No. 8 UC Irvine pulled the upset in its season opener against No. 5 Lewis, winning via sweep with help from a stout and balanced offensive effort. No. 11 Ball State and No. 14 USC also excelled offensively in victories. Meanwhile, No. 20 UCSD depended on the arm of Tanner Syftestad and his 27 kills en route to a hard-fought five set win over McKendree.
#8 UC Irvine def. #5 Lewis 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-21)
Key Stats: The Anteaters hit at a .412 clip, while holding the Flyers to .218 for the match. UCI also outblocked Lewis 7-6 and bested its foes 4-1 in aces.
Stat Leaders: Five players notched seven or more kills for UC Irvine led by junior opposite Karl Apfelbach‘s 11. Sophomore middle blocker Scott Stadick chipped in eight kills and a team-leading five blocks. Outside hitter Joel Schneidmiller hit at a team-best .545 clip with seven kills and just one error in 11 swings in his collegiate debut. Senior David Parker paced the defense with 10 digs.
Redshirt sophomore outside Ryan Coenen led all hitters with 15 putaways for the Flyers, while hitting at a .423 clip. Sophomore outside Kyle Bugee was next on the team with seven kills.
It Was Over When: The Anteaters hit at a .536 clip in Set 3, but didn’t pull away until midway through the set. After a tie at 12-all, UCI scored six of the next eight points with two Matthew Younggren kills and three Lewis miscues to go up 18-14. The Flyers narrowed the gap to three seven times, last at 24-21, but could not break through to extend the match. A Schneidmiller kill capped the sweep.
FINAL: The 1st #BIGWIN by a BWC squad as No. 7 @UCImvb sweep No. 6 Lewis!
Karl Apfelbach 11k-2d-2b.
Scott Stadick 8k-.467-5b.
Joel Schneidmiller 7k-5d-3b.#TogetherWeZot vs No. 13 Loyola-Chicago Saturday, 3:30pm PT. #StartBig ??? pic.twitter.com/LFSS7Uwar5
— Big West MVB (@BigWestMVB) January 6, 2018
#11 Ball State def. Lees -McRae 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-10)
- Ball State moves to 1-0; Lees-McRae falls to 0-1
- Muncie, Indiana
- Ball State Recap / Lees-McRae Recap
- Box Score
Key Stats: Ball State hit .400 or better in all sets, including an eye-popping .696 effort in Set 3, en route to a .519 clip for the match. Meanwhile, the Cardinals held LMC to a .141 effort, aided in part by 10.5 BSU blocks.
Stat Leaders: Rookie outside hitter Ben Chinnici made a statement in his debut, downing a match-high 16 kills, including six in the final stanza, while hitting at a .609 clip. Senior middle blocker Matt Walsh added 14 putaways on a team-best .684 clip, while adding a team-leading six stuffs. Chinnici and sophomore libero Nick Lavanchy notched seven digs apiece.
Freshman outside Robert Bowling put down five kills to lead the Bobcat effort, while sophomore opposite Wes Rogman added five kills. Junior middle Hector Serviat put up a team-leading three blocks.
It Was Over When: Ball State left little doubt in Set 3, cruising to a 6-0 lead and upped the advantage to 10 soon after at 14-4. Walsh pounded down three kills in the opening rally, while Chinnici tacked on three and Mitch Weiler notched three kills and an ace by the midway point. A 4-0 run, including two Chinnici putaways made it a 12-point game at 19-7. A trio of Bobcat miscues and a kill by Chinnici capped the sweep.
#VICTORY Cardinals take down @LMCBobcatVolley in 3 sets behind freshman Ben Chinnici's effort to open the 2018 season! The Cardinals will be back in Worthen Arena tomorrow night to take on Emmanuel at 7:30pm! #ChirpChirp pic.twitter.com/B7kWsmeUVZ
— BSU Men's Volleyball (@BallStateMVB) January 6, 2018
#20 UC San Diego def. McKendree 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 29-27, 21-25, 15-13)
Key Stats: UCSD won the match despite being outdone by McKendree in kills (69-56), hitting percentage (.265 to .258) and aces (7-4). The Tritons bested the Bearcats 10-7 in blocks. UCSD outhit McKendree in sets 3 (.452 to .321) and 5 (.222 to .167), winning both.
Stat Leaders: Senior opposite Tanner Syftestad racked up a match-high 27 kills, hit at a .365 clip and added a match-best five blocks and two aces. Freshman outside Wyatt Harrison chipped in 10 kills, while redshirt senior middle blocker Bryan Zhu notched eight putaways and five stuffs. Junior Nathan Thalken pulled up a match-leading 11 digs.
Four Bearcat players put down double-double kill efforts: freshman outside Patrick Ross (16), senior outside Nolan Rueter (16), redshirt senior middle Brendan Schmidt (12) and redshirt freshman outside Ethan Carroll (11). Schmidt also put up five blocks and added two aces. Redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke chipped in eight kills on a match-leading .583 hitting effort.
It Was Over When: After trailing 9-7 in Set 5, UC San Diego scored four straight, including a kill and a block by Drew Sloane, to go up 11-9. McKendree tied it up at 11, but the Tritons came through with four of the final six points for the win. An ace by Bryce Curtis pushed the UCSD lead to 13-11, but kills by Carroll and Ross knotted the score once again. In the end, a pair of putaways by the rookie Harrison closed the door at 15-13 for the Tritons.
#14 USC def. Stevens Tech 3-1 (25-17, 27-25, 22-25, 25-18)
Key Stats: USC put up 13 blocks and outhit Stevens .333 to .231 in the four set win. The Trojans outblocked the Ducks 13-8.5, but trailed Stevens 51-50 in kills. Both teams managed four aces.
USC bookended the match with hitting efforts of .500 or better, with just one miscue in each, posting a .545 clip in Set 1 and a stellar .579 effort in Set 4. Stevens outhit USC .286 to .158 in the one stanza it won (Set 3).
Stat Leaders: Junior outside hitter Ryan Moss notched 21 kills, while hitting at a .409 clip and adding three aces and three blocks. Redshirt junior outside Jack Wyett added 15 kills and freshman outside Noah Franklin chipped in eight. Redshirt senior setter Gert Lisha put up four stuffs and 10 digs to go with his 43 assists.
Sophomore opposite David Lehman paced the Ducks with 19 kills, hitting .438 and adding five digs. Senior outside Gabe Shankweiler followed with 10 putaways, two aces and two blocks. Junior middle Cooper Diamond posted a match-high five blocks, but it was not enough to lift the Ducks past the Trojans.
It Was Over When: After Stevens rallied to tie Set 4 at 12, USC scored six of the next nine to pull ahead 18-15. Two Wyett kills, two Duck miscues and a solo stuff by Moss gave the Trojans the edge. Stevens was within two twice, last at 18-16, before USC closed things out for good with a 7-2 run. A kill and an ace by Moss set up the final point, which came on a Lucas Lossone putaway.
Ryan Moss had a career-high and match-leading 21 kills to lead the Trojans to their third victory of the season! #FightOn pic.twitter.com/0i7hOGJCGP
— USC Men's Volleyball (@USCmensvolley) January 6, 2018