Check out the five things to take away from the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches this weekend.
Ohio State wins MIVA title — No. 1/1 Ohio State swept a two-match series against McKendree during the weekend to clinch back-to-back MIVA regular season championship and home court advantage throughout the entire postseason. This is the 26th conference championship in the Buckeyes’ program history. In addition, All-American opposite had a combined 37 kills on a .460 attack percentage and five aces against McKendree, including a match-high 21 kills in the three-game series-opening victory.
Barton block too much for King — Barton had 18.5 blocks and held King to a conference season-low .126 attack percentage in a five-game victory on Saturday. Middle attacker Justice Lord in the win had a match-high nine blocks, while libero Jonathan Novoa-Miralles led all players with a season-high 21 digs. The conference win ended King’s nation-best 15-match winning streak. The Bulldogs also are now in a first place in the Conference Carolinas with a half-match lead against the second-place Tornado and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
USC wins critical conference match — All-MPSF outside attacker Lucas Yoder had a match-high 16 kills on a .394 attack percentage as No. 11/10 USC swept No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Friday. The Trojans are now in sole possession of eighth place in the MPSF and can clinch the final berth to the MPSF Tournament if they win one of their two remaining matches.
UCLA survives another upset scare — No. 6/6 UCLA fought off eight potential match-points before eventually defeating last-place Cal Baptist in a fifth-game overtime on Saturday. All-American outside attacker Jake Arnitz finished with a season-high 21 kills to help the Bruins remain in fifth place in the MPSF. UCLA also stays in serious contention to earn a top-four seed and home court for the upcoming MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.
Fifth games give Princeton woes — Princeton had a chance to move into first-place in the EIVA but could not win a fifth-game in back-to-back matches. Princeton was on the verge of upsetting first-place No. 13 Penn State, but the Nittany Lions rallied from a 13-9 deficit in the fifth game to win in overtime on Friday. In addition, Princeton suffered a 15-13 fifth-game loss to St. Francis on Saturday despite hitting .556 and having zero attack errors in the decisive game.