Top-Four Seeds Advance to MPSF Semifinals

Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid is the site of Thursday's semifinals and Saturday's championship
April 17, 2017

MPSF SEMIFINALS

Thursday, April 20 (Host: No. 1 seed Long Beach State; Walter Pyramid)

MPSF Volleyball Release 15

Live Semifinals and Finals Video Stream-Flo Volleyball

Live Stats

No. 2 seed BYU vs. No. 3 seed Hawaii.....5:00 pm (PT)

2017 series: BYU, 2-0 (M. 17 @ BYU, 3-0 ...M. 18 @ BYU, 3-0)

No. 4 seed UC Irvine at No. 1 seed Long Beach State....7:30 pm (PT)

2017 series: LBSU, 2-0 (F. 10 @ UCI, 3-0...M. 1 @ LB, 3-1)

MPSF CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, April 22 (Host: No. 1 seed Long Beach State; Walter Pyramid)

Live Semifinals and Finals Video Stream-Flo Volleyball

Live Stats

Semifinal Winners.... 7:00 pm (PT)

mpsf-mvb

MPSF QUARTERFINALS

Saturday, April 15 (Hosts: Top-Four Seeds)

Match 1- No. 1 seed Long Beach State 3, No. 8 seed USC 1

25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23

Recap by LBSU

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The No. 1-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team tallied eight service aces to tie the LBSU single-match record during a conference tournament as the Beach defeated No. 10 USC, 3-1 [25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23], in the MPSF Quarterfinals. Long Beach State advances to the Semifinals and will face No. 5 UC Irvine on Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Walter Pyramid. The Beach finished the match with eight service aces, which was the most by an LBSU men's volleyball team in a conference tournament game since 2009 when the team tallied eight aces at Pepperdine to tie the 2001 squad which amassed eight against the Waves eight years earlier. Sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco was a big proponent in the Beach's success on the serve as he knocked down four aces in the match which set a new single-match record when playing in a conference tournament for Long Beach State. "Aces are the bonus of serving tough," Long Beach State head coach Alan Knipe said. "I thought we served really well all night long. There was a stretch where we missed a couple back-to-back. But we also served really tough in the first two sets and only had two or three hitting errors at that point. It's been really good for us all season." In addition to knocking down four aces in the contest, DeFalco also notched his 26th double-figure scoring match of the year with 12 kills on .355 hitting. Joining DeFalco in double-figures was sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing who also finished with 12 kills to mark his 18th double-figure scoring match of the season. DeFalco also added six digs, three assists and a pair of blocks. "I love that TJ helps us score points in every facet of the game," Knipe said of his reigning MPSF Player of the Year. "It's more than just his skill set, but the intangible parts of the game -- volleyball IQ, how the system plays, reaction plays, seeing a play develop before it happens -- there are so many things he does to help us." The Beach also got a solid performance out of sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga who concluded the match just one dig shy of a double-double. Tuaniga dished out 43 assists to pace the Beach offense that hit .315 in the contest, which adding nine digs, three block assists, two kills and one service ace. On defense, LBSU was led by senior libero Andrew Sato who registered 15 digs marking his 44th career double-figure dig contest which is a new Long Beach State record. At the net, senior middle blocker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez put up six blocks (one solo, five assists), while contributing seven kills on 11 swings without committing an attack error to hit a sizzling .636. USC kicked off the first set on a 5-2 run before Long Beach State turned the tables on the Trojans after the Beach scored four straight points to take a 6-5 edge. `SC fought back and regained the lead, but it was short-lived after DeFalco tallied back-to-back aces to even the score at 13-all. The Beach took a 17-15 lead as USC called a timeout, before Long Beach State forced another Trojans' break in action after going up 23-19. From there, the 49ers finished things off and went on to win the first set, 25-22. The second set was a back-and-forth affair. With USC leading 7-6, Long Beach State went on a 4-1 run to turn their one-point deficit into a four-point lead (11-7). The Beach held a four-point lead as they owned a 20-16 advantage, however, USC would chip away at their lead and eventually even the score at 22-22. The Trojans pushed it to set point, 24-23, and ended up defeating the Beach 26-24 to make it a 1-1 match. "I think that when we lost that second set, the feeling was that we thought `SC played well and we wanted to give them credit for that, but we also felt that there were a lot of point scoring opportunities where we didn't convert," Knipe explained. "So the focus was to clean up our convert situation in transition and slow things down, and the guys responded very nicely in that third set." The Beach led the entire third set as they started off the frame on a 7-2 run forcing an early USC timeout. Following the break in action, the Trojans pulled within two (7-5), but were unable to come any closer as Long Beach State opened up an eight-point advantage (16-8). LBSU extended its lead to nine (23-14) and was just two points away from winning the match, when the Trojans began to rally. After USC scored four consecutive points to make it a five-point game (23-18), LBSU called a timeout to regroup. The break in action was just what the Beach needed as they came back and put the set away, 25-18. The fourth set was a battle throughout as the two teams fought through 11 ties and three lead changes. The final tie of the frame saw the Trojans even the score at 22-all before the Beach got a huge ace from Eric Ensing who came off the bench as served them to match point (24-22), before LBSU put the game away 25-23. Lucas Yoder led USC with 23 kills, while adding six figs and two assists, while Gert Lisha dished out 49 assists and half a dozen digs. Matt Douglas posted 12 digs on defense for the Trojans. In addition to the Long Beach State-UC Irvine match on Thursday, the Beach will also host the semifinal match between No. 2 seed BYU and the winner of the No. 6 seed Pepperdine-No. 3 seed Hawaii match at 5 p.m. at the Pyramid.

