NCAA: UCI edges UCLA, Lewis, Ohio State win, Penn hires women’s coach

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UCSB's Jacob Delson attacks against UCSD's Tanner Syftestad/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Friday was upset-free in NCAA men’s volleyball, unless you consider No. 7 UC Irvine beating No. 6 UCLA an upset.

Otherwise, the teams with the better records won every match in the four Division I-II conferences, where there’s a breakaway in the MPSF and Princeton stayed alone in first in the MIVA.

And Penn of the Ivy League finally has a new women’s coach, Katie Schumacher-Cawley.

But first Saturday’s NCAA men’s schedule.

Start in the MPSF, where No. 13 UC Santa Barbara goes to UC Irvine and UCLA tries to bounce back at UC San Diego.

The MIVA has three matches, including No. 5 Lewis — which beat crosstown rival No. 9 Loyola on Friday — going out of conference against Mount Olive of the Conference Carolinas.

Also, Fort Wayne goes to Lindenwood and No. 12 Ball State goes to Quincy.

The EIVA, which has three teams one game or less chasing Princeton in the standings, has No. 15 Penn State at Charleston, Princeton at Sacred Heart — and if Sacred Heart wins they would be tied for the lead — Saint Francis at George Mason and NJIT at Harvard.

ConfCarolinas has King at Limestone, North Greenville at Lees-McRae and Pfeiffer at Erskine. Emmanuel goes out of conference at Lincoln Memorial.

UCI's Tamir Hershko scores a season-high 23 kills in a five-set win over visiting UCLA/UCI athletics
UCI’s Tamir Hershko scores a season-high 23 kills in a five-set win over visiting UCLA/UCI athletics

MPSF: UCI, UCSB among the winners

We start in Irvine, Calif., where the Anteaters almost let a 2-0 lead slip away, but held on to down visiting UCLA 25-23, 28-26, 22-25, 21-25, 17-15 in front of 2,253 fans at the Bren Center.

UC Irvine moves to 5-0 in five-set matches and 10-5 overall (7-4 MPSF). UCLA dropped to 10-7 and 7-6 in conference play.

Senior Tamir Hershko had a season-high 23 kills to lead Irvine. Thomas Hodges added 18 kills, wihle Aaron Koubi had a career-best 11 kills, 10 digs and two aces. Senior Michael Saeta had 52 assists, eight digs, four kills and one ace, while freshman Scott Stadick, a Wisconsin native, had seven kills and three total blocks.

Christian Hessenauer’s 16 kills paced UCLA. Jake Arnitz had 13 kills, while Dylan Missry had 11 kills. Micah Ma’a had 42 assists, four kills and three block assists. UCLA held a 12.5-4.0 blocking advantage.

Irvine’s match against UCLA was its annual Think Pink breast cancer awareness night. The team honored Tee Sohacki, a two-time breast cancer survivor, before the event.

 

UCSB's Corey Chavers takes on the UCSD triple block/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
UCSB’s Corey Chavers takes on the UCSD triple block/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

VolleyballMag.com’s Ed Chan was at UCSB’s 25-19, 25-20, 25-14 MPSF win over UC San Diego at RIMAC Arena.

Senior outside hitter Jacob Delson led the Gauchos with 11 kills and 12 digs. It was his third double-double of the season and fifth of his career. Delson’s efforts helped Santa Barbara snap a seven-match losing streak after the squad had started the season 6-1.

“It felt great to finally beat the losing streak,” Delson told VBM’s Chan after the match. “We broke it tonight and I hope it carries into tomorrow (against Irvine). We talked about this in film. If we just keep the pressure on them, they are more prone to make errors because we have a pretty good block. We showed that tonight, we’re getting great touches.”

Freshman middle blocker Keenan Sanders had nine kills on 13 swings. Connor Drake had seven kills, hit .429 and had seven total blocks. Santa Barbara had four players score 10 or more points in the contest.  Hayden Boehle added five kills and seven digs. Parker Boehle had nine digs. Casey McGarry finished with 34 assists.

Santa Barbara, which had five service aces against 11 service errors, improved to 7-8 overall and 4-8 in league play.

“Tonight we had one of our better serving matches of the year,” Santa Barbara coach Rick McLaughlin said. “Our biggest thing is serving real tough and keeping them off the net a bit. We’ve been working on that a lot and hope we can do it again (tonight against Irvine).”

Tanner Syftestad had 10 kills for UC San Diego, which fell to 5-10, 2-8. Ian Colbert added four kills, while Milosh Stojcic had 20 assists.

No. 2 Long Beach State dispatched No. 14 USC 25-17, 25-12, 25-15 at the Walter Pyramid to improve to 15-2 and remain in first place in the MPSF at 11-1.

