NCAA: Women’s coaches hired, UCLA, BYU, Ball State men win

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BYU celebrates a point against McKendree/BYU photo by Jaren Wilkey

Virginia Tech, Delaware and Stony Brook have new coaches and there’s a familiar theme among the hirings. Troy has a new coach, too.

And in men’s volleyball on Thursday night, UCLA swept UC Irvine and Ball State did the same to Saint Francis.

More on the coaches and Thursday’s results in a bit. First, the Friday NCAA men’s schedule.

The MPSF has a full slate, with two conference matches that have Long Beach State at Cal Baptist and UC San Diego at UC Santa Barbara. There are four other matches, with Pepperdine forsaking the warmth of Malibu for Chicago when it plays at Loyola of the MIVA, Stanford is home for a visit from the MIVA’s Ohio State for matches Friday and Saturday, BYU entertains Concordia and Hawai’i plays the second of its two matches against Grand Canyon of the MIVA.

Also in the MIVA, there’s a big pre-conference matchup when Penn State of the EIVA goes to Ball State.

McKendree continues play at BYU when it faces Concordia, Lewis entertains Harvard of the EIVA, Fort Wayne plays host to Saint Francis of the EIVA and Grand View at Lindenwood was postponed because of impending weather.

The EIVA schedule also includes Sacred Heart playing host to North Greenville of Conference Carolinas, and Charleston entertaining King of Conference Carolinas.

And other ConfCarolinas teams playing non-league matches include Emmanuel going to Southern Virginia, Barton playing host to Alderson Broaddus and Lees-McRae entertaining Lincoln Memorial.

MPSF: UCLA sweeps UCI, BYU sweeps McKendree

The second-ranked Bruins improved to 3-1 by sweeping visiting previously unbeaten UC Irvine 25-16, 25-18, 25-22 their MPSF opener. UCI dropped to 5-1, 2-1.

The Bruins hit .395 for the match and were led by freshman middle blocker Daenan Gyimah’s 14 kills. He hit .737 and also had two blocks and two aces. Micah Ma’a added eight kills and three aces, while Mitch Stahl had five kills and three blocks. Ma’a was 8-for-10 and hit .800.

Senior Michael Saeta led No. 7 UCI with seven kills, seven digs and an ace. David Parker and Tucker Pikula each added five kills.

Fourth-ranked BYU made short work of visiting McKendree 25-16, 25-19, 25-20 in the Cougars’ home opener. BYU is 2-1, while McKendree dropped to 0-5.

“It’s nice to be back in the Smith Fieldhouse and the guys were excited about that,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I liked how they played from the start. They were assertive and aggressive, and I was happy with how they played.”

Junior Ben Patch led BYU with nine kills and hit .667, while senior Jake Langlois added nine kills and six digs. Tim Dobbert had three blocks and Leo Durkin had 29 assists.

The same teams play again Saturday.

MIVA: Ball State wins in three

The Cardinals improved to 3-0 with their 25-21, 25-22, 27-25 win over visiting Saint Francis.

Freshman Matt Szews led 15th-ranked Ball State with 16 kills, including the winning point in all three sets.

“Szews is not the typical freshman,” Ball State coach Joel Walton said. “He has a high level of maturity and is that right hand man that we know we can throw the ball to. He does a nice job creating when situations aren’t ideal.”

Connor Gross added 39 assists, an ace and 11 digs. And Brendan Surane had 12 kills.

Michael Fisher led Saint Francis (2-2) of the EIVA with 14 kills. Jeff Hogan added 11 kills and seven digs.

Princeton University men's volleyball vs. Northern Greenville Univ., Princeton, NJ, January 12, 2017. Matthew McManaway
Princeton University’s Junior Oboh attacks against Matthew McManaway of North Greenville/Princeton photo

EIVA: Mason sweeps Charleston, Princeton wins

Mason improved to 3-1 as it cruised past the home team 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 in its league opener. Charleston was playing its season opener and it was the first sporting event in the school’s new H. Bernard Wehrle Sr. Athletic Arena.

