MPSF Quarterfinal Results, Semifinal Schedule

Gianluca Grasso, USC (Photo courtesy USC)
Gianluca Grasso, USC (Photo courtesy USC)
April 14, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Quarterfinal Results & Semifinal Schedule-PDF

MPSF Semifinals: Thursday, April 19 (4:30 pm & 7:00 pm MT)

Host: No. 1 seed BYU Smith Fieldhouse (5,000); Provo, UT

Semifinal # 1--4:30 pm MT: No. 2 seed UCLA vs. No. 4 seed Concordia

2018 Series: UCLA, 2-0 (3-0 @ CUI, 3-0 @ UCLA)

Semifinal # 2--7:00 pm MT: No. 6 seed USC at No. 1 seed BYU

2018 Series: BYU, 2-0 (3-1 @ USC, 3-1 @ BYU)

MPSF Quarterfinals: Saturday, April 14

at No. 2 seed UCLA 3, No. 7 seed Stanford 0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-18)

Recap by UCLA

The No. 2 seeded UCLA men's volleyball team defeated No. 7 seed Stanford in straight sets in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Quarterfinal match played on Saturday night in Pauley Pavilion. Scores were 25-19, 25-15, 25-18.

The Bruins, now 23-6 on the year, will advance to the MPSF semifinals to be held on April 19 at BYU. UCLA will play No. 4 seed Concordia which defeated Grand Canyon in three sets (3:30 pm PT). No. 6 seed USC, which defeated Pepperdine in four sets, will play No. 1 seed BYU in the other semifinal (6 pm PT).The MPSF championship match, which determines the winner of the league's at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, will be held on April 21 in Provo (6 pm PT).

UCLA outhit the Cardinal .389 to .057 for the match and controlled the nets with a 14.0 to 3.0 advantage in total team blocks. Christian Hessenauer led a balanced attack with eight kills (.385). Daenan Gyimah had a block solo and five block assists while hitting .500. Oliver Martin added a solo and four block assists.

The Bruins jumped out to a 7-3 lead in set one after a block by Gyimah / Hessenauer. Stanford closed to 14-12 after a Bruin error, but UCLA scored the next two points. An ace from Jake Arnitz extended the margin to 18-13. Stanford cut the gap to 20-16 after a service error. A Gyimah kill pushed the score to 24-18 and Martin's kill handed UCLA the set at 25-19. The Bruins hit .524.

In set two, UCLA used a 5-1 run after the score was tied at 7-all to take control. Dylan Missry had a couple of kills and a block to spark the attack during the stretch. At 16-12, UCLA threw up a wall at the net and blocked the next five Stanford attacks for points and a 21-12 lead. Martin had a hand in all five blocks, including a solo block. A kill by Missry pushed the Bruins to set point at 24-15 and a Micah Ma'a ace ended it at 25-15. UCLA registered 7.5 total team blocks for the set.

In set three, the Bruins ran off four straight points to break an 8-all tie, taking advantage of a series of Cardinal errors and a Missry kill. Stanford cut the margin to 17-14, but UCLA responded with three of the next four points for a 20-15 edge. A Gyimah / Missry block made it 22-15. Sam Kobrine's swing put UCLA up 24-17 and a block from Hessenauer / Arnitz / Gyimah closed out the match at 25-18.

No. 6 seed USC 3, at No. 3 seed Pepperdine 1 (25-22, 19-25, 26-24, 25-18)

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES--Jack Wyett had 20 kills while hitting .459 and Gianluca Grasso added 19 kills while hitting .607 to help the unranked USC men's volleyball team post a 25-22, 19-25, 26-24, 25-18 road upset over No. 5 Pepperdine in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament quarterfinal match on Saturday (April 14) in Malibu, Calif.

The sixth-seeded Trojans improved to 8-19 overall, while Pepperdine fell to 15-8. It was USC's second victory over a Top 5 team in 3 weeks (Troy downed No. 3 UCLA on March 31) after losing its first 8 such encounters in 2018.

USC now will advance to an MPSF semifinal match in Provo against the tourney's top seed, No. 4-ranked BYU, on April 19 at 7 p.m. MT. UCLA will meet Concordia in the other semi at 4:30 p.m. MT that day. The final will be held at BYU on April 21.

USC hit .387 to Pepperdine's .267. The Trojans also had more digs (50 to 35) and blocks (8.0 to 6.0).

