UCLA hands top-ranked Stanford first loss of season in five-set battle
LOS ANGELES -- Sixth-ranked UCLA opened Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play by handing top-ranked Stanford its first loss of the season on Friday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the match were 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 29-31, 15-11.
Senior Robart Page’s career-best 26th kill of the match ended the almost three-hour contest and improved the Bruins record to 4-1 on the season. The cross-court spike was the last of several fine plays by Page, a 7-footer, in the deciding set. Page’s kill broke a 7-7 tie earlier in the set and his block assist gave UCLA a 12-8 advantage. A Page kill and another block assist set the stage for the final swing of the match.
In set one, UCLA struggled out of the gate and fell behind 13-9. Coach John Speraw called timeout with the Bruins down 18-14 to try to change the momentum of the match and the team began to respond. A kill by Page pulled the Bruins to within 22-19. Gonzalo Quiroga’s kill made it 23-22 Stanford and the Bruins soon evened it up at 23 on an ace from setter Steve O’Dell. The Cardinal managed to secure the set with the final two points, but the Bruins had sent a message with the comeback effort.
Set two was a see-saw battle with 17 ties. The set was even at 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 before kills from Quiroga and Spencer Rowe sent UCLA ahead 23-21. Another spike from Quiroga had the Bruins up 24-21. Freshman Jackson Bantle closed out the Cardinal in set two with a kill.
In set three, Stanford grabbed the lead at 9-8 and did not trail until the Bruins took a 22-21 advantage on a kill by Quiroga. Rowe’s swing put the Bruins up 2-1 in the match and handed the UCLA a 25-23 win.
Set four turned into an epic battle with the score being tied at each point from 18 through 29. Kills from Rowe and then Page leveled the match at 28 and again at 29, but the Bruins could not come up with the the big play at the end. The Cardinal kept the match alive with a 31-29 win.
An ace from O’Dell put UCLA in front 7-6 in set five. Stanford quickly tied it up at 7, but the Bruins began the pull away after that, taking a 9-7 edge on kills by Page and Bantle. UCLA never let the Cardinal back in the set and came away with a 15-11 decision on Page’s 26th kill of the match.
In addition to Page’s huge night, Quiroga added 19 kills and nine digs. Rowe finished with five blocks. Trent Kersten hit .500 on 16 attacks and added three blocks. Bantle totaled nine kills, two aces and eight digs. Ian Sequeira had a career-best 13 digs. O’Dell handed out a career-best 61 set assists and added four kills, two blocks and an ace.
UCLA improved to 4-1 and 1-0 on the year.
No. 2 Loyola Chicago 3, Erskine 0
CHICAGO -- Loyola Chicago took down Erskine in Friday's showdown, using 10 kills from junior Dainis Berzins to earn a 3-0 (25-10, 25-21, 25-20) sweep of the Flying Fleet inside Gentile Arena. The Ramblers improve to 3-1 on the year while the Flying Fleet sits at 0-1 after the season-opening defeat.
"It was the first time we've played Erskine, a second-year program, and I thought they did a great job tonight," head coach Shane Davis said. "They're a young team, but I thought they did a great job on the service line and keeping us out of the system a few times. It was a good match for us."
The Ramblers got off to a hot start in the opening set, scoring the first five points unanswered behind kills from senior Joe Smalzer and Berzins. Loyola continued to build on its lead, breaking away by as many 14 points when an assisted block by sophomore Nick Olson and Smalzer made the score 21-7. The Ramblers ultimately won the set 25-10 with a .524 hitting percentage, allowing their opponent to hit a mere -.304.
The second set was closer throughout, with the two teams trading points until the Ramblers led 15-14. A monster kill by Berzins shifted the momentum, and Loyola went on to score four unanswered points. The kill was one of 10 for Berzins on the night, a season-high for the junior. The Flying Fleet attempted to battle back and came within one point off a kill by Mike Kawa to make the score 21-20, but Loyola was too much for Erskine to handle. The Ramblers scored their next four points off Erskine errors and closed the set 25-21.
