No. 19 USC overcame a deficit in every statistical category to outlast No. 3 UCLA to lead the late Saturday slate. No. 1 Long Beach State and No. 2 BYU held rank against Top 15 foes, while No. 13 Ball State picked up a sweep. No. 11 UC Santa Barbara settled the season score with No. 10 Cal State Northridge, winning at home in four sets.
#19 USC def. #3 UCLA 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11)
- USC moves to 7-17, 3-7 MPSF; UCLA falls to 20-6, 7-3 MPSF
- Los Angeles, California
- Box Score
- UCLA Recap / USC Recap
Key Statistics: UCLA boasted the lead in every statistical category, but could not avoid the upset from crosstown foe USC. The Bruins outhit the Trojans .384 to .272 and outdid their foes in kills (63-60), aces (6-5) and blocks (9.5-8). The loss snapped a five-match win streak for UCLA.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Gianluca Grasso was tops among the Trojans with 20 kills on a .441 hitting effort to go with a team-high two aces and two blocks. Redshirt junior outside Jack Wyett (18) and freshman middle Sam Lewis (10) rounded out the USC offense. Lewis hit at a team-leading .471 clip and put up five blocks. Redshirt senior setter Gert Lisha put together a 50-assist, 11-dig double-double.
Senior opposite Christian Hessenauer was one of four Bruins players with double-digit kills, posting 22 putaways on a .500 hitting effort (22-2-40) and adding four blocks. Senior outside Jake Arnitz (13), sophomore middle Daenan Gyimah (10) and junior outside Dylan Missry (10) rounded out the group. Missry rounded out a double-double with a team-best 12 digs and two aces, while Gyimah and junior setter Micah Ma’a also served up two aces. Redshirt senior middle Oliver Martin put up a team-high five blocks.
It Was Over When: The teams were level at 6-all in Set 5 when Grasso and Ryan Moss notched two kills apiece to put the Trojans on top 11-7. Two Bruin errors and a Grasso putaway put USC on the hill for the match at 14-9. A hitting error and a block by Martin and Arnitz kept the match going. Wyett issued the final blow at 15-11.
#1 Long Beach State def. #4 UC Irvine 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20)
- Long Beach State moves to 21-0, 6-0 Big West; UC Irvine falls to 17-7, 3-3 Big West
- Irvine, California
- Box Score
- LBSU Recap / UC Irvine Recap
Key Statistics: LBSU racked up 14.5 blocks and outhit UC Irvine .333 to .188 to finish off a weekend sweep of the Anteaters and keep a lock on an undefeated record and the top spot in the Big West. The 49ers outdid UCI in kills (51-50), aces (5-3) and blocks (14.5 to 8.5).
Stat Leaders: Junior outside TJ DeFalco and junior opposite Kyle Ensing turned in 19 and 18 kills respectively to pace the 49ers, each hitting .300 or better in the match and notching five blocks. Ensing rounded out a double-double with 10 digs and two aces, while DeFalco added eight saves. Junior setter Josh Tuaniga just missed a double-double, adding nine digs to his 42-assist tally. Redshirt junior middle Nick Amado chalked up nine blocks and four putdowns.
Junior opposite Karl Apfelbach downed a match-high 20 kills and put up a team-best five blocks to lead UCI. Senior outside Aaron Koubi added 10 putaways and freshman outside Joel Schneidmiller chipped in nine. Sophomore middle Scott Stadick and redshirt freshman outside Austin Wilmot each accounted for five kills and four stuffs.
It Was Over When: Long Beach State pulled away for good in Set 4, turning an 11-10 margin into a 18-14 advantage. Four 49ers notched kills in the stretch, including two by Ensing and a kill and a block by DeFalco. The Anteaters were within three twice at 18-15, 19-16 and 21-18, but could not break through. LBSU scored four of the final six, all on UCI errors, two hitting miscues and two serving misses.
