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Long Beach Earns Hosting Honors As Top Seeds Advance In MPSF Quarterfinals

Long Beach Earns Hosting Honors As Top Seeds Advance In MPSF Quarterfinals
Photo: Long Beach State Athletics
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is the strongest men's college volleyball conference in the country. Last week, seven of the eight teams in the MPSF quarterfinals ranked in the top 10 nationally.

On Saturday, April 15, those eight teams faced off to determine who would move on to the conference semis, and all four top-seeded teams emerged victorious. See our recap of the matches below.

Watch the MPSF semis and final, April 20 & 22, 2017, only on FloVolleyball.


No. 1 Long Beach State def. No. 8 USC

3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23)

Man of the Match: TJ DeFalco

With eight service aces, a single-match conference tournament program record, Long Beach State eliminated USC from the MPSF tournament. Sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco contributed four of those eight aces, in addition to 12 kills (.355) and six digs.

Other key players for the No. 1-seeded 49ers, who will host the MPSF semifinals and final this week, were libero Andrew Sato, middle Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, and DeFalco's fellow sophomores setter Josh Tuaniga and opposite Kyle Ensing.

USC outside Lucas Yoder led the match with 23 kills, taking 57 of the Trojans' 135 total attempts.

No. 2 BYU def. No. 7 Stanford

3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-18)

Man of the Match: Tim Dobbert

In another match where serving made a major impact, BYU took down Stanford in straight sets. The second-ranked Cougars had seven aces in their quarterfinal matchup with the No. 7 Cardinal, and junior outside hitter Brenden Sander led the way with three.

Across the net, Stanford made 17 service errors and hit only .182 to BYU's .315.

Opposite Tim Dobbert led BYU with 13 kills (.333) in addition to contributing four blocks and two aces.

No. 3 Hawaii def. No. 6 Pepperdine

3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-15)

Man of the Match: Stjin van Tilburg

If serving led the charge for Long Beach and BYU, Hawaii's quarterfinal victory over Pepperdine started at the net. In front of a season-high 6,691 fans, the Rainbow Warriors posted an impressive team total of 17.5 blocks to Pepperdine's two.

Middle Patrick Gasman led the blocking stats line with eight block assists, but Stjin van Tilburg has the best all-around game, tying Kupono Fey with 14 kills to lead the match with only one error to hit .619. He also added two service aces, five blocks, and 10 digs, which marked the Netherlands native's first career double-double.

Thanks in large part to their strong blocking game, the Rainbow Warriors outhit the Waves .344 to .095.

No. 4 UC Irvine def. No. 5 UCLA

3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22)

Man of the Match: Michael Saeta

Despite losing the first set, UC Irvine prevailed over UCLA in four to move on to the MPSF semifinals.

MPSF Freshman of the Year Scott Stadick, a 7-foot Wisconsin native, had five block assists and one solo, tying the UCI single-season record for solo blocks with 23.

Junior Aaron Koubi of Cannes, France, led the team with 19 kills, hitting .625, and Israeli senior Tamir Hershko added 12. Setter Michael Saeta really shined, batting a thousand with three kills on three attempts, seven digs, and 44 assists as he led the team to a .505 hitting percentage.

Up Next

MPSF Semifinals

Thursday, April 20, 2017

5 PM PT: No. 2 BYU vs. No. 3 Hawaii
7:30 PM PT: No. 1 Long Beach State vs. No. 4 UC Irvine

MPSF Final

Saturday, April 22, 2017

7 PM PT: Semifinal Winners

Watch the MPSF semis and final, exclusively on FloVolleyball.

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