NCAA roundup: Washington State pulls another stunner, KU at Texas today

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Washington's Tia Scambray in action at USC/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Break up the Cougars!

How about Washington State? Two days after winning at No. 4 Washington, the Cougars went to No. 9 UCLA on Friday night and came away with a 25-22, 27-25, 23-25, 21-25, 18-16 victory.

The last time WSU beat UCLA was in 2002, a 3-2 win in Pullman. The last time WSU won at UCLA was a 3-1 win in 1997 when both head coach Jen (Stinson) Greeny and assistant coach Shannon (Wyckoff) Hunt were starters.

More on that stunner and other results from Friday in a bit — including Alabama’s big victory over Texas A&M and victories by among others Washington, Hawai’i, Notre Dame and Wake Forest — but first Saturday’s slate, which is chock full of great match-ups, starting with No. 8 Kansas (12-1) at No. 5 Texas (9-2). Both teams won their Big 12 season openers. This one will be shown at 7 p.m. on the Longhorn Network and on the ESPN app.

And if you want to know what big-time volleyball on TV means, on Friday, the University of Texas Board of Regents agreed to extend coach Jerritt Elliott’s contract by one year to a three-year agreement that runs through the 2018 season. Elliott gets a $67,500 pay increase to his base salary, adjusting his total compensation to $367,500 for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Additionally, increases were made in several of Elliott’s performance-based incentives.

Saturday is a big day in the Big Ten.

No. 1 Nebraska moves across Michigan to No. 20 Michigan State. Friday, the Huskers beat No. 22 Michigan. Michigan State goes to No. 18 Penn State.

This one could be interesting: Indiana goes to Purdue in a rivalry that gives Indiana (12-2) a chance to make a statement and Purdue (10-2) a chance to bounce back after being upset by Illinois.

Maryland goes to No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota (9-1) plays host to No. 17 Ohio State, which is coming off a loss to Wisconsin on Friday.

Back to UCLA, which dropped to 10-2 and 1-1 in the Pac-12. The Bruins staved off match point three times in the fifth set before WSU ended it.

“I’m really, really proud of this team, especially winning on the road,” Greeny said. “We’ve had some great wins during our time with this program against ranked teams but not many of them on the road. Proud of the way we fought through to get it done in five. It is tough when you drop such a close set like we did in the third set, and we kept getting down early, but this team is resilient.

“Like we’ve seen in the past, we tend to find our way back, get the momentum back. Really proud that we pushed through the middle of the fifth set. Always fun to be ahead at the bench switch and we were ahead 8-7 and carried the momentum from there.”

Kyra Holt led WSU with 18 kills, adding seven digs and one ace. Taylor Mims had 13 kills, hitting .321, and had eight digs and six blocks. Casey Schoenlein contributed 11 kills with no errors in 18 attacks for a .611 hitting percentage, and had five blocks. Claire Martin led the match with nine blocks and McKenna Woodford added seven blocks. Setters Nicole Rigoni and Haley MacDonald had double-double nights with Rigoni’s 26 assists and 11 digs while MacDonald added 25 assists and 10 digs. Alexis Dirige had 19 digs.

“Tonight’s match was another huge win for our team,” Mims said. “We were able to compete with poise and composure against a really great UCLA team. In the fifth set I was telling myself to stay aggressive regardless the score.”

Claire Felix led UCLA with 16 kills to go with seven digs to tie a career high. Reily Buechler had 15 kills and 13 digs. Jordan Anderson had 11 kills and a season-best 19 digs. Senior Jennie Frager and freshman Torrey Van Winden both had 14 kills, with Frager adding five blocks.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Stanford continued to roll by sweeping Oregon State, Oregon swept Cal and No. 4 Washington bounced back with a sweep at No. 21 USC, which fell to 0-2 in the league.

“This team knows how to respond,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said.

In the Big Ten on Friday, all four matches were sweeps, Nebraska over Michigan, Michigan State over Iowa, Minnesota over Maryland and Wisconsin over Ohio State.

Alabama won a wild one at home against No. 19 Texas A&M in the SEC opener for both teams 25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 16-25, 15-13. The Crimson Tide has quietly gotten off to a 12-2 start. It was its first win over a ranked team in almost two years. Next up, however, is a visit from No. 6 Florida on Sunday. A&M fell to 6-6.

No. 14 Hawai’i made its first trip to the mainland worth it as the Rainbow Wahine opened Big West play with a sweep at UC Santa Barbara 25-20, 25-14, 25-19. McKenna Granato led the Rainbow Wahine (8-4) with 13 kills while hitting a career-high .478 hitting percentage and Nikki Taylor added 11 kills.

Notre Dame is not ranked, but the Irish are 10-3 after opening ACC play by sweeping visiting Louisville to get off to its best start since 2005.

Kate Horton of Florida State attacks against Miami/Perrone Ford photo
Kate Horton of Florida State attacks against Miami/Perrone Ford photo

Also in the ACC, Katie Horton posted her 14th career double-double (13 kills, 11 digs) and Milica Kubura added 11 kills and three blocks as 15th-ranked Florida State swept Miami 25-12, 25-15, 25-19.

And Wake Forest? The Demon Deacons won at Virginia to improve to 5-8 overall and 1-1 in the ACC, giving new coach Bill Ferguson his first conference victory as a women’s head coach.

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