NCAA: Penn State downs No. 1 Stanford, 600 for Michigan State’s Cathy George

Minnesota's Molly Lohman serves against West Virginia/Brad Rempel, University of Minnesota

Penn State might have laid claim to the top spot in NCAA women’s volleyball on Friday night when the Nittany Lions knocked off No. 1 Stanford 26-24, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19 at Texas A&M.

Penn State, ranked No. 5 in the AVCA poll, got 11 kills from setter/right side Abby Detering, who hit .455 and had 11 digs.

As non-conference play got into the second weekend of the young season, it was a good day for the Big Ten and one that Michigan State’s Cathy George will remember. Her Spartans started the day with a sweep of San Diego State that gave her her 600th victory. Later, Michigan State swept Marshall.

But there was one major blemish on the B1G slate, as No. 20 Ohio State was upset in four sets at home by Missouri State. The Valley’s Northern Iowa knocked off No. 18 USC of the Pac-12.

Also, No. 7 Creighton swept visiting No. 13 Kentucky.

Saturday’s NCAA schedule is as full as it gets, with 242 matches. Click here for the NCAA scoreboard that lists them all.

Michigan State coach Cathy George with her team after getting victory No. 600.

Big Ten: Top teams all get victories

The 6-foot-tall Detering is making the most of staying in on the front row for Penn State, now 4-0.

“I used to hit in high school, but I never imagined I’d hit at the collegiate level,” the senior said. “I’ve always been a setter, so this role is different for me.” 

She led a balanced attack. Simone Lee also had 11 kills, while Ali Frantti and Haleigh Washington had 10 each. Frantti had 14 digs, while Washington hit .625 and had seven blocks, one solo.

The Nittany Lions play host Texas A&M at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. That match will be streamed on the SEC Network and the Watch ESPN app.

Stanford, 3-1, has Saturday off and plays A&M on Sunday morning. The Cardinal got a career-high 27 kills from Kathryn Plummer, who hit .440. She also had 11 digs and a couple of blocks. Michaela Keefe added 15 kills and two blocks. Audriana Fitzmorris had six kills, four digs and two of Stanford’s three aces. Once again, 6-foot-8 right side Merete Lutz sat out with an injury.

Veteran Penn State coach Russ Rose said it was a hard-fought match, “but I don’t think other than Plummer’s offense I’m not sure it was well played. But she was certainly exceptional.

“She carried her team offensively. We had good balance but demonstrated that we couldn’t slow her down even though we knew she was the one causing the damage.”

It was the first loss for the Cardinal since a five-set setback to UCLA on Nov. 12, 2016. Stanford gets a rematch in one week when the Cardinal, Penn State and Colorado go to Illinois.

“Again, I don’t think either team played that well, but a lot of times the weight of the match and the quality of opponents might weigh you down a little bit,” Rose said. “So you’re spying a little bit instead of really taking care of the ball on your side and playing really well. Both teams had flashes where they were in control and both teams had situations where they allowed the other team to get back into it.

“We’ll play them again in a week. They were not playing at full strength and it doesn’t mean anything if we’re not ready to play (Saturday).”

No. 23 Michigan State celebrated George’s 600th as the Spartans beat San Diego State 25-17, 25-14, 25-17 in the morning. Then she got No. 601 as they beat Marshall 25-10, 25-18, 25-22 to improve to 4-1.

“There’s so many players and people who played a part in reaching 600 victories,” George said. “I owe everyone — my players, my assistants, my administrators, my family — a huge debt of gratitude for the roles they played. I have been fortunate to have many wonderful people in my corner throughout my coaching career.” 

Second-ranked Minnesota is 3-0 after sweeping West Virginia 25-17, 25-18, 25-22.

Stephanie Samedy led with 15 kills and hit .375, while Molly Lohman had eight kills and hit .700. Alexis Hart had eight kills, while Regan Pittman and Taylor Morganeach had seven each.

Mia Swanegan led West Virginia with 12 kills. Minnesota hit .324 to West Virginia’s .160.

No. 6 Wisconsin is 4-0 after sweeping Arkansas 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 at Kansas State. Kelli Bates led the Badgers with 15 kills. Arkansas hitting machine Pilar Victoria had 21 kills. Earlier in the day the Badgers rolled over Syracuse  25-9, 25-14, 25-16. Wisconsin had 10 aces, four by Sydney Hilley. Bates led in that one, too, with 12 kills.

“We’re only two weeks in but I’m constantly learning things about this group,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “What I’m learning is this morning, we were playing a match where we were blowing people out. I liked our demeanor there, I liked our business-like approach there even though we were up pretty big.”

