NCAA roundup: BYU, Pitt stay unbeaten, plenty of close calls, The Citadel wins again

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Anna Newsome-McKenna Miller-USD-San Diego-BYU-Cougars-NCAA volleyball roundup 10/6/2018
USD's Anna Newsome jousts with BYU's McKenna Miller/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

There were no upsets, but some close calls Friday night in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball — Rutgers almost broke through before losing in five to Ohio State — as teams like No. 11 Florida, Michigan State, Arkansas and Colorado all won in five.

Top-ranked BYU and No. 7 Pittsburgh both won and remain the only unbeaten teams in the country.

And break up The Citadel: The Bulldogs swept Chattanooga to improve to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in the Southern Conference for only the second time in history. The Citadel was 8-26 overall last season, 2-14 in the SoCon.

Sharlissa De Jesus led with 19 kills, hitting .310, and had 11 digs and four assists.

“We played very mature volleyball tonight and that enabled us to get out of a tough environment with a big win,” first-year coach Dave Zelenock said. “I’m proud of the effort the team put in and we showed that we can bounce back from some tough losses in the conference. I’m excited that we have matched our program high in wins but we won’t settle at three. We are eager to continue our success within the program.”

The recaps follow, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule, which includes seven Big Ten matches, none more highly anticipated than No. 3 Nebraska (14-1, 5-0 B1G) at No. 5 Minnesota (11-2, 5-0). It’s a battle of the last teams left unbeaten in league play. The Huskers have won 14 in a row since opening with a loss to Florida, while Minnesota has won six in a row — all sweeps — which includes victories over No. 9 Penn State and No. 6 Wisconsin.

Also Saturday, Wisconsin is at Iowa, No. 7 Illinois is home for Northwestern, Penn State is home for Ohio State — the Buckeyes pulled off the upset in their first meeting at Penn State — No. 14 Purdue is at Michigan State, No. 16 Michigan is home for Indiana and Maryland plays at Rutgers.

In the Big 12, No. 4 Texas plays host to Iowa State, Texas Tech goes to TCU and Kansas is home for No. 23 Baylor.

The only Pac-12 match has Oregon State at No.17 UCLA.

No. 13 Cal Poly — which has been off since last Saturday and then doesn’t play until Friday — has a Big West match against visiting Hawai’i in a battle for the league lead. Both teams are 5-0.

The Big East’s Marquette, ranked 19th, plays at DePaul.

The ACC and SEC take football Saturdays off.

There’s a big one in the Missouri Valley when two of the three teams at 4-0 face off as upstart Bradley goes to perennial favorite Northern Iowa.

Other matches of note include Weber State playing Northern Colorado in the Big Sky, Austin Peay facing SIUE in the Ohio Valley, and Fresno State at Boise in the Mountain West.

NCAA.com has the complete list of Saturday’s matches.

Links for all NCAA Division I matches that are being televised or streamed can be found in our listings on VolleyballMag.com.

BYU-Cougars-bench-NCAA volleyball roundup 10/6/2018
The BYU bench celebrates coming back from a 17-24 deficit to tie the second set 24-24. BYU would go on to lose the set 26-24/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

BYU wins at USD: The Cougars (16-0, 6-0 West Coast Conference) won 25-21, 24-26, 25-16, 25-10 behind yet another big performance from Roni Jones-Perry, who had 23 kills, hit .465, and added six digs and three blocks. McKenna Miller had 16 kills, hit .345, and had an ace, two digs and two blocks. Kennedy Eschenberg had nine kills, hit .333, and had two digs and seven blocks, one solo. And Madelyn Robinson had six kills, hit .357, and had a dig and three blocks.

“I’m really pleased with the way we put together a good match on the road against a tough San Diego team,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “I thought we had good energy, I thought we stuck to the game plan, I think we struggled serving, but then got our serve back in the third and fourth sets, and started to be more like ourselves with our serve, and that helped us defensively.”

In the second set, BYU trailed 24-17 before going on a 7-0 run and then losing 26-24.

“Overall, I’m super pleased with the way we played on the road,” Olmstead said. “I couldn’t be more happy with the road win.”

San Diego (7-9, 4-2) got 10 kills apiece from Roxie Wiblin and Megan Jacobsen. Wiblin had nine digs and a block and Jacobsen hit .318 on a night when her team hit .046.

Penn State, Michigan get B1G wins: The No. 9 Nittany Lions (12-3, 3-2) swept visiting Maryland 25-16, 25-15, 25-16. Jonni Parker led with 11 kills and no errors in 21 attacks and hit .524 and had an assist, an ace, seven digs and three blocks. Taylor Leath had eight kills, 12 digs and a solo block.

