NCAA volleyball: Minnesota beats Penn St., WSU tops CU, what a day for Knuth, all the recaps

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NCAA volleyball 2/14/2021-Cole Pender-Adam Parks-UCLA men's volleyball
UCLA's Cole Pender and Adam Parks chase the tip/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Minnesota won a four-set Big Ten slugfest Saturday over visiting Penn State and Ohio State is still unbeaten.

Purdue welcomed Michigan back to the fold by beating the visiting Wolverines in four.

And Rutgers actually took the opening set off visiting Nebraska.

In the Pac-12, Washington State improved to 6-2 and in the SEC, Kentucky kept rolling.

Performance of the day? No doubt as Florida State got back into ACC action against Clemson and senior middle Taryn Knuth set the school rally scoring era record with 16 blocks, five solo. She had 14 kills with no errors in 20 attacks. The same teams played again Saturday, and Knuth followed that up with nine kills in 10 errorless swings and seven more blocks. 

And the USC men scored a stunning victory at UCLA.

The recaps and highlights follow for both the NCAA Division I women and Division I-II men, but first a look at Sunday’s schedule.

In the Big Ten, Purdue is back at Michigan, while Penn State is back at Minnesota. 

The Pac-12 slate shows Arizona at Oregon, USC at Utah, Washington at UCLA, and Cal at Stanford.

Kentucky goes to Georgia in the SEC.

Pittsburgh of the ACC starts its spring season with a match at the Big East’s Villanova.

Other conferences with matches Sunday include the ASUN, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, SoCon, Summit League, and the West Coast Conference matchup of the day, Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga, and the Big East’s St. John’s playing host to Stony Brook of America East, which is playing its spring opener. 

On the men’s side, there are two EIVA matches when George Mason goes to Sacred Heart and NJIT plays at Penn State. Emmanuel of Conference Carolinas plays host to Tusculum. The MPSF and MIVA are idle.

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

BIG TEN — Minnesota (7-0) won a fierce battle over visiting Penn State (2-1) 29-27, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18. Stephanie Samedy continued her strong play as she led the Gophers with 23 kills, an ace, two blocks, and 11 digs. Adanna Rollins had 11 kills, an ace, four blocks, and eight digs. Taylor Landfair had 11 kills, an assist, and a block, while Regan Pittman had 10 kills, hit .421, and had an assist, a dig, and seven blocks, two solo. Setter Melani Shaffmaster had six kills in nine errorless attempts, 49 assists, two blocks, and 17 digs. CC McGraw had 19 digs, an ace, and eight assists, and Rachel Kilkelly had 15 digs, two assists, an an ace.

Penn State hit .174, which includes .027 in the fourth set. Jonni Parker led with 18 kills, an assist, two aces, a block, and 13 digs. Kaitlyn Hord had 11 kills with one error in 24 attacks, an assist, and seven blocks, two solo. Serena Gray had 11 kills, and Annie Cate Fitzpatrick had eight kills, an ace, a block, and nine digs. Gabby Blossom had a kill, 47 assists, a block and 17 digs, and Jenna Hampton had 17 digs and three assists … 

Purdue (3-4) won at Michigan 25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22 as the Wolverines finally got past COVID restrictions and played a match. Caitlyn Newton led Purdue with 15 kills, two aces, a block, and 11 digs. Grace Cleveland had 13 kills, hit .355, and had an ace, six blocks, and four digs. Jael Johnson had 11 kills, hit .529, and had eight blocks, two solo, and two digs. Maddy Chinn had 10 kills and three blocks, and Taylor Trammel had six kills and nine blocks, two solo. Purdue held a 17-4 blocking advantage. Freshman Jess Mruzik led Michigan with 21 kills, two assists, an ace, a block, and seven digs. May Pertofsky had 16 kills and hit .520 to go with two blocks and three digs. Paige Jones had 15 kills, an assist, two aces, and eight digs …

Wisconsin (8-0) won at Indiana (2-6) as the Badgers hit .420 in the 25-23, 25-11, 26-24 victory. Grace Loberg led with 14 kills and she had no errors in 20 attacks to go with an ace, two blocks, and five digs. Devyn Robinson had 11 kills with one error in 18 swings and had three blocks and a dig. Dana Rettke had eight kills with one error in 16 attacks and four blocks. Leyla Blackwell led Indiana with nine kills. She had no errors in 14 attacks, a block, and a dig … 

