NCAA roundup: Welcome to league play with wild outcomes as five ranked teams lose

Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Adanna Rollins, Minnesota, Gophers, NCAA volleyball roundup 9/20/2018
Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Adanna Rollins exult in Minnesota's upset of Penn State/Christopher Mitchell,

Yep, this is how it’s going to be this season.

No. 7 Minnesota didn’t just beat visiting No. 4 Penn State, it swept the Nittany Lions.

No. 5 Texas went to Kansas State — led by a large margin in almost every statistical category — and had to win 19-17 in the fifth.

No. 14 USC beat No. 17 UCLA — and, no, this isn’t a misprint on that second-set score — 25-21, 25-8, 29-27.

No. 19 Baylor lost at home to Texas Tech.

Colorado beat visiting No. 23 Utah in five.

Alabama, ranked No. 25, got swept at Missouri.

And that was just the first day of power-five conference play.

Wednesday’s recaps and highlights follow, but first a look at Thursday’s NCAA Division I women’s schedule.

Top-ranked BYU opens West Coast Conference play when Pacific goes to Provo. Also in the WCC, No. 24 San Diego is home for Saint Mary’s, LMU is at Gonzaga, Pepperdine plays at Portland and San Francisco is home for Santa Clara.

There are three in-state Pac-12 openers as No. 12 Oregon plays host to Oregon State, No. 13 Washington is home for No. 22 Washington State and Arizona State goes to Arizona.

The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC have Thursday off, but in the B1G on Friday, third-ranked Nebraska has No. 18 Michigan in Lincoln, No. 8 Illinois goes to No. 16 Purdue, Michigan State plays at Iowa and Northwestern is at Indiana.

Also on Thursday’s docket are Colorado State at Nevada and Boise State at UNLV to open Mountain West play, Northern Arizona opening Big Sky action against visiting Idaho State, and Eastern Michigan facing Central Michigan in the MAC. has all the listings for every NCAA Division I match that is being shown. On Thursday that includes the Oregon-OSU and Washington-WSU matches on the Pac-12 Network.

Stephanie Samedy-Minnesota-Gophers-NCAA volleyball roundup 9/20/2018
Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy hits into the Penn State block of Allyson Cathey, left, Kaitlyn Hord, and Brianna Weiskircher/ Christopher Mitchell,

Minnesota sweeps Penn State: The Gophers (7-2, 1-0) took it to the visitors 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 behind Stephanie Samedy, who had 14 kills, an assist, an ace, 10 digs and five blocks, one solo. Before a sold-out crowd of 5,450, Adanna Rollins had 13 kills, hit .333, and had 11 digs and a block and Alexis Hart had eight kills, five digs and a block. Morgan Taylor had six kills, hit .364, had an assist, two digs and four blocks. And setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson had 40 assists, 16 digs and two blocks.

Penn State (7-2, 0-1) hit .168. Allyson Cathey led with eight kills, a dig and three blocks, and Taylor Leath had eight kills, but hit .059, with two assist and five digs. Jonni Parker and Kaitlyn Hord had seven kills each.

Wisconsin, Maryland score sweep: The sixth-ranked Badgers (8-1, 1-0) rolled over visiting Ohio State 25-19, 25-17, 25-15, in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,052.

Wisconsin, which had 10 aces and just four errors, got 11 kills from Dana Rettke, who hit .421, had two assists, three of those aces, six digs and three blocks. Madison Duello had nine kills, also hit .421, and an ace and five digs. Grace Loberg had seven kills, seven digs and two blocks.

“I thought it was a good start to the Big Ten season,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “I thought we did a really good job of serving. Serving into space that was an emphasis going into tonight. We kept our errors down across the board. We had a few errors to start the match but we settled down there.

“I think we did a really good job of not allowing them to get on too many scoring runs. That was probably the biggest point of the match. Each set we got on a run and we really limited their runs. That usually starts with a good first pass and a good choice by the setter and I thought both of those things were fairly consistent.”

Ohio State (9-4, 0-1) hit .124. Mia Grunze led with 10 kills and a dig. Madison Smeathers had eight kills.

Maryland (10-3, 1-0) beat visiting Rutgers (6-8, 0-1) 25-14, 25-18, 25-15 as Erika Pritchard led with 13 kills, two aces and eight digs. Liz Twilley had 12 kills and hit .385.

