MPSF Seeds on the Line This Week

Jaylen Jasper, Stanford (Photo courtesy Stanford)
Jaylen Jasper, Stanford (Photo courtesy Stanford)
April 2, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 13


Stanford freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper (Annapolis, MD/Broadneck HS) averaged 5.11 kills, 1.78 digs, 0.89 aces, 0.44 blocks, and 6.22 points per set as the Cardinal defeated No. 13 Grand Canyon (Mar. 29) and No. 14 Concordia (Mar. 31) to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Jasper tied his own 2018 MPSF single-match high of 27 kills (.409) and served four aces against GCU. He finished one dig shy of a double-double. He followed up with 19 kills (.317), four aces and seven digs in four sets against CUI. Jasper hit .365 (46-15-85) for the week. This is the first career MPSF honor for Jasper. Others Nominated: Gianluca Grasso (USC); Alex Hathaller (PEP); Darcy Taig (CUI); Calbe Blazer (GCU); Christian Hessenauer (UCLA)…


Stanford freshman middle blocker Kyler Presho (San Clemente, CA/San Clemente HS) led the Cardinal defensively with 1.44 blocks and 2.83 points per set in wins over No. 13 Grand Canyon (Mar. 29) and No. 14 Concordia (Mar. 31). Presho had a career-high seven blocks to go with nine kills and an ace against GCU. He followed up with six blocks, two digs, and nine kills on .571 hitting in a four-set win over the CUI, helping the Cardinal win back-to-back matches for the first time this season. This is the first career MPSF honor for Presho. Others Nominated: Alex Hathaller (PEP); Ryan Moss (USC); Hunter Howell (CUI); Christian Rupert (BYU); Ashton King (GCU); Dylan Missry (UCLA)…


No. 2 BYU (9-1 MPSF/19-5 Overall) bounced back from the Concordia loss to win in three sets at home over Grand Canyon (Mar. 31). Christian Rupert totaled 14 blocks for the week (2.00 b/s) while hitting .353 (8-2-17). BYU closes the regular season at Pepperdine Thursday (Apr. 5) and UCLA Saturday (Apr. 7). BYU clinches the No. 1 seed in the MPSF Tournament (Apr. 14-21) with one win this week, or if UCLA and Pepperdine both lose to Stanford. BYU could still earn a No. 1 seed if it loses twice and ends up in a three-way tie with UCLA and Pepperdine (or two-way with either), provided it has the top head-to-head set advantage. Three-way tie example: BYU enters the week 6-2 in total sets vs. Pepperdine and UCLA. If BYU loses to both in five sets, it would have gone 2-2 in matches against those teams and 10-8 in sets, which would be a higher percentage than Pepperdine’s 9-8 and UCLA’s 6-9 head-on set records within the three-way tie group.

No. 4 PEPPERDINE (7-3 MPSF/14-6 Overall) won 3-0 at USC last Thursday (Mar. 29). Alex Harthaller had 13 kills with a .440 clip, served three aces, and picked up seven digs. Pepperdine hosts BYU Thursday (Apr. 5) and Stanford Saturday (Apr. 7). Two wins vs. BYU and Stanford, a BYU loss at UCLA, a UCLA loss to Stanford, and if Pepperdine beats BYU in 3 or 4 sets---or—in 5 sets by a total of at least 5 points, would give the Waves the MPSF’s No. 1 seed (with each of those combinations, Pepp would hold the two-way tie over BYU). A three-way tie with BYU and UCLA could also give Pepperdine the No. 1 seed. Three-way tie example: Pepp beats BYU in four sets and UCLA beats BYU in five, resulting in each team 1-1 in matches vs. each other. Pepp would be 9-7, BYU would be 9-8, and UCLA 6-9 in head-on sets vs. the tied group. Pepperdine also holds a two-tie over UCLA (4-3 head-on sets).

