NCAA: UVa, Manhattan hire coaches, Pepperdine, UCSD get wins

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Tanner Syftestad of UCSD hit .571 against Northridge/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Virginia and Manhattan have new women’s head coaches.

No. 9 Pepperdine beat No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego not only upset No. 14 CSUN, the Tritons won back-to-back MPSF games for the first time in almost five years and beat a ranked team for the first time in nearly four years.

All that and more, but first a look at Thursday’s NCAA men’s schedule.

In the MPSF, No. 4 UCLA (9-3, 6-2 MPSF) goes to No. 8 Stanford (6-4, 3-2).

The MIVA slate starts with a big one when No. 6 Lewis (8-2, 3-1) goes to top-ranked Ohio State (11-0, 2-0), on a two-year, 34-match winning streak. Ohio State has won 31 of 51 previous meetings with Lewis, including four of the last five and 19 of 29 all-time inside St. John Arena.

No. 10 Loyola (6-3, 2-0) goes to McKendree (5-8, 1-2) and Grand Canyon (5-5, 3-1) plays at Quincy (3-6, 1-2).

The EIVA and Conference Carolinas have the night off.

UVa stays within, tabs Smith: When Dennis Hohenshelt resigned after five seasons, the UVa news release said, “A national search for the next head coach will begin immediately.”

Perhaps, but Aaron Smith, who spent those last five seasons as an assistant and associate head coach got the job on Wednesday.

Smith, who is from Virginia and played at Penn State, is also a former assistant at Wake Forest and Northwestern. Last season Virginia finished 7-25, 4-16 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Manhattan hires Sarich: The Jaspers, 12-20 last year, 8-10 in the Metro Atlantic, hired Northwestern Ohio coach Lora Sarich. Sarich was the winningest coach in that school’s history, winning 111 matches in four years. She was a standout libero at Toledo and has had coaching stops at Ole Miss, Austin Peay, Georgia and West Georgia. In her last job before going to Northwestern Ohio, she was head coach at Point University in Georgia for its inaugural season.

Division I head-coaching jobs remain at Rhode Island, Penn and Coppin State.

Among the movement of assistant coaches, Cal State Los Angeles head coach Randy Smart joined the staff at Wake Forest. She was replaced at the Division II school by assistant Juan Figueroa, who will serve as interim head coach.

Pepperdine, UC San Diego win: The Waves got their money’s worth in the last two sets as they beat visiting UCSB 23-25, 25-12, 34-32, 31-29.

Pepperdine, which improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the MPSF, got 20 kills from David Wieczorek, who had no errors in 41 swings and hit .488. He also had seven digs, an ace and a block, although he had five of his team’s 12 service errors.

“We showed a lot of grit,” Wieczorek said.

Mitchell Penning added 14 kills with no errors in 23 swings and hit .609. He had seven blocks and four of those service errors. Michael Wexter added nine kills and nine digs.

As a team the Waves hit .386 with 58 kills on 127 attacks with just nine errors.

UCSB, which dropped to 6-6, 3-6, got 22 kills from Jacob Delson, who led a balanced Gauchos attack. Delson hit .400 and had five digs. Hayden Boehle had 17 kills and 10 digs, Corey Chavers added 14 kills and 12 digs, and Keenan Sanders had 11 kills and four blocks, one solo.

The headline on the UCSD website modestly reads, “Break Up the Tritons!”

That’s a bit much, but the 27-25, 25-13, 25-14 victory marked the team’s fifth victory in a row and comes on the heels of the Tritons’ first MPSF victory in nearly three years when they knocked off USC on Saturday to break a 49-match league losing streak.

UCSD, a surprising 5-5 overall, 2-4 MPSF, has won five in a row for the first time since March 2012. This was also its first win over a ranked opponent since March 2013.

Junior opposite Tanner Syftestad led his team with 14 kills. He had 20-plus kills in each of his previous five matches.

Syftestad hit a season-high .571 and added a season-high four aces, as well as three digs and three total blocks.

Junior setter Milosh Stojic finished with 31 assists as his team hit a season-best .516 (39-7-62) hitting percentage. Stojcic also had three kills on three attempts and six digs and a block assist.

UCSD outside Ian Colbert had eight kills against Northridge/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
UCSD outside Ian Colbert had eight kills against Northridge/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Senior outside hitter Ian Colbert had eight kills and five digs.

“We’re passing pretty well, Milosh is doing a tremendous job running the offense, and we’ve had Tanner put up some big, big numbers for us,” Ring said. “And now we’re starting to get some production from some other guys.”

CSUN, which had won three in a row, dropped to 9-4, 2-4. Dimitar Kalchev and Arvis Greene led with 10 kills each. Kalchev had four of the team’s nine service errors and CSUN did not have an ace. The Matadors, who had beaten UCSD eight times in a row, had not lost at UCSD since at least 1989 according to the home team.

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