Men's Volleyball Serves Up Inaugural Big West Matches
2018 Men's Volleyball Release No. 8
UC San Diego visits UC Santa Barbara, while Hawai‘i entertains UC Irvine, signaling the beginning of Big West men's volleyball play this Friday.
Historic Matches Take Place This Week
The Big West is 50-18 against non-conference competition, and there are still several marquee matches on the ledger to go. But the main focus this week is the start of Big West play.
The historic inaugural Big West match takes place this Friday when UC San Diego travels to No. 13 UC Santa Barbara for a 7:00 p.m. (PT) first serve. Following that contest, No. 5 UC Irvine visits No. 3 Hawai‘i in a battle of top-five teams at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Anteaters and Rainbow Warriors complete their doubleheader on Sunday.
Long Beach State and CSUN meet in their first official Big West match on Friday, March 2 at the Matadome.
Big West Schedule
Each team plays a 10-match double round-robin schedule, with the exception of Hawai‘i, which will play three home doubleheaders (UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Long Beach State) and two away doubleheaders (CSUN, UC Santa Barbara) this year.
Five Big West schools remain ranked in the Sports Imports/AVCA top 15 poll this week. Long Beach State is No. 1 in the country for the sixth straight week. Hawai‘i (No. 3), UC Irvine (No. 5), CSUN (No. 11) and UC Santa Barbara (No. 13) round out the list of nationally ranked Big West squads.
Beach Wins Round One Against Bruins
The most highly anticipated match of the season did not disappoint as Long Beach State justified its No. 1 ranking with a thrilling four-set victory over No. 2 UCLA in front of a Walter Pyramid record crowd of 4,560 last Saturday. The Beach remained the nation’s only undefeated team at 13-0. They are drawing closer to their all-time best start to a season, which was 16-0 in 1992.
Now it’s UCLA’s turn to host LBSU. The same two heavyweights clash again on Wednesday in Pauley Pavilion.
Stadick, Syftestad No. 1 In NCAA Stats
UC Irvine sophomore Scott Stadick and UC San Diego senior Tanner Syftestad are ranked No. 1 in the country in the NCAA stats. Stadick is the nation’s top blocker at 1.39 blocks per set, while Syftestad averages 5.04 kills per set to lead all attackers. Stadick has been a consistent steadying presence at the net with 10 matches of at least five blocks. Syftestad has accumulated 20-plus kills in seven matches this season, including Big West single-match highs of 27 on three occasions – McKendree (1/5), Ottawa (1/27) and Concordia (2/9).
Big West Tournament On The Horizon
The first annual Big West Men’s Volleyball Tournament will be held April 19-21 at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid. All six teams will compete for the tourney title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.