MPSF Volleyball Results, Jan. 26

David Wieczorek, Pepperdine (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
Jan. 26, 2018

Pepperdine 3, George Mason 0

Recap by Pepperdine

MALIBU, Calif. -- Redshirt-junior David Wieczorek and senior Alex Harthaller led the 12th-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team to a sweep over George Mason to open the Uvaldo Acosta Invitational at the Recreation Athletics Complex on Friday night.

Wieczorek and Harthaller marked 14 and 12 kills on .444 and .480 hitting percentages respectively for the victory, helping the Waves (2-2) to 25-21, 26-24 and 25-14 set scores over the Patriots (2-5).

BIG WAVES

David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy): 14 kills, .444 hitting percentage, 2 aces, 4 digs, 1 block

Alex Harthaller (Innsbruck, Austria/Akademischeg Gymnasium/IPFW): 12 kills, .480 hitting percentage, 9 digs, 1 block

Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS): 11 kills, 2 digs, 1 block

Robert Mullahey (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS): 40 assists, 1 ace, 4 digs

Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason): 11 digs, 26 service receptions

Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS): 4 kills, .571 hitting percentage, 1 ace

Max Chamberlain (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs HS): 2 blocks, 3 kills, .600 hitting percentage

Jack Cole (Lafayette, Calif./Campolindo HS): 2 kills, 1 block

GCU 3, UCSD 1

Recap by GCU

PHOENIX -- The Grand Canyon University men's volleyball team got back to their winning ways on Friday night defeating UC San Diego 3-1. The match was decided by scores of 25-22, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-22. The win moves the No. 11 ranked Lopes to 7-2 on the year while the Tritons drop to 5-2.

"This was a good win for the program." Said head coach Matt Werle after the game "There was an odd tempo to this match with a lot of stoppages and our guys handled it well. Their play showed a great deal of maturity tonight. The home atmosphere was fantastic once again with our third consecutive crowd of more than 1,000. We can't thank our fans enough."

Even with the up and down tempo the Lopes stayed in control for most of the night. GCU netted more kills (61), digs (56) and assists (56) while UCSD led in aces and blocks by a margin of one a piece. As a whole, GCU hit .377 on the night including a .609 mark during the third set while holding UCSD to .250 for the match.

GCU used a balance attack to get back in the win column with four players recording double digit kills. Will Schwob had the first double-double of the year for the Lopes, recording 13 kills and 12 digs to go along with a .417 hitting percentage. Cullen Mosher came off the bench during the first set and recorded 12 kills while hitting .667. Rounding out the double digits, both Cody Williams and Ashton King recorded 11 kills.

Alex Shmelev came off the bench in the second set seeing action for the first time since his ankle injury during the first match of the season. The junior had an instant impact with eight kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Setter Puna Kaniho distributed the ball all over the court tonight on his way to a season-high 49 assists.

"We saw good things from our upper classmen tonight," commented Werle. "Will (Schwob) was great on both sides of the ball with 13 kills and 12 digs while Alex (Shmelev) and Cullen (Mosher) both gave us a spark off the bench."

The first set started off neck-and-neck until the match was tied at 13. The Lopes took control with a 5-0 run which included back-to-back aces from Shalev Saada and blocks from Williams and King. UCSD then used a 4-0 run of their own to get back within striking distance. GCU responded with a couple of kills and capitalized on some errors including a Triton blocking error that sealed the set 25-22.

Set number two had the same results but an inverse outcome. Neither team gave up much ground as the set saw a total of 10 ties but a kill by UCSD opposite hitter, Tanner Syftestad and a GCU attack error tied the match 1-1.

Sett three was all GCU and in commanding fashion. The Lopes jumped ahead early with a 10-5 lead and used precise hitting throughout the set to keep the lead. That lead would grow to as much as eight with the scoreboard reading 22-14. A kill from King would ice the set as the Lopes hit .609, their second best mark in a set this season (.750 in set two against North Greenville on Jan. 12).

