BYU, Erskine win, big Friday ahead in NCAA men’s volleyball

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There were just two matches in NCAA men’s volleyball among the four Division I-II leagues Thursday, as No. 4 BYU swept No. 8 Stanford and Erskine did the same to Belmont Abbey.

But Friday’s schedule is loaded, especially in the MPSF, in what has become a top-heavy league, BYU (13-2, 7-1) gets Stanford (9-9, 6-4) again, first-place and No. 2 Long Beach State (14-2 overall, 10-1 MPSF) gets suddenly hot No. 14 USC (6-9, 5-7), and No. 6 UCLA (10-6, 7-5) goes to No. 7 UC Irvine (9-5, 6-4).

No. 10 Pepperdine begins its two-match trip to No. 4 Hawai’i (14-2, 5-2).

No. 13 UCSB (6-8, 3-4) plays at UC San Diego (5-9, 2-7) and last-place Cal Baptist (3-12, 1-10) goes to No.11 CSUN (10-6, 3-6)

In the MIVA, top-ranked Ohio State plays (15-0, 6-0) plays host to Grand Canyon (9-5, 5-1) in a big chance for the Lopes to keep pace and make a statement, and there’s a lot on the line in Chicago when No. 5 Lewis (11-3, 6-2) goes to No. 9 Loyola (9-4, 5-1), with the loser no doubt falling two games back of Ohio State. No. 12 Ball State (11-4, 3-3) entertains lowly Lindenwood (0-12, 0-7) and Fort Wayne (4-13, 2-4) goes to Quincy (3-10, 1-6).

Entering the season you might have bookmarked Friday’s EIVA match between No. 15 Penn State (9-6, 4-2) at George Mason (5-7, 2-3) as one of the biggest of the season, but now the loser could be fighting for survival. Also, Princeton (5-6, 3-1), tied for first with Sacred Heart, plays at Harvard (4-5, 2-2) and NJIT (6-6, 2-4) is at Sacred Heart (10-2, 3-1). Also, Saint Francis  (6-9, 2-4) goes to Charleston (7-6, 0-3).

There are two matches in Conference Carolinas, when last-place Pfeiffer (0-6, 0-6) goes to Emmanuel (3-10, 2-6) and Barton (9-4) goes out of the league to entertain Coker.

BYU overpowers Stanford: The Cougars won 25-21, 25-20, 25-21.

Jake Langlois led the Cougars with 14 kills and hit .375 to go with five digs. He also had an ace and three of hits team’s 17 service errors. Tim Dobbert had nine kills, eight digs and four blocks. Brenden Sander had 10 kills and hit .438, four digs and three blocks, and four of those service errors. BYU had five aces.

“Tonight was a great team performance,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “As a team, we’ve been working each day in practice to improve on a few things, and I thought we made progress there.”

Gabriel Vega led Stanford with 10 kills and Eric Beatty added eight.

Erskine sweeps Belmont Abbey: Erskine improved to 2-10, 2-6 in Conference Carolinas with its 25-22, 25-22, 25-18 win. It left Belmont Abbey 3-9, 2-6. Isaac Lanier had 17 kills and hit .406 for the winners and added eight digs.

There were no matches Thursday in the MIVA or EIVA.

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