In what seemed like a must-win non-conference match with serious NCAA at-large considerations at stake for both teams on Wednesday, No. 7 UCLA of the MPSF beat visiting No. 5 Lewis of the MIVA.
It was one of three matches on the NCAA men’s Division I-II slate Wednesday, all involving MPSF teams, as No. 15 UC Santa Barbara beat No. 11 CSUN and No. 6 UC Irvine won at the EIVA’s Saint Francis.
Thursday, Lewis, of Romeoville, Ill., moves across Los Angeles to play at USC and in Conference Carolinas Belmont Abbey goes to North Greenville.
UCLA beats Lewis in four: The Bruins, hampered by injuries all season, got past the Flyers 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18.
Oliver Martin led UCLA (12-7) with a season-high-tying 12 kills, while hitting .857 with no errors on 14 attacks. He also had four blocks and a dig, Christian Hessenauer had 12 kills and hit .280 and Jake Arnitz had nine kills, two blocks and five digs.
Hagen Smith had a season-best 45 assists and added two blocks and seven digs. The Bruins’ other setter, Michael Ma’a, didn’t play as he continues to nurse a sore back. Nor did Daenan Gyimah, who was sick.
“Lewis has some great young players but we managed to get healthy enough and play well enough to get an important non conference win,” UCLA coach John Speraw said. “Having Mitch Stahl back made a big difference for us as his serve continues to win us some sets. We missed Ma’a and Kofi (Gyimah), but Oliver Martin came off the bench to play particularly well and Hagen set a good match.”
Lewis fell to 15-4. Trevor Weiskircher led in kills with 13 and blocks with six. He hit .400. Ryan Coenen added 10 kills. Jacob Schmiegelt added eight kills and five blocks, but had four of his team’s 11 service errors.
Upset for UCSB: The Gauchos were home for the first time in three weeks and rewarded their fans with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 sweep. UCSB improved to 9-10 overall, 5-9 in the MPSF, while the Matadors dropped to 12-8, 5-8.
Jacob Delson led the winners with 13 kills, hit .450, and had his team’s only ace. Corey Chavers had nine kills and Keenan Sanders added eight. Hayden Boehle had six kills but five of his team’s 15 errors.
“That was our best win of the season so far, without a doubt,” UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin said. “That is a really good team over there. They were off tonight, and maybe we had something to do with that, but we’ll take it.”
Arvis Greene led CSUN with 12 kills but hit .111. Josiah Byers added seven kills and hit .600.
UCI Anteaters get a sweep in PA: Thomas Hodges had 12 kills, three digs and two blocks in the 25-23, 25-17, 25-15 victory. UCI improved to 13-6 as Tamir Hershko added nine kills and Scott Stadick had six kills and six blocks.
The Red Flash, who dropped to 8-12, got 12 kills and six digs from Adam Kniffen.