NCAA volleyball: Michigan finally gets to play; Wisconsin, Nebraska, Utah, UCLA, Cal win; all the recaps

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NCAA volleyball 2/13/2021-Devon Chang/UCLA volleyball
UCLA's Devon Chang jump sets as Washington's Madi Endsley waits/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Hello Michigan. Welcome to the party.

After seeing their first six matches postponed, the Wolverines will play host to Purdue on Saturday and Sunday. The Wolverines nonethless still came in at No. 24 in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Women’s Poll.

All of Friday’s recaps follow, including victories by Wisconsin and Nebraska in the Big Ten, Utah, UCLA, and Cal in the Pac-12, and Houston’s win over SMU when Abby Jackson had 32 kills.

But first a look at Saturday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule.

Purdue at Michigan is just one of six Big Ten matches, including the last one of the day, the highly anticipated Penn State at Minnesota battle. Also on the B1G slate are Wisconsin at Indiana, Nebraska at Rutgers, Michigan State at Maryland, and Iowa at Ohio State.

The lone Pac-12 match has Colorado trying to even the score at Washington State.

We see Kentucky for the first time in two weeks as the Wildcats play an SEC match at Georgia. Also in the SEC, Alabama is at Arkansas and Missouri is at Tennessee.

There is ACC spring action, too. Florida State plays for the first time when the Seminoles are home twice for Clemson, and Boston College opens its spring with a home match against Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Marquette is home for a Big East match against DePaul.

Western Kentucky was scheduled to play a Conference USA match at Old Dominion, but that series was postponed.

The ASUN did some schedule tinkering, and the end result is that with Lipscomb and Stetson out because of COVID protocols and tracing, on Saturday Bellarmine is now at Kennesaw State and Liberty is at North Alabama, and Sunday FGCU is at North Florida.

Among the leagues in action Saturday are the American Athletic, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Mountain West, and Southland.

The NCAA Division I-II men’s schedule includes three MPSF matches with USC — after three postponements — making its 2021 debut at UCLA, Pepperdine at BYU, and Concordia at Grand Canyon. 

In the MIVA, Quincy is at Purdue Fort Wayne, Lindenwood is at Loyola, and Ohio State is at McKendree. The EIVA slate shows George Mason at Sacred Heart, NJIT at Penn State, and Charleston at Saint Francis. And in Conference Carolinas the league matches are Mount Olive at Lees-McRae and King at Barton. 

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

NCAA volleyball 2/13/2021-Zoe Fleck-UCLA volleyball
UCLA’s Zoe Fleck passes as élan McCall looks on/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

PAC-12 — The conference is anything but boring this spring. Utah stands alone as the only team left unbeaten and Stanford is 0-3.

The Utes (7-0) made short work of visiting USC (1-4) 25-17, 25-11, 25-20 as they hit .403. Dani Drews and Kenzie Koerber led with 11 kills. Koerber had one error in 16 attacks to go with four aces, four digs, and four blocks, one solo. Drews added an assist, an ace, three digs, and two blocks. Kennedi Evans had three kills with no errors in six swings, three digs, and three blocks, one solo. USC, which hit .122, got 11 kills from Emilia Weske and 10 from Brooklyn Schirmer … 

Four players had 10 or more kills as UCLA beat visiting Washington 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 24-26, 15-11, leaving both teams 5-2. élan McCall led UCLA with 18 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and 12 digs. 

“At the end of the day, we just stuck it out and focused on executing our game plan,” McCall said. “Our coaches taught us well.”

Mac May had 16 kills despite hitting .054 and had four aces and 19 digs. Emily Ryan had 10 kills, an assist, a dig, and six blocks, one solo. Allison Jacobs had 10 kills, an assist, an ace, a block and seven digs. UCLA’s setter, Devon Chang, went out with an apparent injury late in the first set and Kate Lane responded. She had four kills in as many attempts, 42 assists, an ace, two blocks, and four digs. The Bruins hit .177. 

