NCAA volleyball: Ohio State knocks off Penn State; Michigan, Pepperdine, USD, BYU win

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NCAA volleyball 2/18/2021-Santa Clara volleyball
Liliana Light and Alex Anthony block for Santa Clara/Santa Clara athletics

Ohio State not only stayed unbeaten this spring, the Buckeyes went down 0-2 at home Wednesday before rallying to stun visiting Penn State 17-25, 13-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-8.

It left Ohio State and first-year coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg 7-0.

Pepperdine also won in five to stay unbeaten as the Waves beat visiting Pacific to improve to 6-0 in the West Coast Conference and stay atop the league with San Diego and BYU, which also won.

The recaps follow from a light Wednesday’s schedule,  but first a look at what’s on tap Thursday in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball.

Oregon was set to play two matches at Utah starting Thursday, but they’ve been canceled “due to COVID-19 protocols within the Utah program.”

Thursday’s lone SEC match has Arkansas, which has won four in a row, at LSU, which has lost four in a row.

North Carolina of the ACC makes its spring debut with a home match against App State of the Sun Belt. So does Notre Dame, which plays host to Valparaiso of the Missouri Valley.

There’s a West Coast Conference match when San Francisco plays at Portland.

In the American Athletic Conference, UCF plays at Temple, USF is at East Carolina, and Tulsa is at Memphis. 

The Mid-American slate shows Central Michigan at Buffalo, Ohio at Bowling Green, Western Michigan at Miami, NIU at Ball State, and Eastern Michigan at Akron.

There’s a Mountain West match between UNLV and Colorado State and also matches in the MEAC and Southland.

The NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball schedule includes three MPSF matches as Stanford makes its 2021 debut by playing host to Pepperdine, UCLA goes to USC, and Grand Canyon is back at BYU.

In the MIVA, Quincy is at McKendree.

Want to watch a match? We’ve got the links in the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.

BIG TEN — Ohio State, which so far this spring has beaten Maryland twice, Michigan State twice, and Iowa twice, had yet to play an upper-tier Big Ten team. Accordingly, the Buckeyes were unranked, but Penn State (2-3), which sat out the first two weekends before winning twice at Illinois and then losing twice at Minnesota, is ranked No. 8 in the AVCA coaches poll.

Ohio States Emily Londot continued to lead as the freshman had 20 kills, 12 digs, and five blocks, one solo. Vanja Bukili had 16 kills, hit .303, and had five blocks, and three digs. Jenaisya Moore had 11 kills, three assists, two aces, three blocks, and 15 digs. Rylee Rader had five kills and five blocks, and Lauren Witte had two kills and eight blocks. Setter Mac Podraza had five kills while hitting .364, 42 assists, two aces, three blocks, and 15 digs. Kylie Murr had 15 digs and nine assists.

Ohio State, which hit .192, had 15 blocks. Penn State, playing its third match in five days, hit .165 and had 12 blocks. 

Serena Gray led Penn State with 13 kills while hitting .357. She had a dig and four blocks, one solo. Kaitlyn Hord had 11 kills, hit .308, and had eight blocks. Jonni Parker had 10 kills, five blocks, and nine digs, while Anastasiya Kudryashova had 10 kills and five blocks. Gabby Blossom had a kill, 46 assists, two aces, and 14 digs. Jenna Hampton had 25 digs, an assist, and two aces …

Michigan (1-2), the last B1G team to start its spring season, finally got a victory when the Wolverines won at Michigan State (2-5)  25-22, 20-25, 28-26, 25-19. Paige Jones led with 16 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and 18 digs. May Pertofsky had 13 kills, hit .400, and had two aces, three blocks, and seven digs. Hannah Grant had 17 digs and eight assists.

Michigan State’s Biamba Kabengele had 17 kills and hit .310. Sarah Franklin added 15 kills, two assists, an ace, two blocks,  and nine digs

WEST COAST — Pepperdine won 20-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 15-12, leaving Pacific 1-5. Rachel Ahrens led the Waves with 19 kills, three blocks, and four digs. Shannon Scully had 12 kills, Pepperdine’s only ace, a block, and 19 digs. Emma Ammerman had 11 kills, three blocks and two digs. Meg Brown had eight kills and six blocks, and Isabel Zelaya had three kills in eight errorless tries, 50 assists, three blocks and eight digs. 

Alexa Edwards led Pacific with 21 kills and had an assist, a block, an ace, and 12 digs. Riley Patterson had 14 kills, an assist, two aces, two blocks, and 12 digs. Jadyn Tubbs had 25 digs and five assists, and Gabby Leo had three kills, 49 assists, a block, and 14 digs …

San Diego (6-0) kept pace with Pepperdine as it won in four at Santa Clara (0-2) behind 16 kills each by Roxie Wiblin and Thana Fayad and 14 from Grace Frohling. Wiblin had two aces and 13 digs, Fayad added an ace and 17 digs, and Frohling had two assists, three aces, 13 digs, and three blocks.

Julia Sangiacomo had 17 kills and hit .319 for Santa Clara to go with an assist, an ace, eight digs, and two blocks, one solo. Sophia Tulino had 12 kills, four aces, seven digs, and a solo block …

BYU (7-0 overall, 6-0) hit .371 and swept visiting Loyola Marymount (3-5) as Taylor Ballard-Nixon led with 16 kills while hitting .424. She had an assist, an ace, and five digs. Kate Grimmer added 10 kills with one error in 16 attacks and added an assist, two blocks, and two digs. Whitney Bower had five kills with one error in six tries, 36 assists, three aces, and seven digs.

LMU, which hit .301, got 10 kills from Rose Booth. She hit .389 and had an ace, six digs, and a solo block. 

AROUND THE NATION — The ACC’s Duke (8-2) swept visiting App State (1-12) of the Sun Belt. Ade Owokoniran had 11 kills with one error in 27 attacks for Duke and a block and nine digs. Gracie Johnson had 10 kills. Denny McCall had 11 kills for App State, which hit .000 …

In a match involving two more North Carolina schools, High Point (3-0) got a Big South sweep at UNC Asheville (0-3) hit .304. Maggie Salley led a balanced attack with one kill with one error in 14 attacks. She had a dig and three blocks, one solo …

USC Upstate was scheduled to play Gardner-Webb, but their match was delayed until Thursday.

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