The EIVA went 2-0 against the MIVA on Thursday night as Penn State beat visiting Loyola in five, while Harvard kept visiting Fort Wayne winless in NCAA men’s volleyball.
Those recaps ahead, but first a look at Friday’s busy schedule.
MPSF Friday: There are six matches, including the always-fun rivalry between USC and UCLA. In this case, No. 2 UCLA (5-1 overall, 3-1 MPSF) entertains the Trojans (2-4, 1-2), who have have lost back-to-back matches after upsetting Long Beach State on January 11.
No. 3 BYU (5-1, 1-0) goes to No. 14 CSUN (6-2, 2-1).
Tenth-ranked Stanford (3-2) goes to No. 7 Pepperdine (2-1) for the MPSF opener for both teams.
Two days after coming back to win a five-set thriller, No. 4. Long Beach (5-1, 2-1) plays No. 5 Hawai’i (5-1, 0-1) again.
No. 12 UCSB (5-1, 2-1) plays host to Cal Baptist (2-4, 1-2). Cal Baptist upset CSUN on January 11 and has lost both matches since, to Long Beach and UCLA.
And No. 6 UC Irvine (5-1, 2-1) plays at struggling UC San Diego (0-4, 0-3).
Conference Carolinas Friday: There are five matches, one in the league as Barton (2-0, 1-0 ConfCarolinas) goes to North Greenville (0-4), which is playing its conference opener.
King (2-0) steps out of conference to play at George Mason of the EIVA (3-1).
Belmont Abbey (0-2) entertains Coker. Emmanuel (1-1) goes to McKendree of the MIVA (1-6) and Lees-McRae (1-1) plays at independent Alderson Broaddus (0-2).
EIVA-MIVA Friday: Intriguing EIVA-MIVA matchups continue to dot the schedule as top-ranked Top-ranked Ohio State (5-0) goes to Saint Francis (3-2), Penn State (3-2) plays host to Lewis (3-1), Fort Wayne (0-7) goes to Sacred Heart (2-0) and Ball State (4-1) goes to Harvard (1-2).
Also, NJIT of the EIVA (1-2) plays host to Kean, while Charleston (1-2) entertains St. Andrews.
As mentioned, Mason has King at home.
There is one MIVA league match as Grand Canyon 1-3) plays host to Lindenwood (0-3) in the conference opener for both teams. And Quincy (0-3) is at home for Missouri Baptist.
Penn State beats Loyola: The 15th-ranked Nittany Lions got to 3-2 as they came away with a 25-17, 15-25, 25-21, 16-25, 15-11 victory.
“We’re never out of a match,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said.
Chris Nugent led with 15 kills and had two aces to go with six digs and two blocks.
Calvin Mende had 13 kills and .242 with five digs. Aidan Albrecht added 10 kills and Kevin Gear six. Penn State had four aces and 22 service errors.
Penn State finished the fifth set with a 3-1 burst and beat Loyola for the first time in three years.
Ben Plaisted had 12 kills and 10 digs for Loyola, which dropped to 3-3. Will Tischler had 11 kills and seven digs and Jeff Jendryk had 10 kills and five blocks. Loyola, which had three aces and 21 service errors, goes to George Mason on Saturday.
Harvard tops Fort Wayne: In a battle of winless teams, the Mastodons fell to 0-7 in a tough 28-26, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19 loss. Harvard improved to 1-2 as Brad Gretsch had 16 kills and hit .385 and Erik Johnsson 15 kills and hit .323. Casey White had 11 kills and hit .333. He also had a match-high 18 digs.
Pelegrin Vargas led Fort Wayne with 17 kills. Colton Stone had 13 and hit .333. He also had the team’s only ace and five of its 19 errors.
Penn State had two aces and 11 errors, meaning the four teams that played Thursday night combined for 10 aces and 73 errors.