NCAA: USC gets MPSF tourney spot, seed battles galore, beach schedule

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Ian Colbert serves for UCSD, which will play as a member of the MPSF for the last time this weekend/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

All eight spots have been claimed in the MPSF Tournament, thanks to USC’s four-set victory Thursday night over Cal Baptist. But which teams finish where is still very much up for grabs as the league heads into the final regular-season weekend.

The other NCAA men’s Division I-II conferences have plenty of position jockeying going on.

The MIVA heads into its final two days of play with Ohio State the top seed and Lewis, which beat Ball State in four on Thursday, second and Grand Canyon third. But there is a lot going on for spots 4 through 8.

The EIVA has two more weekends left. Penn State holds a two-game lead in the standings, but with the next six teams all within three games and pretty much everyone playing everyone, nothing is decided.

And Conference Carolinas has all sorts of possibilities as three teams vie for first.

Friday also starts a busy weekend in NCAA beach volleyball.

MPSF: Trojans claim eighth, BYU wins

No. 11 USC put an end to the postseason hopes No. 14 CSUN, which was idle, and No. 3 BYU eliminated UCSB and still held a slim chance of winning the top tournament seed. No. 1 Long Beach State can clinch first place with a victory over visiting CSUN.

Here are the MPSF standings (top eight qualify for playoffs, top four will host):

  1. Long Beach       15-2, 23-3

2. BYU                  15-2, 22-3

3. Hawai’i              12-4, 22-4

4. UC Irvine           11-5, 17-6

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5. UCLA                 10-6, 17-7

6. Pepperdine         7-9, 9-10

7. Stanford             7-9, 12-11

8. USC                   7-10, 13-13

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9. Santa Barbara    5-12, 10-15

10. CSUN               5-12, 12-14

11. UC San Diego   3-13, 7-17

12. Cal Baptist       2-15, 7-20

There are four matches Friday, including BYU at UCSB again, No. 4 Hawai’i at No. 6 UCLA, No. 9 Stanford at No. 5 UC Irvine and No. 8 Pepperdine at UC San Diego.

A look at the standings above lets you know that plenty is up for grabs, but while UCSD, UCSB, and CSUN are out of it, this weekend marks the end of an era. When UCSB plays BYU Friday,  UCSD plays host to Stanford on Saturday and CSUN plays at Long Beach, they will have played their last MPSF matches. They, along with Hawai’l, Long Beach, and UCI are moving to the newly formed Big West men’s conference next season.

In USC’s 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22 win over Cal Baptist, senior Lucas Yoder had 17 kills and senior Andy Benesh had 13 kills while hitting .722 to go with six blocks. Gianluca Grasso added 12 kills for Troy, while Lucas Lossone had nine kills and Vinnie Rios had seven digs.

Luis Palos led CBU with 18 kills while hitting .536 and he had four blocks. Enrique Garcia had 10 kills and hit .471, Caleb Miller had four blocks and both Rohit Paul and Emmett Enriques had seven digs each.

The same teams play again Saturday at Cal Baptist.

BYU won 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15 as Jake Langlois had 13 kills and hit .500. He also had three aces. Price Jarman added nine kills and hit .750 and Brenden Sander and Tim Dobbert had eight kills each. Sander had four of his team’s 13 aces.

UCSB got nine kills from Jacob Delson, but he hit minus .037 and had six of his team’s 19 service errors. Keenan Sanders had eight kills and Corey Chavers and Connor Drake seven each.

MIVA: Lewis, Loyola, McKendree win

Second-ranked Ohio State, which plays at Lindenwood on Friday, has the top seed in the tournament clinched, No. 7 Lewis is second and Grand Canyon has third.

No. 10 Loyola and No. 13 Ball State are battling for the 4 and 5 spots and they play each other Saturday. But Ball State would have to sweep in a rout to get the fourth spot.

The eighth spot will go to either Quincy or Fort Wayne, who are tied at 2-13 in league play, split with each other in five both times with each team scoring exactly the same number of points after those two matches. Quincy plays host to Ohio State and Fort Wayne has Lewis. And whoever finishes eighth plays its first-round match at Ohio State and whoever finishes seventh goes to Lewis.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Lewis won at Ball State 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20. Mitch Perinar had 16 kills and hit .333. He also had eight blocks as the Flyers improved to 21-6, 12-3 in the MIVA. Ryan Coenen added 15 kills and three blocks. Jacob Schmiegelt had six kills and eight blocks.

