Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
BYU blows past UC Irvine — No. 3/3 BYU had at least a .400 in both matches as it swept a two-match conference road series against No. 9/9 UC Irvine during the weekend. All-American opposite Ben Patch in the two victories led all players with a combined 33 kills. With the losses, the Anteaters are now on a five-match losing streak — their longest losing streak since coach David Kniffin took over the program in 2013.
UCLA remains perfect — Freshman setter Micah Ma’a had a season-high seven aces and outside attacker Jake Arnitz added a career-high 21 kills as No. 1/1 UCLA defeated No. 12 CSUN in four games on Friday. The Bruins are now 10-0 for the first time since 1998 when they opened the season with 16 consecutive victories and eventually won the NCAA championship.
Grand Canyon prevails in wild weekend — Grand Canyon upset No. 13 Lewis in three games on Saturday for the program’s first win against the Flyers. The victory came one day after the Antelopes made a critical error in the series opener. With Grand Canyon at a game-point in the second game, the team was called an illegal substation that resulted in Lewis retaking the lead and helped the Flyers eventually win the match.
Long Beach State survives upset bid — Freshman outside attacker TJ DeFalco had a match-high 27 kills and added 14 digs to help lead No. 2/2 Long Beach State in a five-game victory against No. 10/11 UC Santa Barbara on Friday. In addition, the 49ers rallied from a 13-11 deficit in the fifth game against the Gauchos to avoid their second consecutive conference loss.
Belmont Abbey enters February perfect — Three teams finished the first month of the season undefeated — UCLA, the defending-Conference Carolinas champions Pfeiffer and Belmont Abbey under first-year Sean Manzi. Outside attacker Nolan Albrecht had a team-high 34 combined kills in conference victories against King and Lees-McRae during the weekend to help Belmont Abbey remain undefeated.