Another day, another round of MPSF unpredictability and a lot of sweeps in NCAA men’s volleyball.
To wit, in the MPSF, UC San Diego won a league match for the first time since the 2014 season, breaking a 49-match losing streak by beating unpredictable USC, and No. 4 BYU swept No. 2 UCLA.
Among the happenings in the EIVA, Alderson Broaddus took a set off Harvard.
There were four league matches in the MPSF and all were sweeps.
And there were five matches in the Conference Carolinas — also four in the league — and all were sweeps.
There are two matches Sunday that involve teams from the four leagues. There is a MIVA match when Quincy goes to McKendree, while the EIVA’s Sacred Heart plays host to Lincoln Memorial.
MPSF: Long Beach, Hawai’i also win
But start with UC San Diego, which improved to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the league with its 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 victory at USC. It left the Trojans, USC, coming off of a four-set road upset of No. 6 UC Irvine on Friday, 3-8, 2-6.
“I’m really proud of their fight,” UCSD coach Kevin Ring said. “We just chipped away and chipped away.”
The last time the Tritons won an MPSF match was when they beat Pacific, which no longer has a men’s program, on April 11, 2014. It also marked the first time UCSD has won four matches in a row since 2012.
Junior opposite Tanner Syftestad had 26 kills, getting 20 or more kills for the fifth straight match and hit .451. He had just three errors in 51 swings. Senior outside hitter Ian Colbert added 11 kills and junior setter Milosh Stojcic complemented 45 assists with a match- and career-high two service aces, a career-best five total blocks, three digs and a kill.
Freshman libero Ryan Lew had 10 digs and handled all 15 of his service receptions cleanly. Freshman outside hitter Xander Jimenez had six kills, six digs, one ace and a match- and career-high seven total blocks, including two solo.
“This was a great win tonight by the Tritons,” Ring said. “We had a hard-fought first set that we came up just short in … We knew that we were playing some good volleyball and still had some room for improvement, things to work on, and adjustments to make. We came back in a close second set and were able to close that out. Then the same thing in the third set, with another deuce game.
“In the fourth, we were in the better position, being up two sets to one. I really wanted our guys to stay the aggressors. We didn’t get off to a good start, through a couple good plays by USC and a couple of off plays on our side of the net. They went up 15-10 and I called a timeout. We talked about, ‘Hey it’s not out of reach. This is still within striking distance, but we don’t have a lot of room for error at this point. We need guys to stick their serve, come up with a couple of key blocks, and really stay aggressive in transition.’ I think we did all three of those things.
Lucas Yoder led USC with 20 kills and added six digs. Gianluca Grasso had 14 kills, six blocks and six digs, Aaron Strange had 11 kills and seven digs, Andy Benesh had eight kills and hit .429 and had four blocks and Gert Lisha had 12 digs.
Before the match, USC’s 1977 team was honored on its 40th anniversary of winning the program’s first NCAA championship.
BYU won the first set easily and then battled to a 25-13, 25-23, 31-29 victory over UCLA, its second win over the visiting Bruins in as many nights.
It left BYU 9-2, 4-1. UCLA is 9-3, 6-2.
“We played a much better, complete match tonight,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “One of our points for this game was to be more calm, for the guys to be a little more level-headed. At the start, being up big, you need to be a lot more level-headed, and I was impressed with the guys. I thought we did that. We made the smart plays and didn’t try to over-do it, so it was more of a complete match, and we just got better.”
BYU out-hit UCLA .420 to .198 before more than 4,000 fans.
Ben Patch led with 13 kills and hit .458 and Jake Langlois added 11 kills, hit .556 and also had five digs. Price Jarman had eight kills and hit .800. Langlois had two of his team’s three aces, compared to 17 errors.
UCLA got 10 kills from Hagen Smith, the right side/setter who hit .438. JT Hatch added eight kills. Micah Ma’a had the Bruins’ only two aces but three of their 15 errors, which means the teams combined for five aces and 32 errors. UCLA was again without injured players Mitch Stahl and Jake Arnitz.
