MPSF Volleyball Results, Mar. 31

Lucas Yoder (Photo courtesy USC)
March 31, 2017

*USC 3, Ucsb 0 (27-25, 28-26, 25-21)

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--Lucas Yoder had a match-best 16 kills to lead the No. 11-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a crucial 27-25, 28-26, 25-21 sweep over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Friday (March 31) in USC's Galen Center.

The win gave the Trojans a one-game lead over the Gauchos in the race for the eighth and final berth in the upcoming MPSF tourney, with 2 regular season matches remaining for both squads.

USC improved to 12-13 overall and 6-10 in the MPSF, while UCSB dropped to 10-14 overall and 5-11 in league play.

Gianluca Grasso added 8 kills and 6 digs for USC, Andy Benesh had 7 kills (hitting .667) and 4 blocks and Matt Douglas had 8 digs.

For UCSB, Jacob Delson had 13 kills and 7 digs, Roy McFarland added 11 kills and 6 digs and Keenan Sanders had 9 kills.

USC hit .361 to UCSB's .230.

The first set was tight throughout, with no team having more than a 2-point lead, before the Trojans won it on a Gaucho hitting error followed by a kill by Ryan Moss. It was more of the same in the second set, which was close the whole way until a Moss kill and then a UCSB hitting error ended it (USC hit .484 in the set). USC scored the first 4 points of the third set, which included a pair of aces by Grasso, and the Gauchos could not catch up as the Trojans hit .500 in the set.

USC concludes its regular season with a pair of MPSF matches next week against Cal Baptist, currently in last place in the MPSF. The Trojans host the Lancers on Thursday (April 6) in a match that will be televised live by Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles, then USC goes to Cal Baptist on Saturday (April 8). Both matches begin at 7 p.m. PT.

LONG BEACH STATE 3, Concordia 0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-21)

Recap by LBSU

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The second-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team earned its 18th sweep of the season after defeating Concordia (Irvine) in straight sets [25-16, 25-22 25-21] on Friday night inside the Walter Pyramid. With 18 3-0 victories in a single-season, the 2017 squad is now tied for second-most sweeps in program history. With the win, Long Beach State improved to 23-3 overall, while Concordia dropped to 17-11. Leading the way for the Beach was sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco who tallied 10 kills, marking his 24th double-figure kill match of the season, on .444 (10-2-18) hitting. Kyle Ensing added eight kills, while Amir Lugo-Rodriguez posted seven, and Bryce Yould registered six. Lugo-Rodriguez was solid offensively as he collected all seven of his kills on 11 attempts without committing an attack error en route to hitting a team-best .636. Overall, the Beach hit .333 (36-10-78) as setter Josh Tuaniga dispersed the ball collecting 28 assists in the contest. He also added six digs, one kill and a block assists. DeFalco turned in an all-around performance as he also led the team with seven digs, while adding three assists and two service aces. Yould and Ensing led the blocking game as Yould tallied five blocks (one solo, four assists), while Ensing put up three. Long Beach State and Concordia started off the first set evenly trading points, but after falling behind 9-7, the 49ers rattled off six-straight points to go up 13-9. The Beach held a 17-16 advantage and managed to close the first set on an impressive 8-0 run to win 25-16. The Beach's offense was on fire in the opening set as they hit .571 with 12 kills on 21 attacks without an error. Meanwhile, they stymied the Eagles holding them to just .069 hitting (10-8-29) in the frame. LBSU took an 11-9 edge in set two, but Concordia would go on a 6-1 run taking a 15-12 lead forcing the Beach to call for a timeout. Following the break in action, the Beach battled back to even the score at 19-19 after knocking down three straight points highlighted by a DeFalco ace. The game was back-and-forth until Ensing notched back-to-back service aces to give Long Beach State a 23-22 lead it would not relinquish. From there, the 49ers would go on to win, 25-22, closing out the second set on a 5-0 run. The 49ers opened the third set by jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, however, the Eagles would fight back and even the score four more times throughout the frame until the two teams found themselves deadlocked at 6-6. Long Beach State would take advantage of a Concordia service error to go up 7-6 and lead the rest of the way before winning the set and match in the same way -- on an Eagles service error. The Beach earned a 25-21 win in the third set to complete the sweep. Taylor Falduti and Andrew Hammer were Concordia's leading scorers with eight kills each. Chandler Gibb finished the match with 24 assists, while Jacob Weiser added nine digs, and Joseph Pillon posted a pair of blocks. Long Beach State will close out the regular season on Saturday, April 8 when it hosts No. 14 CSUN at 7 p.m., at the Pyramid. The Beach will also be honoring their nine seniors before the match.

*# UC Irvine 3, STANFORD 1 (25-23, 31-29, 21-25, 25-19)

Recap by UCI

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Senior Thomas Hodges led No. 5 UC Irvine to a 3-1 victory over No. 9 Stanford (25-23, 31-29, 21-25, 25-19) at Maples Pavilion Friday. Hodges topped UCI (17-6, 11-5) with 18 kills, five digs and two blocks. Junior Aaron Koubi hit .462, recording 16 kills and a team-high seven digs. Senior Tamir Hershko added nine kills, while Scott Stadick had seven kills and six total blocks. Setter Michael Saeta had six kills on six attempts with 45 set assists and two aces. Stanford (11-11, 6-9) was led by Gabriel Vega with 13 kills followed by Kevin Rakestraw, Clay Jones and Jacob Thoenen with nine kills each. UC Irvine started quickly with a 4-0 lead then a 7-1 advantage forcing an early Stanford timeout. With the Anteaters leading 11-4, Stanford went on a 4-1 run to close within 12-8, until a kill by Aaron Koubi stopped the momentum. A pair of kills by Stadick and an ace by Tamir Hershko pushed the UCI lead to 18-12 forcing another Cardinal timeout. Following the break, Stanford out-scored UCI 8-2 to tie the set at 20-20. The Anteaters would score the next two on Stanford errors and go on to win the set 25-23 on a Cardinal service error. Stanford used a 4-1 run in the second set to take a 10-7 lead. The Anteaters would score the next four points on kills by Thomas Hodges and Matt Younggren, a block by Stadick and Michael Saeta and a Cardinal error, 11-10. In a set of runs, Stanford then scored four of the next five to go ahead 14-12. UCI would get as close as one four times, the last 23-22 on back-to-back kills by Hershko and Stadick. Following a kill by Stanford, Hodges put away two kills to knot the score at 24-24. After trading several points, Stanford's third consecutive service error was followed by an ace by Michael Saeta to give UCI a 29-28 lead. After a UCI service error, a kill by Koubi and a Cardinal attack error gave the Anteaters the 31-29 win. In the third Stanford would take control with an early 4-1 lead and never relinquish the lead, winning 25-19. A kill by Koubi followed by two Stanford errors, the last a block by Stadick moved UCI in front 14-11. The Anteaters would score the final three points for a 25-19 victory. The two teams will meet again next Friday (Apr. 7) as UCI finally returns home after a month long road trip