NCAA men: Buckeyes stay on top, honors for Miles Johnson, Ben Patch

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2003
Ben Patch of BYU is the AVCA and MPSF player of the week/BYU photo

By Dennis Michael Stuart for VolleyballMag.com

Ohio State, riding its school-record 34-match winning streak, obviously stays No. 1 in the AVCA coaches poll, but there was plenty of shakeup around the top.

We’ve got the players of the week in the four NCAA men’s conferences, news and notes, including the EIVA’s hall-of-fame announcement, but first a look at Tuesday’s matches.

Fort Wayne (4-9 overall, 1-1 MIVA) goes to No. 11 Ball State (9-2, 1-1). There are two Conference Carolinas matches with Pfeiffer (0-3, 0-3) traveling to Belmont Abbey (2-5, 1-3), while Erskine (0-7) plays independent Coker (4-2).

AVCA Division I-II Poll: Ohio State is 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIVA after opening league play with wins at Ball State and Fort Wayne. Long Beach State moved up a notch to No. 2 and BYU did the same to the third spot after beating UCLA on back-to-back nights. It dropped the Bruins two spots to No. 4. Hawai’i stayed No. 5 and Lewis jumped two spots to No. 6. UC Irvine, Stanford, Pepperdine and Loyola round out the top 10.

Click here for the AVCA Division I-II Poll

AVCA D-I-II POW: BYU junior Ben Patch had a big week, averaging 5.13 kills per set, he hit .435 and also had 24 digs in two wins over UCLA to go with .38 blocks per set.

AVCA D-III Poll: Springfield, SUNY New Paltz and Stevens stayed 1-2-3.

Click here for the AVCA D-III Poll

AVCA D-III POW: Lake Merchen, a junior outside hitter for UC Santa Cruz. He averaged 4.45 kills per set in two victories.

MIVA

Offensive player of the week: Ohio State senior opposite Miles Johnson. Johnson averaged 5.17 kills per set and hit .609 in two victories.

Defensive player of the week: Loyola sophomore outside Collin Mahan. He averaged 1.43 digs and 1.14 blocks in wins over Lindenwood and Quincy.

Key matches of the week: No. 6 Lewis (8-2, 3-1) and No. 10 Loyola (6-3, 2-0) both travel to Ohio State.

Last week’s key results: It’s all about the Buckeyes, although Lewis and Loyola both went 2-0.

Worth noting: Grand Canyon got a couple of poll votes. OSU leads the nation in both blocks/set (2.68) and kills/set (13.69). Setter Christy Blough leads the nation in assists/set (11.48).

Click here for the MIVA standings

Conference Carolinas

Player of the week: King University outside hitter Eddie Moushikhian. The senior averaged 4.17 kills/set and hit .478 to lead the Tornadoes to two conference sweeps.

Key matches this week: King (7-1, 3-0) travels to Emmanuel (1-7, 0-4) on Friday night. Limestone (3-2, 3-1) and North Greenville (3-7, 3-1) travel to Barton (5-3, 4-1) and Mount Olive (5-4, 4-0), switching places the following night.

Last week’s key results: Mount Olive won both its matches over Emmanuel and Erskine, while North Greenville took a five-set thriller over Limestone.

Worth noting: No Conference Carolinas team is ranked. King could get into contention with two more victories. Barton’s Vasilis Mandilaris leads CC with 3.58 kills per set, while J Sobel of Lees-McRae is right behind at 3.53. King’s Joe Wheaton leads in hitting at .422.

Click here for the Conference Carolinas standings

MPSF

Player of the week: BYU opposite Ben Patch. As noted above where he won the AVCA national honor, Patch had a heck of a week. This is the fourth career MPSF POW for Patch.

Key matches this week: With nine MPSF teams in the AVCA top 15, every week features key matches. No. 9 Pepperdine (4-3, 2-2) welcomes No. 12 UCSB (6-5, 3-5) to Malibu on Wednesday. Thursday’s match features No. 4 UCLA (9-3, 6-2) traveling to No. 8 Stanford (6-4, 3-2). The weekend includes UCLA at Pepperdine, Stanford gets UCSB at home, No. 2 Long Beach State (9-2, 5-1) and No. 13 CSUN (9-3, 3-2) both travel to No. 7 UC Irvine (8-4, 5-3) and No. 3 BYU (9-2, 4-1) has a tough road test at USC (3-8, 2-6) which received votes in the latest AVCA Division I poll.

Last week’s key results: BYU took both matches off of UCLA is now in a tie for first place UC San Diego (4-5, 1-4) picked up its first conference victory in almost two years when it upset USC to break a 49-match MPSF losing streak.

Worth noting: Daenan Gyimah of UCLA leads in hitting percentage (.493), just ahead of UCI’s Matthew Younggren (.491). Yoder is tops in kills with 5.00 per set, not only tops in the MPSF, but the best in the nation.

Click here for the MPSF standings

Ryan Santos of Charleston is the EIVA POW/Charleston photo
Ryan Santos of Charleston is the EIVA POW/Charleston photo

EIVA

Offensive player of the week: Ryan Santos of Charleston. The junior averaged 4.08 kills/set and hit .427. Santos finished with 49 kills for the week, added 24 digs, five blocks and one service ace.

Defensive player of the week: Sacred Heart junior Joshua Ayzenburg. The libero averaged 3.78digs/set. Ayzenburg had 34 digs for the week and leads the nation in digs/set averaging 3.50.

Key matches this week: The most intriguing match of the week is No. 14 Penn State (6-4, 1-0) at NJIT (4-4, 0-0). The match will feature two of the conference leaders in kills/set with PSU’s Chris Nugent (3.68) and EIVA leader Jabarry Goodridge (4.34) of NJIT. Saint Francis (4-6, 0-1) will look for its first EIVA win as it travels to Princeton (2-5, 0-0) and NJIT.

Last week’s key result: Sacred Heart went 2-0 last weekend sweeping independent Alderson Broaddus (1-9) in both matches.

Worth noting: The EIVA has two teams in the AVCA Division I-II top 15 poll with No. 14 Penn State and No. 15 George Mason (4-4, 1-0). Two teams from EIVA lead the country in a couple statistical categories: Sacred Heart in aces/set (2.24) and Harvard in digs/set (9.86).

Click here for the EIVA standings

EIVA hall adds three: The league, which is in its 45th year, announced that Chris Chase (Penn State ’89), Chris Fazio (Juniata ’97), and Ric Lucas (George Mason ’85) will be honored at the league tournament.

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