NCAA Talk

Loyola wins second straight NCAA volleyball championship

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Loyola wins second straight NCAA volleyball championship

STANFORD, Calif. — Player of the year Thomas Jaeschke had 20 kills and Loyola successfully defended its NCAA men's volleyball championship with a five-set victory over Lewis on Saturday night.

Jeff Jendryk added 17 kills for the Ramblers (28-2) in the 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-27, 23-21 marathon title clash between two Chicago-area schools at Stanford's Maples Pavilion.

It was the first title game between two non-West Coast teams in tournament history.

Greg Petty had 23 kills for Lewis (27-4) in the fourth meeting between the two teams this season.

Just a week ago, Loyola beat then-No. 1 Lewis in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association final. Lewis won both regular-season meetings between the two teams 3-1.

Loyola swept Pfeiffer of North Carolina in a tournament play-in game Tuesday before defeating UC Irvine in a semifinal match Thursday night. Loyola's 25-22, 25-19, 25-17 victory assured the first championship game between two non-West Coast teams in tournament history.

Lewis advanced with a 3-1 victory over Penn State in the semifinals.

The Ramblers jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first set as Lewis appeared tentative. But the Flyers got stronger throughout the set and closed within 15-13 after Geoff Powell's ace. Jake Selsky's ace evened the match at 19-all, and Lewis pulled ahead on Powell's kill. Petty spiked for set point for the Flyers, who were able to overcome seven service errors.

Lewis pulled in front 15-10 in the second set and Loyola looked out of sorts, making uncharacteristic mistakes. But the Ramblers narrowed the gap to 20-18 after Nicolas Olson's monster block.

Cody Caldwell's kill evened it at 21, and Loyola finished the set with three stuff blocks, including one for set point from Jeff Jendryk and Pete Hutz top make it 1-1.

Loyola rode the momentum into the third set, going up 6-0. Jaeschke's kill extended it to 12-4 and Olson spiked to claim the set and put the Ramblers up 2-1.

Lewis sprang to life in the fourth, fighting off match point twice before pulling in front on Powell's kill. His ace sent the match to a fifth and deciding set.

Caldwell's ace and a timely block put Loyola in front 7-6. Powell's cross-court slam evened the set at 9 but Loyola wouldn't surrender the lead.

Lewis again held off match point twice, pulling to 14-13. Petty spiked to make it 14-all and the teams wrestled the rest of the way until Caldwell's block gave Loyola the advantage and the team stuffed Petty's spike for the win.

Jaeschke, a 6-foot-6 outside hitter, was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year earlier this week. He had nine kills in the semifinal victory over the Anteaters.

Last season, the Ramblers beat top-seeded Stanford 3-1 for the school's first NCAA championship.

Lewis, which had never before faced the same team four times in a season, was the nation's top blocking team with an average of 3.39 per game — the only team to average more than three.

A Division II Catholic school of about 6,800 students, Lewis has been steadily growing its volleyball program. The Flyers won the national title in 2003, but later vacated it because of ineligible players.

Coach Dan Friend, named the coach of the year, has led the program's resurgence.

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NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness

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USA TODAY

NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness

Bulls rookie guard Coby White has talent, an infectious smile and an afro that makes him stand out on the court. It’s a fair bet he could have made some money off his likeness while he played at North Carolina if the rules allowed it.

The NCAA is taking steps towards allowing its athletes to do so, but there’s still a long way to go in the process. The organization’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to start the process. That vote moves things to the NCAA’s three divisions “to consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies,” as it was worded in the NCAA's press release.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, the chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

The board asked each division (Division I, Division II, Division III) to make any new rules immediately and no later than January 2021.

It’s important to note that none of the changes are final, or even imminent. It’s still relevant that the NCAA is going through the process at all, after being so strongly in favor of amateurism across the board for its student-athletes.

The potential changes would not allow for compensation based on performance or participation in a sport. Of course, the natural grey area is that higher performing athletes will be more marketable so they would be compensated on performance indirectly.

This comes after California passed legislation to allow college athletes to receive endorsement/sponsorship money and other states are pursuing similar.

This is still far from being official or finalized, but it will continue to be a major story in college sports over the next couple years.

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

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USA TODAY

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17.