MPSF Volleyball Results, Mar. 29

Photo courtesy Concordia
Photo courtesy Concordia
March 29, 2018

Concordia 3, at BYU 2 (19-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 16-14)

Recap by CUI

PROVO, Utah - The Concordia Men's Volleyball team made history on Thursday night, coming up with their biggest win in program history. The Eagles traveled to Utah to take on No. 2 BYU in front of the nation's leader in attendance, where Concordia came out with the upset by coming back from down 2-0 to win 19-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 16-14.

This was a match of many firsts: Concordia's first set win over BYU, Concordia's first overall win over BYU, BYU's first loss in conference this season and Concordia's first win over a top five team in NCAA Division I-II.

There were many Eagle contributors to this victory as all players came up big when they needed to. Setter Chandler Gibb made wise decisions to orchestrate the offense to a .328 hitting percentage and tallying himself 54 assists. Raymond Barsemian had 18 kills to lead Concordia while hitting at a .438 clip. Jonathan Predney was right behind with 17 kills and three aces and Darcy Taig put down 14 kills of his own and dug seven attacks. Hunter Howell had a match-high seven blocks, teaming up with Barsemian who had five.

Concordia's game plan going into tonight's match was to play scrappy defense and get ahead early. They did exactly that. The Eagles got out to a 7-3 run after Taig collected a kill, Howell teamed up with Barsemian for a block, then followed up with Howell-Gibb block, while Predney served an ace into the back corner. BYU would push themselves back into the set after a 4-0 run to take the lead at 13-12. The Cougars scored five of six points to put themselves ahead 23-18, to then take the next two for the first set.

BYU would do what Concordia did to them in the first, by getting ahead early in the second 11-4. Taig would score four out of the Eagle's next five points from all sides of the net to put CUI within five, 16-11. The Cougars exterminated every opportunity they could get, but their own errors kept Concordia in the set. Perched at set point 24-14, Barsemian split the block with a kill and Taig tooled the blockers from the right side to keep their fight alive, ultimately for BYU to swing for the set and score.

With their backs against the wall, Concordia had to play consistently in order to extend the match and avoid being swept. The senior Predney came alive, finding success for nine of Concordia's points in the entire set. He sided-out for the Eagles with a swing from the right side, to bring him back to serve where he collected two kills from the back row and had an ace to bring CUI up 9-5. A 3-0 run put Concordia up by four and Taig delivered a booming kill off a BYU backrow defender into the crowd to put the Eagles up 17-13. Back-to-back kills for the Cougars brought them within one, but CUI was able to maintain the lead and take the set with consecutive kills on the right side from Predney and Taig.

After taking their first ever set from BYU, Concordia had an early 4-3 in the fourth set. A swing from Predney down the line found the arm of a BYU defender for a point and Falduti followed that with a block to tie the set 10-10. The Eagles sparked a mid-set 5-1 run to go up by three at 16-13. Two kills by Barsemian and a Cougar service error put BYU into a timeout with the Eagles ahead 23-20. BYU would then side-out, but Barsemian did as well, tooling the Cougar block and serving an ace in the gap of the BYU passers to send the match to five.

In just their third fifth set match on the season, Concordia got out to an early 3-1 lead after a Predney kill out of the backrow and a Barsemian ace. BYU would respond with a 5-0 run to get ahead 6-3. CUI had an error leading into the side switch at 8-5, but they bounced back with a from Falduti and Predney going back to collect an ace as his serve clipped the net and dropped. Taig did what he did well, which was tooling the block for a kill and Howell and Gibb went up for a block to tie the crucial set at 10-10. Howell executed a slide play with a swing that sent the ball to the floor and Gibb then teamed up with Falduti for a stuff to take a late 13-12 lead. The next set from Gibb would then go to Predney that would fall in front of the Cougar block to earn CUI match point, 14-12. BYU sided-out and Concordia head coach Shawn Patchell would call a timeout to regroup and hope to ice the server. That plan was a success as BYU had a service error and gave the Eagles another match point. Predney served in and the Eagles block slowed down the Cougar attack perfectly for Predney to dig it right to targer and have Gibb reward him for it with a set which he put away to clinch the upset.

With this win, Concordia improves to 13-13 on the season and 4-6 in the MPSF. BYU will fall to 18-5 and 8-1 and have their 13-match win streak snapped.

