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NCAA volleyball: BYU, Pepperdine, LMU get WCC-opening wins, busy Horizon slate

BYU started the 2021 spring NCAA Division I women’s volleyball season in full stride as the Cougars won in three at Portland to open West Coast Conference play. 

Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount also won WCC matches Tuesday. 

There was a full slate in the Horizon League and a handful of other matches around the country.

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

There are four more matches in the West Coast Conference as BYU is back at Portland, Saint Mary’s plays Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine is home for San Francisco.

FIU is home for Jacksonville, Eastern Washington plays host to Northwest Nazarene, and NC A&T goes to UNC Greensboro. 

There are two men’s Division I-II matches, when Erskine goes to Reinhardt and Pepperdine plays at Concordia.

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

WEST COAST CONFERENCE — BYU won at Portland 25-9, 25-22, 25-17 as the Cougars hit .379. Taylen Ballard-Nixon led with 14 kills as she hit .393 to go with two aces, a block, and seven digs. Kate Grimmer had 10 kills while hitting .348, and Leilani Dodson had nine kills and hit .318. Kennedy Eschenberg had six kills with no errors in nine attacks, and Whitney Bower had four kills, hitting .375, to go with 32 assists, an ace, and a match-high 18 digs. Jayde Harris led Portland with nine kills and Mia Wesley had eight … 

Pepperdine swept visiting San Francisco 25-12, 25-21, 25-20. Rachel Ahrens led the Waves with 10 kills, an ace, six blocks, and seven digs. Shannon Scullly had eight kills, an assist, four blocks and 12 digs. McKenna Marshall had 10 kills for USF, which hit .066 …

Loyola Marymount beat visiting Saint Mary’s 25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 25-12 as Kari Geissberger and Audrey Klemp had 13 kills each. Geissberger had no errors in 19 swings and hit .684 and she had five blocks, three solo. Klemp hit .345 and had three aces, two blocks, and three digs. Rosie Booth had 10 kills, an ace, three blocks, and five digs, and Isabella Bareford had three kills, 37 assists, an ace, a block and 10 digs. Chandler Cowell had 17 kills, an ace, a block, and four digs for Saint Mary’s.

Youngstown’s Alexia Byrnes hits against IUPUI/Robert Hayes photo

HORIZON LEAGUE — Youngstown State went 2-0 against visiting IUPUI as the Penguins came away with a four-set win on Tuesday. Josi Borum had 12 kills and two blocks and Amanda Leboida and Alexia Byrnes had nine kills each for Youngstown. IUPUI’s Allie Pogue had 17 kills while hitting .406 to go with an ace, nine digs, and a block. Madeline Haines had 15 kills and four blocks …

Cleveland State won in four at Green Bay again as London Paris had 13 kills with one error in 20 attacks to hit .600. She had six blocks and three digs. Hannah Green had 12 kills, an assist, two digs, and eight blocks, one solo. Green Bay hit .049 … 

Wright State swept at Milwaukee as it had 29 kills in 87 attacks with just four errors. Megan Alders, who had three blocks and three digs, led with eight kills. She was one of 10 Wright State players with at least one kill. Milwaukee hit .008 … 

UIC swept visiting Purdue Fort Wayne as five players had seven or more kills. Mikala Henderson led with 10 as she hit .300 and had three aces and a dig. Paola Santiago added nine kills, an ace, three blocks, and 16 digs. Sydney Boerst and Katie Crowe had eight kills each for PFW …

Oakland hit .331 and won in three at Robert Morris a day after winning in five. The Golden Grizzlies got 16 kills from Patti Cesarini, who hit .429. Abby Ryan had 11 kills for Robert Morris.

NCAA volleyball 1/27/2021-Faith Menary-Louisiana Tech volleyball
Louisiana Tech’s Faith Menary hits against the Northwestern State block of Autumn Gentry, left, and Audrey Quesnel/Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

ALSO — Northwestern State of the Southland Conference beat visiting Louisiana Tech of Conference USA as Autumn Gentry had 11 kills while hitting .409 to go with 15 assists, three aces, 12 digs, and two blocks. Darria Williams added 11 kills and hit .346. Elizabeth Sandoval had 12 kills for Louisiana Tech.

NM State beat Dixie State in four as four players had 10 or more kills. Shaney Lipscomb led with 12, Lia Mosher and Victoria Barrett had 11 each, and Katie Birtcil had 10. Meagan Treanor had 12 kills for Dixie State … 

UCF lost the first set but then came back to win easily in four against visiting FAU. McKenna Melville led with 13 kills as she hit .306 and had two aces, seven digs and three blocks. Anne-Marie Watson had 11 kills, hit .350, and had four digs and two blocks. MaKenzie Chambers had 10 kills and hit .615, and Kathryn Wesolich had six kills with no errors in seven attacks to go with seven blocks. Scherine Dahoue had 18 kills for Florida Atlantic … 

And Grand Canyon beat visiting Tarleton for the second straight day. No stats were available.

LSU, SEC schedule changes — If you recall, during the SEC fall season LSU was scheduled to play Ole Miss and that two-match series was twice postponed. Now, with Auburn dropping out for the spring, LSU will play host to the Lady Rebels on February 27-28. The SEC, which played an eight-match schedule in the fall, resumes action Friday with five matches, South Carolina at Alabama, Georgia at Mississippi State, Florida at Ole Miss, Kentucky at Arkansas, and LSU at Missouri.

UTSA-Tulane canceled — Per the UTSA news release, “Due to COVID-19 concerns within its volleyball program, UTSA has canceled its matches at Tulane, set for this Thursday and Friday in New Orleans, it was announced on Tuesday.”

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NCAA volleyball 1/27/2021-Stephanie Young-FAU volleyball
Stephanie Young of FAU hits against UCF’s Tali Marmen and Kathryn Wesolich/Michael Gomez photo