Ohio State (6-0) beat visiting Iowa (1-7) 28-26, 29-27, 25-18. Vanja Bukilic led with 14 kills as she hit .312 and had an assist, five digs and a block. Emily Londot had 12 kills, six digs, and four blocks, and Lauren Witte and Jenaisya Moore had nine kills each. Audrey Black and Edina Schmidt had nine kills each for Iowa … 

Rutgers (1-7) stunned visiting Nebraska (6-0) in the first set — the first time the Scarlet Knights have taken a set against Nebraska since joining the Big Ten — before the Huskers came away with a 22-25, 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 victory. Nebraska got 15 kills each from Lauren Stivrins and Lexi Sun and 14 from Madi Kubik. Stivrins had one error in 24 attacks and added a dig and 11 blocks, two solo. Sun had two assists, an ace, five blocks, and 11 digs. Kubik had an ace, three blocks, and 16 digs. Beka Kojadinovic led Rutgers with 12 kills, three blocks, and 18 digs. Tina Grkovic had 11 kills, hit .444, and had three blocks … 

Sarah Franklin had 20 kills and Michigan State (2-4) won 27-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22 at Maryland (0-8). Franklin hit .395 and had three of her team’s eight aces — the Spartans had 23 serving errors — and three blocks and four digs. Biamba Kabengele had 10 kills, five aces, and a dig. Erika Pritchard had 21 kills for Maryland to go with an assist, two aces, two solo blocks, and seven digs.

PAC-12 — In the lone conference match of the day, Washington State (6-2) hit .387 and swept visiting Colorado (4-2) 25-21, 25-18, 25-19. Pia Timmer led with 12 kills and she hit .370 to go with an ace and six digs. Magda Jehlarova had 10 kills with one error in 15 attacks to go with an ace, three assists, and four blocks, one solo. Alexcis Lusby had seven kills with no errors in 10 swing and three blocks. Hannah Pukis had four kills, 33 assists, 10 digs, and four blocks, one solo. 

Leah Clayton had eight kills for Colorado and Sterling Parker had seven and hit .385. 

SEC — Kentucky (11-0) hit .357 and swept at Georgia (4-7). Alli Stumler had 11 kills and hit .391 to go with an ace and four digs in the 25-11, 25-15, 25-17 victory. Avery Skinner had nine kills, an ace, a solo block, and six digs, and Azhani Tealer had nine kills with one error in 13 attacks, three digs, and two blocks, one solo. Madison Lilley had three kills, 28 assists, three aces, two solo blocks, and four digs. Georgia hit minus .044 … 

Arkansas (10-4) beat visiting Alabama (4-10) 25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 25-21. Jillian Gillen led with 19 kills, an assist, five aces, three blocks, and 16 digs. Devyn Wheeler had 12 kills with no errors in 20 attack and added three aces, three blocks, and seven digs. Gracie Ryan had two kills in three errorless tries, 44 assists, three aces, four blocks, and seven digs. Abby Marjama had 17 kills for Alabama and an ace, two blocks, and three digs. Setters Emily Janek and Riley Fisbeck combined for six kills, 34 assists, an ace, seven blocks, and 18 digs … 

Tennessee (6-4) beat Missouri (8-4) again, this time 25-22, 25-17, 25-22 as the Vols hit .308 and Morghan Fingall had 16 kills. She had one error in 35 attacks to hit .429 and added seven digs and four blocks, one solo. Lily Felts had nine kills in 20 errorless swings, an ace, and nine digs, and Danielle Mahaffey had five kills, an ace, a dig, and five blocks, two solo. Claudia Dillon had 11 kills with one error in 17 attacks for Mizzou and had two aces, three blocks, and two digs.

ACC — Florida State (3-3) got its spring season under way by beating visiting Clemson (7-6, 3-5)  two times on Saturday. 

In the opener, FSU had 20 blocks and won 19-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-25 as Taryn Knuth had 14 kills and Morgan Chacon, Jasmyn Martin, and Emma Clothier had 10 each. Kloth, of course, had those 16 blocks and also an assist and a dig. Chacon had two aces, 10 digs, and six blocks. Martin had three digs and four blocks, and Clothier had three digs and four blocks. Camyrn Hannah had 20 kills and hit .368 for Clemson, and Solei Thomas had 14 kills and hit .321 … In the nightcap, Knuth was still hot, this time with nine kills in 10 errorless swings and she had four digs and seven more blocks in a 25-20, 25-14, 25-12 sweep. Chacon had 10 kills in 13 errorless attacks and she had an ace, seven digs, and four blocks. Martin had 10 more kills, hit .389, and had a dig and a block.  Hannah had 10 kills for Clemson … 

Boston College (1-8) opened its spring season with a four-set win over visiting Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association. Clare Naughton led with 12 kills and hit .33 and had an assist, two blocks, and nine digs. Erica Staunton had 16 kills, 10 digs, and two blocks for Northeastern.

