UH Sets Team Record; UCI Sweeps No. 1 OSU

Thomas Hodges, UC Irvine
March 13, 2017

MPSF Volleyball Release 10

HAWAII (10-2 MPSF/20-2 Overall) broke the program record with its 32nd consecutive set victory dating back to Feb. 4, after sweeping its ninth and tenth straight matches against Stanford (Mar. 10-11). UH also tied the school-record with its 19th straight home win, reaching a mark that was last set in 1989. Hawaii has also won 15 straight matches and its last 10 in conference, clinching a spot in the MPSF Tournament. The Warriors travel to BYU for two this weekend (Mar. 17-18) in a pivotal series at the top of the standings. Stijn Van Tilburg averaged 5.33 kills in the Stanford series, hitting .491 through the six sets.

BYU (11-1 MPSF/17-2 Overall) swept two conference road matches at Pepperdine (Mar. 10-11), extending its win streak to nine-straight matches in the MPSF and 11 overall. The Cougars also remain the MPSF’s lone unbeaten road team in conference play. Second-place BYU hosts third-place Hawaii for two this weekend (Mar. 17-18), televised on BYUtv each night. One win for the Cougars clinches home court advantage in the MPSF Quarterfinals. Jake Langlois totaled 34 kills (5.67 K/S), hitting .406 for the series, along with six blocks (1.00 B/S).

UC IRVINE (9-5 MPSF/15-6 Overall) swept all nine sets in non-conference road action last week, 3-0 over St. Francis (Mar. 8), Ball State (Mar. 10), and top-ranked Ohio State. The win over the Buckeyes gave them their first loss in over one full calendar year (399 days) and snapped their program record 42-match win streak. Thomas Hodges hit .353 (33-9-68) for the week. The Anteaters are next in action at Pepperdine on March 25, where a win would clinch an MPSF Tournament spot.

LONG BEACH STATE (13-1 MPSF/19-2 Overall) made it 12-straight wins with 3-0 non-conference home outcomes over George Mason (Mar. 10) and Loyola-Chicago (Mar. 11) in the Asics Tournament. TJ DeFalco was named tournament MVP after hitting .357 with 21 kills (3.50 K/S), along with three aces, eight blocks (1.33 B/S), and 13 digs. In first-place by one match in the win column with four to play in MPSF, the 49ers visit CSUN Friday (Mar. 17) before hosting Sacred Heart Saturday (Mar. 18).

UCLA (8-6 MPSF/13-7 Overall) Christian Hessenauer hit .326 on 43 swings in home wins over Lewis (Mar. 8) and Harvard (Mar. 11). Oliver Martin was 10 for an errorless 12 against Lewis. The Bruins served an MPSF season-high tying 13 aces in the straight-set win over the Crimson. UCLA remains out of the conference this week as Sacred Heart and Concordia visit (Mar. 17-18).

USC (5-9 MPSF/7-12 Overall) swept a home match over No. 5 Lewis last Thursday (Mar. 9), minus the services of NCAA kills and points per set leader Lucas Yoder. Gianluca Grasso hit .516 (19-3-31), while completing a double-double with 10 digs. The Trojans host George Mason Monday (Mar. 13), Harvard Tuesday (Mar. 14), and Sacred Heart Sunday (Mar. 19).

UC SANTA BARBARA (5-9 MPSF/9-11 Overall) won a straight-set MPSF home contest over CSUN (Mar. 8), a match made-up from an earlier postponement. Jacob Delson recorded 13 kills with a .450 clip in the Gauchos’ critical home win to sit tied for the last MPSF Tournament spot with four to play. Following a 3-1 home loss to Lewis (Mar. 11), UCSB stays in Rob Gym to face Harvard Monday (Mar. 13) and Concordia Wednesday (Mar. 15).

STANFORD (6-7 MPSF/11-9 Overall) Kevin Rakestraw was a collective 11 for an errorless 17 (.647) with seven blocks in the two matches at Hawaii. In sixth-place with five to play in conference, Stanford hosts Pepperdine Saturday (Mar. 18).

CSUN (5-8 MPSF/12-10 Overall) fell in straight-sets at UCSB (Mar. 8) and George Mason (Mar. 11, at LBSU), as well as in five sets to Loyola-Chicago (Mar. 10 at LBSU). The Matadors are still one-half match ahead of the final MPSF Tournament spot with five to play, beginning with Pepperdine (Mar. 15) and Long Beach State (Mar. 17) at home. Dimitar Kalchev hit .348 on 46 swings vs. LUC. His one ace against GMU gives him 56 for the season, one shy of Eric Vance’s school record of 57 in 2009.

UC SAN DIEGO (2-11 MPSF/5-15 Overall) dropped 3-0 matches at No. 1 Ohio State and against Ball State, also in Columbus (Mar. 10-11). Tanner Syftestad had 14 kills against the Buckeyes, nine against the Cardinals, and has led the Tritons in kills for 16-straight matches. UCSD hosts Cal Baptist Tuesday (Mar. 14) in MPSF play, before Concordia visits Friday (Mar. 17).

CAL BAPTIST (1-12 MPSF/3-15 Overall) came up short against future MPSF opponent Concordia on the road this past Saturday (Mar. 11). Kevin Vaz recorded 13 digs, while Emmett Enriques had 13 digs. The Lancers play an MPSF match at UC San Diego Tuesday (Mar. 14).

PEPPERDINE (4-8 MPSF/6-9 Overall) dropped two home matches to BYU (Mar. 10-11). Percentage points outside the top-eight with six to play, the Waves visit CSUN Wednesday (Mar. 15) and Stanford Saturday (Mar. 18). Michael Wexter hit .432 (21-2-44) and picked up 15 digs (2.50 D/S) in the BYU series, hitting a career-high .560 (15-1-25) in the second match.