NCAA roundup: Season begins with 3 upsets, big-time performances

1
NCAA volleyball roundup 8/31/2019-Tessa Grubbs
Tennessee's Tessa Grubbs tips against Illinois/Andrew Ferguson, Tennessee athletics

The NCAA Division I volleyball season served off Friday with a massive schedule and — at least in the case of the AVCA top 25 — there were just three upsets.

That’s not to say that ranked teams didn’t lose — they did — but to other ranked teams.

Except No. 7 Kentucky, No. 21 San Diego, and No. 23 Cal Poly.

But before telling you about that, know that in Illinois’ incredible five-set comeback victory over Tennessee, Jacqueline Quade picked right up where she left off last season and had 31 kills, while Tessa Grubbs had 29 for the Vols. And check out what happened in Texas Tech’s win over Ohio State below.

The Wildcats opened the 2019 season with a sweep of No. 23 Cal Poly at Utah, but then had to play the home team and got swept out of the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City 25-19, 25-16, 25-23. Which left Utah 2-0 after the Utes first swept Saint Mary’s behind 14 kills by Kenzie Koerber, who hit .522. In the win over Kentucky, Dani Drews led with 11 kills, seven digs and three solo blocks.

Kentucky, which plays Saint Mary’s on Saturday, hit .056. Ouch.

Cal Poly, playing without star senior Torrey Van Winden, also got swept by Saint Mary’s.

And San Diego ran into Hawai’i, which won 25-19, 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 15-10 on its home court behind 19 kills — six in the fifth set — from Jolie Rasmussen, one of three Oregon transfers on the roster. Another former Duck, Brooke Van Sickle, had 12. And freshman Swede Hanna Helvig had 13 kills, five digs and three blocks.

There are just so many matches this weekend. Here’s a quick look at Friday’s action:

Top-25 losses: No. 18 Creighton lost to No. 2 Nebraska. No. 19 Tennessee lost to No. 6 Illinois.  We mentioned Cal Poly. And No. 25 Louisville lost to No. 10 Florida.

Lexi Sun led Nebraska with 13 kills but hit .146. Creighton hit .067 as a team … Quade’s 31 kills came on a whopping 85 swings in a 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17 and — yes — 23-21 victory. Grubbs also had 85 attacks … Thayer Hall had 12 kills in Florida’s sweep of Louisville.

The Petersons in Austin, Baylee, Bobbi, Sydney, and Duane/UT Athletics

Top-25 wins: No. 1 Stanford swept at Charleston as Kathryn Plummer had 16 kills and the Cardinal hit .354 … Third-ranked Minnesota swept North Carolina behind 15 kills and 14 digs from Stephanie Samedy … No. 4 Texas had its hands full with visiting Northern Iowa in a match that featured three Petersons, UNI coach Bobbi Peterson, her sophomore DS daughter Baylee, and her twin sister, Texas libero Sydney. Micaya White had 18 kills and 13 digs for Texas in the 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19 victory. Karlie Taylor had 19 kills and 19 digs for UNI …

Wisconsin, ranked No. 5 and picked to win the Big Ten, swept Florida State as Dana Rettke had 17 kills, hit .417, and had two aces … No. 8 Penn State crushed Hofstra as Jonni Parker had 14 kills and hit .667 … No. 9 BYU won twice, sweeping Boise State and Utah Valley. Taylen Ballard-Nixon had a career-high 12 kills against Utah Valley and hit .435 … Oregon opened with a sweep of UC Irvine as Willow Johnson had 12 kills, hit .571, and had five digs and an ace for the No. 11 Ducks …

No. 12 Pittsburgh won twice, sweeping Cleveland State and then Cincinnati. Against Cleveland State Layne Van Buskirk had 11 kills and hit .526 and Kayla Lund had 11 kills and hit .625. Lund had 10 more kills against Cincinnati as the Panthers held star Jordan Thompson to nine kills and a .250 hitting percentage. Thompson, who led the NCAA in kills last season and was an integral part of the USA national team this summer as it clinched an Olympic bid, had 20 kills and also hit .250 when the Bearcats earlier beat South Carolina. The two Mikaylas, Shields and Robinson, had 15 kills apiece for South Carolina …

Washington, ranked No. 13, swept St. John’s, hitting .398 … No. 14 USC, which plays at Texas on Sunday, opened with a 3-1 victory at the Sun Belt’s Texas State. Khalia Lanier led with 17 kills, seven digs and two blocks … No. 15 Michigan swept Oakland but then had to rally to beat Northern Arizona in five. May Pertofsky led with 15 kills and hit .542 against NAU … No. 16 Marquette swept Utah Valley and Boise State and faces BYU on Saturday … No. 20 Baylor swept UCLA at Nebraska. Yossiana Pressley led with 19 kills and hit .389 …

No. 22 Washington State swept James Madison, while No. 24 Arizona opened with two sweeps, beating Appalachian State and Loyola Marymount. Katie Smoot had a combined 22 kills for the Wildcats.

This and that: Radford spilt two matches Friday, but when the Highlanders opened with a win over Texas-Rio Grande Valley, it gave coach Mari Byers her 200th career victory …

Ohio State opened with a sweep of Lehigh but then lost in five to Texas Tech. Tech’s Emily Hill had 29 kills and hit .407 and had five assists, two aces, 14 digs and two blocks. Mia Grunze led Ohio State with 30 kills, hit .343, and had six digs and a block …

Ann Ernst had 26 kills for Loyola Maryland in a five-set win over Furman. And then Grace Turner had 21 kills for Virginia as the Cavaliers also beat Furman … Winthrop won two five-set matches Friday, beating Morehead State and then Davidson. Olivia Lohmeier had 25 kills for Morehead State in the loss, while Sydney Gunter, Nikkia Benitez and Jace Kleffner had 12 kills each for Winthrop against Davidson … Parker Webb, who missed almost all of last season with a knee injury, had 17 kills and hit .533 as Portland State swept Southern Illinois.

For all of Friday’s results and Saturday’s nationwide schedule, go to NCAA.com.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY