MPSF Volleyball Update, Jan. 11

Jan. 11, 2017

MPSF Volleyball Update-Jan. 11

*MPSF Conference Match

* USC 3, Long Beach State 1 (25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22)

Recap by USC Sports Information

LOS ANGELES--The unranked USC men's volleyball team, behind Lucas Yoder's 28 kills, upset No. 3 Long Beach State, 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, on Wednesday (Jan. 11) in USC's Galen Center in both teams' opening Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match of 2017.

USC improved to 2-2 overall, while Long Beach suffered its first loss of the year to fall to 3-1 overall.

Yoder hit at a .404 clip and added 6 digs. Teammate Andy Benesh had 12 kills while hitting .526 and also had 5 digs and 4 blocks, Connor Inlow had a career-high 9 kills (hitting .600) along with 4 blocks, Matt Douglas had a match-best 10 digs and Aaron Strange had 5 kills and 9 digs.

For LBSU, TJ DeFalco had 13 kills and 8 digs, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez added 10 kills, Kyle Ensing had 9 kills, 5 digs and 2 aces, Bryce Yould had 7 kills (hitting .545) and 4 blocks and Andrew Sato had 9 digs.

USC hit .358 to LBSU's .265 and the Trojans had more digs, 41-25.

USC jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead in the opening set, then steadily pulled away while hitting a blistering .739 (just 1 hitting error in 23 swings) and getting 8 digs. In the second set, the Trojans built another early lead, 8-3, and Long Beach State couldn't catch up as USC hit .385 and added 10 more digs. The 49ers went on a 7-0 run to forge a 14-6 lead in the third set and held off the fast-closing Trojans (LBSU hit .367 and had 3.5 blocks in the set). Long Beach State scored the first 4 points of the fourth set and USC countered by scoring the next 4, then the match was tight until the Trojans went on a late 3-0 run to go up 24-21 and close out the match.

USC returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 14) with a home match against No. 13 Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.

*CAL BAPTIST 3, CSUN 2 (25-23, 13-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-9)

Recap by CBU Sports Information

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Last time Cal State Northridge came to town, California Baptist University upset the then-ranked No. 11 Matadors in five sets. It was déjà vu all over as the Lancers once again upset No. 13 CSUN in five sets (25-23, 13-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-9).

"I'm just really proud of the team," said Coach Derek Schmitt. "We played a really solid first set and then they really dominated us in the second and third, but we responded great. It wasn't easy. It was a five-set match last year, but it was closer. This is our third one of the season so we're used to it. It was great to be at home and have our fans cheering us on."

The Lancers improve to 2-2 on the year and open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action 1-0. CSUN drops to 5-1 with its first loss of the year and starts conference in a 0-1 hole.

"It feels great," said Luis Palos. "We were prepared for this and were excited."

Four Lancers finished in double-digit kills, with Rohit Paul, Palos and Kevin Vaz all posting 11 kills in the win. Enrique de Diego Garcia chipped in another 10 kills, while Cody Jackson finished with 40 assists.

When CBU found itself in a 2-1 hole heading into the fourth set, it knew it was do or die. The Lancers exploded in pretty much the biggest way possible, hitting at a near-perfect .812 clip (13-0-16).

"That's when our backs are against the wall and we needed to fight," said Palos. "We talked in the huddles about this being our house and we wanted to defend it and not to let our fans down."

CSUN may have scored the first point of the set, but the Lancers quickly set the tone with five-straight points in response. Logan Czyzewski got the run going with a kill, before two attack errors from the Matadors and two kills from Palos put CBU in front 5-1 and forced a CSUN timeout.

"We jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the fourth, Luis did a really good job serving to keep us in that rotation," said Schmitt. "We really built off that and they just never could really get back in that set."

The Matadors tried to climb back into it, pulling within 12-8, but the Lancers weren't having it. Five consecutive CBU points, including kills from Garcia and Paul, an ace from Palos and a combo stuff from Paul and Garcia, all but put the set out of reach. Palos sealed the deal with a powerful kill from the outside to force a fifth and deciding set.

Feeling juiced, the Lancers kept their offensive prowess up and didn't commit a single error in the fifth to hit at a .667 mark.

It started out back-and-forth as both teams were determined to get a run to take control of the set. After ties at 3, 4 and 5, it was CBU who jumped out in front.

Even at 5-5, Vaz smacked down a kill into the center of the Matador defense and Palos followed with a kill of his own to force a Matador timeout. The regrouping didn't work, however, as another kill from Vaz and a solo block from Jackson put the Lancers in front 9-5.

CSUN tried to contain CBU, but couldn't get the home team to give up a run. A Matador service error gave the Lancers match point, 14-9, and an attack error completed CBU's upset victory.

