MPSF Volleyball Results, Mar. 31

Photo courtesy USC
Photo courtesy USC
March 31, 2018

at USC 3, UCLA 2 (18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11)

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES—Gianluca Grasso had 20 kills while hitting .441 and Jack Wyett added 18 kills and 8 digs to help the unranked USC men’s volleyball team upset No. 3 UCLA, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11 on Senior Night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (March 31) in USC’s Galen Center.

USC improved to 7-17 overall and 3-7 in the MPSF while snapping a 5-match losing streak to the Bruins. UCLA fell to 20-6 overall and 7-3 in the MPSF.

It was third-year USC head coach Jeff Nygaard’s first victory in 6 tries over UCLA, his alma mater where he was a 2-time National College Player of the Year in the mid-1990s.

After the match, which was Troy’s final regular season home contest, USC’s 4 seniors were honored: Wyett, Gert Lisha, Jon Rivera and Connor Inlow.

Sam Lewis added 10 kills (hitting .471) and 5 blocks for the Trojans, while Ryan Moss came off the bench to get 9 kills and 12 digs.

Christian Hessenauer led UCLA with a match-best 22 kills while hitting .500 and he had 4 blocks, while Jake Arnitz added 13 kills and 7 digs, Dylan Missry had 10 kills and 12 digs, Daenan Gyimah had 10 kills (hitting .500), Oliver Martin had 5 blocks and JT Hatch had 9 kills.

UCLA outhit the Trojans, .384 to .272. The Bruins also had more blocks (9.5 to 8.0), digs (44 to 43) and aces (6 to 5).

UCLA went on a 6-point run early in the first set to go up 9-3 and USC couldn’t recover as the Bruins hit .381 and had 3.0 blocks. In the second set, USC scored 3 consecutive points to build an 18-15 lead and held off UCLA as the Trojans hit .444. USC had a 12-8 lead in the third set before UCLA tied it at 16-16, but the Trojans used a 3-point run to go up 22-20 only to see the Bruins tie it at 23-23 before USC captured the set’s final 2 points. UCLA scored 5 straight early points to forge a 7-2 margin in the fourth set and USC couldn’t catch up as the Bruins hit .536. In the final set, USC tallied 3 points in a row to build an 8-6 lead and extended it while finishing out the match.

Next week, USC ends regular season play on the road, first visiting No. 13 Grand Canyon on Friday (April 6) and then going to No. 14 Concordia on Saturday (April 7) before beginning MPSF Tournament play on April 14.

at Stanford 3, Concordia 1 (24-26, 36-34, 25-19, 25-21)

Recap by Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. – Junior outside hitter Jordan Ewert stole the spotlight on Senior Night as the Cardinal earned a four-set win over No. 14 Concordia, Saturday, at Maples Pavilion.

Ewert led all players with a season-high 22 kills on .395 hitting. The junior also collected a career-best 14 digs.

Stanford (6-17, 3-7) won back-to-back matches for the first time this season. The Cardinal steadily improved its hitting percentage in each set Saturday, culminating with a .519 mark in the fourth set. For the match, Stanford’s .381 clip was its third-highest of the year.

Seniors Evan Enriques, Kevin Rakestraw and Jake Stuebner were honored in a ceremony following the match. Rakestraw was solid all night, totaling 16 kills on a .387 attack percentage. Enriques finished with five digs and six assists.

Sophomore setter Paul Bischoff controlled the offense with 59 assists – the second-most in his career. The Wheaton, Illinois native also had five blocks, eight digs and two kills.

Freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper racked up 19 kills on a .317 hitting percentage and had seven digs two blocks and matched his career-high with four aces. Freshman middle blocker Kyler Presho chipped in with nine kills on a .571 attack percentage and six blocks. Freshman outside hitter Leo Henken tallied three kills and seven digs.

Concordia was led by Darcy Taig’s 18 kills and five blocks, while Jonathan Predney had 13 kills and Hunter Howell finished with 12 kills.

Stanford closes out the regular season on the road next week at No. 3 UCLA on Thursday and No. 5 Pepperdine on Saturday.

at BYU 3, Grand Canyon 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-23)

Recap by BYU

PROVO, Utah – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball beat No. 13 Grand Canyon in straight sets (25-17, 25-17, 25-23) on Senior Night Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“I liked that we were able to put a lot of pressure on Grand Canyon from the service line,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We got into that second set and the match felt slow. Slowly it all started to come together though. We needed that win tonight.”

Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 12 kills to go with four blocks. Leo Durkin set the team with 29 assists while Zach Hendrickson provided five digs. Christian Rupert collected eight blocks and Brenden Sander had six kills and three aces in the win.

A block from Sander, Rupert and Fernandez helped BYU (19-5, 9-1 MPSF) take a 7-5 advantage in the first set over Grand Canyon (16-10, 3-8 MPSF). A Durkin kill kept the Cougars in front 14-9, and a roll-shot kill from Cyrus Fa’alogo made it 17-12. The Lopes rallied to get back within two, down 17-15, but BYU then scored five-straight points to take a 22-15 advantage. A Durkin, Fa’alogo and Felipe de Brito Ferreira block secured the 25-17 set win.

An ace from Sander gave the Cougars a 3-0 edge to start the second set. A Durkin ace then made it 10-5, forcing a timeout from Grand Canyon. A Ferreira kill stopped a 4-1 run from the Lopes to keep BYU ahead 15-11. With Ferreira at the service line, the Cougars went on a 4-0 rally to extend the advantage to seven at 20-13. A service error from Grand Canyon then gave BYU the set 25-17.

A lengthy rally was won by the Cougars after a block by Durkin, Rupert and Sander, pushing BYU ahead 5-3 at the start of the third set. The Lopes rallied to even the score at 8-8 following a block. Despite a 3-0 Cougar run, Grand Canyon stayed close as a kill brought it back within a point, trailing 14-13. A trio of errors by the Lopes put BYU back up by four, 18-14, before the Cougars took the set and match 25-23 on a Fernandez kill.

BYU hits the road next, traveling to No. 5 Pepperdine Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live by TheW.tv.