Jack Wilson led 11th-ranked Mason with 11 kills and hit .320. Garrett Kollar had seven kills and four aces while hitting .400. Kyle Barnes had six kills and hit .455. And setter Brian Negron had 26 assists and went 2-for-2 on kills.

“We’ve got to clean up little aspects of the game,” Mason coach Jay Hosack said. “We are leaving too many points on the table. Whether it’s a free ball, a missed blocking assignment or not running the right route, we are leaving points that we shouldn’t be on the table. The kind of teams that we want to face at the end of the year will not give us freebies that often, so we have to make sure that the foundation is made of cement and not made of sand.”

Brian Cranston led Charleston with five kills and hit .625. Eugene Stuart had five kills and two blocks.

And this is from the Charleston release:

The Golden Eagle bench, staff and fans erupted with a loud roar following the opening point of the match as Eugene Stuart hammered down a kill for Charleston, winning the first point in the new arena. It would prove to be the only lead UC would have for the entire match, but was able to make runs in each of the sets to stay competitive in the three-set loss.

Princeton blasted visiting North Greenville 25-16, 25-12, 25-19 to improve to 2-2, while North Greenville dropped to 0-2.

Princeton hit .532 for the match — including .600 in each of the last two sets — and added seven service aces.

Freshman Parker Dixon led with 13 kills,hit .571, and had four blocks. Junior Oboh had 10 kills and two blocks while hitting .643. George Huhmann had five kills on five swings and added five blocks.

Matthew McManaway and Grayson Lawrence led North Greenville with eight kills apiece.

Jill Wilson
Jill Wilson

Virginia Tech, Delaware, Stony Brook, Troy have coaches

There is an interesting trend developing. The first three hired women, none of whom with head-coaching experience, while Troy hired a man who has never been a Division I head coach. Among the previous hires in Division I, Arizona State hired an assistant from within with no head-coaching experience.

Virginia Tech hired Jill Lytle Wilson, the longtime LSU assistant, who played at LSU (1997-2000) and previously was an assistant at North Carolina and Wake Forest. Wilson, regarded as a tireless and effective recruiter, replaces Chris Riley, who resigned in December after 11 seasons. The Hokies were 13-18 in 2016, 8-12 in the ACC.

Delaware hired Sara Matthews, who had been with Jill Kramer as her assistant previously at West Virginia and the past two seasons at TCU. Matthews, who played at James Madison and Kansas, is also regarded as a strong recruiter. Delaware fired head coach Bonnie Kenny and associate Cindy Gregory in mid-October and Brian Toron acted as interim head coach. The Blue Hens finished 16-16, 8-8 in the Colonial Athletic Association where they advanced to the CAA tournament championship match.

Stony Brook hired former Northern Iowa setter Kristin Belzung, who had been an assistant coach the past four years at Wyoming. She previously was an assistant at South Dakota State and director of operations at South Carolina. The Seawolves fired fourth-year coach Coley Pawlikowski after an 8-21 season, 4-8 in the Northeast Conference.

And Troy hired Josh Lauer who was an assistant at Georgia the past six seasons where the Bulldogs went 1-35 in Southeastern Conference play the past two years. Before that, Lauer was an assistant at Alabama for three years.

Lauer, who was a longtime club coach in St. Louis, was also head coach at Missouri-St. Louis.

There are still Division I openings, including Loyola Marymount, Texas-Arlington, Stetson, and Stanford, and obviously there is quite a bit of movement among assistant coaches.

New Louisville coach Dani Busboom Kelly added Kolby O’Donnell to her staff. O’Donnell spent the past four years as an assistant at UC Santa Barbara … New Georgia coach Tom Black brought with him from Loyola Marymount assistants Aaron Benning and Felicia Arriola …

Arkansas State is a top-level mid-major and its assistants are reaping the benefits.

Ole Miss coach Steven McRoberts added Arkansas State assistant Tori Mellinger to his staff. She is a former Texas A&M player … Another Arkansas State assistant, Tristan Johnson, has been hired as an assistant to Ed Allen at Alabama …

Arkansas State coach Dave Rehr in turn hired Brian Gerwig from George Washington and is expected to add Ross Kessler of Troy in the near future.

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