No. 2 UCLA Hosts No. 15 USC, Visits No. 1 LBSU

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Feb. 12, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 6

BRENDEN SANDER OF BYU MPSF/MOLTEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

BYU senior outside hitter Brenden Sander (Huntington Beach, CA/Huntington Beach HS) collected a match-high 15 kills with a .419 clip to go with a career-high 11 digs for just his second-ever double-double in a 3-1 win at UC San Diego (Feb. 8). He added a match high three aces and four blocks (tying a season-high) in that match. Then, in a four-set MPSF road win at No. 14 USC (Feb. 10), Sander blasted career-highs of 23 kills (.372) and five aces (sixth-most in the BYU rally-scoring era). The 23 kills tied for a 2018 MPSF-high, while his 28.5 points at USC was an outright conference season-high. This is the first career MPSF weekly award for Sander. Others Nominated: Daenan Gyimah (UCLA); Kevin Rakestraw (STAN); Cullen Mosher (GCU); Ryan Moss (USC); David Wieczorek (PEP)...

JACOB WEISER OF CONCORDIA MPSF/MOLTEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Concordia senior libero Jacob Weiser (Huntington Beach, CA/Huntington Beach HS) posted double-digit digs in three-straight matches last week, including 15 against No. 11 Pepperdine, 12 vs. No. 2 UCLA, and 11 in a comeback win over UC San Diego. In addition to his defensive play, he kept the Eagles in system in serve-receive, especially playing a key role in the five-set win over UCSD. Weiser totaled 38 digs through 16 sets (2.38 D/S). He enters the week No.1 in the MPSF with 2.69 digs per set. This is the first career MPSF honor for Weiser. Others Nominated: Michael Wexter (PEP); Evan Enriques (STAN); Ashton King (GCU)...

HOT HITTING NO. 2 BRUINS HOST NO. 15 USC, VISIT NO. 1 LBSU;

NO. 10 `LOPES WIN FIRST-EVER MPSF MATCH

No. 2 UCLA (2-0 MPSF/13-1 Overall) extended its win streak to six with a 3-1 home win over No. 12 CSUN (Feb. 6), followed by straight-set road wins to open MPSF action, defeating Concordia (Feb. 8) and No. 10 Grand Canyon (Feb. 10). The Bruins are off to their best start since the 2005 team was 15-1. UCLA hit a season-high .494 in Phoenix, making it five-straight matches of hitting at least .400. Daenan Gyimah hit .576 (22-3-33) for the week and served seven aces. No. 2 UCLA hosts rival No. 15 USC in their MPSF home opener Wednesday (Feb. 14), followed by a back-to-back non-conference series with No. 1 Long Beach State (Feb. 17-away; Feb. 21-home).

No. 10 GRAND CANYON (1-1 MPSF/11-3 Overall) won its first-ever MPSF contest in dramatic come-from-behind fashion this past Thursday (Feb.8), 3-2 at home over No. 11 Pepperdine, before the loss to No. 2 UCLA. Cullen Mosher hit .381 for the week (22-6-42), including a .462 night vs. the Waves (15-3-26). In the win, Ashton King had six blocks and hit .500 in the middle (6-1-10), as the Antelopes fought back from two sets down in which they were beat decisively 25-17 both times. No. 10 Grand Canyon remains home in MPSF play this week, as No. 7 BYU (Feb. 15) and Stanford (Feb. 17) visit.

No. 7 BYU (1-0 MPSF/8-4 Overall) picked up a pair of 3-1 road outcomes last week, at UC San Diego (Feb. 8) and No.14 USC in its MPSF opener (Feb. 10). Brenden Sander collected a match-high 15 kills (419 clip) to go with a career-high 11 digs for just his second-ever double-double at UCSD. He added a match high three aces and four blocks (tying a season-high) in the win. Then, in a four-set road win at USC, Sander blasted career-highs of 23 kills (.372) and five aces (sixth-most in BYU rally-scoring era). The 23 kills tied teammate Gabi Garcia Fernandez for a 2018 MPSF-high, while his 28.5 points at USC was an outright conference season-high. BYU travels for the first time in program history to Grand Canyon Thursday (Feb. 15) and Concordia Saturday (Feb. 17)

No. 15 USC (1-1 MPSF/4-8 Overall) snapped a seven-match slide last Thursday (Feb. 8), holding off Stanford in five sets in the MPSF opener for both teams. Jack Wyett had 20 kills at .436. Ryan Moss had 18 kills (.429), a career-high 10 digs, four blocks and two aces. Two nights later, he had a team-best 16 kills (.394) and five digs in a tight four-set conference home loss to No. 7 BYU. No. 15 USC visits rival No. 2 UCLA Wednesday (Feb. 14), followed by a visit to No. 12 Pepperdine Saturday (Feb. 17) in a pair of conference road matches.

No. 12 PEPPERDINE (1-1 MPSF/5-3 Overall) bounced back from its five-set MPSF-opening loss at No. 10 Grand Canyon (Feb. 8) with a four-set win at Concordia this past Saturday (Feb. 10). MPSF kill leader David Wieczorek accumulated 32 kills (.308) over the nine sets, and served three aces in Phoenix. He recorded his third career double-double in the win on 21 kills and 10 digs. Michael Wexter had six blocks and eight kills in each match, while hitting .483 for the week. The Waves visit UC Irvine Wednesday (Feb. 14), before returning home for MPSF action against USC Saturday (Feb. 17).

CONCORDIA (0-2 MPSF/4-5 Overall) fought back from a two-set deficit to win at home against UC San Diego and avenge an earlier road loss to the Tritons (Feb. 9). Libero Jacob Weiser was in double-digit digs in all three matches last week, including the MPSF contests vs. UCLA and Pepperdine, picking up 38 total (2.38 D/S). The Eagles stay home this week in MPSF action against Stanford (Feb. 15) and BYU (Feb. 17).

STANFORD (0-1 MPSF/2-10 Overall) came up short at USC in the MPSF opener last Thursday in five sets, though came back impressively from two sets down. Four Cardinal players were in double-digit kills, led by a season-high 18 from Kevin Rakestraw on .516 hitting. Jaylen Jasper accumulated 14 kills, 12 digs, and four aces, while Eric Beatty also had 14 kills (.312). In a non-conference road loss at No. 12 CSUN (Feb. 10), Jasper had a team-high 13 kills. The Cardinal stay on the road this week, traveling to Concordia (Feb. 15) and Grand Canyon (Feb. 17).