Quick hits: 5 things to take away from this weekend’s matches

One week is in the books for the college men’s volleyball — and it didn’t disappoint when it came to teams and players making headlines.

Check out the top five things to take away from this weekend’s action.


1. Anteaters wins UC Santa Barbara Invitational — No. 1 UC Irvine for the second consecutive year won the UC Santa Barbara Invitational as it defeated No. 6 UCLA in five games in the championship match Saturday. Despite All-American outside attacker Kevin Tillie not playing in the tournament, the Anteaters out-hit their opponents in all three matches — including having a .447 attack percentage in the tournament opener against Cal Baptist.

2. MIVA struggles at UC Santa Barbara Invite continue — Both No. 5 Lewis and No. 10 Loyola went winless at the season-opening tournament. MIVA teams the last two years at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational are a combined 1-11. In addition, the conference finished the weekend a combined 1-7 with Ohio State getting the lone victory in a sweep against St. Francis.

3. No. 5 Lewis opens 0-3 — For the first time in recent history, a preseason top-five ranked team has lost its first three matches. Lewis blew a two-game lead against UC San Diego to loss its season-opener and than lost to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Baptist in its final two matches of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. The schedule doesn’t easier for the Flyers. Lewis closes out its five-match West Coast road trip with two matches against No. 2 BYU this weekend.

4. UC San Diego surprises everyone — After being picked to finish the MPSF in last place in the preseason polls, UC San Diego upset No. 5 Lewis and almost upset No. 7 Long Beach State and No. 6 UCLA at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. Expect for the Tritons to be ranked in this week’s coaches poll — and quite possibly get their highest ranking in program history.

5. Sander, BYU off to good start — All-American outside attacker had a combined 33 kills in No. 2 BYU’s two home victories against Hawai’i this weekend to open conference play. In addition, Sander in the series-opening sweep had a match-high .542 attack percentage against the Waves.

BONUS HIT
Freshman setter shines for Stanford — Freshman starting setter James Shaw in his college debut helped No. 3 Stanford beat Grand Canyon and George Mason this weekend. Shaw guided Stanford’s offense to more than a .300 attack percentage in both non-conference matches and added six kills in the season-opening win against Grand Canyon.

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