Everything from dramatic upset victories to the races becoming much tighter for a spot in the conference tournaments highlighted this weekend’s slate of matches.
Check out the five things to take away from this weekend in college men’s volleyball.
1. Long Beach State wins Active Ankle — No. 2 Long Beach State survived an upset bid to beat Ohio State in five games on Friday and then swept Penn State on Saturday to win its annual home event the Active Ankle Tournament. Long Beach State All-American outside attacker Taylor Crabb had a combined 34 kills in the two non-conference matches and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. With these two victories, the 49ers also finished their season-long eight-match homestand undefeated.
2. Stanford takes two from Hawai’i — No. 7 Stanford enters its bye week bolstering its playoff position with a two-match conference series sweep against No. 10 Hawai’i during the weekend. Outside attacker Brian Cook had a match-high 21 kills in the series-finale five-game victory that helped move the Cardinal into a tie for fifth place. Hawai’i with the two loses dropped to ninth place in the MPSF and 1.5 matches out of eighth place and final berth to the MPSF Tournament.
3. UCLA’s recent struggles continue — The Trojans freshman outside attacker Lucas Yoder led all players with 20 kills on a .410 attack percentage as No. 9 USC defeated its cross-town rival No. 6 UCLA on Saturday. This was the Bruins’ fifth loss in their last six matches and in a span of three weeks the team has dropped from second to fifth place in the MPSF standings.
4. Erskine stuns MPSF — Erskine became the first Conference Carolinas school to defeat a team from the MPSF as it rallied to upset Cal Baptist in five games on Saturday. Freshman outside attacker Roberto Perez Vargas finished with a match-high 20 kills to help lead the second-year program to the non-conference victory.
5. Ball State gets blowout 22-point win — Ball State set a school rally scoring era record and had the largest margin of victory in game for any team this season with a 25-3 win against Lees-McRae to complete the four-game victory on Saturday. Lees-McRae in the fourth game was held to a match-worst -.167 attack percentage and called for serving out of rotation. It was also the first time Ball State kept an opponent to three points or fewer in a game since beating Long Island South Hampton 15-0 as part of a four-game victory in 2000.