The road teams came up victorious in four key matches across the country. No. 1 Long Beach State hit the road and bested No. 2 UCLA in four sets for the second time in four days. No. 11 Pepperdine edged No. 10 UC Santa Barbara in five sets, while No. 7 BYU topped No. 19 Stanford in four with help from its national-best block. In Conference Carolinas action, Barton topped Mount Olive in five sets in a battle of the unbeaten.
Barton def. Mount Olive 3-2 (25-20. 18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13)
- Barton moves to 8-6, 6-0 Conference Carolinas; Mount Olive falls to 8-4, 5-1 Conference Carolinas
- Mount Olive, North Carolina
- Box Score
- Barton Recap / Mount Olive Recap
Key Stats: Barton dominated the offensive side of the ball, outdoing Mount Olive 70-49 in kills en route to a five-set win, which snapped UMO’s seven match win streak and issued the team its first Conference Carolinas loss. The Bulldogs also outhit the Trojans .265 to .200 and bested them 4-2 in aces. UMO won the block 11.5 to 10.5.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Aleksa Brkovic dropped a career-high 30 kills and rounded out a double-double with 10 digs and two aces, while hitting at a .404 clip to pace the Bulldogs. Junior outside Vasilis Mandilaris (15 kills, 12 digs) and sophomore right side Angelos Mandilaris (11 kills, 16 digs) also posted double-doubles. Junior middle Justice Lord and redshirt sophomore setter Oscar Florentino guided the team at the net with six and four blocks respectively.
Junior outside Brad Monaghan and freshman middle Jerell Rogers carried the offensive load for UMO with 17 and 13 kills respectively. Rogers hit at a match-high .545 clip with just one error and added three blocks, while senior opposite Bret Rutledge followed with nine kills and eight digs. Freshman middle Eric Visgitis led the team’s blocking efforts, putting up seven stuffs. Reigning VolleyMob Player of the Week Robert Poole hit -.429 in the match with zero kills and three errors in seven swings.
It Was Over When: Barton notched four of the first five points in the decisive fifth set, with three coming on Mount Olive miscues. The Trojans battled back, however, rallying to tie the score at 10 and 11 before taking a 12-11 lead of their own on a Monaghan kill. Monaghan and Rutledge downed three kills each in the rally. Trailing 13-12 after another Monaghan putaway, Barton rallied with three straight points to steal away the victory. A service error, a solo stuff by Lord and a hitting error closed out the match.
#7 BYU def. #19 Stanford 3-1 (33-31, 25-27, 25-23, 25-21)
- BYU moves to 11-4, 4-0 MPSF; Stanford falls to 3-12, 1-3 MPSF
- Palo Alto, California
- Box Score
- BYU Recap / Stanford Recap
Key Stats: The national leader in blocks per set, BYU lived up to its reputation, putting up 13 stuffs in a four-set road win over Stanford, its sixth straight victory. The 13-4 blocking edge and a 9-6 lead in aces, helped the Cougars overcome a 62-49 deficit in kills. BYU also outhit the Cardinal .294 to .276 in the match.
Stat Leaders: Freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez (18) and senior outside Brenden Sander (16) carried the bulk of the offensive load for BYU. Garcia Fernandez also accounted for three aces and four blocks, while Sander hit at a team-leading .387 clip to go with six digs. Sophomore outside Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga added seven kills and five aces. Senior middle Price Jarman chipped in a team-leading eight blocks and four kills.
Freshman outside Jaylen Jasper posted a match-high 22 kills, while sophomore outside Eric Beatty and redshirt senior middle Kevin Rakestraw added 11 apiece to guide Stanford. Beatty chipped in nine digs and two aces, while freshman middle Kyler Presho downed eight kills and hit at an errorless .667 clip. Freshman outside JP Reilly added eight putaways, while he, Rakestraw and Presho each turned in two blocks.
It Was Over When: BYU cruised to an early 11-3 in Set 4 with help from two kills and an ace by Garcia Fernandez and five Stanford miscues. The Cardinal cut the lead in half at 12-8 as Presho, Beatty and Jasper posted kills and Russell Dervay added an ace. Three Stanford errors and aces by Miki Jauhiainen and Fa’agata-Tufuga pushed the margin back to seven at 18-11. Beatty notched two kills and an ace as the Cardinal put together an 8-3 run to slash the deficit to two at 21-19. Up just two at 22-20, BYU capitalized on a service error and hitting error to earn a match-point try at 24-20. Another service error closed out the match two points later.
