Second-ranked UCLA started the MPSF season as the team to beat. Now the Bruins are the ones to catch after they beat visiting USC on a Friday night when just one of the six MPSF matches played was not decided in a sweep.
In MIVA vs. EIVA action, top-ranked Ohio State, Lewis and Ball State were winners.
And Barton won to stay atop Conference Carolinas.
All the recaps ahead, but first Saturday’s schedule.
There are two MPSF matches as No. 5 Hawai’i stays on the mainland after back-to-back losses to Long Beach and hopes to get back on track at UC Irvine, and winless UC San Diego tries to break through when it goes out of conference at Concordia.
The EIVA has all non-conference matches — including three against the MIVA — starting with No. 11 George Mason playing host to No. 11 Loyola of the MIVA. Saint Francis entertains No. 8 Lewis of the MIVA and Sacred Heart is home to No. 13 Ball State of the MIVA.
NJIT gets a cross-country visit from UC Santa Cruz and Charleston is home to Conference Carolina’s Lees-McRae.
Other MIVA matches include winless Lindenwood at Grand Canyon and Quincy playing host to Emmanuel of ConfCarolinas.
And in Conference Carolinas, there is a league match when Barton goes to Limestone. King plays matches against East Mennonite and Lancaster Bible and North Greenville plays host to Coker.
Top half of MPSF wins: 1 through 6 beat 7 through 12 on Friday.
Start with UCLA’s 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22 win over unranked USC that left the Bruins 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the MPSF. Jake Arnitz led UCLA with 20 kills and hit .450. He also had five blocks and six digs. Daenan Gyimah had 10 kills, hit .444 and had three blocks. Mitch Stahl had nine kills, eight blocks and three aces.
Lucas Yoder had 15 kills for USC, while Woody Cook added 13 kills, hit .321 and had seven digs. Aaron Strange had 11 kills, four blocks and a match-leading 17 digs. Their team is 2-5, 1-3.
Third-ranked and second-place BYU improved to 6-1, 2-0, by going to CSUN and coming away with a tough 26-24, 25-15, 22-25, 26-24 victory.
BYU libero Ben Worthing had a career-high 14 digs, Ben Patch had 24 kills and hit .415 and Brenden Sander had 15 kills.
“We had another great team win tonight,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Each one of these guys showed a ton of heart and fight. I’m proud of the way they battled back to take the first and fourth sets.”
CSUN, which dropped to 6-3, 1-3, got 15 kills from Arvis Greene, who hit .244 and had five blocks. Dimitar Kalchev added nine kills.
No. 10 Stanford won the MPSF opener for both teams and improved to 4-2 with its 29-27, 25-16, 13-25, 26-24 win at No. 7 Pepperdine. The Waves dropped to 2-2.
Jordan Ewert had a career-high 21 kills for the Cardinal and also had seven digs and two blocks. Kevin Rakestraw had 11 kills on 18 swings with one error and hit .556. He also had a match-high five blocks. Matt Klassen had 10 kills.
Stanford had a chance for a sweep but in the third set hit .069 with nine errors, while Pepperdine hit .421. But for the match, Pepperdine hit .207 as Michael Wexter led with 12 kills, David Wieczorek had 11 and Alex Harthaller nine. Wexter added five blocks and two of the Waves’ eight aces in a rare match when a team had the same number of aces — eight — as errors. Harthaller led with three aces.
Two days later it was much easier and the end result was the same as No. 4 Long Beach State beat visiting No. 5 Hawai’i 25-19, 25-14, 25-18.
It left Long Beach, which never had a reception error, 6-1, 3-1, and dropped Hawai’i to 5-2, 0-2.
Long Beach had only three attack errors — one in each set — and hit .534. And the Beach had 10 blocks to Hawai’i’s none.
Kyle Ensing led with 11 kills and hit .579. TJ DeFalco had seven kills and hit .438 to go with five aces, while Bjarne Huus had six kills.
Click here for a post-match interview with Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe.
Stijn van Tilburg led Hawai’i with 10 kills and Patrick Gasman had nine in 11 swings and hit .727. He also had three of the Warriors’ 12 service errors. They had no aces.
UCSB kept pace as the 12th-ranked Gauchos beat visiting Cal Baptist 25-12, 25-22, 25-16. UCSB is 6-1, 3-1, while Cal Baptist dropped to 2-5, 1-3.