MOUNTAIN WEST — Colorado State (3-1) won in four at Nevada (0-4). Breanna Runnels led with 13 kills, an assist, an ace, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo. The Rams hit .158 … Wyoming is off to a 4-0 start, its best in conference play since 1998 when it played in the WAC, sweeping visiting New Mexico (2-2). KC McMahon led with nine kills, four digs, and two blocks, one solo … Boise State is also 4-0 after sweeping visiting Utah State (0-4). Jessica Donahue led with 10 kills while hitting .471 and she had seven digs and six blocks, one solo … San Diego State (1-3) gave coach Brent Hilliard his first victory as the Aztecs swept visiting Fresno State (1-1). Victoria O’Sullivan led with 11 kills, two digs, and two blocks, one solo … And San Jose State (1-3) gave coach Trent Kersten his first victory as the Spartans won in five at Air Force (2-2). Latahevai Lousi led with 17 kills as she hit .313 and had three aces, four digs, and four blocks, one solo.

SOUTHLAND — Half the scheduled matches — UIW-Northwestern State, Sam Houston-Southeastern Louisiana, and Houston Baptist-New Orleans — were postponed.

Stephen F. Austin (16-4, 4-0) swept visiting McNeese (2-2). Leah Powell led SFA wth 14 kills … Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (5-1, 3-1) swept at Central Arkansas (3-5, 1-2) as Chloe Simon had 16 kills with one error in 35 attacks and Rachel Young had 13 kills and five blocks … Abilene Christian (4-2, 3-1) swept visiting Lamar (0-8, 0-3) behind 16 kills by Katelyn Mueller, who hit .389.

BIG SOUTH — The Fighting Camels of Campbell (3-0) spoiled spring opener for UNC Asheville as Sarah Colla had 14 kills, a dig, and three blocks in the sweep … Gardner-Webb (1-2) won in five over visiting Presbyterian (0-3) despite hitting .132. Kylee Garrison had 12 kills, three assists, four aces, 18 digs, and two blocks, one solo, and Mikah McIntosh also had 12 kills, an assist, two aces, two blocks, and 20 digs … And Charleston Southern opened its spring season with a sweep at Radford (2-1) as Paige Reagor had 10 kills, hit .471, and had five blocks, two solo.

AROUND THE NATION — Marquette (7-1, 2-0) hit .339 and swept its Big East match against visiting DePaul (0-2). Taylor Wolf led with 13 kills in the 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 victory as she had no errors in 27 attacks to hit .481. Wolf also had 14 assists, a block, and 10 digs. Emma Price had 10 kills for DePaul … Also in the Big East, St. John’s (2-1) swept visiting Sacred Heart of the Northeast Conference in its season opener as Efrosini Alexakou had 16 kills, hit .306, and added an assist, two blocks, and six digs … 

Weber State (5-0) swept Southern Utah (2-4, 2-3) in the Big Sky as Dani Nay had 15 kills and hit .448 and had an ace and three blocks … Also in the Big Sky, Sacramento State (4-3) beat visiting Idaho (4-3, 3-2) in four as four players had 11 or more kills, led by Bridgette Smith’s 15. She had 11 digs, an ace, three assists, and two blocks, one solo … 

There were two American Athletic Conference matches. Temple (5-1, 1-1) won in four at South Florida (3-3, 1-1) behind 18 kills by Gem Grimshaw and 16 by Miray Bolukbasia. Grimshaw had two aces, 11 digs, and four blocks, one solo. Marta Cvitkovic had 16 kills for USF and added nine digs and three solo blocks … Tulane (4-5, 2-0) swept visiting Memphis (3-3, 0-2) as Lexie Douglas had 15 kills, an assist, a block, and 11 digs. Sophia Ervanian had 30 digs and two assists. Memphis got 10 kills from Jada Birkel, who hit .346 and had two blocks and two digs … 

Morehead State (3-0) got an Ohio Valley Conference sweep of visiting Murray State (2-1) as the Eagles hit .352. Olivia Lohmeier led with 15 kills, two aces, four blocks, and nine digs … 

North Texas (3-4, 1-2) won its Conference USA match in five at UTSA (2-5, 0-1) as Rhett Robinson had 21 kills, six blocks, and three digs. Barbara Martin had 17 kills, an ace, 22 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Kirby Smith had 19 kills for UTSA to go with 16 digs, an ace, and two blocks, one solo. Mia Ybarra had 28 digs and five assists … 

In the Atlantic 10, Dayton (1-1) — opening its season — split two matches at Saint Louis (2-4, 1-1), while George Mason (3-5, 3-0) won in five at Rhode Island, which was opening its season.

