NCAA volleyball: AVCA polls, Monday’s recaps including USD, NM State, EWU victories

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Thana Fayad-USD volleyball-NCAA women's volleyball 2/9/2021
San Diego's Thana Fayad hits against Saint Mary's/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

We’ve got Monday’s NCAA Division I women’s recaps and highlights, the AVCA polls, and some news and notes.

All that follows, but first a look at Tuesday’s schedule. It’s a light one, but busy in the Horizon League with five matches as the conference concludes its two-match, Monday-Tuesday lineup. Just two teams, UIC and Wright State, both 5-0, are unbeaten in the Horizon. 

There are four more matches in the WAC and the West Coast Conference shows three matches, including Portland at LMU, San Francisco at Pacfic, and Gonzaga at BYU. 

The Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 are off, but one ACC team, Duke, makes its spring debut when the Blue Devils, go to VCU of the Atlantic 10. 

There are two men’s matches involving Conference Carolinas teams when Emmanuel goes to Queens and King is home for Lincoln Memorial. 

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

AVCA WOMEN — The AVCA Women’s Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll continues to confuse.

The third week of the poll came out Monday and the top four teams — Wisconsin, idle Texas, Kentucky, and Minnesota — stayed the same.

But idle Baylor fell a spot to No. 6 as Minnesota moved up to No. 5. 

Hawai’i, which is not playing this spring, continues to get votes. One team that has not played, Michigan, is ranked No. 24. And Stanford, opening its season with a depleted roster, went from No. 3 two weeks ago to seventh last week and is now at No. 15.

The ACC? Idle Notre Dame moved up two spots to No. 13. Louisville dropped two spots to No. 14. Pittsburgh, idle after a disappointing 4-4 fall, actually moved up a spot to No. 19.

Creighton and Marquette split this past weekend. The two Big East teams are both 4-2. Creighton won the first match in five, while Marquette swept the next day. Creighton is ranked No. 21 and Marquette is No. 25. 

Click here for the complete AVCA women’s poll.

AVCA MEN BYU, which opened its season by splitting with UCLA, and Hawai’i, which has yet to play, remained 1-2 in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll, a listing of the top 15.

UC Santa Barbara, which has yet to play, moved up a spot to No. 3, while Lewis, which split with Ohio State this past weekend, fell one spot to fourth. 

Idle Long Beach State stayed No. 5, and UCLA, the team that beat BYU in the opener, moved up two spots to No. 6. 

Click here for the complete AVCA men’s poll.

The AVCA also named BYU’s Gabi Garcia Fernandez its national player of the week.

SCHEDULE NOTES — Pittsburgh of the ACC has added two non-conference matches to its spring schedule. The Panthers will play at Villanova of the Big East on Sunday, its first match of the new year, and on March 24 will play host to the Big 12’s West Virginia …

Michigan State will finally get to play its Big Ten match against Michigan. The first MSU-Michgan match, scheduled for January 28, will now be played February 17 in East Lansing. The January 30 match that was slated at Michigan is still TBA. 

Camryn Tastad-USD volleyball-NCAA volleyball 2/9/2021
USD libero Camryn Tastad lunges for a Saint Mary’s spike/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

USD WINS AGAINSan Diego made it 2-0 in its two West Coast Conference-opening matches against visiting Saint Mary’s (1-5) with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 sweep. Roxie Wiblin led again, this time with 15 kills while hitting .375 to go with an ace, a block, and 13 digs. Grace Frohling had 12 kills, two blocks, and 11 digs, and Thana Fayad had 11 kills, an ace, and nine digs. Laura Madill had two kills in her only attempts, 36 assists, two blocks, and 11 digs. Elana Baka had 15 kiills for Saint Mary’s, nearly half the Gaels’ total of 31. She also had two assists, two blocks, and 12 digs.

WAC — NM State (3-0), featured here Monday, swept at UT Rio Grande Valley (0-5). Savannah Davison and Lia Mosher led a balanced attack with eight kills and five blocks each …  Grand Canyon (3-0) swept visiting Dixie State (3-3, 2-3) as Yeny Murillo had 18 kills, hit .326, and added a block and six digs …. Cali Hoye had 20 kills, an ace, two blocks, and 10 digs as California Baptist (3-0) beat visiting Utah Valley (2-2, 2-1) in five. Tesa Oaks and Christine Graf had 11 kills each. Kristen Bell and Kazna Tanuvasa had 13 kills each for UVU … And four players had 10 or more kills as Tarleton (3-6, 1-4) won in five at Seattle (0-3). Lauren Kersey led Tarleton with 16 kills, hit .394, and had five digs and four blocks, one solo. Sofia Sanchez had 14 kills, seven digs, and two blocks for Seattle.

Lauren Strain of Northern Colorado tips against Sacramento State/Leilani Herrera

BIG SKY — Eastern Washington did it again, beating visiting Portland State in five for the second straight day. Sage Brustad had 20 kills as EWU beat Portland State in back-to-back matches for the first time since 2008. Brustad added an assist, an ace, a solo block, and nine digs. May McClellan had 14 kills and Renata Lopez Morales had 12. 

