TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
March 25, 2017
*Long Beach State 3, BYU 0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-21)
Recap by LBSU
PROVO, Utah - The top-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball turned in a hot-hitting performance as the Beach hit .477 as a team Saturday night inside Smith Fieldhouse to complete a three-set sweep over No. 3 BYU by scores of 25-21, 25-22, 25-21.
The Beach win snapped the Cougars' 15-match winning streak as Long Beach State improved to 22-3 overall and 15-2 in MPSF action, while BYU fell to 21-3 on the year and 14-2 in league play. With the victory, LBSU needs just one more conference win or a BYU league loss to clinch the No. 1 seed and home court advantage in the MPSF Tournament.
Sophomores TJ DeFalco and Kyle Ensing led the offensive attack as DeFalco led all scorers with 13 kills, while Ensing added 10. Ensing was almost perfect as he committed just one attack error in the match as he hit .500 (10-1-18) in the contest.
Ensing also led the Beach with seven digs, while senior libero Andrew Sato added six. Setter Josh Tuaniga paced the Beach offense with 41 assists as Long Beach State posted a .477 (48-7-86) attack percentage on the night.
At the net, senior middle blocker Bryce Yould led the team with three block assists.
The match started off going back-and-forth as the two teams traded points until they found themselves deadlocked at 15-15 in the first set. Yould knocked down a kill to break the tie and spark a 6-1 Beach run as LBSU never looked back. The Beach went on to hit a sizzling .625 (15-0-24) clip in the first set as they did not commit an attack error en route to winning the game, 25-21.
The second set was neck-and-neck throughout. The conference foes battled each other through 16 ties and three lead changes before took a 21-18 lead forcing the Cougars to take a timeout. Following the break in action, BYU cut LBSU's lead down to one (21-20), but the 49ers would not quit. The Beach extended their lead back up to three (23-20) forcing another Cougars' timeout, before closing out the second set 25-22.
With a 2-0 set lead over BYU, Long Beach State took an early lead in the third set, going up 7-5. However, BYU would rattle off six straight points to take an 11-7 advantage forcing a Long Beach State timeout. Yould hammered out another kill to put an end to the BYU rally. The two teams continued to fight for the lead and found themselves knotted at 16-16. However, the 49ers would register three straight kills to take a 19-16 advantage that they would not relinquish. The Beach would go on to complete the sweep 25-21.
BYU was led in scoring by Jake Langlois' 10 kills, while Leo Durkin posted 30 assists and six digs. Miki Jauhiainen recorded three blocks to lead the Cougars.
Long Beach State hosts Concordia on Friday, March 31 in a non-conference contest. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside the Walter Pyramid.
*UC Irvine 3, PEPPERDINE 1 (25-18, 25-22, 28-30, 28-26)
Recap by UCI
MALIBU, Calif. - No. 5 UC Irvine recorded a season-high 78 kills to beat No. 8 Pepperdine, 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 28-30, 28-26) at Firestone Fieldhouse.
The Anteaters had 33 more kills (78-45) than the Waves, but 29 service errors almost nullified the offensive performance. UCI out-hit Pepperdine .407 to .290 for the match.
UCI extends its winning streak to five in a row and improved to 16-6 overall and 10-5 in the MPSF. Pepperdine goes to 8-10 on the year and 6-9 in league action.
The Anteaters were led by senior Tamir Hershko who recorded a double-double with a match-high 22 kills and season-high 11 digs. On the outside, Thomas Hodges and Aaron Koubi each had 16 kills with Koubi matching his career-best 10 digs. Freshman middle blocker Scott Stadick put away a career-high 15 kills, while hitting .667 (15-1-21) and recording four total blocks. Setter Michael Saeta had a career-high 65 set assists to go with five kills and three aces.
The Waves were paced by David Wieczorek (14) and Noah Dyer (10) in kills. Soren Dion-Kindem had 31 set assists, while Weston Barnes collected 10 digs.
