MPSF Volleyball Results, Feb. 2

Ashton King, Grand Canyon (Photo Courtesy GCU)
Ashton King, Grand Canyon (Photo Courtesy GCU)
Feb. 2, 2018

Grand Canyon 3, Lindenwood 2

Recap by GCU

ST. CHARLES, MO. - The Grand Canyon University men's volleyball team started their road trip off with a hard fought five-set win over Lindenwood on Friday night in St. Charles. Set scores were 25-19, 16-25, 19-25, 25-22 and 16-14. The win improves the Lopes record to 9-2 while Lindenwood falls to 5-3.

"This was definitely a different style of volleyball and something we were not used to." Said head coach, Matt Werle. Lindenwood missed 34 serves, which is an obscene amount. What made this match tough was the rhythm to our offense which we were never able to establish due to their wild serving strategy. Our setters and attackers couldn't find a rhythm. If they made a serve it was tough but they missed a good amount."

After starting the match with a first set win behind a .550 hitting percentage the Lopes dropped the next two but kept fighting to come back and take the final two sets for their ninth win. The Lions led in most statistical categories on the night except for digs but GCU's toughness and focus kept them in the match. GCU hit at a season low .132 mark while recording 43 kills, three aces, seven blocks and 43 digs.

Shalev Saada and Cullen Mosher led the Lopes attack with 12 kills apiece. Will Schwob had two aces to go along with his team leading .333 hitting percentage while setter Puna Kaniho totaled 32 assists. Mosher also shined on defense, leading the Lopes in blocks with five and digs with 12.

From the beginning, the match had a feeling of a back-and-forth battle. During the first set the two teams fought to the tune of five ties before the first twenty points with the score reading 9-9. After that the Lopes started to gain momentum and pull away going up by as much as three before the Lions responded by closing the margin. With the set at 19-18 in favor of GCU, the Lopes used a 5-0 run behind Mosher, Saada and Scwhob kills as well as two triple-blocks from Ashton King, Mosher and Kaniho. The run would be enough to lead the Lopes to a 25-19 set win and put them up in the match 1-0.

Set two was all Lindenwood as the Lions went up 14-6 and never looked back. Their .400 hitting percentage against the Lopes negative hitting mark would be the difference maker and the Lions tied the match at one. Lindenwood would carry the momentum into set three, holding the Lopes to a .000 hitting percentage. GCU showed some life towards the end of the set but the Lions would put it away 19-25 to go up 1-2 in the match.

Down in the match, GCU responded like one would expect the No. 10 ranked team to, jumping out to a 7-2 lead and controlling play. The Lions weren't going down without a fight as they would go on to take a late lead thanks to a couple of aces. A 4-0 run gave the Lopes back the lead but another Lions ace tied the match at 22. A Lindenwood service error was followed by a Mosher kill before Kaniho served an ace for GCU ending the set and tying the match 2-2.

One set left to decide and the two sides would not budge. Just like the first, the fifth set saw five ties before the score read 9-9. Lindenwood would go up two then GCU responded. GCU goes up one but the Lions stayed in it. 14-14 was the score before Saada gave the Lopes the advantage and Schwob hit over three blockers to steal the fifth set and the match.

"It was nice to win a five set match but we will need to play a more complete game tomorrow." Commented Werle. Due to the unorthodox match, we are trying to teach a mental lesson from tonight. Any win on the road is a good win."

Looking ahead

GCU will travel to Lebanon, Ill. to face another MIVA opponent in McKendree. The Bearcats are riding a three game win streak and will be playing at home for the first time in 2018. The match is set to start at 6 p.m. MST.

Lewis 3, USC 0

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--The No. 8-ranked Lewis men's volleyball team swept No. 13 USC, 42-40, 25-17, 25-16, in a non-conference match on Friday (Feb. 2) in Romeoville, Ill.

The 42-40 first set tied both the most points ever scored by USC and most surrendered by the Trojans in a set in program history dating to 1970, equaling a 42-40 second set loss at UC Irvine in 2017.

USC dropped its sixth straight match to fall to 3-6 overall, while Lewis of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association improved to 6-3.

Gianluca Grasso led USC with 14 kills, while Jack Wyett added 9 kills, Sam Lewis had 8 kills while hitting .583 and Ryan Moss had 7 kills and 4 blocks.

For Lewis, Ryan Coenen had a match-best 20 kills (hitting .621) with 6 digs, 3 blocks and 3 aces, Mitch Perinar had 10 kills (hitting .556) with 3 blocks, Tyler Mitchem had 9 kills (hitting .621), TJ Murray had 5 blocks, Matt Yoshimoto had 8 digs and Michael Simmons had 7 digs.

