The opening weekend of the college men’s volleyball season has come and gone — leaving an intriguing start to the year.
Check out the five things to take away from this weekend’s matches.
1. Ohio State handles pesky McKendree — Outside attacker Miles Johnson had a team-high 31 combined kills as No. 14 Ohio State completed the two-match weekend series sweep against first-year MIVA member McKendree. With these victories, the Buckeyes have now won their first two conference matches of the season for nine consecutive years.
2. North Greenville loses in program’s debut — North Greenville in the program’s inaugural match lost in three games to No. 1 Pepperdine. Pepperdine using a variety of lineup combinations throughout the match out-hit the first-year program .378 to negative-.032. In addition, all-conference opposite Parker Kalmbach playing his first match since a season-ending injury last year had four kills and an .800 attack percentage in the opening game.
3. No Shaw, no problem for Stanford — Without All-American setter James Shaw in the lineup, No. 10 Stanford defeated UC Santa Cruz in four games on Friday. Freshman setter Kyle Dagostino in place of Shaw guided Stanford’s offense to a .301 attack percentage and had 38 assists in the season-opening win against the NCAA Division III opponent.
4. Averill off to All-American start — Middle attacker Tyler Averill had a match-high 13 kills and five aces as No. 10 Stanford swept Stevens Tech in its season-opener on Saturday. Averill entered his senior season after being the only middle attacker in the nation last season to earn AVCA First-Team All-American honors.
5. Oh for Canada — Teams in the MPSF and MIVA went undefeated against Canadian colleges in exhibition matches during the weekend. Among the teams picking up preseason wins included No. 1 Loyola, No. 5 UCLA, No. 9 Lewis and Cal Baptist.