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Men’s volleyball: Long Beach sweeps UCI for Big West title; top seeds win in MIVA tourney

UCI’s Cole Power goes for the kick save on a net serve/Jim Wolf photo

Top-ranked Long Beach State was having none of it. A day after getting swept at No. 4 UC Irvine, the Beach swept the visiting Anteaters on Saturday to win the Big West regular-season title. 

All four higher seeds — Ball State, Loyola Chicago, Ohio State and Lindenwood won their MIVA quarterfinal matches. 

Eighth-ranked Penn State finished the EIVA regular season 10-0 with another win over George Mason, No. 2 UCLA swept Concordia Irvine for its 11th win in a row, Saint Francis (PA) beat FDU and finished the NEC regular-season 12-0, and Lincoln Memorial won the Independent Volleyball Association title for the sixth year in a row.

The NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball regular season concludes Sunday when the only men’s match is in the SIAC, where Fort Valley State, which has already clinched the league’s regular-season title, goes to Benedict.

Big West

The Big West Men’s Volleyball Championship starts Thursday at Hawai’i when fourth-seeded UC San Diego (12-14, 4-6) plays fifth-seeded CSUN (12-15, 3-7) and third-seeded Hawai’i (22-6, 5-5) plays sixth-seeded UC Santa Barbara (9-17, 2-8). It’s a rare occurrence for Hawai’i not to be seeded first or second but it certainly ensures a big Thursday crowd in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Skyler Varga, left, and Sotiris Siapanis with Long Beach’s Big West trophy/Jim Wolf photo

Top-seeded Long Beach State (23-2, 9-1) awaits the UCSD-CSUN winner on Friday, while UCI (18-9, 7-3) gets the Hawai’i-UCSB winner. The championship match is Saturday.

A day after getting swept at UCI, Long Beach bounced back with a 27-25, 25-21, 25-17 home victory as the Beach hit .431. Sotiris Siapanis had 13 kills, hitting .409, and had three blocks and four digs. Skyler Varga had nine kills with one error in 17 attacks, an assist, three aces and four digs. Clarke Godbold had seven kills, an ace, two blocks and two digs. DiAeris McRaven had five kills in as many swings and two blocks, and Simon Torwie had four kills in eight errorless attacks and five blocks. Aidan Knipe had a kill in two errorless tries, 36 assists, two blocks and five digs. Long Beach had seven aces and 11 serving errors. 

Hilir Henno led the Anteaters with 13 kills, a block and four digs as UCI hit .359 and had two aces and 18 serving errors. Henno had no aces and six errors. Nolan Flexen added nine kills, hit .400 and had a block and a dig …

Hawai’i lost at UC San Diego 27-25, 25-21, 25-20. UCSD got 14 kills from Sebastian Lara and 13 from Anthony Cherfan. Lara hit .478, while Cheran hit .310 and had two aces, four blocks and two digs. The Tritons hit .352 and had nine aces — four by Jim Garrison — and 11 errors. Hawai’i, which hit .337 and had four aces and 11 errors, got 12 kills from Keoni Thiim, who hit .455 and had two assists, three aces, two blocks and five digs …

CSUN beat visiting UCSB 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 as Kyle Hobus had 18 kills, an assist, four aces, three blocks and two digs. Jalen Phillips had 14 kills, hit .391, and had an assist, an ace, two blocks and two digs. Griffin Walters had nine kills with one error in 15 swings, two assists, an ace, two blocks and four digs. Donovan Constable had five of CSUN’s 12 aces to go with a kill, 38 assists, a block and five digs. Ben Coordt had 17 kills and hit .500 for UCSB to go with five blocks, one solo. Geste Bianchi had 15 kills and three aces.


The semifinals at Ball State are set. Top-seeded Ball State (21-9) plays host to No. 4 Lindenwood (15-11) on Thursday and second-seeded Loyola Chicago (19-9) plays No. 3 Ohio State (20-8).

Ball State swept Queens, which ended its first MIVA season 9-21, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18. The Cardinals got 11 kills from Trevor Phillips, who had one error in 16 attacks to hit .625 to go with a block and seven digs. Tinaishe Ndavazocheva had 10 kills, hit .364, and had three of his team’s six aces, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Queens got 12 kills from Jack Brinkman, who hit .324 and had an ace, a block and four digs …

Loyola Chicago ended the season for McKendree (14-12) behind 18 kills by Parker Van Buren in the 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 victory. Van Buren had one error in 24 attacks to hit .708 and had an ace, four digs and three blocks. Nicodemus Meyer had three kills in four errorless swings, an assist, an ace, a dig and seven blocks, one solo …

Ohio State beat Lewis (15-15) 26-24, 25-27, 25-21, 25-20. The Buckeyes got 17 kills from Jacob Pasteur, who hit .424 and had four assists, four aces, two blocks and five digs. Shane Wetzel had 16 kills, hit .379, and had four blocks and 13 digs. Michael Wright had three kills in four errorless tries, 49 assists, three aces, a block and seven digs. Max Roquet led Lewis with 17 kills, an assist, two aces, four blocks and four digs … 

Lindenwood hit .540 and rolled to a 25-22, 25-15, 25-17 victory over visiting Purdue Fort Wayne (14-12). Ian Schuller had 14 kills, hit .600, and had two blocks and two digs. A.J. Lewis, who hit .444, and Clay Wieter, who hit .643, had 10 kills each. Mark Frazier had 12 kills and hit .346 for PFW to go with an assist, an ace, a block and three digs.