Washington, which hit .147, got 15 kills from Claire Hoffman, who had an assist, an ace, four blocks, and eight digs. Samantha Drechsel had 14 kills, four blocks, and seven digs. Madi Endsley had 10 kills, three blocks, and four digs. Ella May Powell had three kills in seven errorless tries, 42 assists, five blocks and 14 digs … 

Oregon (5-2) swept visiting Arizona (2-5) 25-19, 25-17, 25-15 as Brooke Nuneviller had 14 kills with one error in 28 attacks to hit .464. She added an ace, a solo block, and 16 digs. Taylor Borup had eight kills, an ace, and nine digs. Oregon hit .320, while Arizona hit .119. Paige Whipple led the Wildcats with eight kills, a block, and seven digs … 

Oregon State (3-5) went the distance and then some to beat visiting Arizona State (1-7) 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 21-19. Mychael Vernon led the Beavers with 18 kills, two assists, 12 digs, and four blocks, two solo. Aliyah McDonald had 15 kills, six blocks, and a dig, and Anastasija Svetnik had 10 kills, hit .500, and had four blocks and four digs. Kateryna Tkachenko had seven kills, an assist, four blocks, and six digs. Izzi Szulzewski had three kills, 43 assists, 17 digs, and four blocks, one solo. Marta Levinska had 20 kills for Arizona State to go with an assist, two aces, seven blocks, and five digs. Megan Beedie had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks, and four digs. Kennedi Boyd had 11 kills and hit .409 and had an assist, a dig, and eight blocks, one solo … 

And Cal (1-6) got its first victory, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12 over visiting Stanford (0-3) as it beat the Cardinal for the first time since 2011. Cal, which hit .131, was led by Katarina Pantovic, who had 15 kills, an assist, two aces, three blocks, and 12 digs. Makana Meyer had 12 kills, an assist, and five digs. Isabel Potter had two kills, 33 assists, five aces, a block, and 23 digs. Stanford, which hit .192, got 16 kills from Caitie Baird, who had an assist, three blocks, and 14 digs. Kendall Kipp had 15 kills, an assist, an ace, four blocks, and 16 digs. McKenna Vicini had nine kills, three assists, and six blocks, one solo, Selina Xu had two kills, 43 assists, two aces, six blocks, and nine digs.

Kamila Cieslik of Rutgers attacks against Nebraska/Ben Solomon, Rutgers Athletics

BIG TEN — Devyn Robinson had 18 kills with one error in 26 attacks as Wisconsin (7-0) won 25-17, 25-13 at Indiana (2-5). Robinson hit .654, and added two digs and two blocks. Dana Rettke had seven kills, two aces, three digs, and seven blocks. Sydney Hilley had a kill, 34 assists, nine digs, and four blocks as her team hit .318. Indiana hit minus .022 … 

Michigan State (1-4) hit .301 and won 25-20, 25-16, 21-25, 25-16 at Maryland (0-7). Sarah Franklin led with 16 kills, two blocks, and 11 digs. Biamba Kabengele had 13 kills and Alyssa Chronowski had 11, hit .375, and had four blocks and a dig. Celia Cullen had two kills, 50 assists, three aces, a block, and eight digs. Jada Gardner had 20 kills and hit .455 for Maryland to go with three blocks and nine digs. Erika Pritchard had 12 kills, two aces, six digs, and two blocks, one solo … 

Nebraska (5-0) swept at Rutgers (1-6) as the Huskers hit .320. Lexi Sun had 17 kills, hit .484, and had an assist, an ace, three digs, and two blocks, one solo. Lauren Stivrins added 11 kills and hit .586 and she had a block and a dig. Rutgers got 10 kills from Kamila Cieslik … 

And Ohio State (5-0) beat visiting Iowa (1-5) 25-17, 25-15, 25-21 as the Buckeyes are off to their best start since 2016. Emily Londot and Jenaisya Moore had 10 kills each for Ohio State and Vanja Bukilic had nine with no errors in 13 swings to go with an assist, a dig, and three blocks. Londot had seven digs and five blocks, and Moore had three aces, five digs, and two blocks. Lauren Witte had seven kills and seven blocks, an Mac Podraza had two kills, 32 assists, four digs, and two blocks. Iowa hit .029. 

