'Lopes Win Three to Begin MPSF Membership

Cody Williams, Grand Canyon (Photo Courtesy GCU)
Jan. 8, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 1

GRAND CANYON (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) opened up its first season as members of the MPSF with three road wins, 3-1 at 2017 NCAA Tournament participant Barton (Jan. 4), followed by 3-2 and 3-0 at George Mason (Jan. 6-7). Caleb Blazer recorded a conference single-match high seven blocks in the opener at Barton, en route to 17 total for the week. He also hit .407 (14-3-27) in the middle over the three wins. Cody Williams hit .453 (43-9-75) for the week, adding six aces and 10 blocks. The Antelopes compete in Nashville, TN this weekend, facing North Greenville (Jan. 12), Limestone (Jan. 13), and Hawaii (Jan. 14).

UCLA (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) swept each of its first three matches at home to open the year over New Jersey Tech (Jan. 3), King University (Jan. 5), and McKendree (Jan. 6). Jake Arnitz hit .390 (31-8-59) and served four aces over the three wins. He moved into seventh-place on the Bruin rally-scoring era career kill list (849). UCLA served a conference single-match high 13 aces against King. The Bruins, who hit a collective .379 last week, continue their homestand against UC Irvine Wednesday (Jan. 10, 7pm; Pac-12 Networks) and UCSB Friday (Jan. 12).

USC (0-0 MPSF/3-1 Overall) won three of four to open the season, defeating Princeton at home in four sets (Jan. 2), followed by Juniata in three and Stevens Tech in four in Honolulu. Jack Wyett had 20 kills and nine digs in his return back against Princeton after sitting out the last two years. He hit .325 for the week, going for double-digit kills in all four matches (including in the lone loss to No. 5 Hawaii). USC visits UC Irvine Friday (Jan. 12) and hosts UCSB Saturday (Jan. 13).

BYU (0-0 MPSF/1-1 Overall) split two home matches against the MIVA Conference to open the season, edged in five sets by Loyola-Chicago (Jan. 5), before defeating Lewis in four (Jan. 6). Miki Jauhiainen recorded six blocks in each match. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga hit .333 (28-10-54) for the week and served four aces. The Cougars face two more MIVA teams this weekend on the road, traveling to Ball State Friday (Jan. 12) and Ohio State Saturday (Jan. 13)

PEPPERDINE (0-0 MPSF/1-0 Overall) swept its season opener this past Sunday (Jan. 7) at home over Cal Lutheran. The Waves dominated the hitting (.406-.016), guided offensively by Robert Mullahey’s 34 assists in his collegiate debut. Jack Cole was seven for an errorless nine (.778), while Noah Dyer hit .600 (10-1-15). Clay Carr had five blocks. Non-Conference continues as Pepperdine hosts UC Irvine Sunday (Jan. 14).

STANFORD (0-0 MPSF/0-3 Overall) fell 3-1 to St. Francis, 3-2 to Princeton, and 3-0 at UCSB in the season-opening UCSB/Asics Invitational (Jan. 5-6). The Cardinal heads to MIVA opponents Ohio State (Jan. 12) and Ball State (Jan. 13) this weekend.

CONCORDIA (0-0 MPSF/0-0 Overall) opens its season at home Saturday (Jan. 13) against Springfield. The Eagles enter their first year in the MPSF.