BYU Gets Separation; Pep Visits UCLA

Leo Durkin, BYU (Photo courtesy BYU)
Leo Durkin, BYU (Photo courtesy BYU)
March 5, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 9


BYU senior setter Leo Durkin (Las Vegas, NV/Centennial HS) guided a fiveset come-from-behind win over No. 8 Pepperdine (Mar. 1) and a sweep of No. 3 UCLA (Mar. 3) to remain unbeaten in MPSF play. Against the Waves, Durkin put up a season-high 56 assists, a season-high six blocks, and tied his career-high in kills with three. He set the Cougars to a .355 hitting percentage while adding five digs – second-most on the team. Against the Bruins, Durkin contributed 37 assists while leading the team to a .318 clip, and collected three blocks, two digs and an ace. This is the first career MPSF weekly award for Durkin. Others Nominated: Jaylen Jasper (STAN); David Wieczorek (PEP)…


BYU freshman middle blocker Felipe de Brito Ferreira (Maringa, Brazil), in his first two career starts last week, collected multiple career-highs to help the Cougars remain unbeaten in MPSF play. In the five-set come-frombehind win over No. 8 Pepperdine (Mar. 1), he had a career-high 10 blocks – two more than any BYU player in any match this season and four more than any teammate in the match. Ferreira added a career-high six kills on a career-high .714 clip. Then in a sweep of No. 3 UCLA (Mar. 3), he put up a match-high six blocks – three more than any other player on either team. Ferreira added four kills without an error while hitting .500. This is the first career MPSF honor for Ferreira. Others Nominated: Max Chamberlain (PEP); Evan Enriques (STAN)…


No. 4 BYU (7-0 MPSF/14-4 Overall) extended its win streak to nine matches and further separated itself at the top of the standings with crucial home results over No. 8 Pepperdine (3-2) and No. 3 UCLA (3-0) last week. The Cougars erased a two-set deficit against the Waves, as Felipe de Brito Ferreira had 10 of his 16 blocks for the week (2.00 B/S) in that win. He also hit .600 (10-1-15) for the week. Leo Durkin set BYU to a .318 team attack for the week and had nine blocks. BYU will hold a two-match lead atop the conference after this week (Pepperdine visits UCLA Wednesday in the No. 2 position), with just five MPSF matches remaining. BYU is in Hawaii for three non-conference matches this week, taking on Penn State, Lewis and the host Warriors. BYU enters the week No. 1 in the NCAA in blocking (2.90 B/S).

No. 7 PEPPERDINE (4-2 MPSF/10-4 Overall) split its two-match MPSF road trip last week, earning a straight-set win at Stanford (Mar. 3). David Wieczorek compiled 31 kills (3.88 K/S; .324), five aces (0.63 A/S), and eight blocks (1.00 B/S) for the week. Max Chamberlain totaled 15 blocks through the eight sets (1.88 B/S). Pepperdine visits UCLA Wednesday (Mar. 7) in the only MPSF match for the week. The winner will be two matches behind BYU with five to play in the conference. The Waves swept the first meeting in Malibu (Feb. 23). They enter the week atop the conference in opponent hitting (.240) and aces per set (1.93), while Wieczorek leads in three categories—kill average (3.89 K/S), point average (4.92 P/S; NCAA No. 3), and ace average (0.55 A/S).

No. 5 UCLA (4-2 MPSF/15-5 Overall) split two MPSF road matches last week, picking up a four-set win at Stanford (Mar. 1). The Bruins host Pepperdine Wednesday (Mar. 7), before hosting George Mason Saturday (Mar. 10). Daenan Gyimah is the NCAA hitting leader (.500), while Micah Ma’a leads the MPSF in assists per set (10.68) and aces (32). The Bruins are the MPSF’s top hitting team overall (.337; NCAA No. 4) and have served a conference-high 131 aces (1.82 A/S).

STANFORD (1-6 MPSF/3-15 Overall) fell in four to No. 3 UCLA (Mar. 1) and in three to No. 8 Pepperdine (Mar. 3). Mason Tufuga did the setting each match, dishing a career-high 35 assists vs. Pepperdine, while Jaylen Jasper recorded 16 kills in each match. Kyler Presho hit .636 with seven kills on 11 errorless swings and Evan Enriques picked up a match-high 12 digs vs. Waves. Stanford hosts UC San Diego (Mar. 9) and UC Irvine (Mar. 10) this week.

USC (1-5 MPSF/4-13 Overall) fell in four at home to No. 15 UCSB last Thursday (Mar. 1) in a rescheduled match from earlier this year. Gianluca Grasso and Jack Wyett each had 14 kills, with Grasso hitting .423 and collecting 11 digs and three aces. Sam Lewis added 11 kills and three aces. USC stays outside the MPSF this week, visiting UC San Diego Wednesday (Mar. 7) and hosting Harvard Sunday (Mar. 11).

No. 14 CONCORDIA (3-3 MPSF/8-8 Overall) dropped a pair of 3-0 road matches at No. 2 Hawaii this past weekend (Mar. 2-4). The Eagles host three MIVA schools this week, as Ball State (Mar. 7), Loyola-Chicago (Mar. 8), and Fort Wayne (Mar. 10) each visit. Jacob Weiser is the MPSF digs per set leader (2.70). Concordia is No. 2 in the MPSF and NCAA in blocks per set (2.77).

No. 13 GRAND CANYON (2-4 MPSF/12-6 Overall) returns to action after a bye week, hosting Menlo Thursday (Mar. 8). Last in action, the Antelopes won for the first time in an MPSF road match, 3-2 at USC (Feb. 24). The ‘Lopes tallied 20.5 blocks in beating USC for the first time in three series meetings. Ashton King totaled 17 kills with a .583 clip, nine blocks, and six digs. He also hit .545 (13-1-22) in the loss at Concordia (Feb. 22), and totaled 12 blocks for the week. Shalev Saada came off the bench at USC to get 13 kills, while Caleb Blazer had eight blocks. Sky Engleman dug 24 balls last week (3.00 D/S).