Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
1. UC Irvine handles BYU — No. 5 UC Irvine swept a two-match series against No. 6 BYU during the weekend to end the Cougars’ 36-home match winning streak dating back to 2013. Opposite Zack La Cavera in the two victories had a team-high 35 combined kills to help the Anteaters remain in second place in the MPSF standings. In addition, BYU is now on its first six-match losing streak since 1991 — the second year that the program competed at the NCAA Division I-II level.
2. USC wins rivalry match — Preseason All-American middle attacker Andy Benesh had a team-high 13 kills on a .600 attack percentage as No. 9 USC rallied from a one-game deficit to beat No. 12 UCLA in five games on Saturday. All-American setter Micah Christenson also added a match-high 19 digs for the Trojans’ third consecutive five-game victory.
3. Penn State takes advantage of errors — No. 8 Penn State extended its first-place lead in the EIVA as it swept Princeton on Friday. Princeton despite hitting .427 in the loss committed a season-high 28 service errors. Penn State following this conference win survived an upset scare from last-place NJIT before winning in five games.
4. Loyola offense continues to roll — No. 2 Loyola had more than a .400 attack percentage in conference road sweeps against No. 15 IPFW and Ball State during the weekend. With these two wins, Loyola remains tied with No. 4 Lewis for first place in the MIVA.
5. Tickets punched to postseason — No. 1 Hawai’i, UC Irvine and USC this weekend all joined No. 3 Pepperdine in clinching berths to the eight-team MPSF Tournament. The Rainbow Warriors, Anteaters and Waves are also now one victory away from clinching a home match for the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.