The late night action did not disappoint, as the four matches that featured at least one VolleyMob Top 20 team all went to a fifth set. It started out with a MIVA match and continued into the MPSF in the west coast.
Each five-setter had a different path. From back-and-forth, to extra points, to giant comebacks, all of the results had their own exciting finish. The overall theme is that there was plenty of carnage among ranked teams, which should cause a wealth of shuffling in the upcoming rankings.
#14 Ball State Def. Lindenwood 3-2 (19-25, 29-27, 27-29, 25-22, 15-12)
- #14 Ball State 9-7 (4-2 MIVA); Lindenwood 6-9 (1-6 MIVA)
- Box Score
- Ball State Press Release
- Lindenwood Press Release
It wasn’t the prettiest effort for Ball State, but coming off its two biggest wins of the season, the Cardinals earned a hard-fought road match at Lindenwood. Jake Romano seemingly willed his team to victory, as the Ball State setter posted 48 assists and 19 digs – both tops among Cardinals players. Both teams didn’t have highlight offensive nights, as the defenses led the way in a bit of a sloppy affair, but Ball State’s slightly more efficient attack was enough to grit out the victory.
#18 Concordia Irvine Def. #12 CSUN 3-2 (25-19, 24-26, 35-37, 35-33, 15-13)
- #18 Concordia Irvine 8-6 (3-3 MPSF); #12 CSUN 8-5 (0-0 Big West)
- Box Score
- Concordia Irvine Press Release
- CSUN Press Release
What a week it has been for Concordia Irvine, who already swept #13 Grand Canyon, won at #17 USC and now finished off the stretch with a five-set victory over #12 CSUN. They had to earn every point in doing so, as the two sides engaged in a chaotic match with three sets in extra points, four that ended with two point differences and a pair that went into the mid-thirties. There was a great individual matchups too with Arvis Greene (28 kills, .283) and Dimitar Kalchev (22 kills, .286) for CSUN and Jonathan Predney (26 kills, .400) for the Eagles. While CSUN had more kills, Concordia Irvine was the more efficient bunch and added an 18 point swing between blocks and serves.
#13 Grand Canyon Def. #17 USC 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12)
- #13 Grand Canyon 12-6 (2-4 MPSF); #17 USC 4-12 (1-5 MPSF)
- Box Score
- Grand Canyon Press Release
- USC Press Release
Grand Canyon’s Ashton King put together a dominant performance against USC, as he totaled a match-best 17 kills on a .583 mark. Even through the great offense, it was his defense (nine blocks, six digs) that sparked the biggest advantage for the Lopes in sliding by for a five-set win. The two teams were near reflections of each other in serves and struggles offensively, but GCU out-blocked USC 20.5 to 13 for the match – the X-factor in an MPSF crushing loss for USC and the first ever win for Grand Canyon against the Trojans.
#7 BYU Def. #19 Stanford 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-12)
- #7 BYU 12-4 (5-0 MPSF); #19 Stanford 3-13 (1-4 MPSF)
- Box Score
- BYU Press Release
- Stanford Press Release
All season long has been a struggle for a Stanford team that has combined youth with some key injuries. That youth showed a bit as they couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead over BYU, and fell in the reverse sweep. Some of the youngsters appear to be improving for the Cardinal, while the Cougars did a masterful job of turning things around after the second and outscoring Stanford 65-46 in the final three games. They worked through some lineup switches, but overall the block that favored the Cougars 15-3 pushed Stanford to 29 attack errors, which combined with 24 serve errors was enough for the Cougars to take advantage of to victory.