MPSF Volleyball Results, Feb. 24

Jon Predney, CUI (Photo courtesy CUI)
Jon Predney, CUI (Photo courtesy CUI)
Feb. 24, 2018

at No. 6 BYU 3, Stanford 2

Recap by BYU

PROVO, Utah -- Storm Fa'agata-Tufuga helped push No. 6 BYU men's volleyball past Stanford in five sets (23-25, 20-25, 25-14, 15-10, 15-12) Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"We got off to a slow start tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Stanford really came out swinging with a lot of confidence. After the second set, we wanted to turn the momentum and that's what we did."

Fa'agata-Tufuga led the Cougars with a career-high 16 kills and contributed four blocks and one ace. Brenden Sander added 14 kills and three digs. Price Jarman and Felipe de Brito Ferreira both led the team with six blocks apiece. Leo Durkin added 36 assists and a team-high nine digs in the win.

An ace from Jarman helped BYU (12-4, 5-0 MPSF) to an early 6-3 lead over the Cardinal (3-13, 1-4 MPSF) in the fifth set. The two teams traded blows, but the Cougars picked up set point at 14-10 after a Durkin and Ferreira block. A service error ended the set and match 15-12.

BYU and Stanford traded blows in the first set, with the Cougars taking an early 6-3 lead following blocks from Jarman and Zach Eschenberg in the first set. The Cougars went on a 5-0 run, which Stanford countered with a 7-1 rally, to even the game at 15-15. The two teams went back-and-forth until Stanford pulled away with back-to-back kills to finish the close set 25-23.

An early 3-0 run gave Stanford a 5-2 edge over BYU in the second set. The Cardinal went on a 6-0 run to push ahead 15-7. Stanford secured a double-digit lead, 19-9, until BYU countered with a 4-0 run, including three-consecutive Tanner Skabelund aces. Back-to-back kills from Sander contributed to a 6-2 run for the Cougars. However, it didn't prove to be enough as the Cardinal finished off the set, 25-20.

A 5-0 run gave the Cougars an early 5-1 edge in the third set. Two Fa'agata-Tufuga kills helped the Cougars to a 6-1 run to push them to a 14-5 lead. The Cardinal responded with a 4-0 rally of their own, which Fa'agata-Tufuga ended with a kill. BYU maintained its advantage with a service ace and kill from Fa'agata-Tufuga. The Cougars finished the set scoring the last four-straight points to win 25-14.

The Cougars jumped out to an early 4-1 advantage in the fourth set. A 3-0 Cardinal run evened the game at 11-all. Stanford took its first lead, 16-15, which ended when a kill from Durkin tied it back up 16-16. A 3-0 Cougar rally pushed BYU to a 20-17 advantage. Back-to-back Sander kills gave the Cougars the set 25-20, sending it to the decisive fifth.

BYU stays at home to compete against Pepperdine on Thursday, March 1, at 7:00 p.m. MST, at the Smith Fieldhouse. A live stream and stats can be found on the schedule page.

No. 12 Grand Canyon 3, at USC 2

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--Ashton King had 17 kills, 9 blocks and 6 digs to lead the No. 12-ranked Grand Canyon men's volleyball team to its first-ever victory over USC, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (Feb. 24) in USC's Galen Center.

Grand Canyon, a first-year member of the MPSF, defeated the Trojans for the first time in 3 series meetings. It was the second night in a row that the Trojans lost to a team for the first time, falling in 4 sets on Friday to Concordia (also a new MPSF member).

The Lopes improved to 12-6 overall in 2018 and 2-4 in the MPSF. The Trojans lost their fifth consecutive match to fall to 4-12 overall and 1-5 in the MPSF.

Ryan Moss and Gianluca Grasso each had 16 kills for USC, with Moss adding 14 digs and Grasso serving 5 aces. Jack Wyett had 9 kills and Kyle Gear had 10 blocks.

King hit .583 for Grand Canyon, while teammate Shalev Saada came off the bench to get 13 kills. Caleb Blazer added 8 blocks, Trevor Weary had 7 blocks, Sky Engleman had 11 digs and Will Schwob had 10 digs.

Neither team hit for a high percentage, with GCU at .180 and USC at .177. The Lopes had 20.5 blocks to the Trojans' 13.0, while USC had more digs (55 to 45).