Match 2- No. 4 seed UC Irvine 3, No. 5 seed UCLA 1

23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22

Recap by UCI

IRVINE, Calif. -- Fifth-ranked UC Irvine beat No. 6 UCLA 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22) in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation quarterfinal match at the Bren Events Center Saturday. The Anteaters, the tournament's fourth seed, advance to the semifinals next Thursday (Apr. 20) against No. 1 Long Beach State at 7:30 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid. UCI wins its ninth straight and improves to 20-6 overall, while UCLA ends the year 17-10. Junior Aaron Koubi led the Anteaters with 19 kills, hitting a blistering .625 (19-4-24). Tamir Hersko added 12 kills, six digs and two blocks, while Thomas Hodges had 10 kills, four digs and three total blocks. The MPSF Freshman of the Year Scott Stadick recorded a match-high six total blocks, including one solo to tie Aaron Harrell (2006) for the single season record at 23. The middle blocker hit .700 with seven kills on 10 swings and no errors. Setter Michael Saeta had 44 set assists and matched libero Dillon Hoffman with a team-high seven digs. While he didn't accumulate many stats, senior middle blocker Andrew Benz came in the final three sets and played great defense and served well. UCI led the Bruins in hitting percentage (.374-.259) and digs (29-21), while UCLA was better in serves (4-0) and blocks (8.5-8.0). The Bruins did commit a match-high 21 service errors. Jake Arnitz had the bulk of the UCLA kills with 18 plus recorded a team-high three blocks. Micha Ma'a added 31 set assists, six kills and two blocks in the loss. UC Irvine held a 21-18 lead in the first set before UCLA went on a 7-2 run to take the first set 25-23. The Bruins' run included two blocks, an ace and four kills. The Anteaters were the team that took control late in the second set after trailing 20-18. Back-to-back kills by Aaron Koubi knotted the score at 20 all. The teams would trade points until UCI used UCLA service and attack errors to move in front 24-22. Following a Bruin timeout, Jake Arnitz had a kill for UCLA before another service error handed the Anteaters the 25-23 victory. UCI out-hit UCLA .458 to .120 in the third set on the way to a 25-21 win. The Anteaters strung together three points on kills by Koubi and Michael Saeta and a block by Scott Stadick and Tamir Hershko to take the 12-6 advantage. The Bruins would get no closer than two the rest of the way as a kill by Saeta on a pass from Andrew Benz clinched the set for UCI. UCLA would hold a 13-10 lead in the fourth set then a 5-1 spurt by UCI, the last a kill by Stadick evened the score at 14-14. The teams remained close then UCI had a kill by Koubi and a UCLA attack error to sneak ahead 20-18. Two more UCLA attack errors gave the Anteaters the 23-20 advantage. The teams would side-out with Koubi putting away the match-winner, 25-22.

Match 3- No. 3 seed Hawaii 3, No. 6 seed Pepperdine 0

25-23, 25-20, 25-15

Recap by UH

HONOLULU - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team advanced in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament with a straight-set win over Pepperdine in the quarterfinal round Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. A season-high crowd of 6,691 witnessed the 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 victory.

The third-seeded Rainbow Warriors (25-4) move on to the semifinals where they will meet second-seeded BYU, a straight-winner over Stanford. Top-seeded Long Beach State will host the semis and finals, April 20 & 22 at The Walter Pyramid.

