NCAA roundup: FGCU, KSU stay atop ASUN, Pepperdine beats Hawai’i

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NCAA volleyball roundup 11/7/2018-Dani Ballou-Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State's Dani Ballou's cut shut gets past Lipscomb's Megan Kuper/KSU photo

Florida Gulf Coast clinched at least a share of the Atlantic Sun regular-season title, but Kennesaw State stayed a game back as both won Tuesday night.

Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference, ranked No. 54 in the NCAA RPI and needing every victory it can get, won a five-set match against visiting Hawai’i of the Big West.

The recaps and notes follow, but first a look at Wednesday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule.

There are three matches in the Big Ten as No. 6 Nebraska goes to Iowa, No. 15 Michigan is home for Maryland and Ohio State — which has lost six in a row and eight of nine — is at Michigan State, which has lost seven in a row and also eight of nine.

There are four matches in the Big 12 as No. 5 Texas plays host to Kansas State, Iowa State goes to Baylor and Oklahoma is at Texas Tech. West Virginia goes out of conference when Marshall of Conference USA visits.

In the SEC, No. 24 Missouri goes to Auburn and Ole Miss is at LSU. The ACC and Pac-12 are off. Other matches of note include Colonial-leader James Madison in action at Towson.

NCAA.com has the complete Wednesday schedule.

Links to all matches that are being broadcast or streamed can be found in the VolleyballMag.com TV listings.

NCAA volleyball roundup 11/7/2018-Liesi Engelbrecht, Lauren Chastang-Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State’s Liesi Engelbrecht, left, and Lauren Chastang battle against Lipscomb/KSU photo

ASUN: It was a big night in the league and when it finished, FGCU (23-6 overall, 14-1 ASUN) beat Stetson (16-11, 8-7) and Kennesaw State (22-6, 13-2) knocked Lipscomb (16-11, 11-4) out of the race.

FGCU, ranked in the VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Poll for the first time when it entered at No. 25 this week, got 19 kills apiece from Snowy Burnam and Cortney VanLiew in a 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 victory. Burnam hit .429 and had 13 digs, while VanLiew had 10 digs, an ace and two blocks, one solo. Daniele Serrano added 16 kills while hitting .462 and had four blocks, one solo. Setter Maggie Rick had 48 assists to become the all-time FGCU leader. She also had 10 digs and a block. 

“What I’m most happy about as I think about the way things unfolded is our response as a group in that second set,” FGCU coach Matt Botsford said. “Nothing was working, and we were on the verge of falling into an 0-2 hole, but we kept fighting. There were some big plays made at some big moments to give us a chance.”

Riley Nieporte and Julie Varga had 13 kills each for Stetson, which had won four matches in a row. Eva Deisa added 12 kills and 15 digs.

Lauren Chastang had 13 kills, two blocks, three aces, an assist and 13 digs for Kennesaw State in its 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23 victory. Dani Ballou added 13 kills, two digs and three blocks, Liesi Engelbrecht had 12 kills, hit .360 and added 10 blocks, and Quin Sutphin had 10 kills and six blocks, two solo.

“Even when it doesn’t feel like that team is playing great, they still find a way to come up with digs,” KSU coach Keith Schunzel said. “They have one of the best attackers in the league obviously in (Carlyle) Nusbaum, they are really well coached, and they are always prepared.

“They are always going to be in the game, but at the end of the day our guys made enough plays and I thought we played two really good first sets to go up 2-0 and give us a little cushion.”

Megan Kuper led Lipscomb with 15 kills, 11 digs, two aces and two blocks. Nusbaum had 13 kills, but hit .064.

Also in the ASUN, North Alabama (4-20, 2-13) beat NJIT (4-27, 2-13) in four.

Pepperdine tops Hawai’i: The Waves (16-8) beat the visiting Rainbow Wahine (16-8) 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-6 as Hannah Frohling led with 18 kills, seven digs and two aces. Heidi Dyer had 15 kills, hit .342, and had five aces, six digs and three blocks.

McKenna Granato led Hawai’i, No. 55 in the NCAA RPI, with 12 kills. She had 11 digs, two blocks and an ace.

Around the nation: There were three matches in the Southland Conference, none involving the top four teams in the standings. Northwestern State (11-13, 7-7) swept visiting Southeastern Louisiana (2-25, 1-13), Houston Baptist (15-14, 8-7) beat visiting Texas A&M Corpus Christi (8-20, 7-8) in four, and Incarnate Word (9-16) won at Texas Southern of the SWAC. Hannah Brister had 20 kills for Northwestern, hitting .356, while Mikayla Evans had 18 kills, two aces, two blocks and 16 digs for HBU …

Northern Arizona (20-8, 12-3 Big Sky) stayed a game back of league-leader Idaho in the loss column as it swept visiting Southern Utah (5-22, 4-11). Heaven Harris had 10 kills, five digs and two blocks. Janet Kalaniuvalu had a big night for SUU with 22 kills while hitting .316 to go with 13 kills and three blocks …

In the Big South, Cara Guthrie had 25 kills, hit .333, and had 10 digs, a block, an assist and an ace as UNC Asheville (14-11, 9-6) beat USC Upstate (13-17, 8-7) in four. Lily Dempsey had 18 kills and hit .341 for USC Upstate and had 12 kills, two assists and two blocks, one solo. Also in the Big South, Winthrop (14-13, 10-5) swept Gardner-Webb (7-21, 1-14) as Jace Kleffner led with 18 kills. Kylee Garrison had 18 kills, an assist, three aces, 14 digs and three blocks, one solo, for GW …

There was one Mountain West match as San Jose State (13-11, 8-7) won in four at Nevada (8-18, 1-14). Haylee Nelson led SJSU with 14 kills, five digs and three blocks … In the Ohio Valley Conference, UT Martin (13-16, 6-9) swept Southeast Missouri (16-12, 8-7). Hannah Phillips led with 12 kills, hitting .357, and had an ace, eight digs and two blocks …

Omaha (16-11, 11-4) won at Summit League match in five at Western Illinois (2-25, 1-13). Sadie Limback led with 16 kills, nine digs, a block and two aces …

And American (19-11, 13-2) lost its second straight match since clinching the Patriot League regular-season title, getting swept by Lehigh (20-7, 9-6). Sabrina Lancaster led Lehigh with 14 kills and hit .478. Aleksandra Kazala had 14 kills for American and added six digs, two assists, three aces and a block.

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