The last set went back to the match roots with both teams keeping the game close. GCU used a 4-0 run to take a 13-10 lead and would not look back. The Tritons made a late run to bring the match within two but King earned kills on two of the last three plays and the Lopes earned the 3-1 win.

"We still have some work to do," said Werle. "We have to give props to their right side (Tanner Syftestad), he hit the ball well. Good right sides have hurt us all year and we have to figure out how to contain. We will learn from this and get better."

Looking ahead

The Lopes will face a first year program and in state foe in Ottawa (3-2) on Saturday, Jan. 26 at home. The Spirit will face UCSD in Antelope Gym at 2 p.m. before taking on the Lopes at 6 p.m. After the home stand GCU will hit the road four two games before MPSF play comes to Phoenix.

UCI 3, BYU 1

Recap by BYU

IRVINE, Calif. -- Despite double-digit kills from four players, No. 5 BYU men's volleyball fell at No. 6 UC Irvine in four sets (25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21) Friday night at the Bren Events Center.

"I thought we competed well for the most part tonight against a great opponent," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We have some things defensively that we'll need to shore up tomorrow if we want to split the series."

Gabi Garcia Fernandez put up a team-high 17 kills in the match. Leo Durkin set the team with 47 assists and eight digs while Storm Fa'agata-Tufuga collected a career-high nine digs and 10 kills. Price Jarman had four blocks to go with a career-high tying 10 kills on a .625 clip and Brenden Sander contributed 13 kills.

UC Irvine (8-1) took an early 6-3 lead in the first set against BYU (5-2), but kills by Fa'agata-Tufuga and Fernandez kept the Cougars within two, trailing 7-5. The Anteaters then went on a 4-0 run to extend their advantage to six, 11-5. Two Fernandez kills helped push BYU on a 4-1 rally to counter, getting his team back within three, down 12-9. A Fa'agata-Tufuga kill brought the Cougars within two at 15-13, but UC Irvine scored the next three points, forcing a BYU timeout at 18-13. The Cougars rallied back within two once again, down 21-19, but the Anteaters scored the next three points to bring up set point. BYU scored three more points from there, but the rally proved too late as UC Irvine took the set 25-22.

Back-to-back Anteater service aces put UC Irvine up 4-2 to start the second set. The Cougars scored six points from Anteater service errors before a Sander kill evened things up at 9-9. Service errors continued to plague both sides as the teams stayed within two points of each other until a Fernandez and Miki Jauhiainen block knotted up the score at 18-all. A Jarman kill pushed BYU ahead 21-20, but UC Irvine scored the next three points to go up 23-21. The Anteaters stayed ahead from there, winning another close set 25-23.

The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but UC Irvine capitalized off of BYU errors to tie the set at 4-4. The teams stayed neck-and-neck as a Fa'agata-Tufuga kill made it 8-8. Two Jarman kills pushed BYU on a 3-0 run to increase its lead at 11-9, but the Anteaters worked their way back to a 12-all tie after three kills from Karl Apfelbach. A UC Irvine attack error extended the Cougars' lead to three, 20-17, and a Jauhiainen and Fa'agata-Tufuga block made it 23-19. Two final kills from Sander gave BYU the set 25-20.

A Sander kill put the Cougars ahead 3-1 at the beginning of the fourth set. BYU stayed ahead 8-6 after a Jarman kill, but the Anteaters used a 5-0 run to take a 15-11 advantage. The Cougars got back within four on multiple occasions before consecutive Sander aces brought BYU within one, down 22-21. UC Irvine proved too much down the stretch, though, topping the Cougars 25-21 in the fourth and final set.

BYU will face the Anteaters at the Bren Events Center in a rematch Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. PST. The match will be streamed by the Big West. Links to the stream and live stats can be found on the BYU men's volleyball schedule page.

LBSU 3, Stanford 0

Recap by Stanford

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Playing for the second time in seven days, No. 1 Long Beach State bested Stanford again in straight sets, Friday, at Walter Pyramid.

Long Beach State remains undefeated at 8-0, while the Cardinal drops to 1-7 on the year. The Beach hit .500 for the match, while holding Stanford to a .060 percentage.

Freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper led all players with 12 kills, but hit just .107 on the night. Sophomore Eric Beatty returned to the lineup, finishing with six kills and two digs.

Redshirt senior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw was held to just two kills and a block assist, while freshman middle blocker Kyler Presho had just one kill.

Junior setter Russell Dervay, who is starting for the injured Paul Bischoff, totaled 20 assists, two digs and a kill for the Cardinal. Senior libero Evan Enriques finished with a team-best five digs.

Stanford hung with the Beach early in the opening set, but Long Beach State went on a 16-4 run down the stretch. The Beach hit .579 in the first and held Stanford to a -.038 clip.

The Cardinal hit .182 in the second, its highest output of match. Long Beach State never trailed in the third, recording a .625 attack percentage with 11 kills and just one error.

The Beach was led by Kyle Ensing's nine kills and five blocks. Junior TJ DeFalco hit .889 (8-0-9) and finished with four digs and two blocks.

Stanford remains on the road next weekend, traveling to UC Irvine on Friday and UC San Diego on Saturday.

Hawaii 3, UCLA 1

Recap by UCLA

The No. 2-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (7-1) dropped its first match of the season to No.3-ranked Hawai'i (7-0) in a non-league match played in Honolulu on Friday night. Scores of the contest were 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 19-25 as Hawai'i won its 26th straight home match. The Bruins hit a season-low .209 on the night and had 23 service errors. UCLA managed to win the blocking battle 13.5 to 9.0, but lost the digs count 24-43. The teams play again on Sunday night at 7 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. HT.

The score was tied at each point, one thru twelve, in set one. UCLA took a 13-12 lead after a UH service ace and made it 14-12 after a kill by Micah Ma'a. Hawai'i closed to 16-15 before a pair of Daenan Gyimah kills lifted the Bruins into an 18-15 edge. After a UH timeout, Ma'a continued the run with a service ace and Christian Hessenauer teamed with Gyimah on a block to make it 20-15. Hawai'i rallied to close the margin to two at 23-21 and then pulled within one at 24-23 on a kill. The Bruins took the set on a Hessenauer swing for a 25-23 win. JT Hatch, Gyimah and Hessenauer each had three kills in the set.

UCLA jumped to a 2-0 lead to begin set two. The score was then even at points two thru six. However, the 'Bows scored the next two for a 6-8 lead. The Bruins came back to tie the score at nine on an ace by Hatch. Hawai'i tallied three straight to break a 13-all tie. UCLA battled back to even things up at 18-all on a kill by Hatch and took a 20-19 lead after an ace from Ma'a. A block by Hessenauer and Gyimah made it 21-19 Bruins. UH scored the next two points to knot the score again. A Gyimah kill and a Hessenauer block put the Bruins back up 23-21. A service error and an attack error leveled the score at 23-each. After a UCLA hitting error, UH tipped over a shot off the block for the 23-25 win. UCLA hit .400 for the set, but had seven service errors.

In set three, Hawai'i stormed out to a 4-11 lead. UCLA cut the margin to 7-12 on a block by Missry and Gyimah, but the home team built the margin back up to 11-19. Ma'a helped serve the Bruins back into the set as UCLA ran off four straight points to close to within 20-22 on an ace. Hawai'i answered with the next two points and the Bruins fought off three set points on a Hessenauer kill, a Rainbow Warrior error and a Missry ace to make it 23-24. UH finished the set off with a kill for a 23-25 win. UCLA hit .077 for the set.

Hawai'i opened up a 3-6 lead to begin set four and moved out to a 7-11 margin forcing a UCLA timeout. The Bruins worked back to get within one, at 11-12, after a block by Jake Arnitz and Gyimah. A kill by Missry tied the score at 15-all, but the Bruins could not gain the lead. UCLA got as close as one at 15-16, 16-17, 17-18, 18-19 and 19-20, but Hawai'i ended the match on a roll for a 19-25 win.

Gyimah finished with nine kills and a career-best nine block assists while hitting .438. Missry had eight kills and hit .368. Ma'a totaled three kills, 5 digs and tied his season best with four aces.