NCAA volleyball: Washington sweeps Utah; big wins for Tarleton, Houston, BG; a 45-43 set score

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NCAA volleyball 2/26/2021-Dani Drews-Utah volleyball
Utah's Dani Drews gets a rip at the Washington overpass

Washington made a statement Thursday with a Pac-12 sweep of previously unbeaten Utah.

Tarleton of the WAC, playing its first year in Division I, stunned visiting TCU of the Big 12. Another Big 12 team, Texas Tech, lost at the American Athletic Conference’s Houston.

Bowling Green stayed unbeaten and beat Kent State in a battle for first place in the MAC. 

And the Grand Canyon men not only upset visiting BYU, the Lopes won the second set 45-43, an NCAA record.

The recaps follow, but first Friday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule that still has three Pac-12 matches after Stanford at Oregon State was canceled. Previously Arizona State at USC was also canceled, but Arizona will play at UCLA, Colorado goes to Oregon, and Cal plays at Washington State. 

The Big Ten won’t have Nebraska at Wisconsin or Michigan at Minnesota, but will have Ohio State at Rutgers and Iowa at Northwestern.

The SEC has Florida back at Tennessee, Missouri at South Carolina, and Mississippi State at Alabama. Kentucky at Texas A&M was postponed.

The Big 12 slate includes Oklahoma at Texas, Baylor home for North Texas of Conference USA, Texas Tech at Houston of the American Athletic Conference, and Iowa State at Saint Louis of the Atlantic 10. 

Duke plays an ACC match at NC State, and Florida State of the ACC is home for Troy of the Sun Belt. 

There are many other women’s matches, including a full slate in the Mid-American Conference.

The NCAA men’s Division I-II schedule shows one MPSF match when USC goes to Pepperdine. 

There are two MIVA matches with McKendree at Lewis and Lindenwood at Quincy.

George Mason at Penn State highlights the EIVA schedule that includes Sacred Heart at Charleston and Saint Francis at NJIT.

The lone Conference Carolinas match has Belmont Abbey at Lees-McRae.

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

NCAA volleyball 2/26/2021-Ella May Powell-Washington Husky volleyball
Washington’s Ella May Powell chases down a dig

WASHINGTON SWEEPS UTAH — The top two teams in the Pac-12 went at it and Washington (9-2) hit .333 to came away with a surprising 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 sweep of visiting Utah (8-1).

“Certainly pleased with the result and the focus from start to finish from our group,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said. “Utah’s a really good team, just like I thought they were. They were able to weather some very difficult storms that other teams might not have, so I walk away impressed with them and motivated to get another strong performance on Saturday.”

Claire Hoffman and Madi Endsley had 12 kills each for Washington. Hoffman hit .323 and had an assist, three aces, a block, and nine digs. Endsley had two errors in 22 attacks and hit .455 and had two blocks and three digs. Samantha Drechsel had nine kills, two blocks, and eight digs. Ella May Powell had a kill, 36 assists, a block, and four digs.

Utah, which hadn’t played since February 14 after having to quarantine until this week, hit .222. Dani Drews led with 13 kills, three assists, a block, and three digs. Kenzie Koerber had 10 kills, an ace, three blocks, and five digs. Phoebe Grace had five kills and five blocks, and Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres had two kills in four errorless attempts, 32 assists, an ace, a block, and eight digs. 

Washington is ranked No. 9 in the AVCA poll and Utah is No. 7.

GATORS TOP VOLS — Florida (11-2) won 25-29, 25-18, 25-21 at Tennessee (6-5) as T’ara Ceasar had 19 kills with four errors in 36 attacks to hit .417. She also had two aces and 15 digs. Lauren Dooley had six kills and eight blocks, one solo. Morgahn Fingall had 11 kill for Tennessee, which hit .133.

MID-AMERICAN — Two Savannahs had 22 kills in the MAC on Thursday.

