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Hawai’i, Pepperdine, Ohio St., Ball St. open with NCAA men’s volleyball wins

Hawai'i, Pepperdine, Ohio St., Ball St. open with NCAA men's volleyball wins

Alaka‘i Todd attacks for Hawai’i against the Loyola Chicago block of Jack Yentz/UH photo

The NCAA men’s volleyball season got underway in earnest Wednesday with six matches, including sweeps for Hawai’i, Pepperdine and Ohio State.

Ball State won twice and is now 3-0.

The AVCA poll is out and the coaches now include 20 teams, up from 15. Defending national-champion UCLA is No. 1.

First a look at Thursday’s schedule.

UCLA of the MPSF opens its season at home with two matches against SIAC teams, first Fort Valley State and then Morehouse of the SIAC.

Last year’s EIVA champion, Penn State, is home for Central State of the SIAC.

The are three matches at UC Santa Barbara of the Big West. The home team of the Big West plays the EIVA’s NJIT, CSUN of the Big West plays Grand Canyon of the MPSF and the Big West’s UC San Diego plays the EIVA’s George Mason.

Recaps

Action began Tuesday when Ball State played host to Wabash, a small school from Indiana which competes in the nine-team Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. Ball State of the MIVA basically held batting practice in the opener, hitting .618. The Cardinals has 44 kills with just two errors in 68 attacks and 10 aces. Trevor Phillips, Dyer Ball and Nathan Goh had eight kills each.

Wednesday, Ball State swept Wabash again and then did the same to Thomas More University. Against Wabash, Ryan Bartz had 14 kills with no errors in 22 swings. Against Thomas More, a small school from Kentucky, Patrick Rogers led with 10 kills, four aces and five digs. Also Wednesday, Thomas More beat Wabash in four.

Hawai’i of the Big West opened with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 victory over visiting Loyola Chicago of the MIVA. Spyros Chakas led the Rainbow Warriors with 16 kills, four digs and three blocks, two solo. 

Pepperdine of the MPSF beat visiting Fort Valley State 25-17, 25-14, 25-12. The Waves hit .427 as Kevin Roberts had 11 kills and Akin Akinwumi had 10. Fort Valley hit minus .036.

The MIVA’s Ohio State rolled to a 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 victory over visiting North Greenville of Conference Carolinas. Jacob Pasteur had 12 kills and Cole Young for the Buckeyes, who hit .350.

AVCA top 20

UCLA got all 23 first-place votes in a poll that has been expanded from 15 teams to 20. The Bruins are followed by Long Beach State, Hawai’i, UC Irvine and Ohio State.

Of note is No. 19 Lincoln Memorial, an independent that annually competes well on the national level.

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