Things get real in the MPSF on Friday night when No. 1 Long Beach State goes to No. 3 BYU. It’s the showcase match on a busy NCAA men’s Division I-II slate.

There were four matches involving MIVA teams on Thursday, including No. 2 Ohio State winning again and McKendree scoring an upset.

All the results ahead — including the NCAA beach — but first a look at Friday’s schedule.

Long Beach State, 21-2 overall, sits atop the league at 14-1. BYU is 19-2, 13-1, and with the same teams playing again Saturday night, the stakes are clearly high.

Also in the MPSF, No. 14 CSUN (12-12, 5-10) is in a near must-win at No. 4 Hawai’i (20-4, 10-4), since CSUN is in 10th place in the league and only eight make the postseason tournament. The same teams play again Saturday.

Two other teams step out of conference. USC (10-12) and just a notch ahead of CSUN in the standings, plays host to Concordia, while Cal Baptist continues its eastern sojourn at Belmont Abbey of Conference Carolinas. Cal Baptist, 3-18, has lost to Penn State and Saint Francis on this trip but is coning off sweep victories against the ConfCarolinas’ Limestone and Erskine.

There are three non-conference matches involving MIVA teams, highlighted by No. 13 Penn State (13-7) playing at No. 7 Lewis. (17-6), which continues to have hopes of being in the NCAA final-six at-large conversation. Grand Canyon (14-9) tries to bounce back against visiting Princeton (10-9) after the Tigers won in five on Thursday and No. 10 Loyola (12-8) plays host to the EIVA’s Saint Francis (9-12).

There is one EIVA league match on Friday as second-place Sacred Heart (12-6, 5-2) goes to Harvard (6-10, 3-4). If Sacred Heart wins, it will pull in to a first place tie with Penn State. In non-conference action, George Mason (8-11) entertains Barton of ConfCarolinas.

And in ConfCarolinas, there are three league matches as league-leader Mount Olive (14-6, 12-1) goes to North Greenville (7-13, 6-6), second-place King (22-2, 11-1) plays host to Emmanuel (5-15, 3-1) and Erskine (3-15, 3-10) is at Lees-McRae (7-13, 5-7).

Ohio State gets a biscuit, Ball State sent to the kennel

Verbatim from Ohio State sports-information director Kyle Kuhlman, which should make your tail wag:

With a group of service dogs in attendance to celebrate National Puppy Day, the No. 2 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (22-1, 11-0 MIVA) sprinted past Fort Wayne (5-18, 2-9 MIVA) in straight sets spanning just 70 minutes (25-11, 25-11, 25-16). The defending national champions proved their bite is, indeed, as big as their bark in outscoring the Mastodons by an overall tally of 75-38.

Fans in attendance received a treat in the form of Ohio State’s 26th straight victory over conference opponents. The Buckeyes are fetching their conference-best 26th regular season MIVA championship, lowering the ‘magic number’ to four with the triumph over Fort Wayne.

Maxime Hervoir was Ohio State’s top dog, leading the pack with 11 kills on 15 errorless attempts (.733) and four blocks (two solo). Ryan Genn served as Hervoir’s best friend, delivering 10 kills, three aces and a block assist to rank second in the match with 13.5 points. Gabriel Domecus received positive reinforcement for digging, pacing all players with seven digs.

A litter of 12 different Buckeyes saw action as head coach Pete Hanson was able to give a paw-full of starters a light workload. Ohio State excelled from the service stripe, connecting on 10 aces while committing only nine service errors. Genn and Reese Devilbiss each blasted three aces individually.

Meanwhile, there are no dog jokes to be had but McKendree knocked off visiting No. 11 Ball State 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23. McKendree is 8-16, 3-8 in the EIVA, while Ball State fell to 15-7, 6-5.

Senior opposite Maalik Walker and sophomore outside hitter Will Frank had 16 kills each. Walker added seven digs and two blocks, while Frank had five digs and four blocks.

Matt Walsh led Ball State with 11 kills and hit .556 to go with three aces and three blocks. Matt Szews had 10 kills, seven digs, two aces and two blocks.

Also in the MIVA, Quincy was swept by Culver-Stockton.

Princeton beats Grand Canyon: The final was 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 as freshman George Huhmann had 14 kills, hit .619 and had eight blocks. Greg Luck added 10 kills, three aces and three digs, while junior Kendall Ratter had nine kills.

Drake Silbernagel led the Lopes with 12 kills and hit .500. Teammates Matthew Kinnebrew and Shalev Saada had 10 kills each. Their team had four aces and 25 errors, seven by Kinnebrew and six by Silbernagel.

NCAA beach: In matches Thursday, No. 2 Pepperdine swept CSUN and Colorado Mesa to improve to 10-1. The Waves play host to CSU Bakersfield and Cal Poly on Saturday.

No. 11 Arizona State fell to 6-5 as it lost 3-2, to the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6) Thursday.

Among the competitions Friday, No. 14 and unbeaten Cal plays St. Mary’s and San Jose State.

The showcase gathering of the weekend is at No. 9 South Carolina, where the teams Saturday and Sunday include No. 1 USC, No. 4 Florida State, No. 9 Georgia State and No. 13 Stetson.

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