Long Beach State, which moved to 6-0 at home and 8-0 in February, hit .524, never slipping below .400 in any of the three sets. The 49ers had 38 kills on only 63 attempts, while committing just five hitting errors.

“I’m just glad they came out with a significantly better sense of competitiveness and sense of urgency to play every point here tonight,” Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe said. “There is no doubt a lot of the little things went our way tonight, unlike the beginning of our match Wednesday night (a four-set win over Cal Baptist) where a lot of little things didn’t go our way in the first set.

“The lesson learned for us is to keep pressuring and good things usually happen. I like the response by the guys to come out and be ready to go right out of the gate for whatever they are going to bring at us.”

Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga had 33 assists and two kills, two aces, five blocks and four digs. TJ DeFalco led Long Beach State with 14 kills and hit .550. It was his 15th double-figure kill contest of the season. Kyle Ensing added nine kills on 16 swings with no errors, hitting .562. The 49ers took advantage of 11 USC service errors, four blocking errors and six reception errors.

USC fell to 6-10, 5-8. Lucas Lossone and Ryan Moss led the Trojans with five kills each. Gert Lisha had 21 assists, while Lossone and Blake Markland each had three digs.

No. 3 BYU completed a sweep at Stanford, this time notching a 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24 victory over the No. 8 Cardinal at Burnham Pavilion & Ford Center.

“I’m proud of the way the guys played tonight,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We knew Stanford wasn’t about to throw in the towel after that first set. They are a really good, disciplined team. We had a great couple wins this week that helped us get better as a team.”

Jake Langlois led the Cougars with 14 kills and 12 digs, while also registering a team-high eight blocks. Erik Sikes had a career-high 15 digs and Leo Durkin had 45 assists. Price Jarman had a career-high 10 kills while adding a season-high eight blocks. Tim Dobbert and Joseph Grosh each added seven blocks to help BYU move to 14-2, 8-1.

The Cougars remain tied with Long Beach State in the loss column atop the MPSF, however Long Beach State has three more league wins.

BYU registered 18.5 total team blocks (all block assists), while Stanford had 11.

Stanford dropped to 9-7 overall and 6-5 in conference play. Gabriel Vega led the Cardinal with 14 kills, while Jordan Ewert had 10 kills. Kevin Rakestraw finished with eight kills and Clay Jones had seven kills. Paul Bischoff had 35 assists. Evan Enriques had 13 digs, while Bischoff had 10 digs. Stanford hit .165 in the match.

At the Stan Sheriff Center, No. 4 Hawai’i downed visiting No. 10 Pepperdine 25-21, 25-19, 25-11. The 25-11 third-set win for Hawai’i was the largest margin of victory ever in the all-time series with Pepperdine.

Hawai’i is 15-2, 6-2. Pepperdine is 6-6, 4-5. The two teams play again Sunday.

Hawai’i extended its winning streak to 10 matches and its set streak to 17. The Rainbow Warriors won for the 14th time in a row at home and 10th this season.

Sophomore right-side hitter Stijn van Tilburg had 15 kills and hit .737. Senior outside Kupono Fey had 10 kills and hit .500. Hawaii hit .460 in the match.

Mitchell Penning’s 11 kills led Pepperdine.

In other MPSF action, No. 11 Cal State Northridge was a 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 winner over Cal Baptist. CSUN is 11-6, 4-6, while Cal Baptist is 3-13, 1-11.

MIVA: No. 1 Buckeyes, Lewis keep rolling

No. 1 Ohio State was a 25-19, 17-25, 26-24, 25-23 winner over Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. The Buckeyes improved to 16-0 and have the longest winning streak in The Ohio State University athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition, 39 in a row. Ohio State has won 117 of 140 sets (84 percent) during that stretch. The win against Grand Canyon was Ohio State’s 17th in a row in a true road-match environment.

The Buckeyes need eight more wins to tie the 1979-1980 and 1983-1985 UCLA teams for most wins in a row in NCAA men’s volleyball history. Ohio State also is looking to record just sixth 40-match winning streak in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball history.

Ohio State overcame 29 service errors. Ohio State remains atop the MIVA standings at 7-0 ahead of Lewis (7-2), Grand Canyon (5-2) and Loyola (5-2).

Maxime Hervoir, who entered the match in the second set, had 11 kills on 15 attempts with one error, hitting .667. He added three block assists and scored 13.5 points.

Miles Johnson had 20.5 points, which included 17 kills, four blocks and an ace. Christy Blough had 46 assists and quarterbacked the Buckeyes to a .354 team hitting percentage. He also had nine digs. Driss Guessous and Blake Leeson combined for 19 kills.

