No. 15 Cal State Northridge registered the upset of the night, sweeping No. 3 Hawaii in the Rainbow Warriors’ first trip to the mainland in two months. The win was the first in Big West play for the Matadors and also brought coach Jeff Campbell his 300th career victory.
Also picking up key Big West victories were No. 1 Long Beach State and No. 5 UC Irvine, who bested #10 UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego respectively.
In MPSF action, No. 2 BYU and No. 8 Pepperdine picked up home wins, although it took four sets for the Cougars to best 5-15 USC and earn their 13th-straight win.
In MIVA play, No. 19 McKendree edged past Lindenwood in four sets.
#1 Long Beach State def. #10 UC Santa Barbara 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19)
- Long Beach State moves to 18-0, 3-0 Big West; UCSB falls to 9-6, 2-1 Big West
- Long Beach, California
- Box Score
- UCSB Recap / LBSU Recap
Key Stats: The 49ers hit at a .390 clip and committed just six hitting errors on the night, as four players turned in seven or more kills. Six aces and six blocks also aided LBSU in the win. For its part, UCSB managed a .189 hitting effort, two blocks and an ace.
Stat Leaders: Junior opposite Kyle Ensing led the way for the 49ers with 11 kills and five blocks. Freshman middle Simon Anderson and redshirt junior middle Nick Amado added eight kills apiece and junior outside TJ DeFalco notched seven to round out the LBSU offense. Anderson hit at a team-best .533 clip, while Amado and DeFalco each hit over .400. Anderson put up four blocks, while DeFalco served up five of the team’s six aces and chipped in eight digs.
Sophomore middle Keenan Sanders and sophomore outside Roy McFarland both posted double-digit kill efforts for the Gauchos, tallying 11 and 10 respectively. Sanders rounded out a double-double with 10 digs, while hitting at a team-high .267 clip. Sophomore setter Casey McGarry served up UCSB’s lone ace, while four players added a single block.
It Was Over When: The 49ers had a near error free stanza to close out the match, hitting .448 with just two miscues, in Set 3. UCSB found itself in a 9-3 hole to start the stanza as Long Beach State put up four-straight stuffs, all involving Anderson and three including Ensing. Another stuff by Ensing, combined with Amado, and a DeFalco ace had the 49ers doubled up on the Gauchos at 16-8. Three LBSU errors and two McFarland putaways narrowed the gap to five at 18-13. The teams traded points over the next 12 serves leading to a 24-19 Long Beach lead. Anderson put down the final nail in the 25-19 win.
#2 BYU def. USC 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-21)
- BYU moves to 18-4, 8-0 MPSF; USC falls to 5-15, 1-5 MPSF
- Provo, Utah
- Box Score
- USC Recap / BYU Recap
Key Stats: BYU won its 13th straight match, topping USC 11.5 to 3 in blocks and 6-1 in aces, in a four-set win. After struggling to a .037 hitting effort in Set 1, the Cougars righted the ship, hitting .600 in Set 2 and at least .250 the rest of the way, en route to a .274 effort for the match. For its part, USC hit .216, hitting .220 or better save a .083 mark in Set 2. The Trojans boasted a 44-43 edge in kills.
Stat Leaders: Freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez and sophomore outside Storm Fa’agata Tufuga posted 14 and 13 kills respectively, while hitting nearly .250 or better to pace BYU. Fernandez also aided the Cougars with five aces and a team-high seven digs. Senior outside Brenden Sander downed nine kills and hit .304 to go with four blocks and seven digs. Sophomore middle Miki Jauhiainen put up a match-high five blocks alongside senior setter Leo Durkin. Senior middle Price Jarman missed his sixth-straight match with a hand injury.
Redshirt junior Jack Wyett tallied 11 kills, six digs and a team-best two blocks to lead USC. Junior outside Gianluca Grasso (9), senior opposite Jon Rivera (8) and junior outside Ryan Moss (6) followed. Grasso served up the team’s lone ace, while Moss hit at a .500 clip (6-2-8).
It Was Over When: A 4-0 run, including a kill and an ace by Garcia Fernandez, snapped a 9-all tie and gave BYU a lead it would not relinquish. Trailing 22-18, USC was not ready to give up, rallying to within one at 23-22 after two Cougar errors and two Connor Inlow putaways. A Fa’agata-Tufuga kill gave BYU its first match-point try at 24-22. Garcia Fernandez finished things off at 25-23.