The Gauchos won for the sixth time in seven matches as Jacob Delson had 15 kills and hit .522 and Corey Chavers had 13 kills and hit .476. They out-hit their opponents .359 to .091.
“Any time you get a little winning streak like this going in our conference, that’s a good thing,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said. “I thought our passing was the difference tonight, and Delson had another strong game to lead us. He’s been playing great every night.”
Luis Palos led Cal Baptist with eight kills but hit .120. Logan Crzyzewski had seven kills and hit .462.
Sixth-ranked UC Irvine needed five sets — and two rallies in the fifth — to win at winless UC San Diego, 3-2 (25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 23-25, 17-15). It left the Anteaters 6-1, 3-1, while UCSD fell to 0-5, 0-4.
UCI was down 8-4 in the fifth and still 13-11. Two kills by Tamir Hershko tied it and then two UCSD errors ended the match.
Hershko, who hit .357, and Thomas Hodges, who hit .379, led with 15 kills each. Andrew Benz had 11 kills, hit .529, and four blocks and Scott Stadick had nine kills, hit. 571, and had three blocks.
Tanner Syftestad had a monster night for UCSD with 23 kills and hit .395. He also had three aces. Devin Pontigon had 11 kills and Alec Flowers had 10.
Big night for MIVA: No. 1 Ohio State won for the 29th time in a row as it steamrolled Saint Francis 25-23, 25-18, 25-18. The Buckeyes are 6-0, while the home team dropped to 3-3 as Ohio State improved to 30-1 all time against Saint Francis.
Miles Johnson led the Buckeyes with 11 kills and four blocks. Maxime Hervoir had eight kills on 12 errorless swings to hit .667. Blake Leeson had eight blocks and four kills.
Saint Francis got 13 kills from Jeff Hogan.
No. 8 Lewis went to No. 15 Penn State and came away with a 28-26, 25-14, 16-25, 19-25, 15-9 victory that left the visitors 4-1 and dropped the Nittany Lions to 3-3.
Ryan Coenan led Lewis with 17 kills and hit .361. Mitch Perinar had 15 kills and hit .406. Both had three blocks. Jacob Schmiegelt had seven kills and four blocks.
Chris Nugent led Penn State with 15 kills, hit .379, and had eight digs and four blocks. Lee Smith had 12 kills and three digs.
“I like the fact that we seem to even out a little bit quicker,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. I like the way we came back in games three and four. The way we played in game three and game four I think kind of gives you glimpses of where our future could be.”
Both teams had three aces and 19 service errors.
Another MIVA team beat a team from the EIVA when No. 13 Ball State went to Harvard and came away with 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 20-25, 15-13 victory. It left the Cardinals 5-1 and dropped the Crimson to 1-3.
Mitch Weiler and Matt Szews had 14 kills apiece to lead Ball State, which won its third match in a row, while Brendan Surane had 13 — including the match-winner — and Matt Walsh 11.
The only EIVA winner over a MIVA team on Friday was Sacred Heart, which improved to 3-0 and dropped woeful Fort Wayne to 0-8 with a hard-fought 26-24, 25-22, 27-25 victory.
Michael Comens led Sacred Heart with 13 kills and Christopher DeLucie had 10. Pelegrin Vargas continued to lead Fort Wayne, this time with 15 kills as he hit .344.
Also in the EIVA and MIVA: There was one MIVA match Friday when Grand Canyon improved to 2-3 and dropped Lindenwood to 0-4 in the league opener for both teams. Matthew Kinnebrew had 11 kills and Cody Williams and Drake Silbernagel had eight apiece to lead Grand Canyon. Sam Schindler had 11 kills and hit .625 for Lindenwood.
George Mason beat King of ConfCarolinas 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, to improve to 4-1. King is 2-1.
Jack Wilson led Mason with 14 kills and hit .385. Things get more serious for Mason on Saturday when it plays host to Loyola.
In other non-conference EIVA matches, NJIT swept Kean and Charleston did the same to St. Andrews.
Quincy of the MIVA fell to 0-4 as it was swept by Missouri Baptist.
ConfCarolinas results: Every match but Barton’s four-set win over North Greenville was a sweep.
Barton, 3-0, 2-0 CC, won 22-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16 as Angelos Mandilaris led with 17 kills and hit .414 and Vasilis Mandilaris added 13 kills and seven digs. North Greenville is 0-4, 0-1.
Also in non-conference CC matches, Belmont Abbey lost to Coker, Lees-McRae beat Alderson Broaddus, and Emmanuel lost to McKendree.