MPSF Volleyball Results, Jan. 18

Thursday, Jan. 18

Grand Canyon 3, NJIT 0

Recap by GCU

PHOENIX -- The No. 12 Grand Canyon University men's volleyball team played in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2018 on Thursday night when they swept the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Set scores were 27-25, 25-23 and 25-14. The win gives the Lopes a 6-1 record, the best start in program history. With the loss, NJIT falls to 0-6.

"There are some bright notes to take away from this," Said head coach, Matt Werle. "I am happy that we were able to win a couple duce sets. Secondly, getting the first win at home is great. Our fan support is like none other across the country. It took some getting used to for our own guys because of how loud the gym is!"

The Lopes and the Highlanders battled in front of over a thousand fans in a packed Antelope Gym. The home court advantage seemed to help GCU as they led in almost all categories. Both teams had 85 attacks but GCU had the edge in kills with 39 while hitting .282 on the night compared to NJIT's 33 kills and .176 hitting percentage. On defense, GCU had 30 digs and 9.5 blocks.

Cody Williams and Shalev Saada led the Lopes offensively with 10 kills each while hitting .273 and .350 respectively. Ashton King continued his hot streak after being selected to the Grow the Game Challenge All-Tournament team this past weekend, contributing five kills with a .714 hitting percentage in addition to two digs and a team-high five blocks. Puna Kaniho was all over the court as he netted two kills on two attempts as well as an ace to go along with his 29 assists and four digs.

The first set established the tone for the night. GCU came out of the gates hot, going up 13-6 thanks to a 7-0 run fueled by kills from five different Lopes. The Highlanders responded quickly scoring six of the next seven points to bring the match within two at 14-12. From there the two teams were neck and neck, ultimately bringing the match to a tie at 25. Will Schwob would serve to an NJIT error and a Saada block followed sending Antelope Gym into a frenzy as the Lopes took the first set 27-25.

The second set picked up right where the last one left off. Neither team led by more than three bringing the score to 17 all. Two NJIT errors gave the Lopes an advantage they would not relinquish. Lead in hand, GCU used a couple of blocks and kills before a Highlanders service error gave the home team a 2-0 match lead.

The third set was all GCU. The Lopes carried the momentum over and used it to go up by as much as 18-9 late in the set. NJIT used a 3-0 run to close the gap before a service error killed their rally. Luke Turner, who got the start in the set, earned a kill and would serve the final four points before a double block from King and Kaniho ended the set and the match.

"Luke Turner did his job nicely tonight. He blocked the balls he was supposed to block, dug the balls he was supposed to dig and did his job from the service line," commented Werle.

"Our middles are coming along very nicely offensively and our quick back row attack is getting much better. With all that being said, we need to be a lot better on Saturday night against a much better team."

Ohio State 3, USC 1

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--The two-time defending NCAA champion and No. 3-ranked Ohio State men's volleyball team beat No. 13 USC, 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, on Thursday (Jan. 18) at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on the first day of the AVCA Showcase.

In the tourney's later match on Thursday, the host No. 2 Bruins meet No. 9 Penn State.

USC lost its third straight match to fall to 3-3, while Ohio State improved to 3-1.

Jack Wyett led USC with a match-high 18 kills (hitting .424) and 5 digs, Ryan Moss added 12 kills while hitting .348, Sam Lewis had a match-best 5 digs with 2 aces and both Matt Douglas and Chris Hall had a match-leading 7 digs.

For Ohio State, Nicolas Szerszen had 17 kills (hitting .517), 6 digs and 3 aces, Martin Lallemand had 11 kills and 4 blocks, Blake Leeson had 5 blocks along with 7 kills and Aaron Samarin had 7 digs.

The Buckeyes hit .327 to USC's .270 and they served 10 aces.

USC held a 9-8 lead in the first set before Ohio State scored 4 of the next 5 points and USC could not catch up as the Buckeyes, who hit .409 and served 4 aces, closed out the set by tallying 9 of the final 11 points. Ohio State scored the first 4 points of the second set and again the Trojans couldn't overcome the deficit (USC was plagued by 9 serving errors in the set). USC got off to an 8-3 start in the third set, but the Buckeyes crawled back to within 19-18 before a 5-point Trojan run restored order for Troy, which hit .407 in the set and had 10 digs. USC couldn't hold an early 6-1 lead in the fourth set as the Buckeyes went on a 4-point run to take an 18-16 lead before Troy tied it at 18-18, but then Ohio State got hot to finish off the match (the Buckeyes served 4 aces in the set, including the final point).