SEC — Tennessee (5-4) rallied for a 27-25, 25-27, 18-25, 26-24, 15-11 victory over visiting Missouri (8-3) as four players had 13 or more kills and setter Natalie Hayward had three kills with one error in five attempts, 54 assists, an ace, a block and 14 digs. Lily Felts had 16 kills, hit .325, and had an assist and 18 digs. Danielle Mahaffey had 15 kills, hit .440, and had a dig and two blocks, one solo. Jasmine Brooks had 14 kills, six digs, and two blocks, one solo, and Morghan Fingall had 13 kills, three blocks, and five digs. Madison Bryant had a kill, five assists, and 19 digs.

“Volleyball is a game of runs. You never like to be down but this team has a lot of fight and grit,” said Tennessee coach Eve Rackham Watt, whose Vols were down 18-13 in the fourth. “The comeback in the fourth set shows what this team is about. Even in the second set when we were down I still felt like we’re in this because that is the kind of team that we have. We don’t give up.”

Kylie Deberg led Missouri with 23 kills, an ace, two blocks, and seven digs. Claudia Dillon had 11 kills with no errors in 18 attacks, two digs, and two blocks, and Anna Dixon had nine kills, a solo block, and six digs … 

Mississippi State (4-8) had to earn it as the Bulldogs beat visiting Ole Miss (0-12) again, this time 22-25, 25-23, 26-24, 26-24. Gaby Waden led with 17 kills as she hit .333. Eight others had kills, led by Logan Brown with eight. Ole Miss got 12 kills apiece from Anna Bair and Samantha Schnitta and 11 from Sasha Ratliff … 

Arkansas (9-4) swept visiting Alabama (4-9). Taylor Head had 12 kills, an assist, an ace,  two blocks, and 14 digs. Jillian Gillen had 10 kills, three blocks, and four digs. Devyn Wheeler, who had five kills with no errors in 14 attacks, had five aces, four blocks, and two digs. Alabama hit minus .038.

Ball State’s Lauren Gilliland powers through the Bowling Green block of Nikolija Katanic, left, and Jacqueline Askin/Samantha Blankenship, Ball State Creative

MID-AMERICAN — Bowling Green (8-0) swept again at Ball State (5-3) and stayed two games in the win column ahead of the only other unbeaten team in the conference, Kent State.

Katelyn Meyer led Bowling Green with 14 kills as she hit .306 and had an assist, three blocks, and five digs. Jacqueline Askin had 13 kills and hit .343 and Petra Indrova had 12 kills, four blocks, and 13 digs. Hanna Laube had three kills in five errorless swings, 37 assists, a block and three digs. Kia Holder had 14 kills for Ball State … 

Kent State (6-0) beat visiting Akron (2-6) in four. Morgan Copley led with 15 kills. Savannah Matthews had 13 kills, an ace, nine digs, and three blocks, two solo. Lana Strejcek had 11 kills with no errors in 19 swings and fouir solo blocks, while Alex Haffner had four kills in seven errorless attempts to go with 48 assists, three aces, a block and 15 digs. Alexis Adleta had 15 kills, two aces, two blocks, and 21 digs for Akron. Shelby Fulmer had 12 kills and hit .423 …  

Western Michigan (6-2) beat visiting Central Michigan (3-5) in four as Maggie King had 17 kills and five blocks, one solo, Rachel Bontrager had 16 kills, and Meredith Phillips 15 kills while hitting .387. Logan Case had four kills in four tries, 51 assists, an ace, a block, and eight digs. Kaley Smith had 27 digs, two assists and an ace. Savannah Thompson led CMU with 13 kills … Ohio (4-2) swept visiting Buffalo (0-8) as Lauren Park had 14 kills and Caitlin O’Farrell had 12 while hitting .579 … And four Huskies had 10 or more kills as NIU (2-6) beat visiting Eastern Michigan (1-3). Kennedy Wallace led with 17 kills and hit .364 and she had four blocks and six digs. Jasmine Kemp had 15 kills, hit .323, and had five blocks and a dig.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC — Abbie Jackson had a career-high 32 kills when it was done. And after a dramatic fifth set filled with ups and downs, Houston (5-1, 2-0) beat SMU (4-2, 0-2) 25-20, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 23-21 to take the season series over the Mustangs for the first time since 2005.