No. 5 UCLA (7-3 MPSF/20-6 Overall) won a straight-set home match over No. 11 UC Santa Barbara last Wednesday (Mar. 28). The Bruins held the Gauchos to an opponent season-low .099 hitting. Christian Hessenauer hit .435 for the week and established career-highs for both kills (22) and points (24.5) at USC. UCLA hosts Stanford Thursday (Apr. 5) and BYU Saturday (Apr. 7). Two wins vs. Stanford and BYU, a BYU loss at Pepperdine, a Pepperdine loss to Stanford, and a 3-0 UCLA win over BYU by a total of at least 12 points would give the Bruins a No. 1 seed.

No. 13 CONCORDIA (4-7 MPSF/13-14 Overall) stunned No. 2 BYU (Mar. 29) 3-2 in Provo, after trailing by two sets, in snapping the Cougars’ 13-match win streak and unbeaten MPSF season. The outcome was a historic one for the Eagles, marking the program’s first-ever win against a top-five opponent. Darcy Taig had 14 kills and seven digs in the win, and finished the week hitting .390 (32-7-64). Hunter Howell had seven blocks in the win and finished the week with 13 (1.44 b/s). Concordia hosts UC Santa Cruz Friday (Apr. 6) and USC in the MPSF finale Saturday (Apr. 7). Concordia would lock up the No. 4 MPSF Tournament seed and host a quarterfinal match with a win over USC. CUI could also earn the four seed if it ends up in a four-way tie (but NOT a three-way tie) with USC, GCU, and Stanford. Four-way tie example: CUI loses to USC, GCU beats USC, and Stanford gets one win this week. This scenario gives each of those teams four MPSF wins and 3-3 in matches vs. the tied group. If CUI was to win one set vs. USC, CUI’s final set record would be 12-10 vs. the tied group. If GCU was to beat USC in five, USC would finish 14-13 in sets and GCU would be 12-14. Stanford is locked in at 12-13 in sets vs. the group. Entering the week, Concordia holds two-way ties over USC (1-0 matches), Stanford (4-3 sets), and GCU (4-3 sets).

USC (3-7 MPSF/7-17 Overall) recorded a huge upset in five sets at home over No. 3 UCLA Saturday (Mar. 31). Gianluca Grasso had 20 kills at .441 in the win. He hit .417 with 11 kills against No. 5 Pepperdine two days prior. USC wraps the regular season at Grand Canyon Friday (Apr. 6) and Concordia Saturday (Apr. 7). USC would clinch the MPSF Tournament’s No. 4 seed and quarterfinal home court with two wins this week. A win over Concordia and a loss to Grand Canyon, resulting in a possible three-way tie, would NOT give USC the four seed (1-3 record vs. CUI and GCU in that case). However, if USC beats Concordia and loses to GCU, USC could earn the four seed in a possible four-way tie when factoring in Stanford if the Cardinal wins once this week. Four-way tie example: USC, CUI, GCU, and Stanford all finish with four MPSF wins. They all would have gone 3-3 in matches against each other. If USC wins 3-0 vs. CUI and loses 3-2 vs. GCU, USC’s set record vs. the tied teams would be 14-12 for the highest percentage within that tied group (Stanford is finished at 12-13 in head-on sets, GCU would be 12-14 and CUI would be 11-10).

STANFORD (3-7 MPSF/6-17 Overall) defeated No. 13 Grand Canyon in five sets (Mar. 29) and No. 14 Concordia in four (Mar. 31). Jaylen Jasper hit .365 for the week, averaging 5.11 kills and 6.22 points per set. He tied his career-highs of 27 kills (also tying the 2018 MPSF season-high) and four aces against GCU. Stanford travels to UCLA Thursday (Apr. 5) and Pepperdine Saturday (Apr. 7). Stanford locks the four seed and quarterfinal home court with two wins this week, a Grand Canyon win vs. USC, and a USC win at Concordia. Stanford holds a two-way tie over GCU (2-0 head-on matches).

No. 14 GRAND CANYON (3-8 MPSF/16-10 Overall) dropped matches at Stanford and No. 2 BYU last week. Grand Canyon hosts Benadictine Monday (Apr. 2) and USC in the MPSF finale Friday (Apr. 6). GCU locks the four seed with a win vs. USC, a USC win at Concordia, and losses by Stanford at UCLA and Pepperdine. This scenario forces a three-way tie between GCU, USC, and CUI, in which GCU would have the best head-on match record in that group at 3-1.