No. 12 Nebraska won twice, sweeping UMBC and Oral Roberts. Briana Holman had 10 kills and hit .769 in the first match, while Mikaela Foecke had 14 kills and hit .737. Oral Roberts hit minus-.064.

Senior Kelly Hunter, who sat out last weekend’s losses to Oregon and Florida, played in both matches Friday.

Michigan, ranked 19th, rolled past Butler 25-13, 25-22, 25-19, to improve to 3-1 as senior Claire Kieffer-Wright led with 14 kills and hit .632.

Ohio State was stunned by Missouri State of the Missouri Valley 25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20. The Bears, 3-1, beat Ohio State last September as well.

Lynsey Wright led with 15 kills and hit .577. Cheffrey Aubrey and Lily Johnson had nine kills each, with Johnson picking up 17 digs.

Ohio State, 2-2, got 15 kills from Audra Appold, who hit .382 and had 14 digs.

No. 21 Purdue is 4-0 after sweeping Jacksonville in Wyoming.

Also in the Big Ten on Friday, Northwestern beat South Carolina in four and swept Duke, Illinois did the same to Kent State, Indiana swept George Washington and Maryland swept Liberty on its home court. And Iowa picked up two sweeps, beating Nebraska-Omaha and Coastal Carolina, to improve to 4-1

Pac-12: USC knocked off by UNI, Oregon beats LMU in five

Most of the league’s teams won in sweeps, but The Trojans lost a tough one to host UNI 26-24, 30-28, 17-25, 26-24. Northern Iowa, 4-0, got 20 kills each from Karlie Taylor and Piper Thomas.

USC, 3-1, was led by Brittany Abercrombie’s 16 kills. She hit .520. Khalia Lanier had 15 kills.

No. 14 Oregon had a tough one against LMU, battling back for a 19-25, 28-26, 24-26, 25-19, 15-8 victory to improve to 3-1. LMU is 1-3.

Lindsey Vander Weide led Oregon with 15 kills and 18 digs, Ronika Stone had 12 and eight blocks, one solo, and Willow Johnson and Lauren Page had 11 kills each.

“LMU is a very good team,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said. “I’m just really proud of us. We knew it was going to be a frustrating match, and generally when you get frustrated that’s when you fall apart, but we were able to hang in there and we finally got more disciplined and finally figured out the rhythm of the match. I’m proud of us for being able to pull it out that way.”

LMU got 17 kills from Sara Kovac and 12 from Sarah Slattery.

No. 8 Washington swept Santa Clara, No. 11 UCLA did the same at New Mexico State, Cal swept Dartmouth, Oregon State swept Alabama State, and No. 22 Utah swept Western Carolina.

No. 11 UCLA swept New Mexico State 25-22, 25-23, 25-17 to improve to 4-0. Zana Muno had 21 digs and an ace, Sarah Sponcil had 39 assists, eight digs and four blocks and Reily Buechler had 11 kills and eight digs

Washington State won twice to improve to 5-1. The Cougars swept Quinnipiac and College of Charleston. Arizona swept Eastern Kentucky and Grand Canyon to improve to 4-1.

Arizona State, 4-1, split its matches, beating Nevada-Reno in four but losing to host Gonzaga in five.

ACC: FSU cruises, Louisville tops WKU

The league has just two ranked teams and No. 16 North Carolina plays Saturday against Auburn in Puerto Rico. No. 15 Florida State routed UNC Asheville 25-19, 25-15, 25-20 as Christina Ambrose had 13 kills and Milica Kubura 11 to go with six blocks. The Seminoles are 4-0.

Syracuse bounced back from losing to Wisconsin to beat K-State on its home floor 17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18. It was victory No. 550 for coach Leonid Yelin.

Conversely, Louisville got Dani Busboom Kelly her first victory as a head coach with a 18-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-15 win over in-state rival No. 24 Western Kentucky.

“I don’t think we could have scripted it any better with bringing in Western Kentucky, who’s an in-state rival, a great team, a team that’s always in the top-25 and top of their conference,” Kelly said. “You know getting kind of punched in the mouth a little bit in game one and being able to respond was huge for this team and I think just set the tone in Cardinal Arena. We’ve been talking about the 87 percent winning percentage here and we want to do everything we can to protect that.”

Louisville, 1-2, got 13 kills from Tess Clark and 12 from Melanie McHenry, who hit .375, had seven blocks and six digs. WKU, 4-1, got 10 kills from Sydney Engle, who .421 to lead a balanced attack. Rachel Anderson and Alyssa Cavanaugh had nine kills each.

