Sacred Heart bested No. 20 Saint Francis; Stanford knocked off No. 12 Grand Canyon in five sets; No. 18 McKendree toppled No. 9 Lewis; No. 16 Concordia Irvine edged past No. 2 BYU in five sets; and No. 8 Ohio State posted a four-set win over No. 6 Loyola to highlight Thursday’s slate of upsets.
Only No. 6 Pepperdine was able to hold rank, sweeping USC.
#16 Concordia Irvine def. #2 BYU 3-2 (19-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 16-14)
- Concordia Irvine moves to 13-13, 4-4 MPSF; BYU falls to 18-5, 8-1 MPSF
- Provo, Utah
- Box Score
- Concordia Recap / BYU Recap
Key Statistics: Concordia Irvine hit .328 and racked up six aces and 9.5 blocks in the five-set victory, which snapped BYU’s 13 match win streak. The Cougars outhit the Eagles .357 to .328, but were outdone .250 to .188 in the final stanza. BYU also boasted a 12-9.5 lead in blocks. Both teams managed 62 kills and six aces. The Cougars hit .300 or better in the first four sets, including a .483 effort in Set 2, but couldn’t keep pace in the final stanza. Concordia started slow, but hit .462, .625 and .250 in the three-set comeback. BYU played without sophomore outside Storm Fa’agata Tufuga, who participated in the team’s last match (March 15) and senior middle blocker Price Jarman, who has been out since Feb. 24.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt sophomore outside Raymond Barsemian notched 18 kills, seven digs, five blocks and two aces, while hitting at a team-best .438 clip to lead the Eagles. Senior outside Jonathan Predney followed with 17 putaways and a team-best three aces, while redshirt sophomore outside Darcy Taig added 14 kills and seven digs. Junior middle Hunter Howell tallied a team-high seven blocks and chipped in four kills.
Senior outside Brendan Sander downed a match-high 24 kills and hit .455, while adding four aces and four blocks, but it was not enough for BYU. Sophomore outside Cyrus Fa’alogo added 15 kills and eight digs, while hitting .414. Freshman opposite Gabi Garci Fernandez posted 13 kills and four blocks, while junior middle Christian Rupert put up a team-best six blocks.
It Was Over When: Concordia Irvine jumped out to a 3-1 lead in Set 5, including a Predney kill and Barsemian ace. BYU scored five straight with help from two Sander kills and two blocks to put the Cougars up 6-3. BYU led 8-5 at the changeover, but the Eagles fought back to a 10-all tie with kills by three different players, a Predney ace and a stuff by Gibb and Howell. Later, a Howell putaway and a block by Gibb and Falduti put Concordia on top 13-12, prompting a Cougar timeout. BYU tied it up at 13 and 14, but a service error and a Predney putdown capped the upset for the Eagles at 16-14.
#18 McKendree def. #9 Lewis 3-1 (21-25, 38-36, 25-23, 25-23)
- McKendree moves to 11-11, 6-5 MIVA; Lewis falls to 16-9, 7-4 MIVA
- Lebanon, Illinois
- Box Score
- Lewis Recap / McKendree Recap
Key Statistics: McKendree picked up the road win despite being outdone by Lewis in hitting efficiency (.266 to .248), aces (6-2) and blocks (16.5 to 9). The Bearcats boasted a 66-59 advantage in kills. Miscues spelled the difference with the Flyers posting three more service errors (16-13) and four more blocking errors (7-3).
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Jared Wilcox notched 20 kills, while senior outside Nolan Rueter (18) and redshirt senior middle Brendan Schmidt (10) followed to pace the Bearcats. Schmidt hit at a team-leading .600 clip (10-1-15), while Rueter rounded out a double-double with a team-best 13 digs. Redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke added seven putaways and a team-high five blocks.
Redshirt freshman outside Ryan Coenen posted 19 kills, nine digs and three blocks to lead Lewis. Redshirt junior opposite Mitch Perinar (13) and sophomore outside Kyle Bugee (11) followed offensively. Bugee finished off a double-double with 10 digs and six blocks. Redshirt freshman middle TJ Murray added eight kills on a team-high .533 hitting effort to go with six stuffs. Redshirt freshman middle Tyler Mitchem put up a match-high seven blocks and six kills.
It Was Over When: After playing to a 13-all tie in Set 4, the Bearcats put together a 6-1 run, including two Lewis miscues and a kill and a block by both Wilcox and Schmidt. The Flyers chipped away at the 19-14 margin, eventually knotting the score at 23. Three kills and a block by Murray and a pair of Coenen putaways aided the Lewis comeback effort. Wilcox came through with back to back kills in the end to seal the 25-23 win and the match.
#8 Ohio State def. #5 Loyola Chicago 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 39-41, 25-19)
- Ohio State moves to 18-4, 9-2 MIVA; Loyola falls to 19-4, 9-2 MIVA
- Columbus, Ohio
- Box Score
- Loyola Recap / Ohio State Recap
Key Statistics: The Buckeyes poured on 20 more kills (69-49) and hit at a .353 clip in a four-set win over Loyola to tie the Ramblers atop the MIVA rankings. Ohio State also had help from a 5-1 lead in aces in the win, which saw the team miss out on eight match-point tries in Set 3 before falling 41-39. Loyola boasted a 10-9 advantage in blocks. OSU hit nearly .400 in every set, save a .291 effort in Set 3, en route to its seventh straight victory. The Ramblers managed to hit at a .300 or better clip in Set 1 and 3.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Maxime Hervoir posted a 24-kill, 10-dig double-double and four blocks, while senior outside Nicolas Szerszen added 20 kills, 13 digs and three aces. Redshirt junior middle Blake Leeson added 10 kills on a team-best .562 clip, while redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes chipped in nine kills, but hit just .107. Redshirt senior middle Nick Laffin notched five blocks and six putaways.
Senior opposite Ricky Gevis (13), junior outside Collin Mahan (12) and senior middle Jeff Jendryk (11) posted double-digit kill efforts for the Ramblers. Jendryk hit at a team-high .526 clip and added three blocks. Gevis added five stuffs, while senior outside Ryan Jamison chipped in eight kills, eight digs and four blocks. Junior middle Paul Narup notched six blocks to go with four putdowns.
It Was Over When: The teams played to an 8-all tie in Set 4 before OSU surged ahead by three at 14-11. Two service errors and a pair of kills by Gevis gave the Buckeyes the advantage. Szerszen downed two kills and Leeson added a third to make it 18-13 Ohio State. A hitting error and service error and a triple block cut the margin to two at 18-16, but the Ramblers would get no closer. OSU scored seven of the final 10 points, with kills by four different players. A Hanes ace wrapped up the stanza.
#6 Pepperdine def. #19 USC 3-0 (25-20, 26-25, 25-23)
- Pepperdine moves to 14-6, 7-3 MPSF; USC falls to 6-17, 2-7 MPSF
- Los Angeles, California
- Box Score
- Pepperdine Recap / USC Recap
Key Statistics: Pepperdine won every statistical category except blocks in the sweep. The Waves outhit the Trojans .315 to .292, outserved them 7-5 and racked up 11 more kills (49-38). USC boasted a slight 5-4.5 lead in blocks.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt junior outside David Wieczorek (15) and senior outside Alex Harthaller (13) posted double-digit kill tallies to guide the Waves to victory. Harthaller hit at a team-best .440 clip and served up three aces, while Wieczorek added two blocks. Junior middle Max Chamberlain (7), junior outside Michael Wexter (6) and senior outside Colby Harriman (6) rounded out the Pepperdine offense. Wexter also accounted for three aces and two blocks, while Chamberlain added two stuffs.
Redshirt junior outside Jack Wyett and junior outside Gianluca Grasso each hit .400 or better and notched double-digit kills to top the USC offense. Wyett downed 14 kills on a team-best .423 hitting effort and added eight digs, while Grasso accounted for 11 kills, four digs and a team-leading two aces. Junior outside Ryan Moss managed eight putaway, seven digs and two aces, while redhshirt junior middle Connor Inlow put up at a team-high three blocks.
It Was Over When: USC led by as many as five in Set 3, boasting a 13-8 advantage with help from two blocks and five Wave miscues. Pepperdine chipped away, eventually tying the score at 16. Harthaller downed four kills in the stretch, while Wieczorek chipped in a kill and an ace. Down 17-16, the Waves scored five of the next six to surge ahead 21-18. The Trojans trailed by just one at 23-22, but a Harthaller kill and Jon Rivera service error gave the home side the 25-23 win and the match.