#11 Pepperdine def. #10 UC Santa Barbara 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-12)
- Pepperdine moves to 8-3, 3-1 MPSF; UCSB falls to 4-5, 0-1 MPSF
- Santa Barbara, California
- Box Score
- Pepperdine Recap / UC Santa Barbara Recap
Key Stats: UCSB made a statement that they are ready to play, pushing No. 11 Pepperdine to five sets in its first ever MPSF match, but fell just short. The Gauchos outhit the Waves .246 to .190 and edged them in kills (56-55). Pepperdine won the battle at the service line 8-4 in aces en route to its third straight win. Both teams put up 13 blocks in the marathon match.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt junior outside David Wieczorek (14), senior outsides Alex Harthaller (13) and Colby Harriman (12) each posted double-digit kills for the Waves, while junior outside Michael Wexter followed with nine putaways. Wieczorek also put up a team-best six blocks and three aces, while Wexter hit at a team-leading .615 clip and turned in four stuffs. Junior middle Max Chamberlain added four blocks and three aces, while redshirt freshman setter Robert Mullahey did it all with 47 assists, eight digs and five blocks.
Junior outside Corey Chavers notched 22 kills and sophomore middle Keenan Sanders added 18 to pace UCSB. Chavers put up five blocks and added two of the team’s four aces, while hitting .356. Sanders chipped in seven digs and three blocks. Redshirt freshman middle Jack Truman and sophomore setter Randy DeWeese were tops at the net with six blocks apiece.
It Was Over When: UC Santa Barbara held the upper hand at 10-7 in Set 5, but could not hold on for the victory. Pepperdine committed five errors, four from the service line, while Sanders downed two kills in the early stages of the stanza. The Waves turned it around with an 8-2 run to grab the win. Two Gaucho errors and kills by Wieczorek and Harriman tied it up at 11 and a third by Harthaller put Pepperdine up 12-11. UCSB called timeout and tied the score at 12 on a Chavers putaway, but a hitting error and back to back aces by Chamberlain secured the Wave victory.
#1 Long Beach State def. #2 UCLA 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21)
- Long Beach State moves to 14-0; UCLA falls to 14-3
- Los Angeles, California
- Box Score
- LBSU Recap / UCLA Recap
Key Stats: In a match that was fairly even across the board, the No. 1 ranked 49ers found the edge in kills (67-55) and hitting efficiency (.408 to .315) en route to their second win over the Bruins in four days. UCLA owned a slight 8-7 edge in blocks and both teams managed three aces.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside TJ DeFalco and junior opposite Kyle Ensing tallied nearly 20 kills apiece to lead Long Beach State, turning in 23 and 19 putaways respectively. DeFalco hit at a team-high .500 clip, while Ensing hit at a .400 clip and added seven digs. Senior outside Bjarne Huus nearly pulled off a double-double, posting nine kills to go with 11 digs. Freshman middle Simon Anderson also notched nine kills, while adding a match-high four blocks. Junior setter Josh Tuaniga registered a 57-assist, 13-dig double-double.
Senior outside JT Hatch (13), freshman opposite Grant Maleski (13), junior outside Dylan Missry (11) and redshirt senior middle Oliver Martin (8) made up a balanced offensive attack for UCLA. Hatch rounded out a double-double with 10 digs, while Martin hit at a match-high .583 clip. Sophomore middle Daenan Gyimah put up three blocks, while added four kills. Junior setter Micah Ma’a turned in 48 assists, 11 digs and a team-best two aces.
It Was Over When: In a set that featured nine ties, neither side led by more than three until the latter stages. Long Beach State led 3-0 thanks to two UCLA miscues and an Ensing kill, but Jake Arnitz answered with back to back kills to bring it to a 3-3 tie. Later, trailing 13-11, the Bruins rallied with three straight, including a kill and a block by Ian Parish to grab a 14-13 advantage. Down 18-16, the 49ers scored three straight, with two DeFalco putaways, to reclaim the lead. The teams tied at 19, but it was nearly all Long Beach State from there. The 49ers ended the set on a 6-2 run, including kills by four different players and a Nick Amado ace. Huus notched the final putaway.