Jackson hit .256 after having 12 errors in 78 attacks — Houston had a total of 202 swings — and added an ace, four blocks, and eight digs. Kortlyn Henderson had 20 kills and hit .350 and Annie Cooke had two kills in eight errorless tries 64 assists, an ace, and 12 digs. Torie Frederick had 25 digs, two assists and two aces. Jadyn Bauss led SMU with 21 kills while hitting .319 to go with an ace, 16 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Hannah Jacobs had 15 kills and Alex Grover 10 and seven blocks one solo. Zairyn Hemsley had four kills in 14 errorless attempts, 48 assists, three blocks, and 19 digs … 

Marta Cvitkovic had 23 kills as USF (3-2 1-0) beat visiting Temple (4-1, 0-1) 25-22, 21-25, 6-25, 26-24, 17-15. Cvitkovic had three aces, two blocks, and 10 digs. Makayla Washington added 15 kills and hit .407 to go with two solo blocks, and Agata Plaga had 10 kills, a block and 14 digs. Gem Grimshaw had 18 kills for Temple to go with an assist, two aces, 13 digs, and four blocks, one solo … 

Cincinnati (4-2, 2-0) swept East Carolina (1-2, 0-2). Maria Mallon led a balanced attack with 13 kills, a solo block and 11 digs. Sydney Kleinman had 18 kills, three blocks, and 13 digs for ECU and Bri Wood had 14 kills and 13 digs … Wichita State (7-0, 0-2) won in four at Tulsa (0-2). Nicole Anderson had 15 kills and 10 digs and Brylee Kelly had 13 kills, an assist, an ace, four digs, and three blocks, one solo. Kayley Cassaday had 12 kills for Tulsa and Maggie Hembree had 11 and five blocks, two solo … Tulane (3-5, 1-0) beat visiting Memphis (3-2, 0-1) in four. Lexie Douglas had 14 kills, three aces, two blocks, and 10 digs, and Kayla Dinkins had 11 kills and nine blocks, three solo. Elizabeth Orf had 13 kills for Memphis, which hit .046.

MOUNTAIN WEST — Colorado State (2-1) hit .346 and won in four at Nevada (0-3). Breanna Runnels led with 16 kills, three aces, and nine digs. Jacqui Va Liefde had 11 kills, hit .500, and had an assist and three blocks, two solo. Ciera Zimmerman had five kills in as many attempts, 41 assists, four blocks, and six digs. Sydney Petersen had 14 kills and hit .478 for Nevada and had five blocks. Kassie McGill had 12 kills and six blocks … 

Fresno State opened its season with a four-set win at San Diego State (0-3) as Desiree Sukhov had 18 kills, two blocks, and five digs. Victoria O’Sullivan had 11 kills for SDSU … Wyoming (3-0) swept visiting New Mexico (2-1). Jackie McBride had 12 kills with one error in 18 attacks and five blocks, one solo. Hailey Zuroske had 11 kills with one error in 23 swings and had an assist, three aces, seven digs, and three blocks, two solo. New Mexico, which lost the last set 25-6, hit .minus 075 … Lauren Ohlinger had 13 kills, an ace, seven digs, and six blocks as Boise State (3-0) swept visiting Utah State (0-3) … And Air Force (2-1) broke an eight-match losing streak to San Jose State (0-3) with a four-set win as Bailey Keith had 15 kills, four blocks, and five digs, and Brookelyn Messenger had 14 kills, an ace, and five digs. Haylee Nelson led SJSU with 12 kills, an ace, a block, and 16 digs.

