NCAA volleyball: Utah, CU, UCLA, Oregon get Pac-12 wins; Minnesota tops MSU

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NCAA volleyball 1/25/2021-Lipscomb-Megan Kuper
Lipscomb's Megan Kuper hits against the Middle Tennessee block of Samira Lawson Body, left, and Amelia Van Der Werff/Lipscomb photo

Utah, Colorado, and UCLA won again Sunday to come out of the first weekend 2-0 in the Pac-12, and Minnesota did the same in the Big Ten.

But the Big Ten was dealt another scheduling blow Sunday.

Penn State not only missed out on going to Michigan this weekend, it’s now been coronavirused out of its two matches this week against Ohio State, at home Tuesday and at OSU next Sunday. Both matches are postponed. Michigan on Saturday was shut down for two weeks.

Elsewhere in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, Western Kentucky got its season under way with two victories Sunday, Drake is 3-0 this spring, and a freshman had 23 kills for Portland State.

The recaps follow, but a look at Monday’s matches that include three in the Missouri Valley, all in the conference, as Evansville goes to Indiana State, Loyola is home for Valparaiso, and Bradley is at Illinois State.

The Big Sky has four matches as Idaho State is at Portland State, Montana State is at Northern Colorado, Montana is at Idaho State, and Sacramento State is at Northern Arizona.

Go to the VolleyballMag.com TV and Streaming listings to get links to any match that is being broadcast.

PAC-12 — Utah hit .368 and overpowered visiting Arizona 25-13, 25-13, 25-16. Dani Drews led with 13 kills as she hit .321 and had two aces, a solo block, and nine digs. Madelyn Robinson added nine kills with one error in 15 swings to hit .533 and she had four aces, two blocks, three digs. Arizona hit .106 … 

Colorado beat visiting Oregon State 25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16 to open conference play 2-0 for the first time ever since it joined the Pac-12 and first time since 2006. Elissa Alcantara led Colorado with 16 kills as she hit .368 and added two blocks. Sterling Parker had nine kills and Meegan Hart eight with seven blocks, one solo. Jenna Ewert had 36 assists, 14 digs, and six blocks. 

“It was a better played volleyball match than Friday, which isn’t surprising, all teams haven’t played in so long so we were getting back into the rhythm of competition,” CU coach Jesse Mahoney said. 

Oregon State, which hit .128, got 17 kills from Aliyah McDonald, who hit .367 and had two blocks. Maddie Goings had 15 kills and 11 digs, and Kateryna Tkachenko had 11 kills, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo. Izzi Szulczewski had two kills, 38 assists, two aces, two blocks, and 11 digs …

UCLA swept visiting Cal 25-17, 25-18, 25-19. Mac May led with 11 kills, two assists, a block, and five digs. Iman Ndiaye had eight kills and four blocks, and Emily Ryan had six kills with no errors in 13 attacks, and six blocks, one solo. Setters Devon Chang and Kate Lane combined for 36 assists and 13 digs. Cal’s Katarina Pantovic led the Bears with 10 kills … 

Oregon won at Washington State to gain a split for the weekend. Gloria Mutiri had 15 kills, hit .313, and had two digs and two blocks in the 25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8 victory. Brooke Nuneviller had 12 kills, two assists, an ace, 13 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Taylor Borup had 10 kills, 15 digs, and five blocks, two solo. Karson Bacon had nine kills with no errors to hit .429, but the Ducks hit .174 as a team. Bacon also had five blocks, one solo, and Abby Hansen had nine blocks, three solo. Georgia Murphy had a career-high 29 digs. Elise Ferreira and Kylie Robinson combined for 49 assists and 22 digs.

“I was really impressed with how we responded. Washington State is a good, well-coached team; their defense is difficult to score against, and I thought our defense responded well,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said. “I thought the level of play on both sides was high, especially since both teams haven’t had much practice time. But I think everyone’s excited just to have been able to get back out and play this weekend.”

Washington State hit .093. Julianna Dalton led with 14 kills and five blocks, and Pia Timmer had 12 kills, two assists, two aces, a block, and 17 digs. Hannah Pukis had six kills, 42 assists, two aces, a block, and 17 digs.

BIG TEN — Minnesota made it back-to-back sweeps over visiting Michigan State, this time 26-24, 25-22, 25-12, coming back from being down 23-21 in the first set and winning despite hitting .189. Stephanie Samedy led with 14 kills, two assists, an ace, six blocks, and eight digs. Adanna Rollins had nine kills. Michigan State, which hit .111, got 10 kills from Sarah Franklin. 