Maryland (11-6, 2-3) got nine kills from Emma Schriner, who hit .368. Rainelle Jones had six kills and two blocks, one solo.

No. 16 Michigan (14-2, 3-2) demolished visiting Purdue (13-3, 2-2) 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 as the Wolverines not only overcame the loss of a starting middle, but hit a season-best .435.

Junior Cori Crocker sprained her ankle in practice and was replaced by freshman Kayla Blair, who had three kills — including the match winner — and two blocks. Another freshman, Paige Jones had 11 kills and five aces — including three in a row late in the last set — an assist, four digs and a block. Carly Skjodt had 11 kills with no errors in 28 swings, hit .393, and had an assist, seven digs and a solo block. And Sydney Wetterstrom had 10 kills with no errors in 12 attacks to hit .833. She added two digs and two blocks.

Purdue’s Blake Mohler had 11 kills and hit .389 to go with two blocks. Grace Cleveland had eight kills and two blocks. Purdue hit .106.

Michigan State (14-4, 2-3) held off visiting Indiana (11-5, 2-3) 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13 as Alyssa Chronowski had a career-high 25 kills, hit .314, and had eight digs. Maddie Haggerty had her best match ever for the Spartans with 14 kills, 14 digs, an ace and a block, and Naya Gros had 13 kills, hit .375, and had an ace, a dig and four blocks, one solo.

“These are the tests you get in the Big Ten. Teams push each other and have to fight some nights for every point,” Michigan State coach Cathy George said. 

“I have liked how our team has continued to fight with their backs against the wall.  There were a lot of career bests tonight, and in our first five-set match of the season, I liked a lot of what I saw.  However, we have a really tough Purdue team coming in here tomorrow and we are going to need to be just as tenacious, just as tough, and clean up some of the errors we made tonight.”

Indiana’s Breana Edwards had 14 kills and hit .355 to go with two digs and four blocks, three solo. Deyshia Lofton had 12 kills, hit .320, and had a dig and five blocks, one solo.

Ohio State (11-6, 2-3) got out of New Brunswick with a 18-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 15-9 at Rutgers (6-12, 0-5). Lauren Witte and Adria Powell had 17 kills each and Vanja Buklc had 13. Witte had three blocks, one solo, and Bukilic had four digs and four blocks, one solo.

Rutgers, which was coming off a four-set loss to Michigan State, got 15 kills from Merle Weidt, who hit .565 and had had two digs, two assists and eight blocks. Sahbria McLetchie had 14 kills, 11 digs and two blocks.

No surprises in the Pac-12: That includes No. 1 Stanford (13-1, 5-0) beating visiting No. 24 Utah (9-7, 1-4) 28-26, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17 behind 18 kills each from 6-foot-6 pin hitters Kathryn Plummer and Audriana Fitzmorris and 15 from Megan McClure. Plummer had 13 digs, two assists, an ace and three blocks. Fitzmorris hit .405 and had an assist, two digs and five blocks and McClure had two assists, 12 digs and two blocks. Tami Alade had four kills and 10 blocks, one solo.

Utah’s Dani Drews had 13 kills, nine digs and five blocks, and Kenzie Koerber had 11 kills, hit .310, and had two digs and three blocks. Lauga Gauta had 10 kills, hit .318 and had six digs and two blocks.

No. 15 Washington (12-3, 4-1) swept No. 21 Arizona (14-3, 3-2) as the Huskies hit .333. Samantha Dreschel had 14 kills, hit .333, and had three digs and two blocks. Kara Bajema had nine kills, six digs, two blocks, an assist, and two aces. Julye Destiny had eight kills, hit .316 and had an assist, an ace, three digs and two blocks and Avie Niece had seven kills, hit .500, and had five blocks.

No. 20 Oregon (10-5, 3-2) knocked off No. 17 UCLA (7-5, 3-2) 25-21, 25-18, 25-23 for its first sweep of the Bruins ever in Los Angeles. Taylor Borup led with 13 kills, hitting .310, and had 16 digs, a block and an ace. Willow Johnson and Lindsey Vander Weide had eight kills each. Mac May led UCLA, which hit .145, with 10 kills.

No. 22 Washington State (12-3, 3-2) swept Arizona State (12-5, 3-2) 25-17, 25-21, 25-17, as McKenna Woodford had 11 kills and hit .346 and Taylor Mims had 10 kills. Woodford had six digs and a block and Mims had seven digs and three aces. Megan Beedie led ASU with nine kills, hitting .438. Alyse Ford had eight kills, three digs and two solo blocks.

