NCAA men: Ohio State, Ball State, Pepperdine, Lewis get victories

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Freshman Matt Szews had another big night for Ball State, getting 14 kills against Penn State/Domenic Centofanti, Ball State Creative Services

Top-ranked Ohio State went into No. 10 Stanford and swept the Cardinal, while 15th-ranked Ball State beat visiting No. 14 Penn State in four and fifth-ranked Pepperdine came away with a five-set win at No. 8 Loyola on a Friday night punctuated with some outstanding non-conference NCAA men’s volleyball matchups.

There was plenty of conference play, too, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule.

Start with the MPSF, where Stanford goes back-to-back with Ohio State, Pepperdine stays near Chicago and goes to Lewis, and BYU plays McKendree for the second time in three days. There are two conference matches as No. 13 CSUN goes to USC and UC San Diego plays at No. 2 UCLA.

In the MIVA, Harvard of the EIVA, coming off a five-set loss at Lewis, trades places with Pepperdine and goes to Loyola and Fort Wayne plays host to Penn State of the EIVA.

Other matches in the EIVA have Charleston at Lees-McRae of ConfCarolinas and North Greenville of Conference Carolinas at Sacred Heart.

And also in the ConfCarolinas, Emmanuel goes to East Mennonite, which is playing its season opener. East Mennonite is located in Harrisonburg, Va., and its nickname is the Royals.

Big non-conference match-ups: Start with Ohio State, which had 44 kills and hit .403 en route to its 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 win over Stanford.

The Buckeyes, who won for the 27th time in a row, got 13 kills from Miles Johnson, who hit .476, and 12 kills from Nicolas Szerszen, who hit .333. Szerszen also had all four of Ohio State’s aces and had three blocks.

Jordan Ewert led Stanford with 15 kills and hit .323.

Ohio State is 4-0, while Stanford is 3-1.

It was a busy night in and around the Windy City, where Pepperdine won at Loyola 18-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 15-11 and in nearby Romeoville No. 9 Lewis held off Harvard 25-19, 19-25, 25-13, 23-25, 15-12.

Pepperdine’s Michael Wexter had a super night, getting seven of his match-high 22 kills in the fifth set, including the match-ender. The sophomore outside hit .405, had eight digs and two blocks. Alex Harthaller added 18 kills and Noah Dyer had 16 while hitting .325.

Loyola got 14 kills from Ben Plaisted, 13 from Mahan Collin, who also had 11 digs, and 12 each from Jeff Jendryk and Paul Narup.

Pepperdine is 2-0, while Loyola dropped to 2-2.

Lewis freshman outside Ryan Coenan had 23 kills, 10 digs, two aces and two blocks to lead the Flyers, who improved to 2-1 in the season opener for Harvard.

Sophomore Mitch Perinar added 12 kills and eight digs for Lewis while freshman Kyle Bugee and senior Jacob Schmiegelt had 10 each.

Harvard got 11 kills from Casey White and 10 from Erik Johnson. It was a tough serving night as Harvard had three aces and 11 errors, while Lewis had no aces and six errors.

Brendan Surane had 14 kills and seven digs against Penn State/Domenic Centofanti, Ball State Creative Services
Brendan Surane had 14 kills and seven digs against Penn State/Domenic Centofanti, Ball State Creative Services

Ball State beat Penn State 25-19, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18 to improve to 4-1 as Penn State fell to 1-2.

Ball State was led again by freshman Matt Szews, who had 14 kills and hit .243, to go with an ace and a four blocks. Brendan Surane added 14 kills and seven digs.

“The guys did a good job with defense tonight,” Ball State coach Joel Walton said. “Penn State has a lot of players we haven’t seen and we wanted to keep the pressure on their side of the net. I was pleased to see our guys come back out and play aggressive in sets three and four.”

Penn State got 17 kills from Chris Nugent, who had seven digs. Calvin Mende added nine kills and four blocks. The Nittany Lions had three aces — two from Jalen Penrose — and 16 service errors.

MPSF: UCSB, Long Beach win league matches

UCSB swept visiting San Diego 25-19, 25-11, 25-20 to improve to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the MPSF, while UCSD dropped to 0-3, 0-2.

Jacob Delson led the winner with nine kills, Keenan Sanders had six and Corey Chavers five and three blocks.

“It’s always good to get back on the court as soon as possible after a tough five-set loss (Wednesday to UC Irvine), and our guys were ready to go,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said. “We served and passed the ball tonight at a high level, and doing well in those areas usually results in a win.”

Devon Pontigon led the Tritons with eight kills but hit .000. His team hit .015 and had no aces and 16 service errors.