“We’re a young team and we learned a big lesson tonight,” EWU coach Leslie Flores-Cloud said. “We came out with energy which we lacked yesterday, and I’m proud of that. We’re a young team and we didn’t quite know how to close out set three – we came out like someone was going to give it to us and that doesn’t happen in the Big Sky, so a lesson learned tonight from our young team.”

Jasmine Powell led Portland State with 18 kills, 13 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Megan Sester had 17 kills, two digs, and three blocks, two solo, and Parker Webb had 14 kills, hit .308, and had three blocks, and 15 digs … 

Elisa Lago had 16 kills, hit .368, and had five aces, a block, and 11 digs as Southern Utah (2-3, 2-2) beat visiting Montana (1-5) in four … And Northern Colorado (5-1) swept visiting Sacramento State (3-3) behind 12 kills by Taylor Muff, who also had three aces, a block, and a dig.

Aleeyah Galdeira of North Texas reaches out for a dig against UAB/Manny Flores

CONFERENCE USA — It was a busy Monday in the league. Rice (3-3, 2-0) swept visiting Louisiana Tech (0-9, 0-2). Nicole Lennon led with 12 kills, eight digs, and two blocks, one solo. Sahara Marsuka had 10 kills. …

Western Kentucky (7-0, 2-0) hit .390 and swept visiting Florida Atlantic (0-4, 0-2), winning 25-5, 25-15, 25-15. The five points were the fewest scored against WKU in a set since the start of the rallly scoring era in 2001. Lauren Matthews had 10 kills with no errors in 15 attacks, three digs, and five blocks, three solo. Paige Briggs had nine kills with one error in 18 swings, and Kayland Jackson had eight kills with one error in 11. FAU hit minus .087 … 

Florida International (1-1, 1-0) swept Old Dominion (2-2, 0-1). Emily Meyer led with 12 kills as she hit .435 and had a block and a dig. ODU hit minus .033 … 

Emani Foster had 21 kills and Sydney Rowan had 20 as Charlotte (3-2, 1-1) gained a split of their two matches as it won in four at Marshall (2-1, 1-1). Foster had five aces and 17 digs, while Rowan had a block and 13 digs. Destiny Leon had 10 kills for Marshall … And UAB (3-2) swept at North Texas (1-4, 0-2) behind 17 kills by Fernanda Maida, who hit .366. Barbara Martin had 13 kills for UNT.  

HORIZON — Wright State improved to 5-9 with a four-set win at Oakland (2-1) as Teddie Sauer led with 19 kills while hitting .406 to go with an ace, seven blocks, and four digs. Megan Alders had 15 kills and hit .324 and had five blocks, and Celia Powers had 10 kills, 21 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Jenna Story had 37 digs, four assists and an ace. Patti Cesarini had 20 kills for Oakland and Jamie Walling had 18 and 18 digs. Lindsay Wightman had 25 digs and four assists …. 

UIC (5-0) kept pace at the top with a sweep at Youngstown State (2-3). Paola Santiago led with 12 kills, an assist, an ace, four blocks, and six digs … Purdue Fort Wayne (3-2) swept at IUPUI (0-5) as Katie Crowe led a balanced attack with eight kills, two aces, a block, and six digs … Reilly Briggs had 13 kills and Kaelin Gentile 12, both hit .364 and had two blocks and a dig apiece as Northern Kentucky (1-2) swept visiting Cleveland State (3-2) … And Milwaukee (2-3) swept visiting Green Bay (2-3) behind 15 kills from Ari Miller, who had no errors in 29 attacks to go with two aces, a block, and three digs. Carmen Heilemann had 12 kills and hit .346. Green Bay’s Alexandra Zakutney had 10 kills, two assists, eight aces, two blocks, and nine digs.

MISSOURI VALLEY — Indiana State (2-3, 2-2) won in four and beat Illinois State (4-4, 2-2) for the first time since 2013. Gretchen Kuckkan led with 17 kills, an assist, nine digs, and four blocks, one solo. Mallory Keller had 10 kills and three blocks, one solo. Melina Tedrow had 23 digs and six assists. Kaylee Martin led Illinois State with 19 kills, an assist, an ace, four blocks, and 11 digs. Kendal Meier had 25 digs and four assists … 

Missouri State (8-1, 4-0) had to go five to beat visiting Valparaiso (2-3, 1-3). Brooklyn Cink led with 20 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and 15 digs. Amelia Flynn had 17 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and 24 digs. Teagan Polcovich had 24 digs, three assists, and an ace, and Kennedee Anderson had 52 assists, an ace, three blocks, and 13 digs. Jaclyn Buhlman led Valpo with 15 kills. Haley Hart had 14 and three blocks, two solo. Jillie Grant had 13 kills, 19 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Rylee Cookerly had 28 digs, a kill and four assists … 

Loyola (4-1, 3-1) swept at Southern Illinois (1-5, 0-4). Kelsey Watson led a balanced attack with 10 kills, hitting .471. She added three blocks … Haley Bush had 22 kills and hit .382 as Drake (6-1, 4-0) swept visiting Bradley (1-3). Bush had three assists and 12 digs. Emily Plock had 12 kills, and Jada Wills 11, two blocks, and 14 digs. Bradley’s Hannah Thompson had 12 kills, four assists, 26 digs, and two blocks, one solo. … And UNI (2-5, 2-2) swept at Evansville (2-4, 1-3) as Emily Holterhaus had 19 kills, hit .425, and had five digs.

OHIO VALLEY — Season-opening two-match series continued Monday and check out the numbers from Eastern Kentucky’s five-set win over UT Martin.

Molly Michalek had 20 kills and 31 digs as EKU came back from being down 0-2 and won 26-28, 28-30, 25-22, 25-13,15-13 to beat visiting UT Martin and leave both teams 1-1. Lindsey Wilkins added 17 kills and Audrey Eurton had nine kills with one error in 21 attacks to hit .381, and had 63 assists, two aces, 16 digs, and seven block, three solo. Karen Scanlon had 16 kills and 25 digs for UT Martin and Logan Wallick had 15 kills … 

Brooke Moore and Chloe Stitt had 11 kills each as Austin Peay (2-0) swept visiting Tennessee Tech (0-2) … Jacksonsville State (2-0) hit .352 in its sweep of visiting Southeast Missouri State (2-0). Lena Kindermann and Katie Montgomery had 11 kills each and Courtney Glotzbach had 10. Erin Carmichael had 24 assists and two assists. Colby Greene had 15 kills for Southeast Missouri and Laney Malloy 14 … 

Olivia Lohmeier and Lauren Rokey had 13 kills each as Morehead State made it back-to-back sweeps of Eastern Illinois, which got 13 kills from Kylie Michael … Murray State (2-0) beat visiting Tennessee State (0-2)  in five as Kolby McClelland had 19 kills, three aces, a block, and five digs. Callie Anderton had a kill, 49 assists, two aces, and eight digs. Kendall Bullock had 14 kills, an ace, four blocks, and seven digs for Tennessee State … And SIUE beat Belmont again as Rachel McDonald had 12 kills, five digs, and three blocks, and Hope Everett had 11 kills and four blocks. 

SOCON — Samford (3-1) swept visiting Western Carolina (1-5, 1-3) as Lauren Deaton had 14 kills and hit .387. She added three aces, a block, and three digs. Sarah Hayes Farley had 13 kills, hit .345, and had a block and a dig. Merry Gebel had 12 kills, an ace, a block, and 10 digs for WCU … 

Furman (2-2) won in five at The Citadel (3-6, 1-3) despite a monster match from Sharlissa de Jesus. Neci Harris had 13 kills, an assist, an ace, four digs, and five blocks, one solo. Courtney Hoffman had 12 kills and four blocks, one solo, and Mikaela Schultz had 12 kills, two assists, two aces, six digs, and two blocks, one solo. Andrea Aceveda had 24 digs, an assist and an ace. de Jesus had 27 kills for The Citadel while hitting .364 and added five aces, 11 digs, and two blocks. Mellanie King had 20 kills, two assists, a block, an ace, and 14 digs … 

Mercer (4-5, 31-) won in four at UNCG (0-4) as Rayanne de Oliveira, Annie Karle, and Jaida Howell had 12 kills each. Megan Smith had 26 digs, four assists, and three aces. Maria Esch had 11 kills, two assists, an ace, a block, and 12 digs for UNCG … 

And Bella Zeman had 22 kills as Wofford (2-0) beat visiting Chattanooga (4-2, 0-2) in five. Riley Coonan had 12 kills, six digs, and three blocks, two solo. Emily Dodson had a kill, 49 assists, a block, and 17 digs. Gylian Finch had 18 kills for Chattanooga and added an ace, a solo block, and three digs. Paige Gallentine had 25 digs and eight assists.

SUMMIT — Oral Roberts (2-4) won in five at Western Illinois (0-5, 0-4). Aixa Vigil led with 16 kills and 13 digs. Jaxie Wakley had 12 kills, an ace, three blocks, and five digs. Kaia Dunford had 10 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks, and 25 digs. And Sarah Thiessen had 36 digs and seven assists. Mariah Mitchell had 17 kills for WIU, Peyton Bowman had 15 with no errors in 22 swings and four blocks, and Aubrey Putman had 14 kills and 24 digs … 

North Dakota State (4-2, 2-2) swept visiting South Dakota State (2-3, 2-2) again. Ali Hinze had 13 kills, an ace, two blocks, and nine digs … Elizabeth Juhnke had 18 kills, hit .325, and had an assist, an ace, three solo blocks, and 13 digs as South Dakota (3-3, 2-0) swept at North Dakota (2-4, 2-2) … And Kansas City (3-1) came away with a five-set win at Omaha (3-3, 3-2). Melanie Brecka had 17 kills, two assists, two aces, a block, and four digs. Alex Ratzlaff had 10 kills, an assist, seven aces, and 27 digs. And Maddie Renn had 25 digs, an ace, and three assists. Sadie Limback had 18 kills and hit .390 for Omaha, and Claire Mountjoy had 26 digs and seven assists.

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