In Chicago, visiting Lewis outlasted area rival Loyola 19-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-15, 15-11 at Gentile Arena.

Lewis won its sixth five-setter of the year (most during coach Dan Friend’s tenure) and it also was the Flyers’ fourth straight win after losing the first set in a match.

Mitch Perinar led the Flyers with a match-high 15 kills, while Ryan Coenen had 13 kills and hit .417. Lewis moves to 12-3 overal, 7-2 MIVA. Sophomore setter Matt Yoshimoto had 42 assists and eight digs.

Loyola drops to 9-5, 5-2.

In other MIVA play, Fort Wayne traveled to Quincy and notched a 24-26, 25-19, 26-24, 20-25, 16-14 win at the Pepsi Arena.

Pelegrin Vargas led Fort Wayne with 22 kills and hit .341. He also had 10 digs to notch his first career double-double. Michael Keegan had 43 assists and 10 digs for his third double-double of the year. He also had a career-high six kills. Alex Dickmann had 10 digs and seven kills. Fort Wayne moves to 5-13, 2-5, while Quincy drops to 3-11, 1-7.

No. 12 Ball State was a 3-1 winner over Lindenwood in St. Charles, Mo. Brendan Surane, Matt Walsh and Matt Szews each had 10 kills. Walsh hit .562 and also had six block assists and one solo block. Freshman Nick Lavanchy had nine digs. Setter Connor Gross recorded 37 assists, seven digs and four block assists. Ball State moves to 12-4, 4-3.

EIVA: Princeton, Penn State notch victories

Princeton moved into sole possession of first place in the conference with a 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 17-25, 15-10 win at Harvard. It was Princeton’s first win at Harvard since 2010.

Princeton moves to 6-6 overall and 4-1 in EIVA action. The Princeton win coupled with New Jersey Institute of Technology’s win over Sacred Heart, leaves the Tigers as the only one-loss team in conference play.

Parker Dixon, the current AVCA national player of the week, led the Tigers with 18 kills. Junior Oboh had 15 kills on 29 swings (.448 hitting), while George Huhmann had 12 kills on 21 swings (.476 hitting). Huhmann added seven blocks.

Casey White had 16 kills to lead the Crimson (4-6, 2-3).

No. 15 Penn State ran its record to 10-6 overall and 5-2 in EIVA play with a 25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 25-17 win over George Mason (5-8, 2-4).

Aiden Albrecht led the Nittany Lions with 18 kills on 25 attempts (.520 hitting). He also had four digs. Jalen Penrose added 14 kills and hit a match-high .714. Luke Braswell had 41 assists, while Lee Smith had six digs. Penn State hit more than .600 over the final two sets and hit .376 in the match.

Langston Payne’s nine kills paced George Mason.

In Technology’s win at Sacred Heart, Jabarry Goodridge led with 21 kills on 48 swings (.333 hitting). Luke Robbe had seven kills and hit .462, while Raymond Kowalski had nine kills and hit .273. The Highlanders (7-6, 3-2 EIVA) hit .300 in the match.

Christopher DeLucie had 13 kills, while Michael Comens added 12 kills for Sacred Heart, which falls to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Saint Francis headed to Charleston W. Va. And scored a 3-1 win over Charleston. Brandon Buck’s 10 kills led Saint Francis. Daniel Ford had 10 digs and four blocks. Ryan Santos and Byron Hurd each had 10 kills for Charleston, while Donovan Wilmott had eight kills and hit .500 (one error on 14 swings).

A light night of action in Conference Carolinas saw Barton record a 3-0 win over Coker and Emmanuel (Ga.) sweep Pfeiffer.

Vasilis Mandilaris and Angelos Mandilaris each had 11 kills for Barton, while Angelos Mandilaris added 11 digs. Gabriel Castro had nine kills for Coker. Gary Baker added eight digs.

Aleksa Lakic’s 13 kills paced Emmanuel, while Caleb Bonaventure had 43 assists. Lakic also had 11 digs for a double-double.

Penn fills women’s vacancy

Schumacher-Cawley comes to Penn after 14 years at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), including the last eight as head coach. She had 113 wins at UIC, third on the program’s all-time list, and oversaw UIC’s first Horizon League title in seven years when the Flames won it in 2012.

Schumacher-Cawley played at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago and is a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. She played collegiately at Penn State, where she was a two-time All-American. She was on Penn State’s 1999 NCAA-championship team.

She replaced Kerry Major Carr, who resigned after 19 years. Penn was 10-16 in 2016, 5-9 in the Ivy League.

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