“UC Santa Barbara got the better of us tonight in large part because of what we did on our side of the net,” UCSD coach Kevin Ring said. “We definitely lost the serve-receive battle. We missed 16 serves, and were just not giving ourselves enough chances to score points.

“From the scouting report, our plan was to really side out at a high level, look smooth with the pass, set and hit. We just made things more difficult on ourselves. We didn’t pass well, set well, or hit all that well. We had a few moments here and there, but everything was challenging. We’ve got to find a way to play through our struggles, and get ourselves back on track during the course of a set and match. Unfortunately, right now, we’re having a hard time pulling ourselves out of our struggles.

“We’re keeping our heads up. The guys are going to continue to work. We talked in the postgame meeting about what we have to do to invoke a change, because we all want a different outcome with our performance level on the court.”

Third-ranked Long Beach came away with a 25-18, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18 victory at Cal Baptist that left the 49ers 4-1 overall, 1-1 in the MPSF. Cal Baptist dropped to 2-3, 1-1.

TJ DeFalco led Long Beach with 12 kills and 12 digs, while Kyle Ensing had eight kills and a career-high seven block assists. Amir Lugo-Rodriquez had nine kills and hit .538.

“I thought TJ was dialed in from the very beginning,” Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe said. “He did a wonderful job from the end-line serving, with all sorts of different serves changing speeds. He did a really good job communicating with serve-receive and running our block on defense. He was real offensive in system and out of system and I thought it was a great response from TJ.

“Kyle just continues to get so good at the net as a blocker. Whether we had him block on the left or the right, he got into a pretty good rhythm tonight. He was getting across the net and blocking a lot of balls, touching them and forcing them to get out. He was a big factor at the net.”

Cal Baptist got seven kills each from Rohit Paul, Luis Palos, Logan Czyzewski and Kevin Vaz. Their team had two aces and 18 errors, while Long Beach had five aces and 21 errors.

Also in the MPSF, BYU swept visiting Concordia 25-23, 25-17, 26-24, and Hawai’i rolled past visiting Grand Canyon 25-16, 25-16, 25-20.

BYU is 3-1 and got 16 kills from Ben Patch, who hit .303, and Jake Langlois added 13 kills to go with two aces and six digs. Concordia, 5-5, got 10 kills from Jonathon Predney.

Hawai’i improved to 5-0 as Stijn van Tilburg had 17 kills and two blocks. Grand Canyon dropped to 1-3 after going 0-2 on the trip to Hawai’i.

MIVA, EIVA, ConfCarolinas: The visiting Saint Francis Red Flash improved to 3-2 while dropping Fort Wayne to 0-5 with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 victory.

Michael Fisher led Saint Francis with19 kills but also had six of his team’s 23 service errors. The Red Flash had three aces, two by Jeff Hogan, who also had 15 kills and hit .333. Stephen Braswell added 12 kills.

Fort Wayne got 15 kills apiece from Colton Stone and Pelegrin Vargas. Their team had seven aces, three by Stone, and 26 errors.

A match between Grand View and Lindenwood was postponed because of weather.

Other EIVA results included Sacred Heart sweeping North Greenville of the ConfCarolinas, Charleston losing in three at King of ConfCarolinas.

Also in ConfCarolinas, Barton swept Alderson Broaddus, Emmanuel lost at Southern Virginia in four and Lees-McRae swept visiting Lincoln Memorial.

NCAA coaching notes: New Arizona State coach Sanja Tomasevic has added former Sun Devil standout Amanda Burbridge to her staff. Burbridge had 1,597 kills in her career from 1997-2000. She’s been the head coach at Phoenix College …

Longtime Seattle Pacific coach Chris Johnson is retiring. He was at SPU for 13 years, the last 12 as head coach and had a record of 192-136, 129-85 in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference …

There are still Division I openings, including Loyola Marymount, Texas-Arlington, Stetson, and Stanford.

New coach for Brazil: Brazil’s men won the Olympic gold medal and coach Bernardo Rezende stepped down. The federation announced that Renan Dal Zotto will replace him.

Dal Zotto won silver as a player in the 1984 Olympics.

“Before accepting the invitation, I spoke to Bernardo, who is a great professional and a great friend,” Dal Zotto said in an FIVB release. “Volleyball has developed greatly in the last two decades and we have to stay on that route. We will try to stay at the forefront of the sport with great professionals working in a highly professional structure.

“I’m very proud to have the trust of the CBV President. I have been involved in volleyball for 40 years, first as a player in the national team on 13 occasions and in 2001 when Bernardo asked me to help his transition from the women’s to men’s teams.”

Rezende coached the team to gold at Athens 2004 and Rio 2016, the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Championships and eight FIVB World League titles.

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