Notre Dame won twice, beating VCU in four before sweeping host Bowling Green. Notre Dame, which got 12 kills each from Jemma Yeadon and Rebecca Nunge, is 5-0.

Also in the ACC, Duke split, beating UNC Wilmington before losing to Northwestern, Virginia Tech lost in five to Ole Miss but then beat Arkansas State in four, and Wake Forest split, losing to Rice before beating Abilene Christian.

Virginia lost to East Tennessee, Georgia Tech lost to No. 17 San Diego, Boston College lost to Princeton in five before beating Bryant in five, and Miami beat Florida Atlantic in five.

Big 12: Texas, Kansas,Iowa State get victories

All three of the league’s ranked teams won Friday.

No. 4 Texas crushed Villanova (25-19, 25-12, 25-10 in San Diego as Chiaka Ogbogu had six kills, hit .600 and had a career-high 11 blocks. Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani also hit .600 on seven kills.

No. 9 Kansas beat Long Beach State 17-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-23 in Orem, Utah, as Kelsie Payne had 20 kills and hit .381. Madson Rigdon had 17 kills and 13 digs. KU is 5-0.

No. 25 Iowa State, 4-0, swept host Dayton 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 to get coach Christy Johnson-Lynch her 250th victory. Grace Lazard and Genesis Miranda led with seven kills each. Amber Erhahon led Dayton with 13 kills and three blocks, two solo.

Also in the Big 12 on Friday, TCU lost in five to Colorado State, Baylor beat Quinnipiac, Texas Tech swept Eastern Washington and Oklahoma was swept by High Point before losing in five to Ohio.

Creighton’s Lydia Dimke and Marysa Wilkinson block against Kentucky/Mark Kuhlmann photo

SEC: Kentucky falls to Creighton, LSU wins twice

The Wildcats lost at Creighton 25-20, 26-24, 25-20 to fall to 3-1.

Creighton, which was coming off its upset of No. 3 Washington, celebrated its home opener with a sold-out crowd of 2,578. Jaali Winters led the Bluejays, 4-0, with 15 kills and hit .400. She also had seven digs. Taryn Koth had nine kills and Marysa Wilkinson eight while hitting .467.

Leah Edmond led Kentucky with 18 kills and had 11 digs. Avery Skinner added 14 kills.

“We gave ourselves chances at the end of set two and we had a lot of kills,” Kentucky coach Craig Skinner said. “Creighton caused us some problems and I think as we grow as a team over the next several weeks this will be a great match to pull from to figure out how we can keep getting better.”

Third-ranked Florida was off and plays NC State on Saturday and North Carolina on Sunday in Puerto Rico.

LSU is 5-0 after sweeping Hartford and then coming back to beat host UConn 19-25, 25-12, 23-25, 25-18, 15-10. Jacqui Armer led with 14 kills while hitting .417. Olivia Beyer, Gina Tillis and Toni Rodriguez had 10 kills apiece. Beyer had eight blocks, three solo, Tillis had 11 blocks and setter Anna Zweibel had three of LSU’s seven aces.

Also in the SEC, Alabama beat South Alabama, Ole Miss beat Virginia Tech but lost to SMU, Mississippi State swept South Florida but was swept by Tulane, Georgia swept Ohio but lost in four to High Point, Missouri beat Sacramento State but then lost to No. 10 BYU, Tennessee beat UTSA in four, and South Carolina fell to Northwestern and UNC Wilmington.

BYU beats Missouri

BYU is one of just four non-power five teams in the AVCA poll, along with Creighton, San Diego and WKU. The Cougars are 5-0 after their 25-13, 21-25, 25-21, 25-16 victory.

Veronica Jones-Perry led with 19 kills. McKenna Miller added 14. Cosy Burnett had four of her team’s eight aces.

“I thought we did a good job sticking with our game plan,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “We struggled to get into a rhythm, but we never gave up. Everyone contributed and it was another great team win against a really good opponent.”

Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana led Mizzou, 3-2, with 13 kills.

Worth noting: Tulane is 5-1, the Ivy League finally got underway on Friday and Brown won twice, beating Fairleigh Dickinson and Manhattan, Towson is 4-0 after beating Appalachian State, Providence is 4-0 after sweeping East Carolina, Radford swept Eastern Kentucky to get to 5-0, Evansville had to go give to beat Morgan State but is also 5-0, Colgate beat Temple and is 4-0 and UC Irvine beat Kennesaw State to get to 4-0.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here