NCAA volleyball: Tourney to bubble in Omaha, Pepperdine, USF, St. John’s get wins

0
1866
NCAA men and women's volleyball 2/4/2021-Saint Mary's volleyball-Jennifer Laird
Saint Mary's Jennifer Laird attacks against Pepperdine's Alli O'Hara/Saint Mary's Athletics, Tod Fierner

The NCAA has approved that its the 48-team Division I women’s volleyball tournament, scheduled for April, be played entirely in Omaha.

Per its story on NCAA.com:

All 48 teams participating in the Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship would gather in Omaha, Nebraska, which had been scheduled to host the 2020 NCAA national semifinals and finals.

All rounds of the tournament would be played at the CHI Health Center Arena and Convention Center April 13-24. The scheduled dates for competition are subject to change, but for now, the schedule would be the following:

First-round matches would occur April 13, followed by second-round matches April 14. The regional semifinals would be held April 17, followed by the regional finals April 19.

The two national semifinal matches would be April 22, and the national championship match is scheduled for April 24.

The NCAA is consolidating its women’s ice hockey and bowling tournaments. It had already announced the men’s basketball tournament will be conducted entirely in Indiana.
In volleyball, there are 30 conferences competing this spring (the Ivy League and Big West have dropped out), which leaves 30 automatic bids and 18 at-large selections.

There were just three NCAA Division I women’s matches Wednesday and one in men’s Division I-II. The recaps follow, but first a look at Thursday’s much busier schedule. 

There are two Pac-12 matches as Oregon State goes to Washington and UCLA plays at Washington State.

In the SEC, Mississippi State goes to South Carolina and Arkansas is at Georgia.

The Mountain West gets its spring season under way with Boise State going to San Jose State and San Diego State at UNLV.

BYU of the West Coast Conference plays its only non-conference match of the spring when it goes to Utah Valley of the WAC. 

Thursday’s MACtion includes six matches as Ball State goes to Toledo, Western Michigan is at Eastern Michigan, Kent State is at Buffalo, Ohio is at Akron, NIU is at Central Michigan, and Miami is at Bowling Green. After two weeks of play, just Ball State and Bowling Green, at 4-0, are unbeaten in Mid-American play.

There are five Southland Conference matches, including Southeastern Louisiana at McNeese, when coach Kristee Porter finally makes her debut after going through both the pandemic and a hurricane that wreaked havoc on the Lake Charles, Louisiana, campus. Also on tap are Northwestern State at Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, New Orleans at Nicholls, and Abiliene Christian at UIW. Central Arkansas at Houston Baptist was postponed. 

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

NCAA WOMEN WEDNESDAY — Pepperdine (4-0) hit .376 and won its West Coast Conference match at Saint Mary’s (1-3) in four. Rachel Ahrens continued her hot start to the spring season with 21 kills as she had two errors in 42 attacks and hit .452. She added two aces, two blocks, and six digs. Shannon Scully had 16 kills with one error in 35 swings and had an assist, an ace, 11 digs, and three blocks, two solo. Meg Brown had 11 kills with one error in 20 attacks and had two assists, and ace, a dig, and three blocks, one solo. Elena Baka led Saint Mary’s with 11 kills, two assists, two aces, and 12 digs …

Also in the WCC, McKenna Marshall had 25 kills, Greta Corti had 21, their team hit .324, and San Francisco (2-2) defeated visiting Loyola Marymount (1-3) in five sets for the second straight day. Marshall had four errors in 47 attacks to hit .447 and added an ace, a block, and 10 digs. Corti hit .304 and had two assists, two aces, three blocks, and 10 digs. Aylen Ayub had a kill, 52 assists, three aces, two blocks, and eight digs, and Anna Dalla Vecchia had 16 digs, seven assists, and two aces. Kari Geissberger led LMU with 19 kills and Rose Booth had 12, an assist, two aces, three blocks, and 11 digs. Mary Shroll had 19 digs and four assists.

St. John’s of the Big East won in four the Atlantic 10’s Fordham in the season opener for both teams. Efrosini Alexakou led St. John’s with 16 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and 11 digs. Klara Mikelova had 15 kills and hit .303 to go with nine digs. Rachele Rastelli had 11 kills, an ace, four blocks, and nine digs, and Maria Angelica Palacious had six kills, two digs, and nine blocks, two solo. Sheena Yoshioka had 21 digs and two aces. Fordham, which hit .114, got 14 kills from Whitley Moody, who had two assists, an ace, five blocks, and eight digs. McKenna Lahr had 20 digs and four assists. Fordham had five players with five or more blocks, including Isabel Fichtel, who had 12, one solo. Megan Brzozowski had five kills with no errors in six swings, 27 assists, an ace, 13 digs, and eight blocks, one solo.

NCAA MEN — The lone match saw Belmont Abbey (4-0) win its Conference Carolinas opener at North Greenville (2-1). Matteo Miselli led Belmont Abbey with 17 kills, an ace, a block, and four digs. Jackson Gilbert had 18 kills, an assist, two aces, two solo blocks, and seven digs for North Greenville.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Help keep free journalism free by becoming a VolleyballMag.com Sustaining Member: https://volleyballmag.com/sustaining-membership/

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here