So much for easing into the start of the college men’s volleyball season.
The opening week of the 2014 season had everything from five of the top 10 nationally ranked teams losing to a champion being crowned at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational.
Check out the top five things to take away from this weekend’s action.
1. Long Beach State takes UC Santa Barbara Invitational — After going undefeated in the exhibition pool-play round, No. 4 Long Beach State defeated Harvard in four games in the UC Santa Barbara Invitational championship match on Saturday. Outside attacker Taylor Crabb in the victory had a match-high 19 kills, while outside attacker Dalton Ammerman had 18 kills against Harvard and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. The 49ers before this weekend had not won the annual non-conference tournament since 2006. To read more about Long Beach State’s victory against Harvard, click here.
2. MIVA non-conference redemption — The MIVA went 4-3 against the powerhouse MPSF in non-conference play during the opening week of the season with No. 7 Loyola, No. 10 Lewis and IPFW all getting at least one win. This early success for the conference comes after the MIVA started a combined 1-7 to open last season. In addition, these early non-conference wins could play a critical role later in the season if Loyola or Lewis are in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
3. BYU’s Midwest woes — BYU lost both matches of its season-opening Midwest road trip against No. 7 Loyola and No. 10 Lewis. All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander in the two losses was the only BYU player to have more than 10 kills in a match. This is the second time in the last 10 years that the Cougars have opened a season 0-2.
4. Yoder shines in college debut — Outside attacker Lucas Yoder in his first college match had a team-high 16 kills and .609 attack percentage as No. 11 USC upset No. 7 Loyola in four games Saturday. Yoder earned a spot in the starting lineup as a true freshman after arriving to USC as one of the top-five ranked high school recruits in the nation. To read more about USC’s win against Loyola, click here.
5. Stanford offense too much for UCLA — Stanford had four players finish with double-digit kills as No. 5 Stanford defeated No. 2 UCLA in four games at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational on Saturday. Setter James Shaw also helped guide the Cardinal to out-hit the Bruins .433 to .252, including Stanford having a match-best .571 attack percentage in the third game.