Ryan Moss added 9 kills and 10 digs for USC, Cole Paxson had 9 digs, Sam Lewis had 7 blocks, Gert Lisha had 8 digs and 2 aces, Wyett had 8 digs and Grasso had 7 digs and 3 blocks.

For Pepperdine, MPSF Player of the Year David Wieczorek had 20 kills and 7 digs, Alex Harthaller added 15 kills, 7 digs and 3 blocks and Colby Harriman had 9 kills

Pepperdine went on a 6-0 run in the first set to build a 13-7 lead, but USC caught up at 15-15 and then the set stayed tight until the Trojans ran off back-to-back-to-back points to go up 22-19, enough to close out the set in which they made 20 digs. Pepperdine opened up an 8-5 lead in the second set by scoring 3 consecutive points and the Waves steadily pulled away while hitting .394 and serving 3 aces. USC scored the first 2 points of the third set and soon after tallied 4 in a row to move ahead 7-2, but the Waves caught up at 12-12 and the set stayed tight until the Trojans scored the final 2 points (USC hit .552 in the set). In the fourth set, USC used a 5-0 run to forge a 14-8 margin and Pepperdine couldn't close the gap as the Trojans hit .565 and made 11 digs.

at No. 4 seed Concordia 3, No. 5 seed Grand Canyon 0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-23)

Recap by CUI

IRVINE, Calif. - Making their first appearance in the MPSF Tournament, Concordia (16-14, 5-7 MPSF) got home court advantage after earning the fourth seed, to set up a match with fifth seed Grand Canyon (18-11, 4-8 MPSF). The teams split the series record earlier when CUI swept GCU at home and the Lopes avenged the loss in four in Arizona. But in the match with the season on the line, Concordia was victorious, defeating Grand Canyon in a three-set sweep by scores of 25-20, 25-21, 25-23.

The Eagles led in mainly every statistical category, having a 12-4 blocking advantage, serving seven aces compared to none for the Lopes, and outhit them .318-.238.

Setter Chandler Gibb had an all-around great performance as he picked up 35 assists, five digs, and two aces to go along with a career-high seven blocks. Jonathan Predney had 10 kills and hit .333 while Raymond Barsemian put down eight kills and shined at the back line with a career-high four aces. Hunter Howell hit .727 with eight kills on 11 errorless swings and matched Gibb's seven blocks to defend the net. Josiah Bergt performed well at the opposite position, where he was productive offensively with six kills and hit .750.

Momentum was high to start off the match with Predney collecting the first point of the match with a kill and serving an ace to get ahead early 3-1. Barsemian took a crosscourt swing that deflected off a GCU defender into the crowd and Gibb swiped the ball off the blocker to spark a 6-2 Concordia run and a 10-6 lead. Predney and Darcy Taig each put down kills and the Lopes hit long to give Concordia a five-point advantage at 21-16. GCU would come within three, but Predney terminated a swing and Grand Canyon hit long to end the set.

Concordia gunned out early with a 4-2 lead after three GCU errors and a Howell kill. Teams traded points until the Lopes went on a 4-0 run to get ahead 13-10. The Eagles responded well with a 4-0 run after Howell put down a kill with no blockers up, placing Barsemian back to the line where he served back-to-back aces and forced a free ball which Howell yet again put away. Gibb put on a 6-0 service run with tough serves that earned him two aces and allowed Taylor Falduti to read his defenders well, collecting consecutive blocks. Grand Canyon would fight off two set points but ended their run with an error to give CUI the 2-0 lead in the match.

Howell continued his hot-streak with two kills and double-block with Gibb to get the Eagles ahead 7-6. Bergt had two consecutive kills on the right side to give CUI a 12-10 lead. A trio of points by Gibb and Howell emerged a 4-0 run from Concordia to put them up 17-13. Falduti and Bergt contributed to bring the lead to five at 22-17, but GCU stormed within two. Barsemian had two of Concordia's next points on kill to set them up match point and put the crowd to their feet. Despite the Lopes fighting off two match points, Concordia finished the match with a block from Howell and Gibb.

Concordia advances to the MPSF Semifinals in Provo, Utah where they will face the second seed UCLA on Thursday, April 19th. The winner of that will advance to the Championship match on Saturday, April 21st for a fight with either top seed BYU or USC for the conference title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.