The final weekend of pre-conference NCAA Division I women’s volleyball play got off to a good start for top-ranked BYU on Thursday night as the Cougars swept visiting No. 24 Utah.
All the other ranked teams in action Thursday won as No. 7 Minnesota beat Green Bay, No. 12 Oregon swept Hawai’i — the same teams play again Friday — No. 13 Washington won at Boise State, and No. 16 UCLA went to Long Beach State and won in four.
The Friday schedule is loaded.
The No. 3 Texas Longhorns hope to make a better showing Friday when second-ranked Stanford visits Austin. On Tuesday, at Stanford, the Cardinal won in three.
Fourth-ranked Nebraska has a home tournament and plays Central Michigan and New Mexico on Friday and Missouri State on Saturday.
Penn State, ranked No. 5, goes to Washington, D.C., and plays at Howard, which earlier this season welcomed Stanford to the historically black (HBCU) campus. Penn State plays Buffalo and American on Saturday.
No. 6 Wisconsin makes the short trip to No. 21 Marquette.
No. 8 Illinois is the host to No. 10 Creighton, Northern Iowa and Lipscomb. The Illini play UNI on Friday and Creighton on Saturday. Friday’s other matches have UNI vs. Lipscomb and Creigton vs. Lipscomb.
No. 9 Pittsburgh is playing at home as a result of Hurricane Florence. The Panthers were scheduled to be in a tournament at Coastal Carolina, but will instead play College of Charleston on Friday and High Point on Saturday. Liberty plays both those teams, too.
No. 11 Florida has a home tournament and plays Jacksonville and FIU on Friday.
No. 13 Washington stays in Boise and plays CSUN — at 8:30 a.m. Pacifici — and then Sacramento State on Friday.
Cal Poly, ranked No. 14, is at North Texas where it plays Mississippi State on Friday and Wichita State and UNT on Saturday.
No. 15 Purdue makes a trip to Tuscaloosa, where the Boilermakers play Southern Miss and No. 25 Alabama on Friday and South Alabama on Saturday.
USC, tied with UCLA at No. 16, heads south a Friday-morning match with Louisiana-Lafayette and then plays host No. 23 San Diego. USD plays Louisiana and Oregon State on Saturday, while OSU plays UTEP Friday.
No. 18 Baylor goes to UTSA where it plays the host Roadrunners on Friday and Virginia Tech on Saturday.
No. 19 Michigan, rolling along at 9-0, plays host to Notre Dame on Friday and returns the match at South Bend on Sunday.
Twentieth-ranked Kentucky stays in state when it plays at Louisville.
No. 22 Washington State is at Western Kentucky and plays Northern Illinois and the home team on Friday.
No. 24 Utah has to bounce back right away. The Utes play host to Utah Valley.
Other matches of note or intrigue in the power-five conferences include Arkansas facing NC State, unbeaten Boston College playing UMass Lowell, Georgia at Georgia Tech and Iowa at Iowa State.
Two first-year, first-time women’s coaches go at it when Texas A&M and coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn goes to Oklahoma and coach Lindsey Walton-Gray.
To watch any match that is being shown, go to the VolleyballMag.com TV and streaming listings.
BYU sweeps Utah: A home record crowd of 5,472 watched the Cougars (9-0) win 25-20, 25-14, 25-17.
Roni Jones-Perry led with 13 kills, hitting .333, and added an ace, four digs and a block. Kennedy Eschenberg had nine kills with one error in 13 swings to hit .615 and four blocks, and McKenna Miller had eight kills, hit .353, and had two digs and two aces. Setter Lyndie Haddock-Eppich had three kills, 31 assists, 10 digs and three blocks.
“Offensively, we were really sharp tonight and Lyndie did a great job distributing the ball,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said.
“After midway through the first set we started to settle down and really find our rhythm. The energy in the Smith Fieldhouse was electric, and we appreciate all the fans who came out to support this rivalry match.”
While BYU hit .427, Utah (7-3) hit .167. Dani Drews led with 11 kills, two aces, two digs and two blocks.
Gophers sweep Green Bay: The 25-18, 25-15, 25-22 Minnesota victory left the home team 6-2, while the Phoenix dropped to 5-6.
Alexis Hart led Minnesota with 13 kills and hit .440. She had two blocks. Regan Pittman added nine kills, hit .421, and had an ace and two blocks. Stephanie Samedy had seven kills, hit .500 and added seven digs.
Green Bay hit .119. Taylor Wolf led with 10 kills.
Oregon sweeps Hawai’i: The Ducks (6-3) won 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 as Lindsey Vander Weide had 15 kills, hit .375, and added an ace, seven digs and two blocks. Ronika Stone had 12 kills, hit .500, and had an ace, three digs and five blocks, one solo.
Hawai’i (4-4) got nine kills from Sarah Liva, who had an ace, an assist and two blocks, one solo, and eight kills from Natasha Burns, who had two blocks, one solo.
Washington beats Boise State: The Huskies won 25-22, 25-23, 25-17.
Samantha Dreschel led with nine kills. She hit .316 and had two aces, a dig and four blocks. Julye Destiny had eight kills with no errors in 15 attacks to hit .533. She had three aces, six digs and two blocks. And Laauren Sanders, Avie Neice and Kara Bajema had seven kills each. Sanders had seven blocks.
Both teams are 6-2.
Bosie’s Sabryn Roberts had 18 kills, hit .378, and added three blocks and four digs.
UCLA beats Long Beach State: The Bruins continued a preseason in which they’ve visited other California schools, this time winning at Long Beach State 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 25-23.
UCLA (5-2) was led by Mac May, who had 17 kills, hit .326, and had an assist, an ace, 11 digs and two blocks, one solo. Jenny Mosser had 11 kills, an ace, seven digs and three blocks and Hawley Harrar had 10 kills, four digs and a block. Madeleine Gates added eight kills and six blocks, three solo.
Long Beach State (6-5) got 16 kills apiece from Kashauna Williams and Hailey Harward and 14 from Tyler Spriggs. Harward had three aces, 14 digs and a block.
Also: Harvard had a big win in Beantown as it knocked Boston College from the ranks of the unbeatens. Harvard, playing at home for the first time this season, won 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11.
The Crimson (3-4) has six players with 10 or more kills, led by Christina Cornelius, who had 14 kills, hit .400, and had an ace, 13 digs and six blocks, two solo. Grace Roberts Burbank had 13 kills and nine digs. Sope Adeleye had 12 kills, three digs and six blocks and Madeline Fields had 11 kills and six blocks, one solo.
Cat Balido had 17 kills for BC (9-1). She added 13 digs and four blocks and Jill Strockis had 10 kills, an ace, 16 digs and two blocks …
Cal (8-2) beat visiting Pacific (4-6) as Carmen Annevelink had 18 kills in the 26-24, 22-25, 24-26, 25-20, 15-11 victory. Mima Mirkovic had 16 kills, 21 digs, two aces, an assist and four blocks, and Bailee Huizenga had 10 kills, four digs and five blocks, one solo.
Pacific’s Riley Patterson had 13 kills and Riley Ramsey had 12 …
North Texas (4-8) beat visiting Mississippi State (4-8) in five to break an eight-match losing streak. Jordyn Williams and Valerie Valerian had 15 kills each in the 25-23, 25-20, 15-25, 21-25, 15-5 victory. Deja Robinson had 14 kills, four blocks and two aces for State …
Iowa State (7-4) beat visiting Wyoming (6-2) 25-17, 25-23, 25-20 as Jess Schaben led with 14 kills while hitting .314. She had 12 digs and two blocks.