Lewis hit .474 in the match to USC's .238. The Flyers also had more blocks (10.5 to 4.0), digs (30 to 22) and aces (7 to 4).

Lewis scored 5 consecutive points in the first set to build a 14-9 lead, but USC clawed back to forge a 19-18 edge, however the Flyers went up 24-21 before the Trojans scored 3 points in a row to push the set into extra time, where Lewis scored 4 of the final 5 points despite Troy serving 9 times at set point. In the second set, Lewis slowly pulled away, scoring 5 straight points to move to a 16-8 lead and USC never threatened as the Flyers hit .722. With the third set tied at 5-5, Lewis scored 5 of the next 6 points to take control at 10-6 and steadily built on its lead while hitting .632.

USC next plays at No. 7 Loyola-Chicago of the MIVA on Saturday (Feb. 3) in a non-conference contest at 7 p.m. CT. The Trojans then return home from their current 3-week road trip to open up Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play against Stanford on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. PT in the Galen Center.

UCSB 3, BYU 0

Recap by BYU

PROVO, Utah -- No. 14 UC Santa Barbara upset No. 6 BYU men's volleyball in three sets (25-23, 25-20, 27-25) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I'm disappointed and so are the players," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We had dug ourselves into some holes. We were able to score at the end, but we just didn't come out like that in the beginning. Major hats off to UC Santa Barbara. They came out swinging and they were prepared. Tonight, they were the better team, hands down."

Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Brenden Sander led the team with 12 kills apiece. Fernandez also had two aces, five digs and two block assists. Price Jarman added nine kills for the Cougars on a .615 clip.

In the first set, a Fernandez ace tied the score at 5-5 for BYU (5-4), however the Gauchos (4-3) went on a 5-1 run to go up 10-6. ­The Cougars then rallied back within three, down 20-17. A kill from UC Santa Barbara increased the advantage to four, 21-17. A kill from Jarman followed by an attack error from the Gauchos brought BYU within one, 22-21, but it wasn't enough as the UC Santa Barbara took the first set 25-23.

The Gauchos opened the second set taking the first two points before the Cougars scored four straight to take a 4-2 edge. UC Santa Barbara answered back with three points of their own, but a kill from Fernandez evened the score 5-5. The Gauchos then went on a 4-1 run before BYU came back with a block from Miki Jauhiainen to help tie the score at 13-all. The Cougars came within two points again late, but UC Santa Barbara took the second set 25-20.

To begin the third set, the Gauchos took the first two points. However, the Cougars fought back and a service ace from Jauhiainen tied the set, 3-3. The two teams went back-and-forth until UC Santa Barbara went on a 3-0 run, pushing them ahead 12-8. BYU fought back with a kill from Leo Durkin bringing the Cougars within a point, 21-20. A Fernandez kill then tied the set at 21 apiece, forcing the Gauchos to call timeout. After the break, a Fernandez ace gave BYU its first lead of the set, 22-21. However, UC Santa Barbara took the third set and match 27-25 on the block.

The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. MST, for their second match against UC Santa Barbara The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv with live stats available on the schedule page

UC Irvine 3, Stanford 0

Recap by Stanford

IRVINE, Calif. - Playing its third straight top-5 opponent, Stanford fell in straight sets at No. 4 UC Irvine, Friday, at the Bren Events Center.

Stanford (1-8) was held to a .084 attack percentage, while UC Irvine (10-1) posted a .403 clip. The Anteaters tallied 14.0 blocks as a team and had a 71 percent side out rate.

Trying to mix things up, the Cardinal started Evan Enriques, who had started every match at libero, at outside hitter against UC Irvine. Senior Jake Stuebner filled in for Enriques at libero.

Freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper led Stanford with seven kills on .214 hitting and two digs in two sets played. Sophomore Eli Wopat started the match for the Cardinal at opposite.

Playing on the opposite side of the net as his father, who is an assistant coach for the Anteaters, freshman middle blocker Kyler Presho had six kills on .545 hitting, a block and an ace for the Cardinal.

Junior setter Russell Dervay totaled 18 assists and was a perfect 6-0-6 (1.000) offensively while also collecting five digs and a block. Sophomore Mason Tufuga entered the match in the third to set and finished with three assists and a block.

Sophomore outside hitter Eric Beatty came off the bench and recorded five kills and four digs, but had seven of the team's 23 hitting errors. Starting outside hitters Enriques and freshman Leo Henken both finished without a kill.

UC Irvine was led by Karl Apfelbach's 12 kills on a .421 attack percentage, while three other Anteaters all notched nine kills. Libero David Parker finished with a match-high nine digs.

