There are no surprises at the top of the AVCA Division I-II rankings, Princeton has the national player of the week, and Loyola has the two MIVA POWs. All that and more in this weekly Tuesday NCAA men’s notebook.
There are no matches Tuesday among the four conferences.
The MPSF has two matches Wednesday, with USC at CSUN and Cal Baptist at No. 2 Long Beach State.
Conference Carolinas has Tuesday off but three matches are scheduled Wednesday.
The EIVA and MIVA are off until Friday.
AVCA Division I-II Poll: Nos. 1-4 stayed the same — Ohio State, Long Beach State, BYU and Hawai’i — but then there was some movement, including George Mason dropping out and USC jumping at No. 14. Lewis moved up from seventh to No. 5 and CSUN went from No. 14 to 11th. The MPSF has 10 of the 15 spots in the poll.
AVCA Division I-II POW: Princeton’s Parker Dixon, a 6-foot-6 freshman outside who averaged 4.38 kills per set and hit .441 in two victories. That included 22 kills against NJIT and 13 more against George Mason.
AVCA Division III Poll: Springfield, which is 13-1, stayed No. 1, but there was plenty of movement after that. UC Santa Cruz moved up a notch to second, SUNY New Paltz went from No. 4 to third, and Stevens dropped from second to fourth. NYU made a big just from ninth to No. 5. MIT jumped in at No.14, just ahead of Marymount, which dropped from 11th to No. 15.
AVCA Division III National POW: Rivier University senior setter Matt LaSance. He averaged 13.54 assists per set in three victories for the school from Nashua, N.H., that is ranked 13th in Division III.
Offensive Player of the Week: Princeton’s Dixon (see AVCA national POW above).
Defensive Player of the Week: Princeton freshman middle blocker George Huhmann. He was sick and sat out the match with NJIT but then had nine blocks against Mason.
Key matches this week: The EIVA is off until Friday when the slate is full of matches that matter, including Princeton at Harvard and NJIT at Saint Francis. And Penn State goes to Mason with the loser in a world of hurt.
Last week’s key results: Unfortunately for Penn State, the biggest matches were Saint Francis’ five-set upset of the Nittany Lions last Tuesday and then Sacred Heart’s four-set win over them. Princeton’s four-set upset of Mason got everyone’s attention, too.
Worth noting: Not too many observers would have had Sacred Heart and Princeton tied atop the standings at 3-1 four league matches in … Sacred Heart leads the EIVA in hitting at .309. Next up is Penn State at .286 … Sacred Heart is also holding opponents to the lowest hitting percentage in the conference, .178. Charleston is second at .192 … Christopher DeLucie leads in hitting percentage at .347, just ahead of Mason’s Radaslov Popov at .345. Jabarry Goodridge of NJIT leads in kills average at 4.17 per set, but SFU’s Michael Fisher leads in total kills with 200, one ahead of teammate Jeff Hogan and four ahead of Goodridge.
Offensive Player of the Week: Loyola sophomore outside Collin Mahan. Mahan hit .511 for the week and averaged 4.00 kills per in two victories. He had a career-best 19 kills, hitting .630 in a four-set victory over Fort Wayne and then had nine kills in a sweep of Ball State Mahan leads the Ramblers in kills (117) and digs (80) and is hitting .305.
Defensive Player of the Week: Loyola junior middle blocker Jeff Jendryk averaged 2.43 blocks per set including seven blocks against Fort Wayne. Then he had a career-best 10 blocks against Ball State.
Key matches this week: Lewis goes to Loyola on Friday with the loser perhaps on the outside looking in. Ohio State plays twice at Grand Canyon.
Last week’s key results: There were two matches on Sunday. Top-ranked Ohio State improved to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the MIVA with a 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 25-16 win over visiting last-place Lindenwood (0-12, 0-7). Nicolas Szerszen had 15 kills and three aces to go with seven digs and two blocks as the Buckeyes won their 38th match in a row.
Also Sunday, McKendree beat Quincy 25-23, 25-20, 29-31, 25-23 to improve to 6-11, 2-4. Quincy is 3-10, 1-6.
Among the most important results last week were Ball State’s two losses in the Chicago area, on Friday to Lewis and on Saturday to Loyola.
Worth noting: Ohio State is hitting .383 as a team. Next closest is Lewis at .320. And Ohio State is holding opponents to a .198 attack percentage. Next best is Ball State at .213. Wyatt Patterson of McKendree continues to lead among individuals at .534. Ball State’s Matt Walsh is next at .485. Ohio State’s Miles Johnson leads in kills per set, 4.39, and total kills, 215. Teammate Nicolas Szerszen is second at 4.06 and 207. The aforementioned Jendryk leads in blocking with 1.23 per set, but Jacob Schmiegelt leads in totals blocks with 64, four solo. Jendryk has 59, a league-leading nine solo.
Player of the Week: CSUN junior opposite Arvis Greene. Greene had 25 kills in 49 swings with just three errors in a five-set win at UCLA as he hit .449. He also had seven digs, an ace and three blocks.
Key matches this week: No. 3 BYU goes to No. 8 Stanford on Thursday and Friday, No. 6 UCLA plays at No. 7 UC Irvine on Friday and No. 13 UCSC goes to Irvine on Saturday.
Last week’s key results: The spotlight belongs to USC, which cracked the rankings after scoring upsets against Stanford and Pepperdine. Long Beach had sweeps of USCB and UCLA.
Worth noting: USC’s Lucas Yoder still has the season best for kills, 35 against Penn State on January 7 … Bryce Yould leads the league in hitting at .520. Teammate Amir Lugo-Rodriguez remains second at .508. Lugo-Rodriguez leads the MPSF in blocks with 65, six solo … UCI’s Michael Saeta and CSUN’s Dimitar Kalchev each have 54 aces and are averaging .70 aces per set … Yoder leads in kills, 236, and kills per set, 4.92.
Offensive Player of the Week: Mount Olive senior setter Jeff Yasalonis. He averaged 10.38 assists and 1.88 digs per set as his team went 2-0 and holds sole possession of first place.
Key matches this week: There’s a big one when Barton tries to close the gap when it plays at Mount Olive on Wednesday. King goes to Limestone on Saturday while Mount Olive has a big non-conference challenge at No. 5 Lewis.
Last week’s key results: The league had one match Monday, when Emmanuel improved to 3-10, 2-6 by beating visiting Belmont Abbey in as close as a sweep can get 27-25, 26-24, 25-23. It left Belmont Abbey 3-8, 2-5. Mount Olive took over sole possession of first place last week with victories over King and Lees-McRae. Mount Olive is 8-0 with a 1.5-match lead over King at 6-2 and Barton, which is 7-2.
Worth noting: Robert Poole of Mount Olive leads the CC at 3.79 kills per set and in total kills with 159. John Sobel of Lees-McRae and Jeff Sprayberry are tied for second with 152 each … Ackeem West of Emmanuel leads in attack percentage at .321 while Barton leads as a team at .298. King is second at .262.