Up Next: Concordia will stay on the road where they will face Stanford on March 31st at 5 PM. The Eagles defeated the Cardinal in February with CUI coming out with their first ever sweep over Stanford.

Pepperdine 3, at USC 0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-23)

Recap by Pepperdine

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Three aces apiece from Alex Harthaller and Michael Wexter helped the No. 5 Pepperdine men's volleyball team to a straight sweep over USC in the Galen Center on Thursday night.

Harthaller's and David Wieczorek's double-figure kills also helped propel the Waves (14-6, 7-4 MPSF) to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation win over the Trojans (6-17, 2-7 MPSF) with 25-20, 26-24 and 25-23 final set scores.

Pepperdine and USC came out of the starting gate neck-and-neck. After a pair of service aces from Alex Harthaller and a few kills from David Wieczorek put the Waves ahead 13-9. USC came back late in the action to tie things up at 19's, but a kill from Harthaller and a block collaboration from Michael Wexter and Robert Mullahey put the Waves back on track for Wexter to deliver the 25-20 final kill. The second set was close from start to finish, with Pepperdine and USC going through tied scores from 11-11, 17-17 and 23-23. A kill from Max Chamberlain gave the Waves their first set point, but the Trojans hit the floor to break the option. Mullahey pushed two to the outside for Harthaller to put down in the following plays to secure the 2-0 lead on a 26-24 set score.

The Trojans had the lead for a majority of the third set, pulling ahead 12-8 and 16-14. Kills and an ace from Harthaller helped the Waves close the gap at 17-17, but the Trojans stayed close despite being able to close the gap after that. Pepperdine held on to the lead with more kills from Harthaller and Wieczorek gave the Waves' a match-point opportunity. A final kill from Harthaller and a service error from the other side of the net closed the match down and completed the sweep with a 25-23 set victory.

David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy): 15 kills, .314 hitting%, 1 ace, 4 digs, 2 blocks

Alex Harthaller (Innsbruck, Austria/Akademischeg Gymnasium/IPFW): 13 kills, .440 hitting%, 3 aces, 7 digs

Robert Mullahey (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS): 38 assists, 6 digs, 2 kills

Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS): 6 kills, 3 aces, 4 digs, 2 blocks

Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS): 6 kills, 7 digs

Max Chamberlain (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs HS): 7 kills, 2 blocks (1 solo)

Spencer Wickens (Irondequoit, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS): 7 digs, 3 assists

at Stanford 3, Grand Canyon 2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 23-21)

Recap by Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. - Freshman Jaylen Jasper tied his career high with 27 kills on .409 hitting to propel Stanford to a five-set win over No. 13 Grand Canyon, Thursday, at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford had match-point at 14-12 in the fifth, but allowed the Lopes to crawl back in it and take a 15-14 advantage. From there, the teams traded points back and forth until Jasper and Kevin Rakestraw recorded back-to-back kills to give Stanford the 23-21 win in the fifth.

For the first time this season, Stanford (5-17, 2-7 MPSF) also had the services of both setter Paul Bischoff and outside hitter Jordan Ewert. Both had not played since January, and neither had played in the same matches together this season.

Bischoff racked-up a career-high 62 assists and guided the offense to a .326 attack percentage - just the fifth time this season it was above .300. The sophomore, who played for the first time since January 13, was also solid defensively, finishing with seven digs and four blocks.

Stanford is now 5-2 when outhitting its opponents this season. Grand Canyon (16-9, 3-7 MPSF) finished with a .255 attack percentage and 13.5 blocks. The Cardinal tied its season-high with 10.0 team blocks with freshman Kyler Presho leading the way with a career-best seven.

Rakestraw registered 16 kills on .636 hitting and had three blocks. Ewert, who last played on January 6, totaled 10 kills and six digs in his return. Presho added nine kills on a .438 attack percentage for the Cardinal.

Senior libero Evan Enriques, who faced off against younger brother and one of Grand Canyon's liberos Avery, had six digs and three assists in the win. Freshman Leo Henken, who made his 10th start at outside hitter this season, totaled five kills, six digs and two blocks.

Grand Canyon was led by fifth-year senior Cullen Mosher's 17 kills, while redshirt senior Ashton King added 11 kills and eight blocks.

Stanford closes out the home portion of its regular season on Saturday against No. 14 Concordia. First serve is slated for 5 p.m. in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will recognize its three seniors with a ceremony following the match.