The happenings in Provo opened the door for Long Beach State to take over the league lead. No. 3 Long Beach improved to 9-2, 5-1, with its 30-28, 25-14, 25-18 sweep of visiting No. 7 Stanford. The Cardinal dropped to 6-3, 3-1 and a big reason was getting out-hit .418 to .122.
Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga not only had 32 assists but hit a team-high .667 and tied his career-high of six kills on nine attempts without committing an error. He also added two digs, a block and a service ace.
Kyle Ensing led with 12 kills, hit .360, and added five digs and a block. Andrew Whitt added nine kills and TJ DeFalco eight.
Senior Gabriel Vega led Stanford with 13 kills and hit a season-high .476. No other Cardinal had more than three kills as Stanford combined for just 16 kills in the second and third sets.
No. 5 Hawai’i made it back-to-back over visiting UCSB, dealing the Gauchos a 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19 loss that left the Rainbow Warriors 10-2, 3-2. Red-hot Stijn van Tilburg led with 24 kills as his team won for the fifth time in a row. It’s Hawai’i’s best record through the first 12 matches of a season since 2005.
Kupono Fey had a season-high 11 kills and hit .435. Libero Larry Tuileta had 13 digs and setter Jennings Franciskovic had 46 assists along with two aces and six digs.
Jacob Delson led UCSB, which dropped to 6-5, 3-5, with 23 kills. He hit .375. Corey Chavers added 18.
MIVA: Ohio State leads sweeps parade
The top-ranked Buckeyes had no letdown after their big win at Ball State on Thursday. By winning at Fort Wayne 25-17, 25-13, 25-21 they improved to 11-0 overall, 2-0 in the MIVA, and won for the 34th time in a row. They out-hit the Mastodons .522 to minus .031.
Nicolas Szerszen led with 13 kills and hit .579. Miles Johnson had 12 kills and hit .588. He also had four blocks.
Fort Wayne, which had won four in a row, dropped to 4-9, 1-1. Pelegrin Vargas led with six kills but hit minus .118.
No. 12 Ball State bounced back by beating visiting McKendree 25-16, 25-21, 25-16. Brendan Surane led with 16 kills and hit .625. He added five digs and three blocks. Matt Szews added 10 kills, eight digs and a block and Anthony Lebryk had eight kills. Their team out-hit McKendree .430 to .193.
It left Ball State 9-2, 1-1, while McKendree fell to 5-8, 1-2.
McKendree got 13 kills from Nolan Reuter and 10 from Maalik Walker, who also had two blocks.
No. 8 Lewis swept visiting Lindenwood 28-26, 25-19, 25-20 to improve to 8-2, 3-1.
Lindenwood is 0-9, 0-8.
Ryan Coenan and Mitch Perinar led Lewis with 14 kills apiece. Blake Koppel had 12 for Lindenwood.
No. 10 Loyola crushed visiting Quincy 25-17, 25-17, 25-12. It left the Ramblers 6-3, 2-0, and Quincy 3-6, 1-2.
Jeff Jendryk led Loyola with 11 kills and hit .786. He had three of his team’s six aces and three digs. Paul Narup had 10 kills in 11 errorless swings and hit .909.
David Siebum led Quincy with 10 kills and hit .471.
In a non-league match, Grand Canyon won at Concordia Irvine 25-21, 25-18, 24-26, 26-24. GCU is 5-5, while Concordia is 9-7.
EIVA: Four non-conference winners
And two of them were Charleston, which beat Cincinnati Christian in three and St. Andrews in three. Harvard had to go four to beat Alderson Broaddus and Sacred Heart swept Lincoln Memorial, which it plays again Sunday.
Conference Carolinas: All sweeps
King beat Belmont Abbey, Barton defeated Emmanuel, Mount Olive did the same to Erskine and Lees-McRae downed Pfeiffer. North Greenville lost to Coker.
Mount Olive remained atop the league at 5-4, 4-0. No details were available about its victory.
King’s 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 victory left it 7-1, 3-0. Belmont Abbey is 2-5, 1-3.
Barton’s 25-18, 25-12, 25-22 win left it 5-3 and on pace with King at 4-1. Emmanuel is 1-7, 0-4.