MISSOURI VALLEY — Drake is 3-0 this spring after sweeping visiting South Dakota State of the Summit Leage. The Bulldogs got 14 kills from Haley Bush, who hit .306 and had an assist, an ace, and seven digs. Crystal Burk had 13 kills for SDSU … Creighton of the Big East hit .325 and swept visiting Northern Iowa, which dropped to 0-3 this spring. Jaela Zimmerman led the Bluejays with 12 kills, hit .320, and had an assist, two aces, three blocks, and four digs. Keely Davis had 11 kills, and Kiara Reinhardt had four kills and six blocks. Emily Holterhaus had nine kills for UNI, which hit .072 … Wichita State, a former Valley member now in the American Athletic, won in five at Missouri State as Sophia Rohling had 13 kills, two digs, and seven blocks, one solo. Nicole Anderson had 10 kills, two aces, 19 digs, and four blocks, one solo. Missouri State’s Brooklyn Cink had 18 kils, three aces, 11 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Amelia Flynn added 16 kills, a block, and 20 digs.

BIG SKY — Montana State hadn’t beaten defending Big Sky champion Northern Colorado since 2005, but that 29-match losing streak ended Sunday with a road sweep. Six players had five or more kills, including Hannah Scott with nine and Jourdain Klein had eight. Jo Ince Kailey had 10 kills for UNC … Montana opened conference play with a five-set win at Idaho State. Amethyst Harper led with 17 kills as she hit .333 and had 15 digs and two blocks, one solo. Peyten Boutwell had 15 kills and 10 blocks, two solo, and Sophia Meyers had 12 kills and two blocks, one solo. Sadie Gardner had 13 kills and hit .333 for Idaho State to go with an ace, nine digs, and four blocks, one solo … Portland State beat visiting Idaho in five as freshman Gabby Hollins made her college debut in style with 23 kills, hitting .333. She had three aces, a block, and 10 digs. Jasmine Powell had 19 kills, three blocks, and seven digs. Kennedy Warren led Idaho with 12 kills, three blocks, and seven digs … Northern Arizona hit .357 and swept visiting Sacramento State behind 18 kills by Taylor Jacobsen, who had no errors in 28 attacks and hit .642. She added two assists, two blocks, and 13 digs. Heaven Harris had 10 kills and hit .529. Four players had six kills each for Sacramento State.

NAU’s Taylor Jacobsen hits against Sacramento State’s Kalani Hayes, left, and Karlee Soderberg/Michael Wagner photo

AROUND THE NATION — Western Kentucky of Conference USA was on target at it won twice Sunday, beating Mercer of the SoCon and then sweeping the ASUN’s Bellarmine. Against Mercer, the Ladytoppers hit .396. Paige Briggs led with 17 kills and made no errors in 33 attacks to hit .515 to go with three aces, 11 digs, and five blocks, one solo. Lauren Matthews had nine kills, hit .353, and had six blocks, two solo. Annie Karle had 12 kills for Mercer and Taylor Lynch 10. Against Bellarmine, WKU hit .446 with 50 kills and seven errors in 97 swings. Briggs had 13 kills and hit .522 and two blocks, and Matthews had 11 kills and hit .588 with five blocks, three solo … 

Houston of the American Athletic turned the tables on Rice of Conference USA and gained a split by sweeping the Owls after losing in five on Saturday. Celeste Darling and Kortlyn Henderson had 10 kills each for Houston, which beat Rice for the first time since 2012. Rice, getting swept for the first time since losing to Texas State in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, got 18 kills from Nicole Lennon, who had 11 digs and four blocks, two solo … 

Norfolk State of the MEAC beat visiting George Mason of the Atlantic 10 in five sets behind 15 kills by Rachel Williams, who had two assists, two aces, a block, and nine digs. Peyton Ehmke had 17 kills for Mason … Lipscomb of the ASUN hit .410 and swept visiting Middle Tennessee of Conference USA. Megan Kuper led with 16 kills and hit .375 and had an assist, two aces, four blocks and four digs. Samantha Rubal had 16 kills with one error in 22 swings and hit .628 and had two blocks. And Logan Gish had 14 kills and hit .414 and had two blocks. Amelia Van Der Werff had 11 kills for MTSU and hit .550 after having no errors in 20 attacks … 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff won its SWAC match over Texas Southern as Zyonn Smith had 16 kills in the four-set victory. Smith added an ace, a block, and eight digs. Janiya Chapman had nine kills for TSU … Prairie View went to Grambling and came away with a five-set SWAC victory. Tamaira Armstrong led the Panthers with 15 kills, two aces, three blocks, and six digs. Linzy Woods had 11 kills for Grambling.

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