Colorado (10-6, 2-3) rallied to beat Cal (8-8, 0-5) 25-17, 26-28, 18-25, 25-16, 15-8 as Alexa Smith had 17 kills, two assists, three aces, 17 digs and a block. Justine Spann had 14 kills, 13 digs and two blocks.

Mima Mirkovic had 13 kills and 11 digs for Cal and Preslie Anderson added 11 kills, hit .435, and had a dig and three blocks.

Florida, Kentucky get SEC wins: The league’s two ranked teams won, while Missouri knocked South Carolina out of first place.

Florida (14-3, 5-0) got all it could handle from visiting Texas A&M (10-6, 3-1) and Hollann Hans 25-18, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 15-13. Holly Carlton led with 14 kills, hit .343, and had two assists, two aces, two digs and seven blocks. Paige Hammons had 13 kills, hit .306, and had two aces, five digs and a block. Thayer Hall had 10 kills, 15 digs and a block and Taelor Kellum had eight kills with no errors in 19 swings to hit .421 and had give blocks.

Hans had a career-high 32 kills for Texas A&M — the school record in an SEC match — as she took 77 swings and hit .260. She had three assists, two aces, and 11 digs. Samantha Sanders had nine kills, a dig and two blocks.

No. 18 Kentucky (10-4, 4-0) won its seventh in a row with a 25-11, 25-10, 25-13 sweep of Mississippi State (5-12, 1-3) as Brooke Morgan led a balanced attack by hitting 1.000 with nine kills in nine swings. She had an ace, two digs and three blocks. Alli Stumler had eight kills in 12 errorless attacks and hit .667 to go with two assists, an ace, five digs and a block.

State hit .068. Deja Robinson had seven kills and hit .308.

Missouri (13-4, 3-2) hit .402 as it swept South Carolina (13-2, 4-1) 25-22, 25-11, 30-28. Kylie Deberg led with 16 kills. She hit .343 and had an assist and three digs. Alyssa Munlyn 10 had kills with no errors in 18 swings to hit .556 and had four blocks. Tyanna Omazic had eight kills, hit .583 and had an ace, a dig and two blocks, one solo. And Leketor Member-Meneh had eight kills, hit .400, and had an ace and three blocks, two solo.

Brittany McLean led USC with eight kills. Three other Gamecocks had six kills each.

Arkansas (7-8, 1-4) came back from 0-2 to beat Ole Miss (10-8 0-4) 24-26, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-13. Hailey Dirrigi led with 22 kills, 13 digs, three aces and a block. Kelly O’Brien had 17 kills, hit .400, Logan Brown had 16 kills and Elizabeth Pamphile had 14 kills, hit .367, and had a dig, an ace and six blocks.

Emily Stroup had 20 kills for Ole Miss to go with 22 digs and two blocks. Caitlin Wernentin had 17 kills, hit .333, and had four digs and three blocks.

Pittsburgh, Louisville get ACC sweeps: The Panthers (16-0, 5-0) beat Syracuse (8-5, 4-1) by the most unusual scores of 25-9, 25-23, 23-25, 25-11 as Kayla Lund had 21 kills, 12 digs, two assists, an ace and a block. Nika Markovic had 18 kills, hit .469, and had an assist, an ace, three blocks and eight digs. Layne Van Buskirk had 11 kills, hit .381, and had an assist, a dig and nine blocks.

Polina Shemanova led the Orange with 10 kills, eight digs, an assist, and a block.

Louisville (12-4, 5-0) kept pace at the top by sweeping Duke (7-7, 1-4) 25-15, 25-16, 25-21. Melanie McHenry had 15 kills, hit .367, and had five digs and solo block. Megan Sloan had 11 kills, hit .500, and had two blocks. Setter Wilma Rivera had three kills, 34 assists, three aces and five digs.

Duke’s Ade Owokoniran had eight kills, hit .333, and had a block.

Florida State (8-7, 4-1) swept NC State (8-7, 2-3) to stay in a four-way tie for second. Payton Caffrey led with 14 kills … Miami (8-4, 4-1) beat North Carolina (5-9, 1-4) in four as Chloe Brown had 16 kills, eight digs and two blocks … Notre Dame (10-5, 4-1) beat visiting Wake Forest (6-11, 1-4) in four behind 16 kills from Jemma Yeadon, 15 from Sydney Bent and 14 from Charley Niego, who had 14 digs and an ace …

Virginia Tech (12-5, 3-2) scored a surprising sweep at Georgia Tech (12-7, 1-5) as Kaity Smith had 12 kills, 14 digs, a block and an ace … And Virginia (5-10, 1-4) beat Boston College (12-5, 2-3) in five as Sarah Billiard had a big night with 24 kills. She hit .373, had three digs and three blocks, two solo. Grace Turner and Jelena Novakovic added 15 kills each and Milla Ciprian had nine kills and 13 blocks, three solo.

