Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
1. Pepperdine makes epic comeback — No. 5 Pepperdine rallied from a two-game deficit and fought off multiple match-points before beating No. 3 UC Irvine in a fifth-game overtime on Saturday. All-American outside attacker Josh Taylor in the victory had a match-high 22 kills, while opposite Parker Kalmbach 17 kills. With this loss, UC Irvine drops a half-match behind No. 4 Hawai’i for first place in the MPSF.
2. Henchy leads Buckeyes to upset — Outside attacker Michael Henchy led all player with a career-high 32 kills on a .756 attack percentage as No. 11 Ohio State upset No. 2 Lewis in five games on Friday. The senior also had a season-low one attack error in the Buckeyes’ first victory against a top-five nationally ranked team since 2011 when they last won the NCAA championship.
3. Pfeiffer takes control of Carolinas — In a late-regular season showdown between two teams tied for first place, Pfeiffer defeated Erskine in four games on Saturday to move atop the Conference Carolinas standings. The Falcons out-hit the Fleet .397 to .221 and now have more than .300 attack percentage in their last six matches. In addition, outside attacker Sonny Hirini finished with both a match-high 21 kills and 12 digs against Erskine.
4. Penn State perfect on West Coast — Penn State for the first time in seven years went undefeated during its mid-season West Coast road trip, including sweeping No. 8 Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge at the Active Ankle Tournament during the weekend. All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in those two victories had a combined 35 kills and seven aces.
5. Loyola bounces back — No. 1 Loyola recovered from its first loss of the season to sweep No. 11 Ohio State on Saturday. The Ramblers out-hit the Buckeyes .444 to .131, while outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke in the victory finished with a match-high 17 kills.