Everything from epic five-game matches at the Outrigger Invitational in Hawaii to massive upsets on the mainland highlighted this weekend in college men’s volleyball.
Check out the top five things to take away from this weekend’s action.
1. Powell big night helps Lewis shocks BYU — Outside attacker Geoff Powell had a career-high 24 kills and one attack error as Lewis rallied from a two-game deficit to defeat No. 2 BYU in five games Friday to open their two-match series. The loss was the first time in eight years that BYU lost a non-conference match at Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars swept the Flyers on Saturday to conclude the series and held Powell to eight kills.
2. Stanford clutch to stay perfect — Stanford in its conference-opener against Pacific fought off five match-points in the fifth game, including two in overtime, before winning the decisive game 19-17. With this victory, Stanford (4-0, 1-0 MPSF) remains the only undefeated team left in the MPSF.
3. Possible new No. 1 in the polls — No. 6 USC after losing its season opener rebounded to sweep previously undefeated No. 1 UC Irvine on Saturday. The Anteaters were among four of the top five nationally ranked teams to lose this week and in the upcoming polls will likely drop out of No. 1 ranking for the first time this season.
4. Five-game thrillers and statistical oddities — UCLA went 2-1 at the Outrigger Invitational to win its third consecutive tournament championship, but the most interesting thing from the event was the advantage teams had playing on the south end of the court. In the tournament’s first four matches, all of them went five games and no team when a game while playing on the north end of the court.
5. MIVA redemption — After the conference opened the season a combined 1-7 last week, MIVA teams went a combined 8-7 during the week. The MIVA picked up two signature wins against MPSF opponents as Ohio State beat Hawai’i and Lewis beat BYU. In addition, Ball State had a season-opening sweep against St. Francis.
Belmont Abbey a big hit — Belmont Abbey opened its inaugural men’s volleyball season going 3-0 to win the King College Invitational. The Division II Conference Carolinas school opened the tournament with a four-game victory against Quincy on Friday and then defeated King and Rust College on Saturday.