NCAA volleyball: Ohio State gets to 4-0 with B1G win over Michigan State, AVCA polls

Alex Ratzlaff of Kansas City hits against North Dakota State's Kelley Johnson, left and Bella Lien,/Jason Cadena, Kansas City Athletics

After taking the last two sets to win in five Monday afternoon, visiting Ohio State improved to 4-0 in the Big Ten while Michigan State fell to 0-4.

Also Monday in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, Chattanooga and VCU also won to get to 4-0, Merry Gebel led Western Carolina to a Southern Conference victory with 25 kills, and Northern Colorado was down 20-11 in the fourth set before not only winning that one but the match in five.

The recaps follow, and do this week’s AVCA women’s and men’s polls, but first a look at Tuesday’s NCAA Division I women’s schedule. It includes three matches in the West Coast Conference with Santa Clara at BYU, Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s, and Loyola Marymount at San Francisco.

The Horizon has a full slate with IUPUI back at Green Bay, Robert Morris at UIC, Milwaukee at Cleveland State, Northern Kentucky at Wright State, and Youngstown State at Purdue Fort Wayne. 

There are three Southland Conference matches as Central Arkansas goes to Sam Houston, New Orleans plays at Lamar, and Nicholls State plays at Southern Miss of Conference USA.

There’s a Missouri Valley match when Southern Illinois goes to Missouri State. 

The WAC features Cal Baptist playing Tarleton State, UTRGV at Dixie State, and Seattle U at Utah Valley.

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

AVCA WOMEN — Good luck figuring out this poll. 

At least Hawai’i, which is not playing this spring, has fallen out of the top 25 (although the Rainbow Wahine are still getting votes). Stanford, which hasn’t played but will finally compete this weekend, dropped from No. 3 to seventh. Penn State, which hasn’t played, is still No. 9. 

Wisconsin is No. 1 and Texas is still second, but Kentucky moved up from fifth to No. 3. Nebraska, which had its matches postponed, stayed No. 4, but Baylor, which hasn’t played since November, moved up a spot to No. 5.

Click here for the complete AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25

AVCA MEN — BYU and Hawai’i, which have yet to play, remain 1-2 in the AVCA Division I-II top 15. Lewis, with the best record in the nation at 5-0, moved up a spot to No. 3, while idle UC Santa Barbara dropped a spot to fourth. Loyola Chicago, now 4-0, moved in at No. 14, and Ball State moved in at 15th. Ohio State and Stanford dropped out.

Click here for the complete AVCA men’s poll.

OHIO STATE TOPS MSU — Emily Londot continued the sparking start to her freshman season with 24 kills in Ohio State’s 25-22, 20-25, 18-25, 25-13, 15-10 victory at Michigan State. Londot hit .286 after having eight errors in 56 attacks and added an assist, five blocks, and 11 digs. She had five kills and two blocks in the fifth set.

Jenaisya Moore had 14 kills and 14 digs, and Vanja Bukili had nine kills, four digs and two blocks, one solo. Rylee Rader had eight kills and hit .429 and Lauren Witte had seven kills in 18 errorless swings, an assist, five digs, and eight blocks, one solo. Setter Mac Podraza had four kills, 50 assists, Ohio State’s only two aces, a block, and eight digs. Kylie Murr had 16 digs and eight assists. 

“We knew today would be a battle with Michigan State,” first-year Ohio State coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg said. “Our group showed a lot of grit in the fourth set and we were able to regain control of the match tempo. Any win, not to mention a road win, is huge in this conference especially this season. To come out with two on the weekend is a great way to build some confidence with a fairly young squad.”

Ohio State opened with two five-set victories against Maryland the first weekend and Sunday swept Michigan State.

“Our team is finding ways to win together, with contributions from both the court as well as the bench,” Oldenburg said.

Sarah Franklin led Michigan State with career highs of 20 kills and 13 digs, and a block. Cecilee Max-Brown had 14 kills, an ace, three blocks, and nine digs. Celia Cullen had four kills with one error in seven tries, 41 assists, an ace, nine digs, and two blocks, one solo. And Jamye Cox had 18 digs and five assists.