Kills by Thomas Hodges and Aaron Koubi gave UCI a 5-2 lead in the first set then three straight points pushed the Anteater advantage to 8-3. A 4-0 run which included a block, a kill by Koubi and an ace by Michael Saeta gave the Anteaters the 15-11 lead. UCI would never trail in the set and win 25-18.
Trailing 18-16 in the second set, the UCI middle took over with a kill by Scott Stadick and a block and kill by Andrew Benz to push the Anteaters ahead 19-18 forcing a Pepperdine timeout. Out of the break, UCI had kills by Hodges and Koubi to lead 21-18 forcing another Wave timeout. UCI held a 23-20 lead before back-to-back blocks by Pepperdine made things interesting, 23-22. Kills by Benz and a Hershko would end the set with kills, giving UCI the 25-22 victory.
UCI trailed 15-14 before the Anteaters used an ace by Saeta and a kill by Hershko to take 16-15 lead. A nice dig by Hershko lead to a kill by Koubi, 18-16. UCI continued to lead until Pepperdine rallied to take a 22-20 lead. The Waves held set point 24-23 before a kill by Hershko and a block by Stadick and Hodges turned the tables, 25-24, but an Anteater service error kept the teams playing. Pepperdine would close out the set with two kills, 30-28. UCI hit .548 to Pepperdine's .481 in the set.
A 4-0 run by UCI, which included a pair of kills by Koubi, put the Anteaters up 15-11 in the fourth set. Pepperdine would rally again scoring five in a row to take a 16-15 lead. Pepperdine would continue to lead 18-17 then Hodges had back-to-back kills to move UCI in front 19-18. The teams would trade points until a Hershko kill on the seventh match point was followed by a Wave attack error to seal the 28-26 win.
UCI will close out its month-long road swing next Friday (Mar. 31) at Stanford.
*HAWAII 3, Csun 1 (25-19, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17)
Recap by UH
HONOLULU - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team completed an undefeated regular season home schedule with a four-set win over No. 14 CSUN Saturday in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17.
The Rainbow Warriors (22-4, 12-4 MPSF) finished their home slate with a 17-0 mark to extend their home win streak to 21 matches. Following the contest, Kupono Fey, Jennings Franciskovic, Hendrik Mol, and Iain McKellar were honored during the traditional Senior Night ceremony that featured a special haka.
Fey shared team-high honors with 16 kills for his eighth double-figure kill match of the season along with six digs and two blocks. Mol ended the night tying his career-high with nine kills and four blocks while Franciskovic dished out 43 assists and had two of the team's three aces and five blocks. McKellar started his first match of the season and tallied one kill and two blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Brett Rosenmeier had a career-high 16 kills, hitting .560. As a team, UH hit .309 with 12 blocks and limited the Matadors to .220 hitting.
Avris Greene had a team-high 15 kills for CSUN (12-14, 5-12).
With all four seniors in the starting lineup, UH jumped out to an 8-3 lead in Set 1. The Warriors held leads of 16-9 and 20-12 before the Matadors inched back to within two at 21-19. Hawai'i regrouped to close out the set, scoring the final four points to take the early lead in the match.
Set 2 began much like the first as Hawai'i held early leads of 7-3 and 10-4. The Warriors extended their lead to 18-11 and rolled to the 25-17 victory. UH hit .500 in the set with eight kills by Rosenmeier.
CSUN used four blocks to take a 10-3 lead to start Set 3. The Warriors trailed by as much as seven before closing to within four at 19-15. But the Matadors responded and finished off the set, snapping UH's 25-set win streak at home dating back to the UC Santa Barbara match on Feb. 4.
After the Matadors scored the first two points of Set 4, the Warriors used an 8-2 run to take a four-point lead. The lead was 15-8 after a Franciskovic solo stuff and back-to-back kills by Fey. The Warriors closed out the match with a 25-17 victory.