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volleyball-men-nc flag | February 24, 2014

NC Roundup: USC sweeps match, series vs. Hawaii

LOS ANGELES -- Tanner Jansen had a match-high 13 kills and Tommy Leonard added eight kills and four blocks to lead No. 8 Southern California to a 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 sweep of No. 11 Hawaii in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday in USC's Galen Center.

USC, which beat the Rainbow Warriors on Thursday in four sets, improved to 9-5 overall and 8-5 in the MPSF. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 9-6 overall and 7-5 in the MPSF.

Jansen hit .348 and had five digs. Teammate Andy Benesh had seven kills while hitting .700 and he added five blocks. Lucas Yoder and Maddison McKibbin also had seven kills for the Trojans, while Henry Cassiday had a match-best 10 digs.

For Hawaii, Sinisa Zarkovic had 11 kills and Taylor Averill added eight kills while hitting .545 and he had four blocks.

USC hit .378 to Hawaii's .194. The Trojans also had more blocks (11.5 to 8.5) and digs (30 to 18).

USC, which trailed 14-11 in the first set, tied the set at 14-14 and soon after scored consecutive points to go up 19-17 to gain control while hitting .394 and getting 3.0 blocks. The Trojans tallied back-to-back points to open a 12-10 lead in the second set and steadily pulled away while hitting .500. In the third set, USC went on a 4-0 run to build an 8-4 lead and was never threatened while making 5.5 blocks.

No. 1 Loyola Chicago 3, IPFW 1

CHICAGO -- Top-ranked Loyola Chicago kept its perfect MIVA record intact with a hard-fought 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18) victory against IPFW on Saturday night behind a double-double (19 kills, 11 digs) from Thomas Jaeschke. With the win against the Mastodons, the Ramblers improve to 13-1 (6-0 MIVA) for the season.

"We're getting over that midpoint of the season right now and the guys are working really hard and grinding it out every day," head coach Shane Davis said. "IPFW is one of the better teams in our conference. They kill the ball very well. They don't have many holes, and they can hit you at any position. They did a really nice job of killing the ball, siding out, and keeping the service pressure on us."

Jaeschke was terrific for the Ramblers, posting his third double-double of the season along with four service aces and one block.
Joe Smalzer was just as clutch, posting 14 kills, five digs and two blocks. Owen McAndrews and Dainis Berzins led Loyola under the net, putting up five blocks and four blocks, respectively.

For the match, Loyola outhit its opponent .379-.305 and enjoyed a 58-52 advantage in kills.

No. 3 UCLA 3, Pacific 0

Third-ranked UCLA began its road trip with a straight-set win at Pacific on Sunday afternoon. Scores of the match were 25-15, 28-26, 25-20. UCLA outhit the Tigers .302 to .155 on the day and improved to 12-3 overall and 9-2 in MPSF action.

UCLA grabbed the early lead on a pair of Trent Kersten aces right out of the gate and exploded out to a 15-2 advantage. Jackson Bantle, with four kills, led a group of four freshmen who were on the court for the Bruins at times in Set 1. Hagen Smith, Grant Chalmers and Mitch Stahl joined in on the action. The visitors led 23-14 before putting the set away by a score of 25-15.

Set 2 was a different story as there were 16 ties and six lead changes. UCLA took a 5-4 lead on a Gonzalo Quiroga kill and moved to a 9-5 margin. The Tigers came back to even things up at 13. The score was still tied at 21-all when Pacific went on a run. The host team went up 25-26 before UCLA rallied to tally the final three points of the set, the final kill coming from Quiroga.

Pacific moved to an early 5-6 lead in the Set 3. A dump by setter Smith leveled the score at six-all. The score was even at 14 until plays by Smith and Clayton Paullin handed UCLA a 16-14 advantage. UCLA then enjoyed leads of 19-15, 22-19 before bringing home the 25-20 win on a kill by Paullin.