“I was excited for the team,” Maryland coach Adam Hughes said. ”A lot of these guys are getting their first start in the Big Ten. All but two people that played in the match had never played in a Big Ten match before. To get those people experience and to see them start on time and play all the way through, I was pretty proud of them for their effort tonight.”

Rutgers, which hit .140, got eight kills from Sahbria McLetchie, but she hit .000. Tali Marmen had seven kills, hit .333, and had an ace, four digs and two blocks, one solo.

Texas escapes Manhattan: Texas won the Big 12 match 24-26, 25-19, 25-17, 18-25, 19-17 in a match in which K-State hung tough despite being on the short end of nearly every stat. Texas had more kills: 77-66, a higher attack percentage: .346-.244, more digs: 71-62, and more blocks: 12-6. Kansas State had more aces: 8-3. The Wildcats even took the lead in the fifth set, 16-15, before Texas closed out.

Texas (6-3, 1-0) got 21 kills from Micaya White, who hit .383, had an assist, 13 digs and a block. Brionne Butler had 14 kills, an assist, four digs and seven blocks, one solo. Yaazie Bedart-Ghani had 10 kills, three digs and two blocks.

Kansas State (10-2, 0-1) got a big performance from Kylee Zumach, who had 20 kills, an assist, 14 digs and three blocks, one solo.

“That’s the fifth-best team in the country,” Zumach said. “If that’s how we go out and we are playing our very first game of the Big 12, that’s nothing to hang your head about … When it was time to compete, we gave it our all.”

Gloria Mutiri added 14 kills, hit .323, and had two aces, seven digs and a block, and Alyssa Schultejans had 17 kills, an ace and two blocks.

Texas Tech upsets Baylor: The 13-25, 25-11, 25-21, 25-18 victory at Baylor left the Red Raiders 12-3 overall, 1-0 in the Big 12, and pretty fired up after the program’s first road victory over a ranked league team since 2004.

It was also the first time coach Tony Graystone beat a ranked team.

“This is pretty sweet,” Graystone said. “This was a match we really wanted. The team was in great shape, they had great spirits about this match. They knew we were in for a battle, and they performed great. I can’t ask for any more from a team than what they did tonight. It was so good to see them recover after the first set, start rolling and never look back.”

Brooke Kanas led Tech with 17 kills, hitting .344. She had two digs and four blocks. Chandler Atwood had 15 kills, three digs and four blocks, two solo, and Emily Hill had 10 kills, 12 digs and a block. Allison White had six kills, four digs and seven blocks, one solo.

Baylor (8-4, 0-1) hit a season-low .151.

Yossiana Pressley led the Bears with 16 kills, 11 digs and a block, and Aniah Philo had 10 kills, 21 digs and three blocks. Shelly Fanning had seven kills, an ace, six digs and four blocks.

“In the first set, we had a lot of blocks. Then we only had two more after two sets,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “We were just letting them swing away. We needed to get back to blocking better and control our digs a little bit better.

“Tonight was one where our serving and passing hurt us, and we were not as sharp in all of the other areas. We’ve just got to get better. Unfortunately, our highs are high and our lows are low right now. To be a good team, we’ve got to be consistent and be able to fight and battle through those things. We’ve got to pick ourselves up as fast as we can and get up to challenge teams.”

Also in the Big 12, TCU swept visiting Oklahoma and Iowa State won in four at West Virginia.

TCU (9-3, 1-0) beat the Sooners 25-23, 25-18, 25-20. élan McCall continued to light it up for the Horned Frogs with 16 kills and 14 digs. Anna Walsh had 12 kills, two digs and two blocks.

Oklahoma (8-5, 0-1) got 12 kills from Alyssa Enneking, who had nine digs, an assists and a block. Sarah Sanders had nine kills, hit .350, and had two digs. Oklahoma hit .315.

Iowa State (8-6, 1-0) came back to beat the Mountaineers 21-25, 35-33, 25-21, 25-21 as Josie Herbst had a career-high 19 kills while hitting .545. She had two digs and four blocks. Jess Schaben also had 19 kills and added 10 digs and three blocks, one solo. Grace Lazard had 16 kills, hit .385 and had two digs and five blocks.

West Virginia (7-6, 0-1) was led by Katelyn Evans, who had 15 kills, four digs and five blocks, one solo. Kristin Lux and Katie DeMeo had 12 kills each. DeMeo hit .300 and had six blocks, one solo. Natania Levak had 10 kills and four blocks.