WAC — Cal Baptist opened its season with a sweep at Tarleton (1-4, 0-3). Cali Hoye had 15 kills and hit .344 and added an ace, a solo block, and six digs. Tesa Oaks added eight kills, three assists, two aces, and eight digs. Natalya Chatham had eight kills and hit .500 for Tarleton …

Utah Valley swept visiting Seattle U in the spring opener for both teams. Kristen Bell led a balanced attack with nine kills and added an assist, three blocks, and four digs. Eve Kershenbaum had 14 kills for Seattle, which hit .083 …

And Meagan Treanor had 16 kills, 13 assists, two aces, a block, and five digs as Dixie State (2-2, 1-2) won the program’s first WAC match by sweeping visiting Texas Rio Grande Valley (0-3, 0-1). Dixie State hit .336. Sarah Cruz had eight kills for UTRGV.

HORIZON LEAGUE — Katie Crowe had 13 kills with no errors in 20 attacks as Purdue Fort Wayne (1-2) swept visiting Youngstown State (2-1). Crowe, who hit .650, had six of her team’s 12 aces and 10 digs. Madelyn Wurster had 12 kills and hit .455 and had three blocks and three digs. Youngstown hit 056 … 

Green Bay (1-2) swept visiting IUPUI (0-3) behind 10 kills each by Alexandra Zakutney and Iro Chounta. Zakutney had four aces and seven digs, and Chounta had three aces and six digs. IUPUI hit minus .026 … 

Milwaukee (1-2) won in four at Cleveland State (2-1) as Carmen Heilemann had 16 kills and hit .560, Abby Koenen had 14 kills, and Ari Miller 10 kills and five blocks. Hannah Greene had 11 kills for Cleveland State to go with two aces, three digs, and four blocks, two solo … 

Wright State (3-0) swept visiting Northern Kentucky, which was playing its season opener. Six players had four or more kills for Wright State, including Megan Alders, who led with eight. She hit .353 and had two blocks and two digs. Abby Kanakry had 11 kills for UNK … 

And UIC (3-0) hit .340 as it beat Robert Morris (0-3) in four. Paola Santiago led with 18 kills as she hit .395 and had an ace, a block, and 12 digs. Martina Delucchi had 13 kills, hit .375, and had two assists, two blocks and 21 digs. Becca Oldendorf had 12 kills with no errors in 24 attacks to go with two aces, two digs, and six blocks. Robert Morris got 13 kills each from Alyssa Hudak, who had 10 digs, and Alyson Londot, whose younger sister led Ohio State to its win Monday. The older Londot hit .379.

Denver’s Brianna Green hits past Omaha’s Sami Clarkson/DU photo

SUMMIT LEAGUE — South Dakota State (2-1, 2-0) swept visiting Western Illinois (0-3. 0-2) again. Crystal Burk led with 12 kills, an ace, 11 digs, and three blocks, two solo. Sydney Andrews and Akeela Jefferson had nine kills each. Mariah Mitchell had 11 kills and hit .333 for WIU to go with three blocks, one solo … 

Omaha won in four at Denver, leaving both teams 1-1. It was Omaha’s first win over Denver since 2015. McKenna Ruch led with 17 kills and 11 digs and Sadie Limback had 16 kills and hit .351. Anna Blaschko had 12 kills and hit .391. Sami Clarkson had 44 assists and 12 digs, and Claire Mountjoy had 17 digs and six assists. Tina Boe led Denver with 11 kills and seven blocks, while Erica Andrich had nine kills and 14 digs. Macy Carrabine had 19 digs …

Kansas City (2-0) swept visiting North Dakota State (2-2, 0-2). Melanie Brecka led KC with 16 kills as she hit .303 and had three assists, five digs and two blocks, one solo. Ali Hinze had 1 kills for NDSU and also an ace, two solo blocks, and nine digs … 

And North Dakota (2-2, 2-0) dropped Oral Roberts to 0-4, 0-2 in the Summit, with a five-set road victory. Taylor Riedl led UND with 16 kills, a block, and 13 digs, and Lexi Ahrens had 14 kills, two assists and three blocks. Darian Chwialkowski had 26 digs to go with four assist and two aces. ORU’s Aixa Vigil had 21 kills, two assists, three blocks, and 23 digs.