Stanford will be back in action on Saturday in La Jolla as the Cardinal faces UC San Diego at 7 p.m.

Long Beach State 3, Concordia 0

Recap by CUI

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Concordia Men's Volleyball team looked to unseat the top team in the country on Friday night, but the all-around performance for Long Beach State earned themselves the win by a score of 25-20, 25-14, 25-13.

Raymond Barsemian led the way for the Eagles producing a team-high 12 kills while Hunter Howell had four kills with no errors hitting .364. Jacob Weiser notched his third double-digit dig performance of the season collecting 10, and Chandler Gibb led with 18 assists.

Concordia was toe-to-toe with No. 1 Long Beach State in the first set where the Eagles were within two at 5-3. Then Concordia went on a 7-2 run featuring kills by Barsemian, Howell and Jonathan Predney and a block from Barsemian and Alec Krilis on the reigning AVCA National Player of the Year giving them a 10-7 lead. Small runs by the 49ers brought them back into the set guiding them to an 18-15 lead. Concordia had a 4-1 run of their own to bring them within one at 21-20 before Long Beach State stormed away taking the last four points of the set.

Long Beach State had the momentum in the second set as they sprinted out to a 9-1 lead before forcing Concordia into a timeout. The 49ers were able to take advantage of their strong defensive as they converted digs off of strong Eagles attacks into 49er kills putting them up 19-5. Then two LBSU errors and a kill from Josiah Bergt put CUI on a run, making it 19-8. The Eagles chipped away at the 49er's lead from kills by Barsemian and Howell at 24-14, but it was not enough comeback to take the set.

Behind three service errors and a Barsemian kill, Concordia had the third set at 4-4. From there, Long Beach State's strong offense took over. Kills by Barsemian and Predney made it 12-8 before the 49ers went on a 5-0 run to stretch their lead to seven. Concordia took advantage of a long rally featuring many great defense plays ending up with a block by Howell at Darcy Taig to make it 21-11. Three-straight Long Beach State kills made it 24-11 before Concordia fought off two match-points, then ending the match on a service error of their own.

Concordia falls to 3-3 on the season while Long Beach State remains undefeated at 10-0. A tough task is at hand next week for the Eagles as they host No. 2 UCLA, UC San Diego and No. 12 Pepperdine on consecutive days from February 8-10 in CU Arena.

Thu, Feb. 1

UCLA 3, Princeton 0

Recap by UCLA

The No. 2-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team tied a school record with 15 service aces in a straight set win over Princeton in a match played on Thursday night in The John Wooden Center. Scores of the contest were 25-21, 25-17, 25-16. Junior setter Micah Ma'a led the way for UCLA with a season-best six aces. Junior hitter Dylan Missry added four more as the Bruins also tied the school record for most service aces in a set with seven in both the second and third sets. UCLA is now 9-1 on the season and will play at No. 4 UC Irvine on Saturday night.

UCLA rolled out to an early lead in set one, taking a 5-2 edge after a block by Christian Hessenauer and Daenan Gyimah. An Oliver Martin kill made it 8-5 Bruins. Princeton came back to get within one on several occasions, the last being at 17-16. A Gyimah solo block started a UCLA run and the Bruins grabbed a 21-17 lead. Missry's fourth kill of the set gave the Bruins the win at 25-21. Gyimah had four blocks in the set and UCLA hit .500.

In set two, it was the Tigers who earned a quick 0-3 advantage. UCLA pulled even after back-to-back aces from Ma'a. A Missry kill evened the score at 8-all and began a Bruin run of five straight points. The lead grew to 15-9 after an ace by Jake Arnitz. A Missry ace made it 19-13 and a kill by Arnitz took it to set point. Martin's kill handed UCLA the set at 25-17. The total of seven aces tied the school record last accomplished in a 2017 match against UC San Diego.

UCLA moved to a 5-1 lead to start the third set after a couple of more aces by Ma'a. After Missry blasted an ace the Bruins led 10-2. PU rallied to narrow the margin to 13-9. The Bruins took a 17-10 lead after another ace by Ma'a. Freshman Ian Parish got into the act with an ace of his own for a 20-13 edge. UCLA closed out the Tigers on an ace by Arnitz which tied the school record of 15 for a match set in a 2015 three-set win over Limestone.

Missry led UCLA with nine kills (.615) and Hessenauer added eight, six digs, two aces and four block assists. Garland Peed also had six digs. Gyimah finished with six blocks (1 solo, 5 block assists). Ma'a had 29 set assists and the Bruins out hit the Tigers .414 (season-best) to .123 for the match.