No. 1 Long Beach State, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 UC Irvine survived conference tests, while No. 3 Hawaii fell to No. 15 Cal State Northridge for the second straight night Friday. The 49ers and Anteaters picked up road wins, while the Bruins outlasted No. 11 Grand Canyon at home. The Matadors won their fourth straight outdoing the Rainbow Warriors in every statistical category.
#15 Cal State Northridge def. #3 Hawaii 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-17)
- Cal State Northridge moves to 12-7, 2-2 Big West; Hawaii falls to 13-5, 1-3 Big West
- Northridge, California
- Box Score
- Hawaii Recap / CSUN Recap
Key Stats: The Matadors won their fourth straight match and completed a season sweep of Hawaii with a second sweep in as many nights. CSUN had the Rainbow Warriors’ number in every statistical category, besting Hawaii .368 to .218 in hitting efficiency and also edging its foes 8-2 in aces, 9.5-6 in blocks and 38-35 in kills.
Stat Leaders: Senior opposite Arvis Greene downed 14 kills and put up a team-leading five blocks to lead the Matadors to victory. Junior outside Dimitar Kalchev added eight putaways and served up six of the team’s eight aces. Freshman outside Maciej Ptaszynski and senior middle Josiah Byers turned in six kills apiece, each hitting .500 or better. Byers hit .750 (6-0-8) and put up four blocks, while junior middle Eric Chance also chipped in four stuffs.
Junior outside Stijn van Tilburg paced Hawaii with 12 kills and sophomore outside Austin Matautia added seven putaways, while four other players turned in three or more. redshirt sophomore middle Patrick Gasman added four kills, a team-high five blocks and served up one of the team’s two aces.
It Was Over When: The Matadors cruised to a 10-1 lead in Set 3 as Kalchev served up four aces and Greene added two kills and two blocks. Hawaii narrowed the gap to five at 13-8 with help from two Gasman blocks and two Dalton Solbrig kills. Greene tallied three more kills as CSUN went up 20-12. Down 22-14, Hawaii scored three in a row, two on Joe Worsley kills and the third on a Gasman ace. That was as close at the Rainbow Warriors would get as two errors and a Kalchev ace sealed the 25-17 win and the sweep for Northridge.
#1 Long Beach State def. #10 UC Santa Barbara 3-1 (24-26, 25-15, 25-14, 25-20)
- Long Beach State moves to 19-0, 4-0 Big West; UCSB falls to 9-7, 2-2 Big West
- Santa Barbara, California
- Box Score
- LBSU Recap / UCSB Recap
Key Stats: Long Beach State dropped its first set since Feb. 21 and first in Big West play, falling 26-24 in the opening set Friday night. The 49ers, who are the nation’s best offensive team in terms of hitting efficiency, hit at a .456 clip, including an error-free third set (.667) as they rebounded for the four-set win. LBSU also had help from a 9.5-6 lead in blocks, 6-1 edge in aces and 55-45 advantage in kills. The Gauchos hit .190 for the match.
Stat Leaders: Junior opposite Kyle Ensing and junior outside TJ DeFalco notched 15 kills apiece and senior outside Bjarne Huus added 10 to pace the LBSU offense. Freshman middle Simon Anderson chipped in seven kills on a team-best .778 clip (7-0-9). Huus rounded out a double-double with 11 digs and three blocks, while Ensing turned in a team-high five blocks and DeFalco added three. Anderson served up three of the team’s six aces.
Sophomore middle Keenan Sanders and redshirt freshman middle Jack Truman were tops among the Gauchos with 11 kills each, while sophomore outside Roy McFarland and junior outside Corey Chavers added nine apiece. Truman hit at a team-best .588 clip (11-1-17), while Sanders notched a double-double by adding 11 digs. Redshirt junior middle Connor Drake posted five kills, hit .385 and put up a team-high three blocks.
It Was Over When: UCSB started Set 4 on fire, racing out to a 6-3 advantage including two kills and an ace by Chavers. LBSU countered with eight of the next 11 points to grab an 11-9 lead as six Gaucho errors piled up. Three more miscues and an Anderson ace pushed the 49er edge to three at 15-12. Sanders cut the margin to one at 16-15 with two putaways, but it was not enough. Long Beach State wrapped up the match on a 9-5 run, including three kills and two block by Ensing.