Chattanooga’s Sophia Bossong sets an approaching Coniah Davs against UNCG/Dale Rutemeyer photo

SOCON — Chattanooga improved to 4-0 with its second five-set win over visiting UNCG (0-2) in two days. MacKenzie Saitta led the Mocs with 18 kills, while Coniah Davis and Gylian Finch had 13 each. Davis hit .355 and had three blocks, while Finch hit .407 and had two aces. Paige Gallentine had 23 digs and two aces. Maria Esch had 21 kills and 17 digs for UNC Greensboro … 

Merry Gebel had 25 kills, hit .362, and had three assists, an ace, 19 digs, and two blocks, one solo, as Western Carolina (1-2, 1-0) won in five at The Citadel (2-4, 1-2) after losing the first two sets. Johnna Robinson added eight kills and four blocks and Destinee Dorsey had 19 digs and three assists. Mellanie King, Dina Delancey, and Sharlissa de Jesus had 13 kills apiece for The Citadel. Delancey hit .500 after having one error in 24 swings and had six blocks … 

Mercer (2-5, 2-2) beat visiting Samford (1-1) in four as Rayanne de Oliveira led a balanced attack with 10 kills while hitting .421. She had three aces, three blocks, and two digs. Annie Karle had nine kills, an ace, a block, and 11 digs, and Brittany Major also had nine kills while hitting .364 to go with four blocks and eight digs. Jaida Howell had eight kills and hit .467 to go with six blocks, and Taylor Lynch had six kills with no errors in 16 swings and six blocks. Samford’s Lauren Deaton had 24 kills, an assist, an ace, 11 digs, and two blocks, one solo …

And ETSU (2-0) won in four at Furman (0-2) as Sanne Maring had 14 kills and Olivia Cunningham and Lauren Hatch had 13 apiece. Maring hit .440 and had two digs and eight blocks, two solo. Hatch had six digs and five blocks, one solo, and Cunningham had two assists, two acces, two blocks, and 11 digs. Neci Harris led Furman with 12 kills and two blocks. Courtney Hoffman had eight kills and five blocks, one solo. 

AROUND THE NATION — VCU (4-0) won its Atlantic 10 opener over visiting George Mason (0-5) as eight players had kills in the sweep. Qairo Bently led with seven kills, a block, and five digs. Paula Neciporuka had six kills, three aces, five blocks, and 12 digs, and Kylie Loftis had six kills, hit .385, and had two aces and nine blocks, one solo. Mason hit .075 … 

In the Missouri Valley, Bradley (1-1), which was swept at Illinois State (3-3, 1-1) a week earlier, in turn swept the visiting Redbirds 27-25, 27-25, 25-23 as Doga Topcicek led a balanced attack with 10 kills, an assist, an ace, a solo block and seven digs. Sarah Kushner had 17 kills and six digs for ISU … Also in the MVC, Valparaiso beat visiting Loyola in four, leaving both teams 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Peyton McCarthy had 16 kills and hit .333 for Valpo to go with four blocks. Haley Hart and Jaclyn Buhlman had 12 kills each. Hart had seven blocks, one solo, and Rylee Cookerly had 23 digs. Victoria Buhlman had two kills, 50 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 13 digs. Loyola’s Sara Murczek had 15 kills, an assist, three aces, 15 digs, and three blocks. Emily Banitt had 13 kills, four blocks, and 12 digs … 

There were two Big Sky matches. Northern Colorado (3-1) came back from being down 20-11 at Eastern Washington (1-4, 0-4) in the fourth set before winning 23-25, 25-13, 21-25, 27-25, 16-14. Taylor Muff led UNC, which hit .146, with 19 kills, 10 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Kailey Jo Ince had 11 kills and two blocks, and Daisy Schultz had 41 assists to go with three kills and 16 assists. Ashly Blotzer had 13 kills and hit .345 for EWU to go with three aces, a block, and five digs … Also in the Big Sky, Rylin Adams had 24 kills as Weber State (4-0) won in four at Montana (1-3). Adams hit .375 and had an assist and 17 digs. Dani Nay added 15 kills, two assists, two blocks, and 15 digs. Sophia Meyers and Amethyst Harper had 12 kills each for Montana. Harper had three blocks and 21 digs, and Sarina Morena had 22 digs …

The SWAC’s Southern University (1-1) beat visiting league foe Grambling (0-3, 0-2) in four behind 18 kills by Jada Carter, who added an assist, an ace, and seven digs. Three players had nine kills each for Grambling, including Gillian Jones, who had two solo blocks.

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