No. 12 Concordia Irvine snapped a three-match losing streak by grabbing a four-set home upset of No. 4 Loyola to highlight Thursday night action. No. 3 UC Irvine won via sweep at home, while No. 5 BYU edged out No. 15 Penn State in a five-setter in Honolulu. No. 2 Hawaii swept No. 8 Lewis to round out a set of four Top 15 matchups.
#5 BYU def. #15 Penn State 3-2 (21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13)
Key Stats: BYU extended its current win streak to 10 matches, outlasting Penn State with just one error in the decisive fifth set. The Cougars hit at a .467 clip in the final stanza, while limiting PSU to a .214 effort. For the match, the Nittany Lions outhit BYU .314 to .302 for the match and outdid the Cougars 64-56 in kills. BYU won the serving battle 7-6, while both teams managed 11 blocks.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Brenden Sander and freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez combined for 39 of the Cougars’ 56 kills, turning in 20 and 19 respectively. Fernandez hit at a team-high .419 clip and added three aces, while Sander hit .390 and added five digs and an ace. Sophomore outside Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga and sophomore outside Cyrus Fa’alogo chipped in six kills apiece. Freshman middle Felipe De Brito Ferreira put up a team-high seven blocks, while senior setter Leo Durkin added five blocks to a near double-double of 50 assists and a team-best nine digs.
Three Nittany Lions managed double-digit kills, while two others were right behind. Redshirt junior outside Matthew McLaren (19), redshirt sophomore opposite Calvin Mende (18) and redshirt senior middle Kevin Gear (10) led the way, each hitting .333 or better, while redshirt senior opposite Jalen Penrose (8) and redshirt junior outside Lee Smith (7) followed. Gear hit at a team-high .562 clip, while Penrose put up seven blocks and two aces. Mende added five stuffs, while McLaren notched two aces.
It Was Over When: The teams played to a 8-all deadlock in Set 5 as each team boasted a two-point edge along the way. BYU pulled away with a 3-0 run, including a Sander kill and a stuff by Durkin, Fa’alogo and Miki Jauhiainen. Later, trailing 12-9, Penn State rallied to within one with kills by Aidan Albreht and Mende and a hitting error. BYU called timeout and earned its first match-point try on a PSU service error. Mende kept the match going for the Nittany Lions, but a Garcia Fernandez putaway ended the night.
#3 UC Irvine def. #11 Ball State 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-20)
- UC Irvine moves to 12-5; Ball State falls to 11-8
- Irvine, California
- Box Score
- Ball State Recap / UC Irvine Recap
Key Stats: UC Irvine rebounded from a Wednesday five-set loss to Fort Wayne with a convincing sweep of No. 11 Ball State on Thursday. The Anteaters outhit BSU .357 to .165 and outblocked the Cardinals 9-4. UCI also boasted a 40-34 edge in kills and edge BSU 4-3 in aces.
Stat Leaders: Freshman outside Joel Schneidmiller was the lone player in the match with double-digit kills, posting 10 to pace UC Irvine. Senior outside Aaron Koubi and junior opposite Karl Apfelbach chipped in nine putaways each, while sophomore middle Scott Stadick and redshirt freshman outside Austin Wilmot rounded out a balanced offense with six apiece. Stadick hit at a team-best .667 clip and added four blocks, while Schneidmiller hit .600 to go with six blocks and ace. Apfelbach served up two aces, while Wilmot added four stuffs.
Senior middle Matt Walsh and sophomore outside Matt Szews led the way for Ball State with eight and seven kills respectively. Senior middle Anthony Lebryk and freshman outside Ben Chinnici followed with five putdowns apiece. Walsh put up a team-best four blocks and added two of the team’s three aces.
It Was Over When: UCI snapped a 7-all tie with a 3-0 run including kills by Stadick and Apfelbach. Later, leading by just two at 16-14, the Anteaters gained separation with six of the next eight points. Three Cardinal errors and a kill and an by Apfelbach highlighted the rally, which put UC Irvine up 22-16. Ball State did not go away, however, using a 3-1 run, including kils by Chinnici and Walsh, to cut the margin to four at 23-19. A service error put the Anteaters on the hill at 24-19 and a hitting error two points later closed out the match.
#12 Concordia-Irvine def. #4 Loyola 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 17-25,
- Concordia (8-9); Loyola (15-3)
- Irvine, California
- Box Score
- Loyola Recap / Concordia Recap
Key Stats: Concordia registered home upset of No. 4 Loyola despite trailing in every statistical category. The Ramblers outdid the Eagles in hitting efficiency (.260 to .206), kills (54-50) and blocks (13.5 to 8.5). Both teams managed two aces. Concordia outhit Loyola in Sets 2 (.346 to .286) and 4 (.310 to .227) to snap the Ramblers’ five-set win streak.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt sophomore outside Raymond Barsemian was tops among all hitters with 18 kills for the Eagles, while just missing a double-double with nine digs and four blocks. Senior outside Jonathan Predney chipped in 10 kills, while junior middle Hunter Howell and redshirt sophomore outside Darcy Taig added eight apiece. Howell hit at a team-best .471 clip and put up a team-leading five blocks. Redshirt junior setter Chandler Gibb was one dig shy of a double-double, adding nine digs to his 44 assists.
