Men’s Volleyball NCAA Tournament
May 2, 4, 6, 2017; Columbus, Ohio
May 2 / 6 p.m. ET
BYU vs. Barton
Live Stats / Live Video
May 2 / 8 p.m. ET
Hawaii vs. Penn State
Live Stats / Live Video
May 4 / 6 p.m. ET
Long Beach State vs. Winner of Tuesday’s match 1
May 4 / 8 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. Winner of Tuesday’s Match 2
May 6 / 7 p.m. ET
National Championship match
The NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship kicks off at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday when No. 3 seed BYU (24-4) takes on No. 6 Barton (23-5). A match between Penn State and Hawaii will follow. Both of Tuesday’s winners will move on to the semifinals on Thursday, where No. 1 seeded Ohio State and No. 2 Long Beach State will be waiting.
BYU (24-4) was the No. 2 seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament before falling to No. 3 seed Hawaii in the semifinals. For its part, Barton (23-5) won the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles. The Bulldogs defeated Mount Olive via sweep en route to the tournament championship.
For BYU, first team All-American outside hitter Jake Langlois leads the way with 3.83 kills per set, while hitting at a .357 clip and adding 0.65 blocks per set and a team-best 47 aces. Setter Leo Durkin, middle blocker Price Jarman and outside hitter Brenden Sander garnered honorable mention All-America honors. Jarman boasts a team-best 0.96 blocks per set, while Sander chips in 2.87 kills and .61 blocks per set to go with 28 aces.
Opposite Ben Patch has been in and out of the lineup for the Cougars, but has averaged 4.51 kills per set when available.
Sophomore outside hitter Vasilis Mandilaris was named as Barton’s first ever All-America honoree, garnering honorable mention accolades after posting 3.32 kills per set on a .337 hitting effort and serving up 37 aces. Freshman right side Angelos Mandilaris leads the Bulldogs with 3.45 kills per set on a .349 hitting percentage, while also adding 1.63 digs per set and a team-leading 38 aces. Middle blocker Justice Lord manages a team-best 0.91blocks per set.
As a team, Barton ranked third nationally in hitting percentage (.329), while holding foes to a national low, .154 effort.
The Cougars and Bulldogs have never played in men’s volleyball. This also marks BYU’s first ever meeting against a Conference Carolinas foe.
The Cougars and Bulldogs did not face any common foes in 2017.
The winner of Tuesday’s first match will face No. 2 seed Long Beach State (27-3) in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. ET. Long Beach State won its first ever MPSF title in 2017.
Previewing Penn State/Hawaii
Penn State (21-10) won its 19th EIVA crown, downing Saint Francis in the tournament title match. Hawai’i (26-5) finished second in the MPSF tournament title race, falling to Long Beach State in the championship match.
For Penn State, senior outside hitter Chris Nugent leads the way with 3.26 kills per set, while hitting at a .312 clip and adding 24 aces in a second team All-America campaign. Redshirt freshman opposite Calvin Mende put down 3.23 kills per set at a .300 clip and managed 0.83 blocks per set en route to honorable mention All-America honors. Redshirt junior middle Kevin Gear puts up a team-best 0.96 blocks per set, while redshirt senior Matt Callaway adds 0.87 stuffs per set.
Hawai’i is led by sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg, who ranks third nationally with an average of 4.26 kills per set, while hitting at a .380 clip. Senior outside Kupono Fey (2.78) and freshman opposite Rado Parapunov (2.27) follow. At the net, redshirt freshman middle Patrick Gasman and senior middle Hendrik Mol lead the way with 1.11 and 1.08 blocks per set respectively. Mol also has served up a t team-best 26 aces. Van Tilburg and setter Jennings Franciskovic were named as first team All-Americans, while libero Larry Tuileta was a second team honoree and Mol garnered honorable mention acclaim.
The Rainbow Warriors lead the nation in kills per set (13.56) and blocks per set (2.76).
Hawaii and Penn State last played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament play-in match, which the Nittany Lions won 3-1. The Rainbow Warriors, however boast a 14-9 lead in the all-time series dating to 1995. The teams have faced off in each of Hawaii’s four previous NCAA appearances (1995, 1996, 2002 and 2015).
The Nittany Lions and Rainbow Warriors played five common foes in 2017. Both squads took on Ball State, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Baptist, USC and Stanford. Hawaii won all eight meetings with those five opponents, six via sweep. Meanwhile, Penn State lost in three sets to Stanford (March 4), and fell to Ball State in four sets (Jan. 13). PSU topped UCSB and Cal Baptist in four and outlasted USC in five sets.
The winner of the Penn State/Hawaii matchup will face No. 1 overall seed Ohio State (30-2), which won both the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season and tournament titles, at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.