Unbeaten Pitt sweeps Virginia: The only ACC team in action won 25-17, 25-23, 25-21, improving to 12-0, 1-0, while dropping Virginia to 4-7, 0-1.

Pitt’s Stephanie Williams led with 13 kills while hitting .400. She added three assists, an ace, five digs and two blocks. Chinaza Ndee had 12 kills, hit .421, and had four digs and five blocks, and Kayla Lund had 11 kills, two assists, an ace, seven digs and a block.

Virginia’s Jelena Novakovic had nine kills, six digs and seven blocks and Alex Spencer had eight kills with one error in 12 swings to hit .583.

Stanford, USC, Colorado win in Pac-12: No. 2 Stanford won at Cal 25-16, 25-23, 25-14 as Kathryn Plummer had 14 kills and hit .303 and Audriana Fitzmorris had 10 kills with one error in 18 attacks and hit .500.

Stanford (9-1, 1-0) also got eight digs and two blocks from Plummer and a dig and three blocks from Fitzmorris. Meghan McClure had eight kills, 11 digs and two blocks and Courtney Bowen had seven kills in 14 errorless swings to go with five blocks.

Mima Mirkovic led Cal (8-4, 0-1) with 11 kills, eight digs and a block. The Bears hit .151.

USC (9-3, 1-0) swept UCLA (5-3, 0-1) for the first time since 2015.

Emily Baptista led USC with 15 kills and hit .480.  She had four digs and a block. Brooke Botkin had 12 kills, nine digs and a block, and Khalia Lanier had 10 kills, six digs, an ace and a block. Setter Raquel Lazaro had a kill, six aces, 11 digs and three blocks.

UCLA hit .142. Mac May and Madeleine Gates had eight kills each. May had six digs and two aces.

Colorado beat visiting Utah 21-25, 25-21, 13-25, 25-18, 15-13 as Alexa Smith led with 15 kills — including five of the team’s final nine — and 23 digs. Anyse Smith had 13 kills, a dig and two blocks, and Naghede Abu had eight kills and seven blocks.

“It was a strange match because in two of those sets, one was competitive, and that always makes the match have kind of a strange energy,” CU coach Jesse Mahoney said. “Two really good teams, but I also think two young teams and two teams that have a little different pieces than they had the year before. You can kind of see that on both sides.

“When we want to be good, I think we can be really good. The last five points in the fifth set I thought was really crisp, good volleyball.  When we allow ourselves to be bad, unfortunately we can be really bad.”

Utah’s Dani Drews had 20 kills, an ace, 10 digs and two blocks, one solo. Kenzie Koerber and and Lauga Gauta had nine kills apiece. Koerber had four digs and eight blocks and Gauta had nine digs and an ace.

Missouri, Texas A&M win SEC matches:  Missouri is 11-2 after beating Alabama in their SEC opener 25-22, 25-18, 28-26. The Tigers got 15 kills from Leketor Member-Meneh, who had four digs. Dariana Hollingsworth had 14 kills and hit .429 and added two assists, 12 digs and five blocks. And Kyle Deberg had 10 kills, an ace, four digs and four blocks, one solo.

Alabama (12-2) hit .056. Ginger Perinar led with seven kills but had seven errors.

Texas A&M won 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 to improve to 8-5, 1-0, as Makena Patterson had 13 kills and hit .478 to go with two digs and four blocks. The Aggies, who hit .168, got eight kills from Brookah Palmer, who had four aces, three blocks — one solo — and six digs. Camille Conner and Samantha Sanders had six kills each.

Arkansas (6-5, 0-1) hit .118. Hailey Dirrigi led with seven kills, an ace, four digs and a block.

Around the country: New Mexico (7-6) won its Mountain West opener, beating visiting Utah State in four as Lauren Twitty had 19 kills and 12 digs and Tai Bierria had 19 kills and 11 digs …

Villanova (7-6) opened Big East play with a four-set win over Seton Hall (6-8) as Clare Delaplane had 22 kills, 12 digs and three blocks … Iva Vujosevic had 16 kills, two assists, three aces, 13 digs and three blocks as Georgetown (8-5) beat St. John’s (11-5), also in the Big East …

And East Tennessee State improved to 12-2 with its Southern Conference-opening sweep over Western Carolina (6-6) as Alyssa Kvarta had 31 assists, six kills, six digs and four blocks.


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