Junior outside Collin Mahan downed 17 kills and senior opposite Ricky Gevis added 13 to lead the way for Loyola. Mahan hit at a team-best .419 clip, while Gevis added eight digs and seven blocks to his kill tally. Senior middle Jeff Jendryk turned in seven kills and a team-best nine blocks, while junior middle Paul Narup notched six kills and four blocks. Freshman setter Garrett Zolg posted a 46-assist, 15-dig double-double.
It Was Over When: Loyola ran out to a 4-0 lead in Set 4, but Concordia rallied to tie the score at 5. After a tie at 9-all, two Barsemian kills put the Eagles on top at 12-9. The Ramblers tied it up again at 15 with putaways from Mahan and Gevis, before taking a 17-16 lead on a Zolg ace. The teams traded points leading to five more ties, the last at 21. Barsemian, Gibb and Predney notched kills to make it 24-22 Concordia. Mahan thwarted the first match-point try, but Gibb downed the final point at 25-23.
#2 Hawaii def. #8 Lewis 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-19)
- Hawaii moves to 12-2; Lewis falls to 13-6
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Box Score
- Lewis Recap / Hawaii Recap
Key Stats: Hawaii hit at a .388 clip and served up nine aces in a sweep of No. 8 Lewis to kick off the Outrigger Invitational. The Rainbow Warriors hit .300 or better in all three sets, including .400-plus in the first two, while holding Lewis to a .194 effort for the match. Hawaii also boasted a 42-30 lead in kills and 9-4 advantage in aces. Both teams put up six blocks.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Stijn van Tilburg, sophomore outside Austin Matautia and sophomore opposite Rado Parapunov split the offensive load for Hawaii with 13, 10 and nine kills respectively. Matautia hit at a .400 clip and served up four aces, while junior middle Dalton Solbrig and redshirt sophomore middle Patrick Gasman put up three blocks apiece.
Redshirt sophomore outside Ryan Coenen was the lone Flyer in double digits, managing 11 kills, a team-best seven digs and two aces, but hitting at a just a .069 clip for the match. Redshirt sophomore outside Dalen Instenes and redshirt junior opposite Mitch Perinar added five kills apiece, each hitting over .400. Redshirt freshman middle TJ Murray put up a team-best four blocks, while junior setter Matt Yoshimoto added three stuffs.
It Was Over When: The teams split the first 34 points of Set 3, with neither leading by more than three. Hawaii trailed 17-16, before breaking off a 7-0 run, including two kills and a block by Matautia and two aces by Joe Worsley. Coenen notched two kills to keep the Flyers alive, but van Tilburg issued the final blow at 25-19.
#13 Grand Canyon def. Menlo 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-18)
- Grand Canyon moves to 13-6; Menlo falls to 3-13
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Box Score
- Menlo Recap / Grand Canyon Recap
Key Stats: Grand Canyon racked up 17 blocks and 10 aces in a sweep of Menlo on Thursday despite going deep into its bench. The Lopes managed a .270 to .035 advantage in efficiency and 33-28 lead in kills, while edging the Oaks 17-7 in stuffs and 10-2 in aces. GCU hit .333 or better in the first two sets and still earned a victory despite hitting just .120 in Set 3.
Stat Leaders: Sixteen players saw action for GCU with 11 registering at least one kill. Redshirt senior outside Cullen Mosher, senior outside Shalev Saada and reshirt senior middle Ashton King paced the Lopes with five putdowns each, while freshman outside Trevor Weary, redshirt sophomore outside Jack Burton and redshirt freshman outside David Kisiel added three apiece. Junior outside Will Schwob put up a team-high seven blocks, while sophomore middle Caleb Blazer (6) and senior middle Jerod Alleman (5) followed. Mosher and junior middle Alex Shmelev served up three aces apiece.
Freshman outside Akash Dhothar and freshman middle James Hansell notched seven kills apiece to lead Menlo. Senior opposite Brad Swain (5), freshman middle Justice Patterson (4) and freshman outside Collin Jordan (4) rounded out the offense. Patterson and Jordan also added a team-leading three blocks.
It Was Over When: Two Menlo miscues and a stuff by Alleman and Kisiel pushed GCU ahead by four at 10-6. The Oaks were within three on three occasions, but could not break through. Three more Menlo errors and a Kisiel putaway lifted the Lopes to a 16-10 advantage. Trailing 21-14, Menlo scored three in a row, including a Trey Lake ace, to cut it to 21-17. Grand Canyon answered with a final 4-1 run, including two Oak miscues and two stuffs by Schwob and Alleman.
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