NCAA volleyball: WSU wins at ASU, Akron, NIU, Kent get MAC victories

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NCAA volleyball 1/29/2021-Annika Larson-Arizona State volleyball
Arizona State libero Annika Larson passes against Washington State/Will Edmonds photo

Four players had 11 or more kills Thursday afternoon as Washington State won in five at Arizona State, taking the fifth set of the Pac-12 match 16-14. 

The MAC had a full schedule and a handful of other teams were in action in Texas and Louisiana.

Thursday’s recaps and highlights follow, but first a look at Friday’s NCAA schedule that has already seen at least one postponement. 

The Big Ten slate shows Indiana at Rutgers, Wisconsin at Illinois, Iowa at Purdue, Northwestern at Nebraska, and Minnesota at Maryland. 

The Pac-12 has Washington at Arizona, UCLA at Oregon, USC at Oregon State, and Utah at Cal.

Most SEC teams played eight matches in the fall, except for LSU and Ole Miss, which got in six. The SEC’s Friday schedule does not include Georgia at Mississippi State, “due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the Georgia program,” per the SEC news release. But South Carolina is at Alabama, Florida goes to Ole Miss, Kentucky is at Arkansas, and LSU is at Missouri. 

There’s plenty of Missouri Valley action Friday. There are two conference matches when Indiana State goes to Evansville and Drake plays at UNI. Illinois State plays host to Cincinnati of the American Athletic, Valparaiso and Loyola both play Butler of the Big East at Loyola.

There’s MAC-tion, as Ball State plays at Buffalo, Kent State goes to Central Michigan, Miami is at Akron, Toledo is at NIU, and Bowling Green is at Western Michigan. 

Among the other matches Friday, Howard of the MEAC plays host to George Mason of the Atlantic 10, the ASUN’s FGCU is at the American Athletic’s USF, VCU of the A-10 plays at the MEAC’s Norfolk State, UAB of Conference USA goes to the ASUN’s Lipscomb, South Dakota of the Summit League plays at the Big East’s Creighton, Rice of Conference USA is home for SMU of the American Athletic. 

Among the men’s matches on Friday’s NCAA Division I-II schedule, Grand Canyon goes to UCLA for an MPSF match, Lewis of the MIVA plays at Saint Francis of the EIVA, Ohio State of the MIVA goes to the EIVA’s Penn State, Loyola of the MIVA goes to the EIVA’s NJIT, Ball State of the MIVA is home for Lincoln Memorial, Lindenwood of the MIVA is at King of Conference Carolinas, the EIVA’s George Mason plays host to Southern Virginia, Mount Olive of Conference Carolinas plays host to Queens, and Erskine of Conference Carolinas plays Limestone.

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

WSU WINS AT ASU — Pia Timmer and Juliana Dalton had 14 kills each for Washington State  (2-1). Magda Jehlarova and Kalyah Williams, who had the match-winner, had 11 each in the 17-25, 26-24, 25-10, 23-25, 16-14 victory over Arizona State (1-2). 

Timmer had two assists, two aces, and nine digs. Dalton added an assist, four blocks, and a dig. Williams had three digs and five blocks, two solo. And Jehlarova hit .400 to go with an assist, an ace, two digs, and seven blocks. Setter Hannah Pukis had three kills, 45 assists, an ace, 20 digs, and three blocks, one solo. 

Iman Isanovic continued her hot start to the spring season as she led Arizona State with 22 kills, an assist, two aces, eight digs, and three blocks, one solo. She had eight errors in 70 attacks to hit .200. Marta Levinska had nine kills, an ace, three blocks, and five digs. Annika Larson had 25 digs.

“Tough one for us. You either win or you learn, and with this team you have to learn from all of these tough teams we are playing,” said ASU coach Sanja Tomasevic, whose Sun Devils opened with a win at Washington but now have dropped its last two. “Hopefully it will pay off. You have to be disciplined against these tough teams we are playing in the Pac-12. If you aren’t disciplined the whole time, they’re going to expose your weaknesses. We have another day to prepare for Washington State. The good news is it will be the same people, same teams, same referees so we will see what happens.”