The league tournament starts Wednesday. Top-seeded UCLA (22-4. 11-1) gets a bye and will play the lowest remaining seed on Thursday. Second-seeded Grand Canyon (22-4, 10-2) plays seventh-seeded Concordia Irvine (6-18, 0-12), third-seeded BYU (16-8, 7-5) plays No. 6 USC (12-14, 5-7) and No. 4 Stanford (13-11 6-6) plays No. 5 Pepperdine (17-10, 5-7). 

Saturday, UCLA cruised to a 25-14, 25-16, 25-20 victory over visiting CUI as the Bruins hit .456. Merrick McHenry had 12 kills with no errors in 14 attacks, an assist, a dig and five blocks, one solo. Alex Knight had 10 kills with one error in 14 attacks, three aces, three blocks and five digs. Andrew Rowan had a kill in his only try, 28 assists, two blocks and three digs … 

Stanford ended the season with 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 28-26 win over visiting USC behind 17 kills from Will Rottman, who hit 341 and had three assists, two aces, 11 digs and five blocks. Kevin Lamp had 13 kills and Ethan Hill 12 in 18 errorless attacks to go with two digs and four blocks. USC’s Noah Roberts had 13 kills and Kyle Paulson and Jack Deuchar had 10 each.


Penn State (21-6, 10-0) got the top seed in the EIVA Tournament and awaits the winner of the Wednesday match between fourth-seeded NJIT (11-14, 3-7) and No. 5 Harvard (11-12, 3-7). NJIT is coming off back-to-back wins at Harvard to end the regular season. George Mason (17-8, 6-3), the second seed, awaits the winner between third-seeded Princeton (12-11, 5-5) and sixth-seeded Charleston (12-15, 3-7). Princeton and Charleston split matches to end the regular season. 

Penn State beat Mason 25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15 for its 38th EIVA regular-season victory in a row. John Kerr continued to lead the Nittany Lions, this time with 20 kills. He hit .361 and had two assists, two aces, five blocks and six digs. Michal Kowal had 10 kills, hit .444, and had two assists, five digs and four blocks. Owen Rose had eight kills with one error in 11 attacks, an ace and five blocks, one solo. Luke Snyder had a kill in two errorless tries, 41 assists and nine digs. Mason got 11 kills each from Jack Bolz and Omar Hoyos … 

NJIT beat Harvard 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 as Alessandro Negri had 17 kills, hitting .364, an assist, an ace, three blocks and seven digs. Carson Williams had nine kills with one error in 18 attacks, three aces, a dig and three blocks, one solo. Harvard’s Owen Fanning had 18 kills, hit .400, and had five digs … 

Princeton, which lost in five to Charleston the day before, bounced back for a 16-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 17-15 victory. Nyherowo Omene led with 22 kills, hitting .485, and had two assists, two aces, two blocks and six digs. Ben Harrington had 18 kills, two assists, an ace, a block and three digs. Setter Henry Wedbush had two kills in four errorless tries, 51 assists, five aces and six digs. Charleston’s Garret Schnitker had 18 kills, hit .483, and had two aces, seven digs and three blocks, one solo. Ras Jesse Delancy had 14 kills, hit .444, and had an ace, three blocks and five digs.


Lincoln Memorial won its sixth Independent Volleyball Association tournament in a row as the Railsplitters thumped Thomas More 25-17, 25-16, 25-19. 

Lincoln Memorial (21-5) hit .431. Justin Sharfenaker led with 13 kills, hit .381, and had an assist, two aces and five digs. Setter Kohl Kutsch had four kills in five errorless tries, 30 assists,  a solo block and five digs.

Thomas More ended its season 16-12.

Around the nation

Saint Francis (PA) ended the regular season 20-8, 12-0 in the NEC with a 25-23, 28-26, 25-22 sweep of FDU. SFU is the host for the league tournament that starts Wednesday with third-seeded LIU (14-12, 8-4) plays sixth-seeded Sacred Heart (11-19, 3-9) and fourth-seeded FDU (11-14, 5-7) vs. No. 5 Merrimack (9-15, 4-8). 

SFU awaits the winner of FDU-Merrimack, while the LIU-SHU winner gets second-seeded Daemen (18-6, 9-3).

In SFU’s win over FDU, the Flash got 14 kills from Nathan Zini, who hit .444 and had two assists, two aces and four digs, and 12 from Andrew Deardorff, who hit .381 and had an assist, an ace and seven digs. FDU’s Jamal Ellis Carballo had 18 kills and hit .412 to go with four aces, six digs and a block … Merrimack won in four sets to end D’Youville’s season at 10-13, 1-11. Logan Whitaker led Merrimack with 18 kills, two assists, four aces, five digs and two blocks … Daemen hit .435 and beat Sacred Heart in four as Zach Schneider had 18 kills and Cameron Milligan 16. Milligan hit .520 and had two assists, two aces, four digs and four blocks …

The Conference Carolinas tournament begins Tuesday with fifth-seeded Barton facing No. 4 Mount Olive and No. 6 King playing third-seeded Erskine. The winners advance to Friday’s semifinals where Belmont Abbey gets the Barton-MO winner and North Greenville plays the King-Erskine winner …

In the ECC, St. Thomas Aquinas swept American International and Roberts Wesleyan won in five at Dominican.

UCI’s Nolan Flexen attempts to go over the Long Beach triple block/Jim Wolf photo

The post Men’s volleyball: Long Beach sweeps UCI for Big West title; top seeds win in MIVA tourney appeared first on Volleyballmag.com.

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