On a most eventful Saturday in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball, three of the five conferences that get automatic NCAA tournament bids saw their regular-season titles clinched, and in the one that is still undecided, No. 10 UC San Diego upset No. 2 Long Beach State, beating its Big West opponent for the first time in 10 years.
Top-ranked UCLA, which is also the host for the NCAA Tournament, wrapped up first place in the MPSF with a sweep of No. 8 Pepperdine and will be the home for team for the league tournament.
In the MIVA, No. 11 Loyola Chicago got swept by Ohio State and then No. 7 Ball State topped Purdue Fort Wayne to take that conference’s crown.
In Conference Carolinas, North Greenville beat Emmanuel, while Mount Olive lost to King, giving North Greenville its first conference title and coach Dr. Fred Battenfield his 100th victory at the school.
Penn State, which wrapped up the title a week earlier, won its 18th match in a row by sweeping NJIT to finish the EIVA regular season 15-0.
And a nod to the winless: Barton of Conference Carolinas finished the regular season 0-19, 0-14 in the league, and Morehouse, a first-year member of the first-year SIAC, is 0-16, 0-12. The good news? Both those teams get another chance in their respective conference tournaments.
UCLA is 19-3, 9-1 in the conference, with two matches left. No. 9 Grand Canyon (16-9, 6-4) and No. 5 USC (19-6, 6-4) are tied for second. Pepperdine (14-9, 5-5) is fourth, followed by No. 12 Stanford (12-11, 4-6), BYU (8-14, 3-7) and Concordia (10-14, 3-9). The conference tournament is April 21-23 at UCLA.
Saturday, UCLA hit .452 and beat Pepperdine 25-23, 25-19, 25-19 for its seventh win in a row, its longest streak since 2018. UCLA got 11 kills from Kevin Kobrine, who hit .562 and had an ace, 10 digs and two blocks. Merrick McHenry had 10 kills with no errors in 13 attacks, an assist, a dig and four blocks. Miles Partain had four kills, 35 assists, an ace, five digs and four blocks. The Bruins had three aces and 15 errors. Pepperdine hit .183 and had four aces and 11 errors. Jaylen Jasper had 13 kills, two aces, two blocks and a dig …
USC won 25-23, 25-19, 25-19 at Concordia behind 16 kills by Sam Kobrine, 13 by Simon Gallas and 11 from Brandon Browning. Lucas Frassrand had seven kills with one error in eight attacks and Liam Schroeder had six kills with one error in eight attacks. Chris Hall had two kills, 45 assists, two aces and 14 digs. His team hit .349 and had six aces and 15 errors. CUI hit .231 and had five aces and seven errors. Owen Chun led with 10 kills, six digs and four blocks, one solo. Gil Herold had four kills with no errors in eight attacks and eight blocks, one solo