Sacred Heart def. #20 Saint Francis 3-0 (30-28, 25-22, 25-21)
- Sacred Heart moves to 5-11, 1-8 EIVA; Saint Francis falls to 8-16, 3-6 EIVA
- Fairfield, Connecticut
- Box Score
- Saint Francis Recap / Sacred Heart Recap
Key Statistics: The Pioneers outhit the Red Flash .274 to .128 thanks in part to 8.5 blocks. SHU also outdid Saint Francis in kills (39-34) and blocks (8.5 to 5). The Red Flash won the battle at the service line 6-3, but suffered their fifth straight loss. Sacred Heart won Set 1 despite trailing .258 to .171 in the stanza. The Pioneers rebounded outhitting their foes .345 to .172 and .323 to -.029 in the final two sets. SHU put up 4.5 of its blocks in the final set.
Stat Leaders: Freshman outside Shawn Tischler and redshirt junior right side Emerson Waumans led the Sacred Heart charge with 13 and 10 kills respectively. Freshman outside Jacob Karlsson followed with seven putaways on a team-best .429 hitting effort. Redshirt junior middle Taylor Bloomquist, sophomore middle Rob Chatterton and junior setter Noah Ricchetti put up three blocks apiece to lead the way.
Senior outside Brandon Buck (11), junior outside Cole Thompson (10) and redshirt senior outside Stephen Braswell (8) were tops offensively for Saint Francis. Thompson rounded out a double-double with a team-best 12 digs and two aces, while Braswell added 11 saves. Junior middle Cole Carver notched a team-high three blocks.
It Was Over When: Sacred Heart built a six-point lead midway through the set at 16-10 thanks to a 5-1 run including three Red Flash errors and a solo stuff by Chatterton. Saint Francis narrowed the gap to one at 19-18 as Thompson turned in a kill and two aces and Roman Szwabinsky posted a kill and an ace. Up just one at 21-20, the Pioneers made a final push, scoring four of the final five. Putaways by Tischler and Karlsson set up the final point, which came on a bad set by Keith Kegerreis.
Stanford (RV) def. #12 Grand Canyon 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 23-21)
- Stanford moves to 5-17, 2-7 MPSF; Grand Canyon falls to 16-9, 3-7 MPSF
- Palo Alto, California
- Box Score
- GCU Recap / Stanford Recap
Key Statistics: Stanford outhit GCU .326 to .255 despite being outblocked 13.5 to 10 in the match. The Cardinal boasted a 69-58 lead in kills and 6-5 edge in aces in the win, which completed a season sweep of the Lopes.
Stat Leaders: Freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper pounded down 27 kills on a .409 hitting effort and turned in a team-high nine digs and four aces to guide the Cardinal to victory. Redshirt senior middle Kevin Rakestraw (16) and junior outside Jordan Ewert (10) also posted double-digit kill efforts, while freshman middle Kyler Presho chipped in nine putaways. Rakestraw hit at a team-best .636 clip (16-2-22), while Presho put up a team-leading seven blocks.
Redshirt senior outside Cullen Mosher posted a team-high 17 kills, seven digs and three blocks and redshirt senior middle Ashton King added 11 putaways and eight blocks to lead the Lopes. Sophomore middle Caleb Blazer followed with eight kills on a team-high .500 hitting effort (8-0-16) and four stuffs. Senior setter Zachary Melcher accounted for 40 assists and six blocks.
It Was Over When: Set 5 featured 14 ties, but also saw the Cardinal boast an 8-4 lead early thanks to four Jasper putaways. GCU tied it up at 8 with help from two Shalev Saada kills, but Stanford surged ahead 12-9 as Jasper downed two more kills. Facing match-point at 14-12, the Lopes scored three straight, including a solo stuff by Blazer to earn a try of their own at 15-14. Grand Canyon would have two more opportunities to close it out, last at 17-16. Stanford had four cracks at the match, beginning at 18-17 as the teams traded points. A Melcher putaway knotted the score at 21, setting the stage for Jasper and Rakestraw to steal away the win for the Cardinal at 23-21.
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