Ball State, which dropped to 17-9, 8-7, got a career-high 13 kills from freshman Blake Reardon, who also had nine digs an ace and a solo block. Matt Szews added 12 kills and seven digs and Matt Walsh had 10 kills, hit .471 and had two aces.

Loyola won at Fort Wayne 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23 to improved to 16-10, 9-6, while the Mastodons dropped to 5-22, 2-13.

Ben Plaisted led with 15 kills and hit .417. Loyola teammates Collin Mahan and Jeff Jendryk had 11 kills each. Jendryk, who hit .733, had six blocks.

Alex Dickmann had 12 kills to lead Fort Wayne. Richie Diedrich had 10 kills and hit .714.

McKendree beat Quincy 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 and is 10-18, 5-10. Quincy is 7-20, 2013.

EIVA: Busy schedule Friday, Saturday

Penn State (16-9, 8-2) goes to Sacred Heart (12-9, 5-5) on Friday, while Saint Francis (11-14, 6-4) plays at Harvard (9-10, 6-4) and NJIT (13-9, 6-5) goes to George Mason (12-11, 5-5). On Saturday, Penn State goes to Harvard, Princeton (10-12, 6-5) plays at Mason and SFU goes to Sacred Heart.

ConfCarolinas: Two teams have been eliminated, winless Pfeiffer and Emmanuel, which is still making the transition from Division II and is not eligible for postseason play.

Three teams are vying for first place, Barton (19-5, 15-2), King (25-3, 14-2) and Mount Olive 16-8, 14-3). Limestone (11-9, 11-5) has a lock on fourth place. Erskine (3-19, 3-13) is going to get the eighth spot in the league tournament. Which leaves Lees-McRae (9-15, 7-9), North Greenville (8-16, 7-9) and Belmont Abbey (6-19, 7-10) battling for spots 5, 6, and 7.

On Friday, Erskine goes to Belmont Abbey and Emmanuel plays at Pfeiffer.

NCAA beach: Every team in the AVCA poll except No. 12 Grand Canyon plays either Friday or Saturday or both.

Top-ranked and unbeaten USC is home for Washington and No. 15 Arizona State on Friday and then Saturday plays in the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge at Manhattan Beach. The Women of Troy will play Loyola Marymount, ASU again, and Saint Mary’s.

No. 2 Pepperdine is in Hawai’i, where the Waves play Cal Poly and the No. 6 Sandbows on Friday. Saturday, the Waves play the same teams again.

No. 3 UCLA is in Santa Monica on Saturday and plays Washington and Concordia and then takes on No. 5 Long Beach State and No. 8 Arizona on Saturday. LBSU plays Washington and Arizona on Saturday and also Concordia on Sunday.

Fourth-ranked Florida State is home for TCU on Friday and No. 14 Florida Atlantic and No.11 South Carolina on Saturday. No. 10 Georgia State is also there, playing TCU, FAU, No. 13 Florida International and South Carolina.

LSU, ranked No. 7, goes to the Houston Baptist Invitational and plays Texas A&M Corpus Christi and HBU on Saturday and then Tulane and Central Arkansas on Sunday.

No. 9 Stetson is home Friday and Saturday for Florida Gulf Coast, Coastal Carolina, and Mercer.

Columbus State drops volleyball: The women’s program, which played in the Division II Peach Belt Conference, was eliminated “effective immediately,” according to a school news release:

“Our current budget projections and realities facing the overall athletics program for FY ’18 make it now financially necessary to adjust our sport offerings. Based on those projections, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our volleyball program,” said Todd Reeser, CSU’s athletic director.
To minimize the educational and financial impact on the effected student-athletes, returning volleyball athletes will have their scholarships honored at their current equivalencies to allow them to continue their education at Columbus State University, unless that athlete chooses to transfer to another program.  We are also working with impacted coaches and staff to match them with other employment opportunities.
“While various other options have been considered and reviewed, eliminating one sport helps us toward meeting the financial targets while also minimizing the number of student-athletes impacted,” added Reeser. “Across the board cuts to each of our programs would only reduce the quality of all programs, as well as impact the competitiveness and overall student-athlete experience we have become accustomed to achieving and providing.”

Columbus State was 15-14 last season, 6-12 in the Peach Belt.

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