Top-seeded Barton had to go five to beat the No. 8 seed, but when Tuesday’s action was finished the Conference Carolinas followed the lead of the other four men’s Division I-II volleyball conferences.
In all four leagues, there were no quarterfinals upsets as the Nos. 1 through 4 seeds won. Now it’s on to the semifinals.
Also Tuesday, the machine that is the top-ranked USC beach volleyball team kept rolling as the Women of Troy trounced Stanford.
MIVA semifinals: The two matches are Wednesday as No. 1-seeded Ohio State (28-2,) plays host to No. 4 Ball State (19-9), while No. 2 Lewis (23-6) entertains No. 3 Grand Canyon (18-10).
Ohio State swept Ball State in both their regular-season meetings, while Lewis split in an early season, back-to-back trip to Grand Canyon. The Flyers won in five the first night and Grand Canyon won in five the next.
EIVA semifinals: No. 1 Penn State (19-10) plays host to No. 4 Princeton (12-13) on Thursday, preceded by No. 2 Saint Francis (15-14) against No. 3 Sacred Heart (15-10).
In the regular season, Penn State beat Princeton in five sets in both their matches. SFU beat Sacred Heart in four in both their matches.
MPSF semifinals: Top-seeded Long Beach State (25-3) is home in its Pyramid to No. 4 UC Irvine (20-6) after No. 2 BYU (24-3) plays No. 3 Hawai’i (25-4). In the regular season, Long Beach swept UCI in Irvine and then beat the Anteaters in four in Long Beach. BYU swept Hawai’i in both their meetings.
Conference Carolinas: Barton lived life on the edge with its season on the line, but ultimately the Bulldogs prevailed over Erskine 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11.
The four remaining teams now move to Barton, in Wilson, N.C., for the semifinals on Friday. The winner of Saturday’s title match gets one of the six NCAA tournament spots.
Barton (21-5), which sent Erskine (4-12) into the offseason, will play fourth-seeded Limestone (13-10), which ousted Belmont Abbey 25-21, 28-26, 25-20. Belmont Abbey’s season ended 9-17.
Second-seeded King (28-3) crushed North Greenville (8-19) 25-11, 25-10, 25-18 and will play Mount Olive.
Third-seeded Mount Olive improved to 17-9 after beating Lees-McRae 25-19, 25-22, 25-17. LM ended its season 10-17.
Among the top CC performances Tuesday, Barton’s Angelo Mandilaris had 15 kills and hit .417, Vasilis Mandilaris had 15 kills and hit .440 and Aleksa Brkovic had 12 kills and hit .286. Daniel Fralix had 16 kills for Erskine and Isaac Lanier 14 … Limestone’s Bruno Kretzschmar and Anthony Savage had 12 kills each, while Julien Latard had six blocks …
King’s Jeff Sprayberry led with nine kills and was one of five players who had five or more … Mount Olive’s Robert Poole led his team with 11 kills. Four other teammates had six or more as their team hit .387.
USC sweeps Stanford: Visiting USC (26-0) beat Stanford (12-6) in the first meeting between the two schools.
It marked USC’s 11th sweep of the season and extended its winning streak to 56. USC welcomes CSU Bakersfield and Long Beach State for duals on Thursday and then will have Cal Poly and crosstown rival UCLA for two duals on Saturday. Thursday’s matches will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles. Visit Pac-12.com/live to watch online with authentication.
Sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis beat Stanford’s Catherine Raquel and Shannon Richardson 21-12, 21-12 at the No. 4 position. Minutes later, the Trojans went up 2-0 as juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer took down Kat Anderson and Courtney Bowen 21-17, 21-13 at No. 5.
The Trojans clinched when seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler put together a 21-16, 21-13 win over Payton Chang and Ivana Vanjak at No. 2. After having a 103-match winning streak snapped last weekend, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes got back on the winning track with a 21-14, 22-20 win over Jenna Gray and Kathryn Plummer at No. 1.
FIU tops FGCU: The winners improved to 21-12 with the sweep as they prepare for the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Beach Volleyball Championship that starts Friday in Emerson, Ga.
Among the FIU winners were Margherita Bianchin and Federica Frasca at No. 1 and Katie Friesen and Taija Thomas as No. 2.
Future sites: In case you missed it, the NCAA announced on Tuesday that the 2018 NCAA Women’s Division I Championship will be in Indianapolis. Pittsburgh is the site for 2019, it’s back in Omaha in 2020 back to Columbus in 2021. The 2017 NCAA gathering and associated AVCA convention is in Kansas City.
The NCAA also announced the next four National Collegiate men’s championships. In 2019 it goes to Long Beach, in 2020 it goes to Fairfax, Va., at George Mason, in 2021 the NCAA is back in Columbus, where it is next month, and in 2022 it’s at UCLA.