Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
Szerszen shines in No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown — All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen had a match-high 17 kills on a .500 attack percentage to help No. 1 Ohio State defeat No. 2 UCLA on Saturday at the AVCA Showcase. The 2016 AVCA National Player of the Year also had two of the Buckeyes’ nine aces. In addition, the defending NCAA champions Ohio State out-hit UCLA .309 to .259 in a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Loyola stuns BYU — No. 11 Loyola held the nation’s top offense from last season to less than a .175 attack percentage in the first two games en route to a four-game home victory against No. 3 BYU on Saturday. The Ramblers hit .333 and four players finish with double-digit kills, including opposite Ben Plaisted who had a team-high 12 kills, 11 digs and six blocks. Despite the loss, BYU All-American opposite Ben Patch finished with a match-high 25 kills.
MPSF dominant in UCSB Invitational — No. 4 Long Beach State, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and No. 14 CSUN went a combined 12-0 at the UCSB Asics/South Coast Inn-vitational during the weekend. The four MPSF teams ended the non-conference tournament winning all but a combined three games.
Hawai’i wins Outrigger Invitational — Opposite Stijn van Tilburg finished with a match-high 18 kills to help No. 7 Hawai’i rally from a one-game deficit and beat No. 15 Ball State in four games at the Outrigger Invitational. Freshman outside attacker Austin Matautia also added 13 kills and 13 digs in the match-up between two previously undefeated teams at the annual non-conference tournament. With this victory, Hawai’i clinched back-to-back Outrigger Invitational championships for the first time since 1996-97.
Penn State freshman bounces back — Freshman opposite Calvin Mende one day after having a negative attack percentage in a loss to No. 2 UCLA finished with a match-high 25 kills in a victory against USC on Saturday. Mende hit .525 in the five-game non-conference win and added five blocks along with four digs.