UH, which extended its home win streak to 22, including a perfect 18-0 this season, is now 3-0 all-time versus Pepperdine in the MPSF quarterfinals. Hawai'i advances to the semifinals for the second time in three years and third time under head coach Charlie Wade, who improved to 10-0 versus the Waves in Honolulu.

Sixth-seeded Pepperdine (10-12) was led by David Wieczorek's nine kills.

Senior outside hitter Kupono Fey and sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg each tallied 14 kills to lead the Warriors. van Tilburg also posted a career-high 10 digs for his first career double-double and hit .619 along with five blocks and two aces. Fey also added a pair of aces with eight digs and a career-high six blocks.

As a team, Hawai'i accumulated a season-high 17.5 total blocks led by freshman middle blocker Patrick Gasman's career-high eight stuffs. Fellow middle Hendrik Mol added five blocks along with six kills and two aces. UH hit .344 compared to .095 for the Waves.

After Pepperdine tied the score at 12 with a block solo on Patrick Gasman in Set 1, the Warriors reeled off three straight for a 15-12 lead at the media timeout, capped by an ace by Fey. UH maintained its cushion the rest of the way as the teams traded point for point. The Warriors ended it with a double-block by Mol and van Tilburg. Hawai'i hit .385 led by six kills each by Fey and van Tilburg.

UH jumped out to a 14-5 lead in Set 2 behind a trio of four-point spurts. By the media timeout, the Warriors held a 15-5 advantage and had four team blocks while hitting .500. Hawai'i led 22-12 before the Waves mounted a comeback to within 23-19 with two aces and three Warrior hitting errors during a 7-1 run. But UH closed out the set with Fey's 10th kill.

The Warriors used a 6-1 run to take a 14-10 lead in Set 3. UH pushed its lead to 19-12 after scoring four unanswered including an ace by van Tilburg. Hawai'i blew it wide open with three straight blocks for a 23-13 and Fey closed out the match with a shot down the middle.

Match 4- No. 2 seed BYU 3, No. 7 seed Stanford 0

25-19, 25-21, 25-18

Recap by BYU

PROVO, Utah -- Behind seven aces, No. 3 BYU men's volleyball swept No. 9 Stanford (25-19, 25-21, 25-18) in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday night. "We were really aggressive from the service line tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We got them out of their system. All credit to our servers, who are the start of our defense. We didn't allow any runs over a couple of points throughout the match, which was key as well." BYU (24-3, 16-2 MPSF) out-hit Stanford (13-13, 8-10 MPSF) .315 to .182 in the win. Serving was the difference in the win as the Cougars notched seven aces and the Cardinal had 17 service errors. Tim Dobbert led all players with 13 kills to go with his four blocks and two aces. Brenden Sander led the way from the service line, tallying three aces along with seven kills and four digs. On defense, setter Leo Durkin had five digs to go with his 27 assists and Erik Sikes had a team-high eight digs. In the first set, BYU's first three points all were from Stanford errors. The Cougars' first earned point came when Dobbert tipped the ball through the Cardinal's block to put the home team up 4-2. BYU started to run away with it after going on a 4-1 run, made up of two team blocks and two backrow kills from Sander, making it 11-6. The Cardinal missed seven serves in the first set, including one that gave the Cougars an 18-13 lead. A kill from Dobbert gave BYU its biggest lead at 20-14. Joseph Grosh drilled a quick kill to give the Cougars the set one victory, 25-19. The Cardinal came out strong in the second set. The errors were still there, giving BYU four of its first five points, but the two teams traded leads throughout the set. After Jake Langlois killed the ball down the line to tie the game, Stanford scored three straight to take the 11-8 lead. However, BYU immediately responded, scoring five in a row - behind two aces from Langlois to get back up 13-11. When the Cardinal tied the game at 15-15, the Cougars fought back again, this time going on a 4-0 run - capped off with an ace from Dobbert - to make it 19-15. BYU would hold onto the lead as Stanford missed the serve on set point to give the home squad the 25-21 win. Price Jarman started off the third set with back-to-back kills. Dobbert's kill down the line gave the Cougars' the early 4-1 advantage. Errors continued to be the story for the Cardinal, giving away four points in a row from missed serves and hits. Sander tooled the ball off of the Stanford block to push the lead to 11-7. Dobbert earned a tool of his own and Jarman and Durkin teamed up for a block to make it 19-15, forcing a timeout from the visitors. BYU was able to hold the lead until the end, taking the final set 25-18 after two-straight blocks.