Creighton sweeps Seton Hall: The No. 10 Bluejays (13-4, 5-0 Big East) won 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 as Taryn Kloth had 15 kills, hit .462, and had two digs and two blocks. Jaali Winters added 11 kills, nine digs and two blocks. Megan Ballenger had seven kills, two digs and six blocks, one solo. Seton Hall (5-14, 0-6) got 10 kills from Haylee Gasser, who hit .400.

Also in the Big East, Xavier (5-12, 3-3) beat Villanova (10-8, 3-3) in five behind 16 kills from Laura Grossman, who had 25 digs and five blocks, one solo. Meredith Klare had 40 digs …Georgetown (11-7, 4-2) swept Butler (5-13, 2-4) behind 15 kills from Alyssa Sinnette … St. John’s (15-6, 4-3) beat Providence (7-9, 1-4) in four. Kayley Wood had 20 kills and two blocks.

Around the nation: There was a big shakeup in the Missouri Valley as two league unbeatens lost.

Northern Iowa (11-6, 5-0 MVC) swept Illinois State (12-5, 4-1) as Karlie Taylor had 18 kills, an ace and two blocks, one solo. And Drake (14-5, 3-2) beat Bradley (14-3, 4-1) in four behind 19 kills from Grace Schofield and 17 from Cathryn Cheek …

Jordan Thompson had 18 kills, 16 digs, an ace and two blocks as Cincinnati (13-4, 4-0 American Athletic) swept Temple … Also in the AAC, UCF (13-3, 4-0) kept pace by beating Tulsa (11-5, 3-1) in four as McKenna Melville had 17 kills and 19 digs. Wichita State beat USF as Megan Tallinger had 19 kills, three aces and three digs …

Two teams were knocked out of the ASUN lead as Lipscomb (10–7, 5-0 ASUN) stayed atop the league by beating Liberty (7-11, 4-1) in five as Megan Kuper had 21 kills, three blocks, three assists, and ace and 12 digs. Carlyle Nusbaum had 18 kills, an assist, an ace and 16 digs.

“Any time you go on the road in the conference the games get tougher and tougher,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Tonight we just found a way to win the match. It was one that you will look at the stat sheet and grit your teeth, but in the end the most important thing was to get the W and that’s what we did.”

Kennesaw State (14-4, 5-0) stayed tied with Lipscomb with a four-set win over FGCU (11-6, 4-1). Quin Sutphin led with 17 kills and had four blocks, one solo. Lauren Chastang and Liesi Engelbrecht had 13 kills each. Engelbrecht had five blocks, three solo …

Western Kentucky improved to 13-6 overall, 4-1 in Conference USA with a 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 27-25 win at Marshall (8-11, 1-4). Rachel Anderson led with 15 kills, hit .344, had an ace, a dig and five blocks, two solo …

In the A10, LaSalle beat Saint Louis in four despite 22 kills from SLU’s Giovanna Charles … George Mason beat Fordham in four. Bailey Williams had 17 kills, 19 digs and a block for Mason …

American is 10-9 overall, 5-0 and atop the Patriot League after sweeping Holy Cross …

Idaho State (11-8, 5-1) swept Northern Colorado (7-7, 3-2) in the Big Sky as Abby Garrity had 14 kills, hit .419, and had two assists, an ace, eight digs and a block …

Hawai’i (9-5, 5-0) won in five at UC Santa Barbara (12-7, 4-3) as McKenna Granato had 16 kills, 14 digs and three aces …

Cleveland State (11-6, 5-0 Horizon League) swept IUPUI as Emily DeGeorge had 12 kills, 19 digs, and two blocks …

Tennessee State (7-9 overall) improved to 5-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference and stayed tied at the top with Austin Peay with a sweep of Eastern Kentucky as Rachel Henderson had 16 kills, hit .520 and had five digs and three blocks … Austin Peay (15-2, 5-0) swept Eastern Illinois as Brooke Moore had 16 kills, two aces and 12 digs ….

Texas State (15-5, 6-0 Sun Belt) won in four at Georgia Southern as Amy Pflughaupt had 14 kills, five digs and five blocks, two solo …

And Omaha won its fifth in a row to improve to 10-7, 5-0 in the Summit League with a four-set win over North Dakota (12-9, 4-2). Sadie Limback had 16 kills to lead Omaha and Claire Leonard had 14. Jordan Vail led North Dakota with 16 kills.

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