Grand Canyon used a 3-0 run in the first set to go up 19-16 and USC couldn't catch up as the Lopes notched 6.0 blocks. In the second set, USC scored 3 straight early points to move ahead 5-2, built the margin to 19-11 and then held off the late-charging Lopes as Troy served 4 aces in the set. USC held a 23-20 lead in the third set before Grand Canyon scored the set's final 5 points (the Lopes had 4 aces and 4.5 blocks in the set). USC trailed 12-7 in the fourth set but the Trojans soon after scored 4 straight points to take a 16-15 lead and steadily pulled away while posting 6.0 blocks. Grand Canyon scored the first 3 points of the fifth set and USC couldn't overcome it.

USC remains at home for its next match, hosting non-conference foe No. 13 UC Santa Barbara of the Big West on Thursday (March 1) at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center in a match that was rescheduled from earlier in the season because of the Santa Barbara mudslides.

at Concordia 3, No. 11 CSUN 2

Recap by CUI

IRVINE, Calif. - The Concordia men's volleyball team capped off their third match of the week with a victory and yet another upset over No. 11 CSUN. Both teams battled to the end by ways of a five-set thriller that went in the Eagles favor. The duration of the match lasted over 2.5 hours and finished with a score of 25-19, 24-26, 35-37, 35-33, 15-13.

Jonathan Predney soared tonight with a .400 hitting percentage and a season-high of 26 kills, which is the most by any player in the MPSF this season. Aside from Predney's offensive showing, the Eagles benefited from the big wall of their middle blockers Hunter Howell and Taylor Falduti who had 10 and seven blocks respectively. Their defense led the Concordia block party to a 21-9 blocking advantage while Predney and Falduti helped with three aces each to put the Eagles ahead 9-3 in aces. Raymond Barsemian had 13 kills and hit .545 to increase his double-digit kill performance to 13 times this season.

The first set was promising in the beginning for Concordia due to multiple CSUN errors, placing the Eagles up 8-4 and causing an early Matadors timeout. CSUN raced back to tie the set at 10-10, but Concordia used four straight points to get back ahead. A Falduti ace and Predney kill helped give CUI a seven-point lead at 21-14. Howell teamed up with Darcy Taig for a block while Falduti collected a kill to give Concordia a set point, but CSUN ended the set on their with a service error.

CSUN had leads early at 7-4 and 12-7 in the second set. But that did not stop the Eagles from crawling their way back. Down 17-14, Josiah Bergt put down a ball while Isaiah Kaaa served up an ace, then leading to an Eagles triple block and a Barsemian kill to put Concordia in the lead 19-17. Following a CSUN timeout at 21-19 CUI, the Matadors scored three-straight to gain a lead. A kill by Predney followed by a scrappy defensive play from Jacob Weiser and Addison Enriques led to a Barsemian kill and set point for the Eagles. The Matadors used the power of their .517 hitting efficiency in this set to take the last three points to tie the match at one a piece.

Similar to set two, the Eagles saw themselves down early at 7-2. CSUN maintained a lead for a majority of the set, until Concordia came back to tie it at 18-18, then 21-21. Following the tie at 23-23, the teams went on a marathon run until the end. There was a total of 12 set points erased (seven for CSUN and five for Concordia) that featured four kills from Predney. In the end, it was the Matadors who took the set 37-35, the longest set the Eagles have played in all season.

Taig served up an ace for Concordia to help them out to a 6-4 lead. The Matadors responded to stay close throughout the set until Barsemian locked down a kill and then teamed up with Howell for a stuff for a 17-14 edge. Concordia gained an advantage at 23-21 where they looked to attempt to take this match to five sets. Chandler Gibb dumped the ball for a kill to give the Eagles set point before CSUN stormed back to go ahead 26-25 and perched on match point. Concordia called a timeout and followed that with a Barsemian kill, where teams then sided out eight straight points with the Eagles fighting off five match points and benefiting from four Predney kills. Concordia used their final timeout with them down 33-32, which went in their favor icing CSUN's server that led to a service error. The Eagles showed their blocking prowess to end the long set where Falduti and Barsemian had back-to-back blocks to keep their hopes alive for a match win.

Quick kills from CSUN put them up 3-1 in the decisive fifth set. A 5-1 run from Concordia put them ahead 8-6 leading into the side switch. Teams traded blow for blow with Falduti and Barsemian gaining momentum for Concordia to put them closer to the finish line at 13-10. Three straight CSUN points tied the match up, forced an Eagles timeout and put the teams in the sudden death situation of you must win by two. The Matadors then put a serve out of bounds giving Concordia their first match point of the night. That was then their one and only match point as that was all that was needed where Predney and Howell sent back a CSUN attack to seal the upset for the Eagles.

Concordia now improves to 8-6 overall and adds to their resume with three wins over ranked teams this season. The Eagles will take a plane across the Pacific Ocean for a two-match series at No. 3 Hawaii to be played on March 2nd and 4th.