MPSF Sweeps Through UCSB, Hawaii Invitational

Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Jan. 9, 2017

MPSF Volleyball Release # 1

UC SANTA BARBARA (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) defeated Mount Olive and McKendree in four sets, before sweeping Fort Wayne on day two, as it hosted the UCSB Asics/South Coast Inn-vitational. The Gauchos have won 12-straight matches in their season-opening tournament. Jacob Delson served seven aces and accumulated a .413 (54-16-92) hitting attack through 11 sets, averaging nearly five kills per set. His career-high of 21 kills came against Mount Olive. UCSB hosts UC Irvine and UC San Diego this week in their MPSF openers.

CSUN (0-0 MPSF/5-0 Overall) recorded a school record .661 hitting attack (43-2-62) in a 3-0 home win over UC Merced (Jan. 4). The team clip was also the second-highest on record for any MPSF squad, surpassed only by UCSB in 2011 (.667 in an MPSF road match at CSUN). Dimitar Kalchev hit an errorless .929 (13-0-14), tying the program’s single-match hitting record, and finished the week hitting .534 (57-10-88). CSUN also served 12 aces. The Matadors then swept through the UCSB South Coast Inn-vitational with 3-0 results over Mount Olive and Quincy and 3-1 over Fort Wayne. CSUN opens MPSF play this week at Cal Baptist and USC.

STANFORD (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) swept McKendree and Mount Olive, while defeating Quincy in four sets during the UCSB Asics/South Coast Inn-vitational. Middle Kevin Rakestraw hit .615 over 10 sets (28-4-39), while outside Jordan Ewert served eight aces and hit a cumulative .380 (30-11-50) with a pair of .500 efforts. Stanford hosts defending national champion and top-ranked Ohio State twice this weekend, the first of which can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks Friday (Jan. 13) at 7 pm.

LONG BEACH STATE (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) TJ DeFalco accumulated 37 kills (4.11 K/S), while hitting .368, in leading the 49ers to three-straight sweeps in the UCSB Asics/South Coast Inn-vitational to start the year. Bryce Yould hit .583 (16-2-24) for the tournament. LBSU swept past MIVA opponents Fort Wayne, McKendree, and Quincy. The 49ers travel to USC and Cal Baptist this week to kick-off conference play.

HAWAII (0-0 MPSF/3-0 Overall) won its second-straight Outrigger Resorts Invitational title to begin 2017, with wins over Erskine (3-0), Princeton (3-0), and Ball State (3-1). Stijn van Tilburg was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for the second-straight year, becoming the tournament first-ever two-time winner. He led the team with a 3.75 kill-average (.266). Other Warrior all-tournament performers included Patrick Gasman, Jennings Franciskovic, and Austin Matautia. UH hosts future MPSF member Grand Canyon twice this week (Jan. 11 & 13).

UC IRVINE (1-0 MPSF/4-0 Overall) is off to a 4-0 start to the season, sweeping Concordia (Dec. 29), UC San Diego in the MPSF opener (Jan. 5), and Grand Canyon (Jan. 7), while taking a four-set result over Fort Wayne (Jan. 3). Setting and hitting, Michael Saeta did a little of everything. He totaled 24 kills (.302), 12 aces (career-high tying five vs. FW), 14 digs, nine blocks, and 111 assists in 13 sets. He also helped set UCI to hitting percentages of .482 vs. UCSD and .404 vs. GCU. Scott Stadick has an MPSF-high 22 blocks (1.69 B/S) in his first collegiate outings. UCI visits UCSB and UCLA in MPSF action this week.

UCLA (0-0 MPSF/2-1 Overall) won two of three on the road to jump into 2017. The Bruins swept past Loyola-Chicago (Jan. 3) and Penn State (Jan. 6), the latter played in Columbus, OH. Jake Arnitz hit .422 (27-8-45) over his seven sets, which included .440 at defending NCAA Champion and No. 1 Ohio State. UCLA hosts UC Irvine and UC San Diego in its MPSF openers this week.

BYU (0-0 MPSF/1-1 Overall) split a two-match road trip in Illinois, sweeping Lewis before falling to Loyola-Chicago. Ben Patch hit .556 with 17 kills in the win, followed by a match-high 25 kills (.333) in the loss. He averaged six kills per set during opening week., while hitting .410. The Cougars stay with out of conference play this week, hosting McKendree Thursday and Saturday (Jan. 12 & 14), along with Concordia in between on Friday (Jan. 13).

PEPPERDINE (0-0 MPSF/1-0 Overall) fought back from a two-set hole at home against McKendree (Jan. 4), in winning its season opener in five sets. The Waves hit .350 for the match, but .542 over the final three sets while never trailing in that span. David Wieczorek hit .581 clip with 19 kills, while Michael Wexter had a career-high 17 kills (.333). Josh Stewart dished 52 assists and picked up 11 digs for his second career double-double. The Waves travel to Loyola-Chicago and Lewis this week.

USC (0-0 MPSF/1-2 Overall) Lucas Yoder hit .509 with 33 kills, the most by any MPSF player in nearly two full years (Damani Lenore of CSUN, 33 on Jan. 28, 2015), as the Trojans went five sets with Penn State in Columbus, OH (Jan. 7). Yoder’s 34.5 points was also an MPSF-best since Lenore had that many. Yoder finished the week with 48 kills (5.33 K/S) at .404. USC won its opener at Concordia in four sets (Jan. 3). USC hosts Long Beach State Wednesday on Pac-12 Networks, along with CSUN Saturday.

CAL BAPTIST (0-0 MPSF/1-2 Overall) earned its first win of 2017 in five sets at home over Lindenwood (Jan. 6), hosting a tournament for the first-time ever. The Lancers came up short to Concordia and St. Francis as part of the CBU Ayres Hotels invitational. Rohit Paul had 14 kills in the win, while Kevin Vaz owns an MPSF second-most 1.43 blocks per set through seven sets of action. CBU hosts CSUN and Long Beach State to begin MPSF play this week.

UC SAN DIEGO (0-0 MPSF/0-2 Overall) dropped its MPSF opener at UC Irvine (Jan. 5), before being edged in four sets by Grand Canyon (Jan. 7) in the home opener. Devin Pontigon recorded 14 kills vs. the Antelopes, after a match-high nine at UCI.