Bantle finished with a season-high 10 kills and had just one error on 17 swings for a .529 percentage. Quiroga topped the Bruins in kills with 15 and aces with three and hit .522. Smith totaled 32 set assists, eight digs and a block. Paullin had six kills and four blocks. Kersten blocked five balls to go along with his pair of aces. Chalmers had a team-best nine digs.

No. 4 Pepperdine 3, California Baptist 1

MALIBU, Calif. -- Behind a season-high 10 team aces, Pepperdine recovered from a slow start to beat California Baptist 3-1 on Saturday evening inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Matt Tarantino had a career-high night with 14 kills, while Scott Rhein did his part at the line and delivered five aces.

Although CBU ran away with set one 25-14, the Waves stormed back to win the next three 25-20, 27-25, 25-17.

Pepperdine (8-3, 8-3  MPSF) got better and better as the night went on, hitting better than .300 in sets two and three, and swinging at a .480 clip in the final frame. The Waves finished the night hitting .340 (52 kills-16 errors-106 attempts) -- the seventh time they’ve swung more than .300 this season.

Pepperdine has reached double-digit aces just twice in the last three seasons. Rhein laced a career-high five aces to the floor while forcing numerous less-than-perfect passes to create scoring opportunities for the Waves.

Tarantino earned his career-high 14 kills off of a .400 (14-4-25) clip. He also added a pair of aces and was responsible for all three of Pepperdine’s blocks.

Matt West dealt 45 assists and was a perfect 3-for-3 on the attack. Parker Kalmbach and Kyle Gerrans added to the Waves’ offense with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.

The Lancers (3-10, 2-9 MPSF) were led by Johannes Brink, who put down 24 kills while hitting .545 (24-3-40).

Brennan Anderson picked up eight digs to lead the Pepperdine defense.

No. 5 UC Santa Barbara 3, Pacific 0

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Following a hard loss against Stanford the previous night, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos rallied to dominate University of the Pacific in straight sets (25-15, 25-17, 25-23). This victory marks the first defeat of Pacific in straight sets since 2010 and the first win at Pacific since 2011. UCSB improves to 9-4 overall, 8-4 MPSF.

The offense for the Gauchos was formidable. Evan Licht and Matt Hanley both struck for 15 kills, Licht hitting .542 clip for the match and Hanley .407 clip. Austin Kingi  (.385 clip) also tacked on 13 kills of his own while assisting on a block.

UCSB was able to hold the Tigers to .184 team clip and put back six blocks against the Pacific attack. Senior middle blocker Ryan Thompson solidified the Gaucho defense with assists in three team blocks. In addition, sophomore setter Jonah Seif assisted in two blocks at the net.

No. 10 Lewis 3, No. 13 Ball State 0

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. -- Lewis junior Greg Petty led the No. 10 Flyers with 18 kills and one error on 23 attempts to hit a season-high .739, helping Lewis to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-18) win against No. 13 Ball State in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association action on Saturday at Neil Carey Arena.

The Flyers improve to 10-4 on the season and 2-2 against MIVA opponents while the Cardinals fall to 7-5 on the year and 3-2 in the league.

Petty also collected two service aces and four total blocks. Redshirt junior outside hitter Geoff Powell chipped in six kills, five digs and two block assists. Senior setter BJ Boldog dished out a floor-high 33 assists while junior libero Lucas Yanez had eight digs. Sophomore middle blocker Bobby Walsh tallied four kills, four block assists and a career-high three service aces.

The Flyers controlled the match from the start, as they hit .424 (37 K, 9 E, 66 TA) on the night while holding the Cardinals to a .091 hitting percentage (27 K, 20 E, 77 TA).

Lewis also out-blocked Ball State 10.5 to 6.5. Redshirt junior middle blocker James Hofmann led the Flyers with five total blocks (1 solo, 4 BA).

The Ball State offense was led by Marcin Niemczewski's eight kills and three block assists, while Shane Witmer added six putaways and six digs. Cardinal setter Graham McIlvaine dished out 22 assists.

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