NCAA: Cal Poly wins, power-5 conference play begins with big matches

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Rachel Anderson of WKU attacks against Cincinnati/WKU Athletics

As they say, let’s get this party started. While a couple of leagues got going first — No. 15 Cal Poly swept UC Davis in the Big West on Tuesday — the power-fives start conference play Wednesday.

Things get serious from the start as No. 4 Penn State opens Big Ten play at No. 7 Minnesota with league-title and NCAA Tournament seeding implications.

There are two other B1G matches as No. 6 Wisconsin plays host to Ohio State and No. 8 Illinois goes to No. 16 Purdue.

Four ranked teams from the Pac-12 open league play, as well. No. 2 Stanford is at Cal, No. 14 USC plays host to No. 17 UCLA and No. 23 Utah goes to Colorado.

There is one ACC match Wednesday and its only ranked team, No. 9 Pittsburgh, plays host to Virginia.

There are four Big 12 matches and they include the league’s two ranked teams. No. 5 Texas goes to Kansas State, while No. 19 Baylor is home for Texas Tech. Also, Oklahoma goes to TCU and Iowa State goes to West Virginia.

And in the SEC, No. 25 Alabama goes to Missouri and Arkansas is at Texas A&M.

The West Coast Conference, which includes No. 1 BYU and No. 24 San Diego, starts league play on Thursday. No. 10 Creighton and No. 21 start Big East play Friday.

It will be a great night for TV.

VolleyballMag.com has all the listings for every NCAA Division I match that is being shown, and on Wednesday that includes ESPNU showing Texas-Kansas State at 7 p.m. Eastern, followed by Alabama at Missouri.

The Big Ten Network will have Ohio State-Wisconsin at 7, followed by Penn State at Minnesota, and the Pac-12 Network has Utah-Colorado at 9, followed by Stanford-Cal.

Cal Poly sweeps UC Davis: Torrey Van Winden once again led the Mustangs, this time with 14 kills while hitting .462 as Cal Poly opened Big West play with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-16 victory over visiting UC Davis.

Van Winden added an assist, two aces and 16 digs as the Mustangs improved to 11-1. Four other Cal Poly players had six kills each, Jessica McRoskey, Madilyn Mercer, Meredith Phillips and Adlee Van Winden, who had nine digs. Setter Avalon DeNecochea had four kills in six errorless swings, 31 assists, an ace, six teams and four blocks.

UC Davis (8-5) got eight kills from Lauren Matias and seven from Josie Ough, who hit .429.

More Big West: Long Beach State, UC Irvine and CSUN all won their league openers.

Long Beach State (9-5) beat visiting UC Riverside 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 as Xue YiZhi had 11 kills, hitting .588 with one error in 17 swings, and four blocks. Tyler Spriggs had nine kills and hit .444. She had one error in 18 swings, to go with nine digs and an ace. And Allison Martinez followed suit with eight kills and one error in 17 attacks to hit .412. She added three blocks and two digs.

UC Riverside (5-7) was led by Nailah Jones, who had 14 kills, an assist, an ace and three digs. Yuliya Ushakova had nine kills and hit .438.

UC Irvine won at UC Santa Barbara 25-19, 29-27, 11-25, 26-24.

Abby Marjama and Idara Akpakpa had 12 kills each for UCI (7-6).  Marjama had an assist, an ace and six digs, while Akpakpa had a dig and six blocks. Makayla Wolf added eight kills, hit .462, and had an ace, three digs and two blocks.

Lindsey Ruddins had nine of her match-high 23 kills in the fourth set for UCSB (8-5). She had an assist, three aces, 18 digs and a block. Torre Glasker had 11 kills, two assists, 11 diga and two blocks. Charlie Robinson had 10 kills and hit .350 to go with three blocks, one solo.

And CSUN (5-8) beat visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-7) 25-20, 25-20, 25-14 as Aeryn Owens had 15 kills while hitting .462. She added two assists, an ace, four digs and two blocks, one solo. Lexi McLeod had nine kills with one error in 17 swings to hit .471. She had six digs and two blocks, one solo. Morgan Salone had six kills, hit .500 and had three blocks.