#2 BYU def. #12 Grand Canyon 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-23)
- BYU moves to 19-5, 9-1 MPSF; Grand Canyon falls to 16-10, 3-8 MPSF
- Provo, Utah
- Box Score
- Grand Canyon Recap / BYU Recap
Key Statistics: BYU put up 11.5 blocks to help limit GCU to an .049 hitting effort. The Cougars bested the Lopes in kills (33-27), hitting efficiency (.183 to .049), aces (5-0) and blocks (11.5-7.5). BYU hit better than .200 in just one set, notching a .250 effort in Set 1, followed by efforts of .158 and .129. Grand Canyon hit .172 in the opener, but managed a -.111 clip in Set 2 and .029 effort in Set 3.
Stat Leaders: Freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez chalked up a match-high 12 kills and added four blocks for the Cougars in the win. Six other players recorded putaways, with senior outside Brenden Sander (6), sophomore outside Cyrus Fa’alogo (5) and junior middle Christian Rupert (4) next on the stat sheet behind Garcia Fernandez. Rupert also notched eight blocks, while Sander served up three blocks and pulled up a team-best five digs alongside freshman libero Zach Hendrickson.
Five players contributed to the GCU offense with senior outside Cody Williams (7), redshirt senior outside Cullen Mosher (7) and junior outside Will Schwob (6) leading the way. Sophomore middle Caleb Blazer hit at a team-high .571 clip with four kills to go with a team-best three blocks.
It Was Over When: BYU scored three straight, including a kill and a block by Garcia Fernandez, to gain separation after a 9-all tie. A 6-1 Cougar run, with four GCU miscues, pushed the team ahead by four at 21-15. The Lopes sliced the margin to one at 23-22, scoring seven of the next nine points, including two kills and a block by Schwob and two Grand Canyon miscues. A Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga kill made it 24-22 and Schwob countered with one of his own. Garcia Fernandez capped the sweep.
#7 Hawaii def. UCSD (RV3-0 (25-9, 25-10, 25-14)
- Hawaii moves to 15-6, 3-3 Big West; UC San Diego falls to 9-14, 0-6 Big West
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Box Score
- UCSD Recap / Hawaii Recap
Key Statistics: Hawaii hit at a .558 clip, its best effort since Jan. 8, 2003 (.558 vs. Lewis) and tied for the third best in program history, making just six errors as a team in the victory. On the other side, UCSD hit just .013 with just one positive hitting effort, a .065 clip in Set 3. The Tritons woes were due in part to eight Rainbow Warrior blocks. Hawaii dominated the net, outdoing UC San Diego in kills (49-17) and blocks (8-4). UH also outserved UCSD 3-2.
Stat Leaders: Individually, junior outside Brett Rosenmeier and sophomore opposite Rado Parapunov led the way for Hawaii with 14 and 12 kills respectively. Rosenmeier hit at an errorless .737 clip (14-0-19) and was one of four Rainbow Warriors without a miscue. Parapunov hit .429 with just three errors, while also chipping in seven digs and a team-leading four blocks. Junior outside Stijn van Tilburg notched nine kills, while junior middle Dalton Solbrig added eight on a team-best .889 effort (8-0-9). Redshirt sophomore middle Patrick Gasman joined Parapunov with four stuffs.
Senior opposite Tanner Syftestad accounted for six of UCSD’s 17 kills, but hit just .130 in the match (6-3-23). Freshman outside Wyatt Harrison added four putaways and a team-high two blocks, and was the only other Triton player with a positive hitting effort (.050). The pair combined for nearly half of the team’s digs as well, adding five and four respectively. Syftestad and junior outside Nathan Thalken served up the team’s two aces.
It Was Over When: In the closest set of the night, the teams traded points in the early going, leading to a 6-all tie. A kill and a block by Joe Worsley put Hawaii up two at 8-6 and a Parapunov putaway made it 13-10. The lead stood at just three when the Rainbow Warriors pulled away for good, closing out the match on an 8-0 run. Parapunov, Rosenmeier and van Tilburg turned in two kills apiece down the stretch, then a stuff by Rosenmeier, Solbrig and Parapunov was the final nail in the 25-14 win.