At Saint Louis, the Billikens won the opener 25-16, 25-23, 24-26, 23-25, 15-11 as Maya Taylor had 14 kills, two assists, four aces, two blocks, and seven digs, and Emily Hencken had 14 kills, three aces, a block, and eight digs. Kennedy Cordia had a kill, 35 assists, three aces, and 12 digs, and Emily Ino had 24 digs and two assists. Jamie Peterson had 23 kills for Dayton to go with two assists, a block, and seven digs. Lexie Almodovar had 16 kills, an assist, three blocks, and seven digs. And Ameila Moore had 13 kills, three aces, six blocks, and a dig. 

Dayton came back and dominated the nightcap 25-17, 25-16, 25-16 as Peterson had 16 more kills, hitting .433, to go with three aces, five blocks, and four digs. The Flyers hit .393. Taylor had 14 kills for SLU and hit .385 … 

And George Mason’s Peyton Ehmke had 15 kills, four blocks, and two digs in her team’s five-set win. Katie Parmalee added 13 kills, four blocks, and a dig, and Yani Lopez-Barahona had 10 kills, an assist, a block, and 16 digs. Claire Chaplinsky had 16 kills for URI and two aces, a block and 18 digs.

NCAA volleyball 2/14/2021-Vecas Lewin-USC men's volleyball
Vecas Lewin scores out of the middle for USC/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

MEN — USC opened its season in a big way with a 30-28, 32-30, 19-25, 26-24 MPSF victory at UCLA (2-2) as Billy Fauntleroy had 18 kills and two blocks, and Brandon Browning 16 kills while hitting .393 to go with four digs and four blocks. Jackson Reed had four kills, his team’s only ace — the Trojans had 25 service errors — a dig, and two blocks, one solo. Vecas Lewis had nine kills, hit .316, and had a dig and four blocks, two solo. Lucas Frassrand had six kills, hit .400, and had seven blocks, one solo. USC won at UCLA for the first time since 2014. Sam Kobrine had 14 kills, 10 digs, and a block for UCLA, and Ethan Champlin had 13 kills … 

Also in the MPSF, BYU (3-1) beat visiting Pepperdine (2-2) in four as Gabi Garcia Fernandez had 16 kills while hitting .345 to go with three aces, seven digs, and two blocks. Davide Gardini had 14 kills and hit .321 and had two aces, seven digs, and two blocks. BYU hit .330. Pepperdine, which hit .357, got 19 kills from Jacob Steele, who hit .389 an had an assist, an ace, five digs, and a block. Spencer Wickens had 16 kills, hit .344, and had four assists, six digs and two blocks, one solo … 

In the MIVA, Purdue Fort Wayne (2-2) swept visiting Quincy (3-4, 0-4) as Vicente Ibarra had 16 kills, hit .560, and had two blocks and three digs. Pelegrin Vargas had 13 kills, hit .423, and had four aces and six digs. The Mastodons hit .402 … Loyola (8-0, 4-0) beat visiting Lindenwood (3-4, 0-4) in four as Cole Schlothauer had 16 kills, Luke Denton 12, and Colton Brooks 12 … McKendree (5-4, 4-0) beat visiting Ohio State (2-6, 1-3) in four. Ethan Colton had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and five digs for McKendree and Zach Schnittker had 10 kills, hit .350, and had two blocks and three digs … 

In the EIVA, Cal Fisher had 13 kills, seven aces and eight digs as Penn State beat (6-1, 3-0) visiting NJIT (2-3, 2-1) in four … Charleston (2-2) won in four at Saint Francis (1-9, 0-3) as Maarten Bartles had 13 kills with one error in 23 attacks. He added two blocks … 

In Conference Carolinas, Tobi Azeez had 18 kills as Mount Olive (4-0, 3-0) won in four at Lees-McRae (0-3, 0-2). Azeez hit .368 and had two block and six digs … Barton (3-2, 2-1) swept at King (4-3, 1-1) as Adrian Iglesias had 16 kills … Also, Erskine (3-3) was swept by visiting independent Limestone (3-4) and Emmanuel won in four against visiting independent Lincoln Memorial. 

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NCAA volleyball 2/14/2021-Sam Kobrine-Billy Fauntleroy-Lucas Frassrand
UCLA’s Sam Kobrine, left, jousts with USC’s Billy Fauntleroy and Lucas Frassrand/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

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