Louis Sakanoko of Hawai’i attacks against CSUN/UH Twitter

BYU put a bit of drama into the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation race with a five-set victory over error-prone Pepperdine, while Grand Canyon stayed undefeated in the league, and Hawaii made middles magic to highlight men’s NCAA Division I-II volleyball on Friday.

Elsewhere around the nation, Belmont Abbey took an important road triumph in Conference Carolinas and Saint Francis topped Daemen in a showdown of teams unbeaten in the Northeast Conference.

The schedule for Saturday features a Big West rematch in Honolulu between Hawaii and Cal State Northridge and the second in an MPSF back-to-back with BYU at Pepperdine.

Eight of the nine MIVA teams will see action. Ball State visits Purdue Fort Wayne, Loyola travels to McKendree, Quincy entertains Lindenwood and Queens plays host to Lewis.

Conference Carolinas has another full slate: Belmont Abbey at Barton, North Greenville at Mount Olive, Emmanuel at King and one-win Lees-McRae at Erskine, all in the afternoon.

Princeton and New Jersey Institute of Technology meet in an EIVA encounter, while in nonconference affairs, George Mason welcomes Tusculum and Harvard plays host to Dominican (N.Y.).

First place in the NEC again is in play when Daemen has a return match at Saint Francis. Also, Sacred Heart is at Long Island U., and Fairleigh Dickinson entertains Merrimack.

In the SIAC, Morehouse’s “0” has a chance to go when the 0-11 Tigers greet one-win Benedict and Fort Valley State is at Edward Walters.

Elsewhere, Morningside and Thomas Moore visit Maryville and in the ECC, Roberts Wesleyan travels to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Want to watch a match? If it’s being shown, we have the viewing links on our VolleyballMag TV & Streaming Listings page.

Friday’s recaps

MPSF: Ranked seventh in the weekly AVCA coaches poll, BYU (12-7, 3-4) regained some traction in the conference through productive serving during a 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 15-12 rip-snorter over No. 8 Pepperdine (16-6, 4-4) before a crowd of 1,273 in Malibu. The Cougars snapped the host Waves’ six-match winning streak.

Serving sub Ian Little played a key role with four of BYU’s nine aces (against 12 errors)  and opposite Kapuno Brown dialed up three service winners, to go with 11 kills, eight digs and five blocks. Topping the kills list for the Cougars was Luke Benson with 21, and sophomore setter Tyler Herget (a Penn State transfer) dished 45 assists, made 10 digs and logged four block assists.

The Waves made 44 errors, 23 from the service line, against four aces. For naught were grad student Akin Akinwami’s career-high 24 kills, .451 hitting and 10 digs.

Also, No. 5 Grand Canyon (20-2, 8-0) was pressed to three fairly contentious sets by MPSF cellar dweller Concordia-Irvine (6-12, 0-6) 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 in the second match of their back-to-back series. Jackson Hickman (14 kills, seven digs) and Jarrett Anderson (12 kills, an ace, three blocks) carried the load for the visiting Lopes.

BIG WEST: No. 2 Hawaii (18-3, 1-2) revved up its high-motor middle blockers during a 25-15, 19-25, 27-25, 25-17 victory over No. 18 Cal State Northridge (9-11, 0-3) before a crowd of 6,858 at Honolulu’s Stan Sheriff Center.

Senior AVCA All-American Guilherme Voss (10 kills against one error on 14 swings with seven blocks) and 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore Kurt Nusterer (six kills on six errorless attacks with four blocks) were integral to setter Tread Rosenthal’s attack as the Rainbow Warriors continue to adapt without lost-for-the-season superstar Spyros Chakas (knee injury).

Chipping in were opposite Alaka’i Todd (13 kills) and outside hitter Louis Sakanoko (10 kills, three aces and seven digs).

The visiting Matadors’ usual go-to hitter, redshirt senior Kyle Hobus (21 kills with four errors on 43 swings), was effective, but Hawaii shut down redshirt freshman opposite Jalen Phillips, who suffered 10 attacking errors against eight kills.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS: A 25-17, 25-23, 27-25 victory by Belmont Abbey (13-4, 8-1) at Mount Olive (13-7, 6-3) extended the Crusaders’ league lead to two games. Zach Puentes notched 17 kills on .429 hitting, ripped three aces and made 11 digs. … Remaining relevant in the standings were Erskine (10-8, 6-3), which swept host King (4-16, 2-7), and North Greenville (8-8, 6-3), even though the Crusaders were five-set losers at Barton (10-8, 5-4), 15-11 in the tiebreaker. Brandon Johnston (19 kills, nine digs) paced a balanced Barton attack. … Host Lees-McRae (1-21, 0-9) fell two points short in the fifth set from getting a breakthrough conference victory, losing to Emmanuel (8-14, 3-6).

NEC: Saint Francis (13-8, 5-0) handed visiting Daemen (13-4, 6-1) its first league setback in a four-setter (26-24 in the fourth). Solid hitting by Andrew Deardorff (16 kills) and Nathan Zini (15 kills with two aces) offset 22 kills by the Wildcats’ Zach Schneider. … Long Island U. (10-11, 4-3) won in four over visiting Merrimack (7-10, 2-3). … Host Fairleigh Dickinson (7-11, 1-4) earned its breakthrough conference victory in a five-setter (15-11 in the tiebreaker) against Sacred Heart (7-13, 2-5).

AROUND THE NATION: With Omar Hoyos ripping 10 kids and five aces, 17th-ranked George Mason (12-7) of the EIVA posted a lopsided sweep over visiting independent Tusculum (6-17). … The No. 1-ranked team in Division-III, Wentworth (22-0), recorded an exhibition sweep of the ECC’s Dominican (10-9), in which the host Leopards played 14 athletes. … Missouri S&T (10-10) swept fellow independent Thomas Moore (11-11). … In an SIAC match, host Fort Valley State (9-7, 4-0) limited Benedict (1-13, 1-5) to 16 kills against 17 attack errors over three one-sided sets.

The post BYU beats Pepperdine; GCU, Hawai’i, Belmont Abbey win in NCAA men’s volleyball appeared first on Volleyballmag.com.

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