#15 Cal State Northridge def. #3 Hawaii 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-23)
- Cal State Northridge moves to 11-7, 1-2 Big West; Hawaii falls to 13-4, 1-2 Big West
- Northridge, California
- Box Score
- Hawaii Recap / CSUN Recap
Key Stats: In its first trip to the mainland in two months, the Rainbow Warriors fell short against the Matadors. CSUN outdid Hawaii offensively, 44-36 in kills and .352 to .193 in hitting efficiency. The Rainbow Warriors won the block 8-7 and outserved Northridge 4-2 in aces. The Matadors hit .435 in the final stanza after efforts of .379 and .278. For its part, Hawaii ended on a high note, hitting .273 after two sub-.200 efforts.
Stat Leaders: It was a battle of supporting casts as senior opposite Arvis Greene and junior outside Stijn van Tilburg turned in 18 kills. Greene hit at a .438 clip for the Matadors, while van Tilburg hit .333 and added seven digs for the Rainbow Warriors.
Greene had help from junior outside Dimitar Kalchev (9), junior middle Eric Chance (8) and freshman outside Maciej Ptaszynski (6). Chance hit at a team-high .700 clip (8-1-10) and put up three blocks, alongside junior setter Sam Porter and senior middle Josiah Byers. Kalchev pulled up a team-leading nine digs and added an ace.
Sophomore outside Austin Matautia chipped in seven kills behind van Tilburg, but the next highest player after that was junior setter Joe Worsley with three putaways. Redshirt sophomore middle Patrick Gasman put up four blocks and junior middle Dalton Solbrig added three stuffs in the loss.
It Was Over When: Hawaii took a 6-4 lead in Set 3 with help from aces by van Tilburg and Solbrig. CSUN grabbed the advantage at 11-9 with two kills each by Greene and Kalchev. An ace by Schylar Lillethorup upped the margin to three at 15-12. The Rainbow Warriors knotted the score at 19 and 20, including a kill and a block by Worsley. Two Greene kills and two Hawaii errors made it 24-22 Matadors. A Chance putaway capped the sweep.
#5 UC Irvine def. UC San Diego (RV) 3-0 (25-21, 31-29, 25-18)
- UC Irvine moves to 15-5, 2-1 Big West; UCSD falls to 9-11, 0-3 Big West
- Irvine, California
- Box Score
- UCSD Recap / UC Irvine Recap
Key Stats: UC Irvine owned the net both offensively and defensively in a Big West sweep of UCSD, outblocking the Tritons 8-3 and outhitting them .386 to .245 en route to its fourth straight win. UC San Diego edged the Anteaters 3-2 in aces. Both teams hit well in the final two sets, with UCI hitting .400 or better in both, including .556 in Set 3, and UCSD managed two .300-plus efforts. Of note, national kills and points per set leader Tanner Syftestad did not play in the match for the Tritons.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Aaron Koubi (12), freshman outside Joel Schneidmiller (11) and junior opposite Karl Apfelbach (11) each posted double-digit kills and hit at a .300 or better clip to lead UCI to victory. Schnedimiller hit .474 and Koubi followed with a .455 effort. Apfelbach hit .304 and chipped in three blocks and both of the team’s aces. Sophomore middle Scott Stadick notched five kills and a team-high four blocks.
Redshirt sophomore outside Xander Jimenez (10), freshman outside Wyatt Harrison (9) and redshirt junior opposite Luke McDonald (9) were a three-headed monster for UCSD, but struggled efficiency-wise in the loss. Jimenez hit at a .316 clip,while Harrison and McDonald hit under .200 on the night. McDonald did chip in seven digs. Senior middle Alec Flowers added five kills on a .556 hitting effort, while adding a team-best three blocks.
It Was Over When: The teams tied 12 times in Set 3, the last at 16-all, before UC Irvine broke away with five straight points, including two kills and an ace by Apfelbach. A McDonald kill stopped the Anteaters momentarily, but UCI picked it right back up with a Koubi putaway and two from Schneidmiller to earn a match point try at 24-17. Dante Cahkravorti notched the final kill two points later.