#11 UC Santa Barbara def. #10 Cal State Northridge 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-17)
- UCSB moves to 10-9, 3-3 Big West; Cal State Northridge falls to 13-8, 3-3 Big West
- Santa Barbara, California
- Box Score
- CSUN Recap / UCSB Recap
Key Statistics: The Gauchos outserved the Matadors 9-1 in aces and edged their foes 12-10.5 in blocks in the win to even the season series following Friday’s Northridge win. CSUN outhit UC Santa Barbara .231 to .174 and boasted a 46-45 lead in kills. Neither team excelled offensively in Set 4, but UCSB managed a .125 to -.036 advantage.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Corey Chavers (13), sophomore opposite Keenan Sanders (11) and redshirt freshman middle Jack Truman (10) guided the ship for UCSB. Truman hit at a team-high .438 clip and put up a team-leading six blocks. Sanders added nine digs and five blocks, while Chavers chipped in 11 digs and three aces. Redshirt junior middle Connor Drake put up five blocks, while sophomore setter Randy DeWeese served up four of the team’s nine aces.
Junior outside Dimitar Kalchev (11), freshman outside Maciej Ptaszynski (11) and senior opposite Arvis Greene (10) managed double-digit kill tallies for Northridge. Ptaszynski hit .348 and put up three blocks, while Kalchev added eight digs and two stuffs. Junior middle Eric Chance turned in five kills and five blocks, while senior middle Josiah Byers added five kills on a team-high .571 clip (5-1-7) and three stuffs.
It Was Over When: UC Santa Barbara jumped ahead 11-5 in Set 4 thanks in part to two blocks, an ace and a kill by Chavers and three CSUN miscues. The Matadors scored three in a row, including two Gaucho errors, to cut the margin to three. UCSB scored five of the next six, capitalizing on two Northridge errors and two Sanders putaways, to go up 16-9. The Matadors were down just four at 19-15, but couldn’t stop UC Santa Barbara, which posted six of the final eight points. Three Drake blocks made it 24-16 Gauchos and a service error clinched the match.
#13 Ball State def. Quincy 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-16)
- Ball State moves to 15-11, 8-4 MIVA; Quincy falls to 12-16, 0-12 MIVA
- Muncie, Indiana
- Box Score
- Quincy Recap / Ball State Recap
Key Statistics: Ball State dominated the serve (7-1) and the block (10-4) in a quick sweep of Quincy. The Cardinals also won both offensive categories, outhitting the Hawks .187 to -.033 and outdoing their foes 33-23 in kills. Quincy never hit above .100 on the night, posting a -.125 effort in Set 3, which BSU won despite hitting just .061.
Stat Leaders: Freshman outside Ryan Dorgan put down a career-high nine kills and served up two aces, while freshman outside Ben Chinnici also notched nine putaways and tacked on a team-high seven digs and five blocks to pace Ball State. Senior middle Matt Walsh added four kills, three blocks and two aces, while senior outside Mitch Weiler put down five kills on a .625 hitting effort.
Senior outside Anthony Winter recorded eight kills and three blocks, but hit -.036 for Quincy. Sophomore middle Blake Sprecher tallied five kills and three blocks, while hitting at a team-high .625 clip. Redshirt junior right side Brandon Davis accounted for eight digs and three kills.
It Was Over When: Ball State ran out to a 13-5 lead in Set 3 with help from three kills and a block by Chinnici and five Quincy errors. The Hawks answered with eight of the next 11 to narrow the gap to three at 15-12. Two blocks and a kill by Winter and three BSU errors aided the rally. Up just three at 16-13, the Cardinals put together an 8-1 run to earn a match-point try at 24-14. Four Quincy miscues and two Walsh aces highlighted the stretch. A service error and bad set kept the match going, before a Chinnici putaway clinched the 25-16 win and the match.
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