AROUND THE NATION — Marquette (6-1) opened Big East play with a 25-19, 25-13, 25-19 sweep of visiting DePaul (0-1). Hope Werch led with nine kills as the Golden Eagles hit .330. Claire Nuessmeier had six kills in 10 errorless attacks and seven blocks, one solo. Avarie Evans-Allen had 10 kills and hit .643 for DePaul to go with two blocks and three digs … 

Weber State (5-0) won its Big Sky match over Southern Utah (2-4, 2-3) as Dani Nay had 15 kills and hit .448 to go with an ace, three blocks, and three digs. Rylin Adams had eight kills, five aces, an assist, a block and 12 digs … 

Clemson (7-4) of the ACC won in five at North Florida (1-5) of the ASUN. Camryn Hannah led the Tigers with 21 kills, an assist, an ace, 22 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Gabby O’Connell had 18 kills, four assists, an ace, six blocks, and nine digs for UNF … 

NC Central (2-0) won its MEAC match at South Carolina State (0-2) as 12 of its players had kills and the team hit .431. Morgan Goodwin led with seven kills … 

In Big South play, Winthrop (1-3) swept visiting USC Upstate (0-4) and Campbell (3-0) swept at UNC Asheville (0-1). Nikkia Benitez had 11 kills and 12 digs for Winthrop. Sarah Colla led Campbell with 14 kills as she hit .308 and had three blocks and a dig … 

And VCU (6-1, 2-0) beat Duquesne in the Dukes’ Atlantic 10 and season opener. VCU hit .363 as Qairo Bentley led with 12 kills and hit .476 to go with two blocks and 12 edigs. Kylie Loftis had 10 kills, hit .474, and had three blocks and a dig.

MEN — Gabi Garcia Fernandez had 15 kills with no errors in 18 attacks as BYU (2-1) swept visiting Pepperdine (2-1) in the lone MPSF match of the day. Garcia Fernandez hit .833 and had an assist, three blocks, and four digs. Davide Gardini had 13 kills, hit .417, and added two assists, two blocks, and three digs. The Cougars hit .449. Pepperine, which hit .191, got 111 kills from Jacob Steele … 

McKendree (4-2, 3-0 MIVA) beat visiting Ohio State (2-5, 1-2) in four. Patrick Ross had 16 kills and hit .433 for McKendree and had two assists, three aces, and seven digs. Jacob Pasteur led Ohio State with 18 kills, three aces, six digs, and three blocks, one solo … Purdue Fort Wayne (1-2) also won in the MIVA with a four-set victory over visiting Quincy (3-3, 0-3). Pelegrin Vargas led PFW with 13 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks, and seven digs. Omari Wheeler had 17 kills, an ace, three blocks, and five digs for Quincy … And also in the MIVA, Loyola (7-0, 3-0) swept visiting Lindenwood (3-3, 0-3)  as Cole Schlothauer had 12 kills, Luke Denton 10 and Colton Brooks nine. The Ramblers hit .380. Phil Swartz had 10 kills for Lindenwood … 

In the lone EIVA match Friday, Charleston (1-2) won in five at Saint Francis (1-8, 0-2) as Ismael Sneed, who hit .542, and Maarten Bartels had 14 kills each. Michael Fisher had 15 kills for Saint Francis to go with an assist, nine digs, and three blocks, one solo … 

In Conference Carolinas, Matteo Miselli went off for 23 kills as Belmont Abbey (5-0, 2-0) beat visiting Emmanuel (0-5, 0-3) in four. Miselli hit .304 and had two assists, two aces, three blocks, and four digs. Riley Mulkey had eight kills in 11 errorless attacks. Emmanuel’s Aleksa Lakic had 13 kills, Don Thompson 12, and Jayden Young 11. Thompson hit .455 and had five blocks and 11 digs …

North Greenville (3-0, 1-0) swept Erskine (3-2, 0-1) as Jackson Gilbert had 10 kills, two aces, four blocks, and three digs. Edgerrin Austin had 10 kills for Erskine to go with an assist, two blocks, and seven digs … Mount Olive (3-0, 2-0) swept at King (3-3, 0-1) as Tobi Azeez had 10 kills, two assists, a block, and six digs. King’s Diego Marcano had 12 kills … Barton (3-1, 2-0) swept at Lees-McRae (0-2, 0-1) as Adrian Iglesias had 11 kills and Nathan Chaparro nine.

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