USC returns to action in the AVCA Showcase with a match on Saturday (Jan. 20) at 11 a.m. PT against Penn State. It will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles. UCLA then will host Ohio State at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday in the final match of the AVCA Showcase.

UCLA 3, Penn State 1

Recap by UCLA

The No. 2-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team won its sixth match in a row and number 100 in Coach John Speraw's career as head coach of the Bruins in a four-set victory over No. 9 Penn State in first night action of the 2018 AVCA Men's Volleyball Showcase event in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the match were 25-15, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22. Seniors JT Hatch (11 kills, 5 block assists) and Christian Hessenauer (11 kills, 6 block assists) led a balanced Bruin attack.

In set one, UCLA blew out to a 12-6 lead after a kill by Hatch. The Bruins kept a good working margin throughout the set and a Micah Ma'a kill made it 20-13. The final three points of the set came on one of Daenan Gyimah's seven blocks, an ace from Dylan Missry and a Hatch / Gyimah combo block in a 25-15 Bruin win. Hatch totaled four kills and three block assists in the set. Missry and Gyimah each registered a pair of service aces and Ma'a totaled six digs and set the team to a .474 percentage.

The Bruins' service game abandoned them in set two as they totaled 10 service errors and seven hitting errors for the set. Penn State moved to a 7-10 advantage. UCLA got to within one at 11-12 after a kill by Hatch but could not grab the lead. The visitors opened up a 16-22 margin and took the set at 19-25 after the 10th Bruin service error.

Penn State grabbed an early 4-6 edge in set three. UCLA came back to even the score at points 7 thru 13. Two Hatch kills and an ace by the senior hitter lifted UCLA into a 16-13 advantage. Penn State came back to within two at 18-16, but could not get closer. Oliver Martin's kill on set point gave UCLA a 25-20 win. The Bruins hit .348 for the set to .036 for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions held an early lead in set four, but UCLA managed to even things up at 8-all on a block by Gyimah and Hessenauer. The score was then level at points 13, 15 and 16 before a Hatch kill and a Gyimah smash made it 18-16. Another kill by Gyimah made it 21-18. Penn State closed to 22-21, but UCLA answered on a kill by Martin followed by a Martin block and went on to take the set 25-22.

Garland Peed tied Hatch for the team lead in digs with seven. UCLA hit .359 for the match to .186 for Penn State. The Bruins had a season-best block total of 19 block assists and out blocked PSU for the match 11.5 to 4.0. UCLA will next meet up with the two-time defending national champions from Ohio State who defeated USC in four sets in Thursday's opening match.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

CSUN 3, Stanford 0

Recap by Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. -- Freshmen Jaylen Jasper and JP Reilly combined for 24 kills, but Stanford dropped a straight sets decision to No. 7 CSUN, Wednesday, at Burnham Pavilion.

Stanford (1-5) actually out hit CSUN (5-0) in the match, .200 to .194, but the Matadors tallied 11 service aces and limited themselves to just 11 service errors. The Cardinal had just two aces and 18 errors at the line. CSUN finished with 10.0 blocks to just 4.0 for the Cardinal.

Playing without starting setter Paul Bischoff, who is out with an injury, Stanford struggled offensively in the opening set hitting .103. The Cardinal also had a tough time with its serve receive in the first as CSUN recorded five aces.

Stanford was efficient in the second, hitting .471, but gave up an early lead and was unable to overcome the late deficit. Neither team hit well in the third, but the Matadors pulled ahead 17-15 and finished off the Cardinal in extra points, 26-24.

Jasper finished with a match-best 14 kills, but had 11 hitting errors and five miscues from the service line. Reilly, who made his first collegiate start, hit .278 and registered 10 kills. Fifth-year senior Kevin Rakestraw hit .800 (8-0-10), the highest by a Cardinal player this season.

Junior setter Russell Dervay totaled 31 assists and was in on two blocks for the Cardinal. Freshman outside hitter Leo Henken finished with just three kills and collected six digs.

Senior libero Evan Enriques squared off against his younger brother, Emmett, who is the CSUN libero. Evan tallied six digs for the Cardinal, while Emmett had four digs and zero reception errors for the Matadors.

Outside hitter Ksawery Tomisia led CSUN with 12 kills and five service aces.

Stanford will be back in action on Saturday as it hosts No. 1 Long Beach State. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.