MPSF Volleyball Results, Jan. 2-3

Photo by Hali Helfgott

Wednesday, January 3

UCLA 3, New Jersey Tech 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20)

Recap by UCLA

The No. 4-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team opened the 2018 season with a sweep of New Jersey Institute of Technology in a match played on Wednesday night in the John Wooden Center. Scores of the match were 25-17, 25-22, 25-20. Senior Christian Hessenauer led the Bruin attack with 12 kills while hitting .688.

UCLA ran out to a 5-1 lead to start set one as Hessenauer and Jake Arnitz provided the early firepower. A Dylan Missry kill lifted UCLA into a 12-3 advantage. Hessenauer's sixth and seventh kills of the set finished off the Highlanders at 25-17. Arnitz totaled five kills for the set and the Bruins hit .393.

Set two was even early before the Bruins put together a run for an 11-6 edge which was capped off by a Missry kill. Successive kills by Hessenauer and Arnitz made it 18-12. NJIT rallied to close to 22-20 and then 24-22 before the Bruins took home the set at 25-22 after a hitting error.

UCLA opened up a 4-1 lead to begin set three thanks in part to a kill and a block by Oliver Martin. NJIT managed to level the score at points 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11. A Missry kill handed UCLA the lead for good in the set at 12-11 and started a 4-0 Bruin run. NJIT moved as close as two, at 15-13 and 16-14, before the Bruins used an Arnitz kill and a triple block to take a 22-17 lead. A service ace by Hessenauer ended the contest at 25-20.

Arnitz also finished in double-digits with 10 kills (.304). Martin added seven kills (.333) and three block assists. Micah Ma'a totaled 32 set assists and a block assist. The Bruins hit .304 for the match to .242 for NJIT. The Bruins had service aces from Missry, Daenan Gyimah and Hessenauer. JT Hatch led the team with eight digs.

The Bruins will host the Wooden Volleyball Classic on Friday and Saturday with teams from UC San Diego, McKendree University and King University. On Friday, UCLA will meet King at 7:30 p.m. after UC San Diego and McKendree square off in the first match at 5 p.m. On Saturday, King and McKendree are scheduled to play at 10 a.m. and then in the evening session, UC San Diego will meet King at 5 p.m. and UCLA will take on McKendree at 7:30 p.m. There is no admission for the event which will be held in the Wooden Center.

Tuesday, January 2

USC 3, Princeton 1 (28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22)

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--The No. 12-ranked USC men's volleyball team--behind 20 kills from Jack Wyett and 18 from Gianluca Grasso--opened its 2018 season with a 28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22 non-conference win over Princeton on Tuesday (Jan. 2) in USC's Galen Center.

It was the first-ever meeting between USC (1-0) and Princeton (0-1).

Wyett, a redshirt junior outside hitter, returned to the court as a Trojan for the first time since the 2015 season after a 2-year layoff from the sport. He added 9 digs. Grasso had a match-best 4 aces.

Freshman Sam Lewis, a 6-10 middle blocker making his Trojan debut, hit .786 with 11 kills on 14 attempts with no errors. Ryan Moss also had 11 kills for USC, while Connor Inlow had a match-high 5 blocks and Gert Lisha had 9 digs.

For Princeton, 6-11 middle blocker George Huhmann had 20 kills and 4 blocks, while Parker Dixon added 14 kills (hitting .429) and 7 digs and Cade Keegan had 7 digs.

USC hit .286 to Princeton's .267. The Trojans served 8 aces and had more digs (45 to 37).

USC trailed in the first set 12-9 before going on a 7-2 run to build a 2-point lead, but the Tigers tied it at 24-24 before a Wyett kill and a Princeton hitting error ended the set. The Trojans scored the first 4 points of the second set, but Princeton caught up at 13-13 before USC went on a 4-0 run to move ahead at 18-14 and held off a late Tiger push. The third set was tight throughout before a Trojan serving error and hitting error gave the set to Princeton, which hit .481. In the fourth set, USC used a 6-0 run to forge a 10-7 lead and the Trojans steadily pulled away until the Tigers closed to 23-22 before a pair of Wyett kills ended the match.

USC now travels to Hawaii for 3 matches in the Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic, facing Juniata on Thursday (Jan. 4) at 4 p.m. HT, Stevens Institute on Friday (Jan. 5) at 4 p.m. HT and host No. 5 Hawaii on Saturday (Jan. 6) at 7 p.m. HT.