GCU’s Jackson Hickman tries to hit past the UCLA block of Grant Sloane, Merrick McHenry and Cooper Robinson/Andy J. Gordon photo

Top-ranked Long Beach State and No. 5 UC Irvine have made it a two-team Big West race after the Beach swept No. 15 CSUN and UCI dominated visiting No. 4 Hawai’i on Friday in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

Second-ranked UCLA made an MPSF statement with a sweep of No. 3 Grand Canyon that left the two teams tied atop the league, while No. 6 BYU won in four at No. 11 USC but is still three games off the lead.

Stunner of the day: No. 8 Pepperdine was beaten in a reverse sweep by The Master’s, the No. 1 team in the NAIA.

The recaps and top peformances follow, but first Saturday’s schedule.

The three MPSF matches have UCLA home again for Grand Canyon, BYU back at USC and No. 7 Stanford returning to Concordia Irvine after winning there in five Friday.

In the Big West, Hawai’i gets another crack at UCI and Long Beach in turn goes to CSUN.

No. 11 Ball State can clinch the MIVA title outright when it plays host to No. 18 McKendree on the last day of regular-season play. No. 12 Loyola Chicago, however, hopes Ball State loses and it beats visiting No. 14 Lewis to force a first-place tie, No. 20 Purdue Fort Wayne is home for Quincy and Lindenwood is at Queens.

EIVA leader No. 11 Penn State is back at Charleston after winning in four there Friday and No. 19 George Mason, two games back of Penn State, is home again for Harvard.

Conference Carolinas leader Belmont Abbey, with a two-game advantage over North Greenville, is home for King. North Greenville is home for Lees-McRae as L-M tries to avoid its 20th loss in a row, Mount Olive is at Erskine and Barton is at Emmanuel. 

The NEC shows LIU at Merrimack, Saint Francis (PA) is at D’Youville and Fairleigh Dickinson is at Sacred Heart, while Daeman is home for the ECC’s Roberts Wesleyan.

The SIAC has two matches, Benedict at Edward Waters and Fort Valley State at Central State.

The ECC’s American International plays at DIII MIT and Tusculum is at Lincoln Memorial in a match of independents.

The Pro Volleyball Federation has the third-place Orlando Valkyries (6-8) at the third-place Grand Rapids Rise (6-7) in the first match that will be shown on the CBS Sports Network.

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

BIG WEST: Long Beach State (21-7, 7-0) cruised to a 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 victory over visiting CSUN (11-13, 2-5). Long Beach, winning its 11th in a row, hit .321. Sotiris Siapanis led with 11 kills and hit .455 after having one error in 22 attacks to go with an ace, four digs and three blocks. CSUN hit .107. Simon Torwies, who had three kills and two digs, had seven blocks, one solo. Jalen Phillips led with nine kills … 

UC Irvine’s Nolan Flexen, Connor Campbell and William D’Arcy block Chaz Galloway of Hawai’i/Jim Wolf photo

UC Irvine (17-7, 6-1) kept pace at the top of the six-team league by hitting .425 in a 25-20, 25-19, 25-21 sweep of visiting Hawai’i (20-5, 3-4). Hilir Henno, who leads the Big West in total kills by a wide margin, led UCI with 20 kills and hit .679 after having one error in 28 attacks to go with an assist, an ace, two blocks and six digs. Nolan Flexen added nine kills, an assist, two blocks and four digs, and Maxim Grigoriev had six kills with one error in 11 swings, six blocks and five digs. Hawai’i, outblocked 10-3, got 12 kills from Alaka’i Todd and 10 from Keoni Thiim. It was UCI’s first win over Hawai’i since 2018 … 

UC Santa Barbara (8-16, 1-7) broke through in league play and ended a six-match skid with 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 18 25, 15-9. victory over visiting No. 19 UC San Diego (11-13, 3-5). Geste Bianchi, who leads the league in kills per set (4.84), had 23 kills, an assist, two aces, a block and 13 digs. Ben Coordt added 13 kills. Jaden Clark had 18 digs and five assists. UCSD’s Sebastian Lara had 16 kills, two assists, three blocks and two digs and Anthony Cherfan had 14 kills, an ace, eight digs and two blocks, one solo. 

MPSF: UCLA (19-4, 8-1) and Grand Canyon (20-3, 8-1) are now tied at the top, three games ahead of BYU (16-7, 7-4) with three matches left to the regular season.