In the final set, the Ramblers went down early and found themselves behind 9-7 after an attack error by Smalzer. The senior followed the error with a kill, however, which would be the first of six unanswered Loyola points. The Ramblers never looked back and continued to charge head, leading by as many as six points when a Berzins kill made the score 21-15. Loyola ultimately closed the set 25-20 behind five kills from Berzins and two service aces from Smalzer.
Loyola enjoyed a 35-27 advantage in kills and outhit its visitors.381-.026 for the match.
Berzins and Smalzer led the Ramblers with 10 kills apiece, while sophomore Peter Hutz claimed 29 of the team's 33 assists. Olson also had an impressive night, operating at a .636 clip (8-1-11).
No. 8 BYU 3, No. 7 UC Irvine 2
IRVINE, Calif. -- A career night for Carson Heninger helped No. 8 BYU to a five-set victory (19-25, 34-32, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12) against conference foe No. 7 UC Irvine on Friday on the road.
"I think we just had a little bit of a slow start and just felt a little flat initially," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "We made some subs, and particularly Carson came into the match and played really, really well. He did everything we asked him to do and just really played hard. I thought that was a big spark for us."
BYU (3-2, 3-0 MPSF) had three Cougars with double figure kills, including Taylor Sander with a season-high 25 kills, Heninger with a career-high 17 kills hitting a career-high .419 and Josue Rivera with a season-high 12 kills. Rivera tacked on 12 digs for his first double-double of the season. Sander added nine digs, and Heninger had a career-high four digs and career-high three blocks.
Michael Hatch and Sander led the team in blocks with four apiece, and Tyler Heap had 54 assists, a personal best. Heap had 10 digs, and libero Jaylen Reyes had 11 on the night.
No. 9 Lewis 3, Mount Olive 1
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. -- Ninth-ranked Lewis shook off a tough first set against Mount Olive to pick up a 3-1 (18-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-21) victory against the Trojans on Friday at Neil Carey Arena.
The Flyers improve to 3-2 on the season while the Trojans move to 1-1 on the campaign.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Geoff Powell led the Flyers hitting .560 with 16 kills and two errors on 25 total attempts. He also collected five digs and a block assists
Junior outside hitter Greg Petty tallied 12 kills, three digs and a service ace while junior opposite Eric Fitterer chipped in eight putaways, five digs, a block assists and service ace. Redshirt senior setter BJ Boldog dished out 37 assists and collected two solo blocks and three block assists while junior libero Lucas Yanez had 10 digs.
The Trojans offense was led by Angel Dash with a match-high 21 kills while Steven Cruse and Lewis Einarson both tallied 10 putaways. Mount Olive's setter Tyler Yanez dished out a floor-high 46 assists.
No. 10 Hawaii 3, No. 4 Long Beach State 2
HONOLULU -- Tenth-ranked Hawaii posted its biggest win to date with a dramatic five-setter against No. 4 Long Beach State on Friday night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-23, 19-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-8.
The Rainbow Warriors (3-2, 1-1 MPSF) got off to a strong start, faltered in sets two and three, and closed out the match by taking the last two sets, including a 15-8 rout in the fifth.
Reining AVCA National Player of the Year Taylor Crabb and UH opposite Brook Sedore went toe-to-toe throughout the night. Sedore finished with a match-high 24 kills, hitting .396 while Crabb tallied 22 kills at a .347 clip. Sedore also posted 11 digs for his second career double-double.
Down two sets to one, the Warriors needed to win set four to send the match to a fifth and deciding set. Zarkovic's second ace tied the score at 19 and Sedore's 21st kill put Hawaii back on top. The teams sided out and on UH's third set point, Ian Satterfield hit long giving the 'Bows the 27-25 victory.
In the final set, the Beach helped out the Warriors with three consecutive errors to fall behind 12-7. On match point, Zarkovic and Davis Holt teamed up to stuff Dalton Ammerman igniting a wild celebration.
Middle blocker Taylor Averill added 12 kills and four blocks for Hawaii while Zarkovic posted 11 kills, five digs, and four blocks.
The Beach (3-2, 2-2) out-hit the Warriors, .290 to .244 and tallied 13 team blocks. Two service errors late in Set 4 gave UH set point each time. Satterfield and Ammerman each finished with 10 kills.