“A 3-0 win is nice for our team, we haven’t had too many of those this season,” CSUN coach Jeff Stork said. “I think we’re point scoring very well but we’re still making way too many errors. It was a good win but it wasn’t our best match. This team can play so much better.”

Fullerton hit .044. Felicia Marshall led with nine kills, eight digs and three blocks, one solo.

Oregon State sweeps Seattle: The Beavers of the Pac-12 ended pre-conference play 10-2 with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-19 victory over Seattle of the WAC (7-6).

Maddie Goings led a balanced attack with nine kills, eight digs, an ace and solo block. Maddy Gravley and Amy Underdown — who had 17 digs — had eight kills each, and Lindsey Schell had six kills and seven blocks, four solo.

Seattle hit .057. Julia Queiroz led with nine kills and hit .353 and Sofia Sanchez had eight kills.

Kansas beats Drake: The Jayhawks of the Big 12 beat the visitors from the Missouri Valley Conference 25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20 as Jada Burse had 18 kills, hit .444 and had five digs and three blocks, one solo.

Kansas (7-4) got 11 kills from Zoe Hill, who had no errors in 20 swings and hit .550 to go with seven blocks, one solo, and 10 kills from Ashley Smith.

Drake (11-3) was led by Grace Schofield, who had 18 kills, an assist, an ace, six digs and a solo block. Gillian Gergen added 12 kills and Emily Plock 11.

North Carolina beats Elon: In a match scheduled because both teams lost out to Hurricane Florence, UNC of the ACC swept the home team 25-20, 25-18, 25-18. Destiny Cox led the Tar Heels (4-5) with 10 kills, an ace, three blocks and six digs. Ava Bell had six kills, an ace, two blocks and an ace. Elon of the Colonial (8-3) got nine kills from Kellyn Trowse. Kam Terry and Leah Daniel had eight each.

Idaho wins Big Sky opener: Idaho (7-6) won at Eastern Washington (8-5) 25-21, 26-24, 25-13 as Kaela Straw had 16 kills, hit .364, and had a dig and two blocks, one solo. Reece Carman had 12 kills and five blocks, two solo, and Sarah Sharp had 10 kills and hit .409.

Eastern Washington’s Kaitlin Sugai led with seven kills and a block.

Lipscomb, Stetson win ASUN openers: Carlyle Nusbaum had 20 kills and hit .500 as Lipscomb (6-7) beat visiting North Alabama 25-11, 25-20, 25-13. Nusbaum added 14 digs, an ace and a block. Teammate Megan Kuper had 14 kills, hit .480, and had four aces, eight digs and a block.

Malaisa Stallworth led UNA (2-8) with six kills in 10 errorless swings and had two blocks. Three teammates had five kills each.

Stetson (9-4) beat Jacksonville (1-12) 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18. Eva Deisa led the Hatters with 14 kills while hitting .333. She had two aces, 10 digs and four blocks. Rebecca Ingram had 11 kills, hit .455 after making one error in 22 swings, and had a dig and three blocks. Mallory Mattingly had 20 kills for Jacksonville to go with two assists, 10 digs and two blocks.

Around the nation: Troy improved to 6-7 in a sweep at Alabama State (3-13) as Cheyenne Hayes had 14 kills, four aces and two digs …

Brown (7-3) beat Bryant (9-7) in four in a battle of Rhode Island teams. Sabrina Stillwell had 19 kills, hit .350 and had two aces, five blocks and 10 digs for Brown …

And Western Kentucky of Conference USA beat visiting Cincinnati of the American Athletic 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18 to improve to 9-5 as Rachel Anderson had 17 kills and hit .467. to go with four blocks, one solo. Hallie Shelton added 12 kills, an assist, an ace, nine digs and two blocks.

It was victory No. 599 for coach Travis Hudson, all at WKU.

Cincinnati (9-4) was led by Jordan Thompson, who had 24 kills, eight digs and three blocks. Maria Mallon added 10 kills, hit .375, and had nine digs and two blocks. Dahsa Cabarkapa had nine kills, hit .533, and had a dig and four blocks.

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