"We knew we needed to get out to a good start in the fifth set and keep our momentum going," said Schmitt. "To go from getting dominated in the second and third set to respond and control the game by hitting near perfect is pretty impressive."

The Lancers have no rest as they host No. 3-ranked Long Beach State on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

*UC Irvine 3, UCSB 2 (28-26, 21-25, 29-31, 25-17, 15-9)

Recap by UCI Sports Information

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- No. 7 UC Irvine came from behind to beat No. 12 UC Santa Barbara 3-2 (28-26, 21-25, 29-31, 25-17, 15-9) at Rob Gym Wednesday. The Anteaters won the last two sets to remain undefeated (5-0, 2-0), while the Gauchos suffered their first loss (3-1, 0-1). Senior Tamir Hershko led UCI with 14 kills, while senior Michael Saeta hit .786 (11-0-14) and tied his career-high with five aces. 10 different Anteaters recorded a kill, including seven by Reid Dominguez and six by Tucker Pikula off the bench. Senior Thomas Hodges added eight kills and two aces and senior Dillon Hoffman had a match-high 16 digs. The Gauchos were led in kills by Jacob Delson (14), Hayden Boehle (11) and Keenan Sanders (10). With the score tied 9-9 in the first set, UCI used a UCSB hitting error, a kill by Scott Stadick, a block by Stadick and Tamir Hershko and an ace by Michael Saeta to open a 13-9 gap. The Gauchos strung three points together to knot the score at 16-16. A block and kill by Keenan Sunders gave UC Santa Barbara the lead, 18-17. UCI went up 23-21 and 24-22 before the Gauchos rallied to tie the score at 24-24. A kill by Hodges was followed by two aces by Matthew Younggren for the 28-26 UCI victory. Four straight errors by UCI put UCSB ahead 7-2 in the second set. Three more consecutive points expanded the Gauchos' lead to 17-11. A 5-1 spurt by the Anteaters narrowed the score to 20-22, but UC Santa Barbara would score three of the final four points to win, 25-21. A Gaucho kill plus two UCI attack errors forced an Anteater timeout in the third set, 10-7. Reid Dominquez sparked UCI with a kill and an ace to tie the set at 14-14.The teams wouldn't be separated by more than a point until a pair of UCI attack errors gave UCSB the 31-29 win. A kill by Hodges and Dominguez followed by a block by Dominguez and Andrew Benz gave UCI the 15-12 advantage. A kill by Benz and a block by Hodges made the score 17-13. A Saeta ace and a Benz kill forced a fifth set as UCI won 25-17. UCI jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the fifth on another Saeta ace. At 5-5, UCI out-scored UCSB 7-1, which included three kills by Saeta to open a 12-6 lead. UCI would close out the match on a kill by Tucker Pikula, 15-9. UCI will travel to No. 2 UCLA tomorrow (Jan. 12) for a 7:30 p.m. start at Pauley Pavilion.

HAWAII 3, Grand Canyon 0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-23)

Recap by Hawaii Sports Information

HONOLULU - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team continued its unbeaten streak to start the 2017 season with astraight-set victory over Grand Canyon, 26-24, 25-21, 25-23, Wednesday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rainbow Warriors (4-0) and 'Lopes (1-2) will meet again on Friday in the rematch of a two-match non-conference series. With the win, UH improved to 4-0 on the season, for the first time since 2003. That year, the Warriors began the season 5-0 en route to a 24-6 campaign.

Opposite Stijn van Tilburg led Hawai'i with a match-high 15 kills, hitting .333. Freshman outside hitter Austin Matautia added 13 kills and five blocks while senior Kupono Fey tallied nine kills. Middle blocker Patrick Gasman posted seven kills and four blocks and libero Larry Tuileta had 12 digs.

GCU featured a balanced attack with outside hitter Shalev Saada and middle blocker Austin King leading the way with seven kills.

A back and forth first set went the way of the Warriors midway through as they strung together three straight for an 18-15 lead. Moments later, a Matautia ace followed by a van Tilburg-Gasman double block gave UH its largest lead at 22-17 before the 'Lopes rallied to tie it at 23 with a 6-1 run. van Tilburg's fifth kill gave the Warriors their second set point and the 'Lopes failed to clear the net on the ensuing rally, giving UH the first set victory.

GCU raced out to an early 15-10 lead in Set 2 with the help of four UH hitting errors. The 'Lopes maintained their lead until a GCU hitting error gave the Warriors a 19-18 advantage. GCU regained the lead at 21-20 only to see UH run off the final five points as Matautia closed out the set with back-to-back kills from the pipe.

The 'Lopes doubled up the Warriors early on in Set 3, 10-5, before UH rallied to tie it at 18. The score was tied three more times before Fey's kill gave Hawai'i match point at 24-22. After a GCU point, Gasman put away aloha ball.

First serve for Friday's match is 7:00 p.m., at the Sheriff Center.