UCLA hit .441 and held a 12-2 blocks advantage as it beat GCU 25-16, 25-22, 25-19. Grant Sloane led a balanced attack with 10 kills and hit .381 with an ace, three block and four digs. Cooper Robinson had eight kills with one error in nine attacks to go with four blocks, Sean McQuiggan had six kills with one error in nine attacks and five blocks, and Merrick McHenry had five kills in eight errorless swings and four blocks. GCU had just 29 kills, eight by Camden Gianni, who had two assists, two aces, two blocks and four digs (UCLA photo by Andy J. Gordon) … 

BYU won 22-25, 25-21, 25-19 at USC (11-12, 2-7). Kupono Browne had 17 kills, hit .500, and had an ace, six blocks and four digs. Miks Ramanis and Luke Benson had 12 kills apiece. Ramanis had two assists, an ace, four digs and four blocks, one solo. Benson had an assist, three blocks and three digs. USC, which hit .167, got 15 kills from Dillon Klein, who had two aces, a block and two digs …

Stanford (10-11, 3-6) came away with a 20-25, 26-24, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory at CUI (6-15, 0-9). Will Rottman led with 22 kills, hit .413, and had three assists, three aces and seven digs. Kevin Lamp had 17 kills, hit .324 and had two assists, two aces, a block and nine digs. Theo Snoey had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, 14 digs and two blocks, one solo.  Nathan Lietzke had two kills with no errors in seven tries, 46 assists, two blocks and 12 digs. CUI, which lost its 10th in a row, got 15 kills each from Gage Doble and Clement Osahon Jr. and 11 each from Makua Marumoto and Christian Galoppo … 

The Master’s (18-2) won 22-25, 23-25, 34-32, 26-24, 15-12 at Pepperdine (17-8). In the third set, Pepperdine had two set points and The Master’s cashed in on its eighth. The Mustangs from Santa Clarita, California, had four players with 11 or more kills, 16 by Braden Van Groningen, who hit .353 and had three blocks and four digs. Isaac Seltzer had 12 kills, hit .400, and had an assist, an ace, four blocks and 19 digs. Pepperdine’s Cole Ketrzynski had 23 kills, an assist, an ace, seven digs and two blocks, one solo.

EIVA: Penn State (18-6, 7-0) won 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 at Charleston (11-13, 2-5). John Kerr had 17 kills for the Nittany Lions to go with two aces, four blocks and three digs. Garret Schnitker had 16 kills for Charleston and Ras Jesse Delancy 15 … George Mason (16-7, 5-2) won its 10th in a row, a 25-15, 28-26, 25-16 sweep of visiting Harvard (11-9, 3-4) as Omar Hoyos had 15 kills, hit .565, and had an assist, an ace, three blocks and three digs. Jack Bolz had 12 kills, hit .333, and added two assists, three aces, two blocks and six digs. Harvard’s Logan Shepherd had 11 kills … No. 17 Princeton (11-10, 4-4) swept visiting NJIT (9-14, 1-7) as Ben Harrington and Jameson Vaccaro had 12 kills each in the 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 victory.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS: Mount Olive (15-8, 8-4) won 26-24, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23 at Emmanuel (9-17, 3-9) behind 20 kills from Hayden Frear, who hit .300 and had an assist, three aces, six digs and two solo blocks … Erskine (12-9, 8-4) swept visiting Barton (11-11, 5-7) as Edgerrin Austin had 16 kills in the 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 victory. He hit .400 and had two aces and five digs.

AROUND THE NATION: The MIVA’s Ohio State (19-8) crushed visiting independent Maryville (21-8) as the No. 10 Buckeyes hit .569. Ohio State had 39 kills — 10 by Kyle Teune — and two errors in 65 attacks … 

In the NEC, Saint Francis (PA) got 20 kills from Nathan Zini and won in four at D’Youville, LIU swept Sacred Heart, and FDU won in four at Merrimack. SFU is 9-0 and holds a three-game lead over LIU (8-3), which has won 10 in a row, in the loss column … 

Fort Valley State swept at Kentucky State in the SIAC as Isaiah Fedd had 13 kills with one error in 17 attacks, five aces and seven blocks … Dominican swept American International in the ECC as Phinehas Wiley had 17 kills, hit .500, and had five digs and three blocks, one solo.

UCI’s ‘s Nolan Flexen can only watch as ‘Eleu Choy of Hawai’i digs his hard angle hit/Jim Wolf photo


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