MID-AMERICAN — Akron (1-2) rallied to beat visiting Miami (2-1) in five despite hitting .128. The Zips went on a 10-0 run in the second set to take a 24-18 before holding on and then winning the match 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8. Alexis Adleta led with 14 kills and 11 digs,  and Shelby Fulmer had 12 kills, hit .300, and had three blocks, and three digs. Setter Emily Weigand had a kill, 34 assists, seven digs, and seven of her team’s 15 aces, three of those aces in that big second-set run. Gaby Harper led Miami with 10 kills, two blocks, and two digs. Maggie McCrary, who had five blocks, and Sophie Riemersma had eight kills each … 

Katie Jablonski had 20 kills, hit .319 and had six digs as NIU (1-2) staved off visiting Toledo (0-3) in five. Angie Gromos added eight kills and three blocks, one solo, and Kennedy Wallace had seven kills and seven blocks, three solo.

Chloee Kleespies led Toledo with 17 kills as she hit .421 after having one error in 38 attacks… She added seven digs and six blocks, two solo. Rachel Pierce had 15 kills and 12 digs, and Taylor Alt had 12 kills and eight digs. Olivia Vance had 10 kills with no errors in 22 swings to hit .455 and had two aces, two digs, and nine blocks, three solo … 

Ball State (3-0) hit .345 and swept at Buffalo. Natalie Mitchem led a balanced attack with 10 kills and hit .500. Natalie Risi had nine kills. Buffalo (0-3) got 10 kills from Emma Gielas … 

Kent State opened its spring season with a sweep at Central Michigan (1-2) as Taylor Heberle led with 20 kills and hit .438. She added an assist, an ace, and three digs. Melissa Kolurbasi had 10 kills and hit .333, and Savannah Matthews had nine kills and nine digs. Savannah Thompson led CMU with nine kills, while Kalina Smith, Anna Erickson, and Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez had seven each … 

And Bowling Green (3-0) swept at Western Michigan (2-1) behind 19 kills by Katelyn Meyer, who hit .342. Katrin Trebichavska added nine kills and hit .375. Petra Indrova had eight kills and 17 digs. Janell Williams led WMU with eight kills as she hit .533 after having no errors in 15 attacks. She also had five blocks.

ALSO — Houston of the American Athletic Conference beat visiting Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference twice on Thursday, in four in the first match and recording a sweep in the second. 

In the opener, Houston had five players with 10 or more kills and hit .327 as Abbie Jackson led with 20 kills. She hit .366 and had an assist, an ace, and 15 digs. Celeste Darling had 12 kills, hit .385, and had four blocks, one solo. Kortlyn Henderson had 11 kills and Isabel Theut and Rachel Tullos had 10 each. Tullos had one error in 15 attacks and had five blocks, two solo. Annie Cook had 58 assists. Leah Powell led SFA with 11 kills.

In the nightcap, Houston hit .357 but this time no player had double-figure kills. Henderson and Jackson led with eight each. Susan Gillett and Payton Cerny had seven kills each for SFA … 

Kailin Newsome had 23 kills as Southeastern Louisiana of the Southland opened its season by winning in four at Tulane (2-1) of the American Athletic. Newsome had two assists and eight digs. Ryan Maddera had 13 kills. Tulane had four players with 10 or more kills, led by Lexie Douglas, who had 16. She hit .382 and had three assists, two aces, nine digs, and a block … 

Northwestern State (2-0) of the Southland destroyed visiting Grambling (0-2) of the SWAC 25-20, 25-9, 25-7. Breanna Burrell had 12 kills and hit .421 for the Demons. Grambling, which had 13 kills, hit minus -.067.

MEN — Ball State of the MIVA hit .429 and swept visiting independent Lincoln Memorial. Bryce Behrendt led with 11 kills and hit .409. Justin Sharfenaker had 12 kills for LM … Andrew Kohut had 25 kills for Belmont Abbey of Conference Carolinas as it won in five at Queens. Matteo Miselli added 15 kills and five blocks. Kohut hit .325 and had an ace, 12 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Tristan Santoyo had 19 kills for Queens and JP Payne had 15.

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