#8 Pepperdine def. #14 Concordia-Irvine 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-23)
- Pepperdine moves to 11-6, 5-3 MPSF; Concordia falls to 10-12, 3-5 MPSF
- Malibu, California
- Box Score
- Concordia Recap / Pepperdine Recap
Key Stats: Pepperdine used 13.5 blocks to stifle the Concordia offense and won the rest of the stat sheet as well in the sweep. The Waves outdid the Eagles in kills (38-27), hitting percentage (.360 to .127), aces (9-6) and blocks (13.5 to 11). Pepperdine started the match by hitting over .400 in the first two sets, committing just five miscues.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt junior outside David Wieczorek did it all for the Waves, notching 12 kills, six aces and four blocks in the sweep. Senior outside Alex Harthaller was not far behind with nine kills, five blocks and an ace. Senior outside Colby Harriman chipped in six kills, four blocks and three aces, while junior middle Max Chamberlain came up with five kills, a team-high seven blocks and three aces, while hitting .571.
Redshirt sophomore outside Raymond Barsemian carried the Eagles with 11 kills, three aces and three blocks, while hitting at a team-best .417 clip. Redshirt sophomore outside Darcy Taig and junior middle Hunter Howell followed with five and four kills respectively. Howell also notched four blocks, while redshirt junior setter Chandler Gibb put up a team-high five stuffs.
It Was Over When: Pepperdine jumped ahead 8-4 as Wieczorek served up two aces. Jonathan Carlson answered with two aces of his own as part of a 4-0 Concordia run, which tied it up at 8-all. The Eagles grabbed the lead at 12-11, their first since the opening point of Set 2, on a Barsemian ace. Wieczorek added two more aces and a kill to lift the Waves to a 15-12 edge. Concordia would not go away, however, knotting the score again at 16 after back to back stuffs by Chandler Gibb, Hunter Howell and Carlson. The knot-up prompted a 6-2 Pepperdine run, including two Wieczorek kills and a pair of blocks by Wexter and Harthaller. The Eagles took a timeout and pulled within one at 22-21 as Barsemian added a kill and a block. Harthaller and Harriman countered with kills of their own to set up match point at 24-21. Barsemian kept the Eagles alive with a kill and an ace, but committed a hitting error to end the match.
#19 McKendree def. Lindenwood 3-1 (25-19, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19)
- McKendree moves to 8-10, 4-5 MIVA; Lindenwood falls to 8-10, 2-7 MIVA
- Lebanon, Illinois
- Box Score
- Lindenwood Recap / McKendree Recap
Key Stats: McKendree hit at a .370 clip and used nine blocks to limit Lindenwood to a .208 effort in a four-set home win on Thursday. The Bearcats also edged the Lions 48-46 in kills in the win. Lindenwood outdid McKendree 5-2 in aces and managed four blocks.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Jared Wilcox downed 14 kills, while hitting at a .560 clip and adding two blocks and an ace to pace McKendree. Four other players added six or more kills: redshirt senior middle Brendan Schmidt (9), redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke (8), senior outside Nolan Rueter (8) and freshman outside Patrick Ross (6). Dimke hit at a team-best .700 clip (8-1-10), while Schmidt put up a team-high five blocks and senior setter Pasquale Fiduccia added four stuffs. Wilcox and Dimke each served up an ace for the Bearcats.
Sophomore outside Nick Stevenson (14), sophomore opposite Charley Hlavin (12) and senior outside Nathan Van Dellen (10) each turned in double-digit kills to lead the Lindenwood attack. Stevenson hit at a .333 clip and added seven digs, while Hlavin served up two aces. Junior setter Adam Brewster notched a team-high eight digs and three blocks, while also dishing out 38 assists.
It Was Over When: Schmidt, Dimke and Ross downed two kills apiece to help McKendree to a 9-5 lead in Set 3. A kill and a block by Schmidt pushed the advantage to five at 15-10, but Lindenwood scored three of the next four two on Bearcat miscues, to narrow the gap to three at 16-13. Wilcox turned in three kills to put McKendree up five again at 21-16, then added another putaway and an ace to put the Bearcats on the hill for the match at 24-17. A service error and hitting error kept the Lions in the game, but a stuff by Schmidt and Fiduccia ended the night at 25-19. Wilcox notched seven kills in the final stanza.