Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
1. Big night for Ball, IPFW — Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball on the same that IPFW officially renamed its home court after him guided his team to a sweep against in-state rival Ball State. Ball, the only coach in IPFW’s program history and who guided the Mastodons to six NCAA Tournament appearances, announced last year that he would retire at the end of the season. Freshman Outside attacker Alex Harthaller led No. 15 IPFW with 16 kills in the victory Saturday on Arnie Ball Court.
2. Chaos in EIVA — Both NJIT and Sacred Heart pulled off upsets against teams in the top half of the EIVA standings. Outside attacker Jabarry Goodridge had a season-high 25 kills as last-place NJIT upset Harvard in four games on Saturday. In addition, Sacred Heart had more than .500 attack percentage in a home sweep against Princeton on Saturday.
3. Tight race for final MPSF playoff berth — No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 CSUN and No. 14 Stanford enter the final two weeks of the regular season separated by a half-match for the eight place in the MPSF and the final berth to the eight-team conference tournament. Stanford lost to No. 8 USC in three games on Saturday to move into a tie with UCLA for eight place.
4. Pfeiffer continues to roll — In a match that took just an hour to complete, Pfeiffer swept Emmanuel on Friday to extend its first-place lead in the Conference Carolinas to one-match ahead of second-place Erskine. Pfeiffer out-hit Emmanuel .411 to zero and now has at least a .300 attack percentage in 10 of their last 11 matches.
5. UC Irvine, Pepperdine close gap — Both No. 3 Pepperdine and No. 5 UC Irvine won their conference matches during the weekend to move within one match first-place No. 1 Hawai’i in the conference standings. With these victories, the Waves and Anteaters also clinched at least a top-three seed for the upcoming MPSF Tournament.