#4 UCLA def. #11 Grand Canyon 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21)
- UCLA moves to 19-5, 7-2 MPSF: Grand Canyon falls to 15-7, 2-5 MPSF
- Los Angeles, California
- Box Score
- Grand Canyon Recap / UCLA Recap
Key Stats: A balanced attack, with four Bruins posting double-digit kills and hitting at a .300 or better clip, coupled with a season-high 16 blocks and nine aces was enough to lift No. 4 UCLA past No. 13 Grand Canyon and to their fourth-straight victory on Friday night. UCLA outhit GCU .346 to .205 in the match, due in part to a 16-5 lead in blocks. The Bruins also bested the Lopes in kills (53-45) and aces (9-3).
Stat Leaders: Senior opposite Christian Hessenauer (16), senior outside Jake Arnitz (12), junior outside Dylan Missry (10) and sophomore middle Daenan Gyimah (10) made up the group. Gyimah also managed a match-high eight blocks and three aces, while hitting at an errorless .588 clip (10-0-17). Hessenauer tacked on eight digs and six blocks. Junior setter Micah Ma’a served up four of the team’s nine aces, while guiding the Bruins to a .345 hitting effort.
Junior outside Will Schwob and redshirt senior outside Cullen Mosher led the way for GCU with 14 and 13 kills respectively. Schwob hit at a team-best .367 clip, while rounding out a double-double with a team-high 10 digs. Freshman outside Trevor Weary followed with eight kills and a team-leading three blocks. Sophomore middle Caleb Blazer also added three stuffs.
It Was Over When: After falling behind 8-6 in Set 4, UCLA charged back with 12 of the next 15 points to turn the deficit into a 18-11 advantage. Three Oliver Martin blocks led a 5-0 run to start the rally. Four Bruins notched kills and Missry added an ace to give UCLA the seven-point lead. Back to back aces by Shalev Saada pulled the Lopes within four at 18-14. Later, down 23-16, GCU scored four in a row, including two Bruin hitting errors, to slice the margin to three. In the end, UCLA got kills from Missry and Hessenauer to hang on for the 25-21 win and the match.
#5 UC Irvine def. UC San Diego (RV) 3-2 (24-26, 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 17-15)
- UC Irvine moves to 16-5, 3-1 Big West; UCSD falls to 9-12, 0-4 Big West
- LaJolla, California
- Box Score
- UC Irvine Recap / UCSD Recap
Key Stats: UC Irvine won its fifth straight and third in a row in Big West play, edging past UC San Diego in five sets in the second half of a home-and-home. The Anteaters racked up 21.5 blocks in the match, limiting UCSD to a .190 hitting effort. For their part, the Tritons bested UCI in kills (65-57), while managing seven blocks. Both teams served up four aces. UC Irvine won the final set despite being outhit .263 to .222.
Stat Leaders: Freshman outside Joel Schneidmiller racked up 18 kills to guide the Anteater offense, while sophomore middle Scott Stadick (14) and junior opposite Karl Apfelbach (13) followed. Stadick hit at a team-best .545 clip and added five blocks, while Apfelbach chipped in 11 digs and nine blocks, just missing a triple double. Redshirt freshman outside Austin Wilmot put up a match-high 13 blocks, while adding seven kills and an ace.
Freshman outside Wyatt Harrison downed a match-high 19 kills for UCSD, which was without the nation’s top scorer Tanner Syftestad due to injury as well as fellow senior Milosh Stojcic. Redshirt sophomore outside Xander Jimenez (14), senior middle Alec Flowers (12) and junior outside Nathan Thalken (10) also added double-digit kill efforts. Flowers hit at a team-best .375 clip, while Jimenez put up a team-leading three blocks and nine digs. Harrison also chipped in nine digs.
It Was Over When: UC San Diego built a 9-6 lead with help from three Harrison kills and putaways by three other players. UC Irvine turned things around with a 5-0 run, including a Grant Friedman ace and two stuffs by Wilmot. The Tritons answered with three straight points, including a kill and a block by Jimenez to go up 12-11. The Anteaters earned the first match-point try at 14-13 thanks to two UCSD miscues and a stuff by Wilmot and Schneidmiller. Two Apfelbach kills gave UCI two more tries at 15-14 and 16-15 and Stadick issued the final blow at 17-15.