team — CSUN plays host to Saint Katherine. And on Thursday in a big Big West opener, No. 11 UC San Diego goes to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara.

The EIVA and MIVA are off Wednesday, but the MIVA has four matches Thursday.

In Conference Carolinas matches Wednesday, Lees-McRae goes to Belmont Abbey, and Mount Olive goes to Barton. Also, North Greenville is home for Bluefield.

The SIAC’s Edward Waters plays host to Truett-McConnell, and among the independents, Daemen is home against Nazareth, and Maryville is home against Fontbonne.

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

COACHING CAROUSEL — Leonid Yellin, a product of Uzbekistan who was a fixture in NCAA volleyball for three decades, has retired after 10 years as the women’s coach at Syracuse. He leaves with an overall record of 624-292.

Leonid Yellin

“I am grateful for all of the student-athletes and coaches I have worked with through the years, especially the last 10 at Syracuse,” Yellin said in a news release. “My sincere thanks to everyone at Syracuse University, including the administration and the athletics department leadership and staff. Volleyball has been a part of my life for more than 50 years and has provided so many special friendships and memories which I will always cherish. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family in retirement.”

Associate head coach Andrea Beaty will serve as the interim head coach. 

Yellin, who played and coached in Uzbekistan, started coaching in the United States at Division II Barry in 1991. Success there led him to Louisville, where his teams went 366-112 in 15 seasons.

At Syracuse, he led the Orange to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 2018. Syracuse finished 17-13 last season, including 6-12 in the ACC …

Delaware promoted Kimberly Lambert to head coach. She takes over for Sarah Matthews, who left to become associate head coach at Notre Dame. Lambert has been at Delaware since 2017. She played at Texas A&M-Kingsville and previously coached at Rice, UTEP, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Marshall and NC State. Delaware finished 15-13 last fall, including 8-8 in the Colonial Athletic Association, and ended its season in the CAA Tournament semifinals.

NCAA RULES CHANGES — Finally, the challenge rules will be universal and make sense. Here is the complete release, which also includes other changes, one of which we would call the “Tyler Hildebrand rule.” One worth watching is experimenting this spring with eliminating the double.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Tuesday approved allowing women’s volleyball teams to begin with two video coach’s challenges in all matches, starting with the 2022 season.

If a challenge results in the reversal of the original call, the team will retain the challenge. If the original call is confirmed or there isn’t video evidence to overturn the original call, the coach loses the challenge.

If a match reaches the fifth set, each team will be awarded an additional challenge. Teams will be allowed to carry a maximum of two challenges into the fifth set.

During the 2021 season, 15 Division I conferences and one Division II conference experimented with this rule.

Data from the experimental rule showed there wasn’t an increase in the number of overall challenges.

The panel also approved allowing coaches to request a video challenge to see whether a libero committed a violation by stepping in front of the 10-foot line while setting the ball to a hitter.

Protecting officials

A new rule that goes into effect next season is that the head coach will be the only person allowed to address the officials when the ball is out of play. Head coaches may address the referees to quickly clarify a nonjudgmental ruling, request a challenge or lodge a protest.

Other rules changes 

— Players will be allowed to wear small, secured articles of jewelry, like post stud earrings, during play. However, no articles of jewelry can be worn below the chin.

— For upcoming spring matches only, teams will be allowed to experiment with a rule that eliminates double contact when the ball remains on the same side of the net it was played on (second contact). The rationale for experimenting with the rule is to see whether it relieves pressure off the referees to make controversial double contact calls in critical moments of a match. The rules committee will seek feedback from officials and coaches who use the experimental rule.

AVCA MEN’S POLL — UCLA won the battle with Long Beach State, and the two traded places in the top 15. UCLA is now No. 1, and Long Beach is No. 2. Hawai’i stayed No. 3, and the next three teams — Penn State, USC and UC Santa Barbara — also held their places. Lincoln Memorial, which went to Hawai’i undefeated and then lost there three times, fell out, and Loyola Chicago made it back in at No. 14.

Click here for the complete AVCA Men’s Division I-II Coaches Poll.

AVCA POW — The honor for national player of the week went to Harvard’s Campbell Schoenfeld, a senior outside hitter who averaged 3.38 kills in eight sets and hit .402 in wins over St. Francis Brooklyn and NJIT.

Eli Zdonek of Emmanuel attacks against Tusculum

TUESDAY’S RESULTS — St. Francis Brooklyn (7-4) of the EIVA had to go five to beat visiting independent LIU (4-11). Andrea Lancianese had 21 kills, and Jack Hershman had 17 in the 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12 victory. Lancianese hit .432 after having two errors in 44 attacks and added two assists, a block and dig. Hershman had two errors in 30 swings, hit .500 and had an assist, an ace, 11 digs and three blocks, one solo. Bartek Zielinski had three kills and six blocks, one solo. St. Francis hit .358 and had eight aces and 14 errors.

LIU hit .261 and had a whopping 14 aces against 16 errors. Hasan Hadzic, who also had five kills and two blocks, had six of the aces, and Gioele Iacono had five. Luke Chandler had 19 kills, hit .400, and had an assist and eight digs. Caden Satterfield had 18 kills, hit .324 and had an assist, two aces and eight digs … 

Independent Tusculum (3-7) won in five at Emmanuel (5-5) of Conference Carolinas. Jacob Whyte led with 18 kills, six blocks and eight digs. Saphar Grant had a program-record 12 kills, hit .500 and had a dig and 12 blocks, one solo, in the 25-27, 27-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12 victory. Tusculum hit .142 and and had seven aces and 13 errors. Emmanuel’s Gustavo Cavalcanti had 22 kills, an ace and nine digs, and Eli Zdonek had 20 kills, an assist and 10 digs. Emmanuel, which hit .209, had two aces and 24 errors … 

Erskine (5-11) of Conference Carolinas swept visiting Benedict (1-6) of the SIAC 25-15, 25-23, 25-18. Jason Sall led with 13 kills, an ace, two blocks and three digs. Edgerrin Austin and Kacper Rybarczyk had eight kills each. Erskine hit .271 and had seven aces and 10 errors. Benedict hit .063 and had three aces — two by Jomari Jacobs — and five errors. 

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