No. 1 Seed BYU Hosts MPSF Semifinals, Finals

BYU's Smith Fieldhouse is the site of the MPSF Semifinals and Finals for the fourth time in the last six years
BYU's Smith Fieldhouse is the site of the MPSF Semifinals and Finals for the fourth time in the last six years
April 16, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 15

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

Match 1---No. 2 seed UCLA vs. No. 4 seed Concordia (4:30 pm MT):

UCLA-Concordia Live Video (Subscription)

UCLA-Concordia Live Stats

Match 2---No. 6 seed USC at No. 1 seed BYU (7:00 pm MT):

USC-BYU Live Video (Subscription)

USC-BYU Live Stats

Saturday, April 21; 7:00 MT (Championship):

Championship Match Live Video (Subscription)

Championship Match Live Stats

TOP SEED BYU HOSTS MPSF SEMIFINALS, CHAMPIONSHIP

No. 1 seed BYU (10-2 MPSF/20-6 Overall) clinched the MPSF Tournament's No. 1 seed when it won 3-0 at Pepperdine in the final week of the regular season (Apr. 5). The top-seeded Cougars had a quarterfinal bye last week, and will host the MPSF Semifinals for the fourth time in the last six years Thursday (Apr. 19), followed by the championship Saturday (Apr. 21). In the second semifinal at 7 pm on BYUtv, BYU hosts No. 6 seed USC, whom it defeated twice this year in four sets. Price Jarman is the MPSF blocks per set leader and third in the nation (1.21) and is No. 3 in hitting (.419). MPSF Freshman of the Year Gabi Garcia Fernandez is No. 2 in the MPSF in points per set (4.34) and has served the second-most aces (46). BYU leads the nation in team blocking (2.86 B/S).

No. 2 seed UCLA (9-3 MPSF/23-6 Overall) defeated No. 7 seed Stanford in straight sets during MPSF Quarterfinal action (Apr. 14), and advances to the semifinals to face No. 4 seed Concordia Thursday (Apr. 19) at 4:30 pm at BYU. The Bruins won 3-0 twice over the Eagles during the season. UCLA outhit Stanford .389 to .057 in the quarters and controlled the nets with a 14.0 to 3.0 block advantage. Christian Hessenauer led a balanced attack with eight kills (.385). Daenan Gyimah had a block solo and five block assists while hitting .500, and Oliver Martin added five blocks. Gyimah is the overwhelming NCAA hitting leader (.533; next highest is .469) and is fourth in the nation in blocking (1.20 B/S). Micah Ma'a dishes an MPSF-best and NCAA third-ranked 10.65 assists per set, running the top offense in the conference and No. 2 in the nation (.356). The Bruins allow a conference-best .234 opponent hitting clip, while they have served a national-high 185 aces.

No. 4 seed CONCORDIA (5-7 MPSF/16-14 Overall) played its first-ever MPSF Tournament match, where it succeeded at home in the quarterfinals, 3-0 over No. 5 seed Grand Canyon. The Eagles owned a 12-4 blocking advantage, served seven aces compared to none for GCU, and won the hitting battle .318-.238. Hunter Howell hit an errorless .727 with eight kills, and matched Chandler Gibb's seven blocks. Howell ranks fourth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.414). Jacob Weiser's dig average (2.77 D/S) leads the MPSF and ranks fifth in the NCAA. Concordia is No. 3 in the nation in team blocking (2.66 B/S).

No. 6 seed USC (3-9 MPSF/7-19 Overall) pulled off the biggest MPSF Quarterfinal upset in seven years according to seeds, winning in four sets at No. 3 seed and fifth-ranked Pepperdine (Apr. 14). The last six seed to win a quarterfinal match was Long Beach State in 2011. Jack Wyett had 20 kills while hitting .459 and Gianluca Grasso added 19 kills with a .607 clip. USC hit .387 to Pepperdine's .267. The Trojans also had more digs (50 to 35) and blocks (8.0 to 6.0). It was USC's second victory over a Top-five team in a two-week span (No. 3 UCLA, Mar. 31). Wyett is No. 3 in the MPSF in kill average (3.78 K/S). Grasso is one of four MPSF players to have served 40-plus aces on the year.

No. 3 seed PEPPERDINE (8-4 MPSF/15-8 Overall) MPSF Player of the Year David Wieczorek tied a match-high 20 kills and collected seven digs, while Alex Harthaller added 15 kills, seven digs and three blocks in the quarterfinal loss. Wieczorek ranks at the top of the MPSF in kill average (4.00 K/S), point average (4.99 P/S), and ace average (0.57 A/S). Wieczorek's ace average ranks third nationally, as do his points per set, while he is fifth in the NCAA in kill average. Robert Mullahey is No. 4 in the NCAA with 10.58 assists per set. The Waves are No. 1 in the nation as a team in aces per set (1.88).

No. 5 seed GRAND CANYON (4-8 MPSF/18-11 Overall) competed in its first-ever MPSF Playoff match at Concordia, as Luke Turner led all players with 13 kills on a .556 hitting percentage. Ashton King ranks second in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.432).

No. 7 seed STANFORD (3-9 MPSF/6-20 Overall) ended its season in the MPSF Quarterfinals at No. 2 seed UCLA. Freshman first-team all-conference Jaylen Jasper finished his first year ranking second and third in the MPSF in kills (3.92 K/S) and points per set (4.32), respectively.