Bowling Green (10-0) stayed unbeaten and atop the league with its five-set win at Kent State (8-2) as Katelyn Meyer had 17 kills, Jacqueline Askin 15, and Petra Indrova 14. Askin had six digs, two aces, and four blocks, one solo. Indrova had four blocks and nine digs. Hanna Laube had three kills, 49 assists, five blocks, and 13 digs, and Julia Walz had 26 digs and five assists. Savannah Matthews led Kent State with 22 kills, a block, and 18 digs … 

Buffalo (1-10) finally broke through a victory, winning in five sets at Eastern Michigan (3-4) despite 26 kills by Franki Sterling as Buffalo’s Emma Gielas had 21 kills and hit .341 to go with a block and seven digs. Milla Malik had 19 kills, five blocks, and 17 digs. EMU’s Sterling hit .350 and had 11 digs. Samantha Basham had 13 kills, two assists, two aces, three blocks, and nine digs … 

Visiting Akron (2-8) battled back from 0-2 but Central Michigan (6-5) came away with the five-set victory as Savannah Thompson had 22 kills, 18 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Sierra Gray had 13 kills, a block, and nine digs, and Maddie Whitfield had 11 kills, hit .563, and had four blocks, three solo. Hannah Warners had 26 digs and four assists. Akron’s Teagan Ochaya had 14 kills and hit .306 to go with a block and seven digs. Taylor Sharrits had 33 digs, three assists, and an ace … 

Northern Illinois (4-5) beat visiting Miami (4-5) in five. Katie Jablonski led with 15 kills, an ace, four blocks, and 11 digs. Four Miami players had 11 or more kills, led by Sophie Riemersma, who had 15 … 

Ball State at Western Michigan was postponed.

TARLETON THUMPS TCU — Straight from the Tarleton writeup: “Tarleton Volleyball has Division 1 figured out and they have done so in a hurry.”

Indeed, because the Texans (7-7) of the WAC, playing their first year in NCAA Division I, beat visting TCU (1-10) of the Big 12 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-20. It was TCU’s first match of the spring season.

“I thought the girls really responded to the atmosphere and the opportunity to play a solid team, a big-name team like TCU for the first time at home,” Tarleton coach Mary Schindler said. “They were really excited. I think they might have started with some nerves and were anxious by not knowing what we were capable of doing, even though we’ve talked about it over and over again. Once they settled in, it was awesome to watch and I’m so proud of this team and their effort tonight.”

Hali’a Hogan led Tarleton with 19 kills as she hit .341 and had an assist, two aces, two digs, and three blocks, one solo. Lauren Kersey had 16 kills, hit .520, and had an assist, three blocks, and a dig. Amber Strange had nine kills and six digs, and setter Kayla Brannon had two kills, 44 assists, two aces, two blocks, and 12 digs.

TCU’s Julia Adams had 18 kills ans seven digs. MyKayla Myers had 13 kills, hit .526, and had a solo block and three digsd. Katie Clark had 10 kills and two blocks.

SOUTHLAND — Ashley Lewis had 27 kills as Sam Houston (4-1) went five in its victory at Houston Baptist (3-6, 2-1). Lewis had an assist, an ace, three blocks, and 15 digs. Breanne Chausse had 14 kills and three blocks and Samantha Rodgers had 25 digs and 10 assists. Reagan Leinen had 14 kills and two blocks for HBU, and Mikayla Vivens added 11 kills, three blocks, and 11 digs. Madeline McKinney had 24 digs and Kaley Feris had 23 … 

Katelyn Mueller had 14 kills and 14 digs, and Lindsey Toney had 14 kills and five blocks as Abilene Christian (5-2, 4-1) swept visiting Nicholls (0-6, 0-5) … Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6-1, 4-1) hit .392 and won in four at UIW (1-5, 1-3). Rachel Young had 16 kills with one error in 23 attacks, three assists, two blocks, and eight digs, and Faith Panhans had 13 kills with one error in 27 attacks, 43 assists, 11 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Bethany Clapp led UIW with 12 kills, two assists, an ace, two blocks, and eight digs … Southeastern Louisiana (4-3, 2-2) won in four at Northwestern State (2-4, 0-4) as Kaitlin Newsome had 19 kills, as assist, an ace, and 16 digs. Darria Williams had 14 kills for NSU … And Stephen F. Austin (17-4, 5-) swept visiting New Orleans (2-5, 2-3) as Leah Powell had 13 kills, hitting .355.

AROUND THE NATION — Marquette (8-1) of the Big East beat visiting Saint Louis (5-5) of the Atlantic 10 in four as six players had seven or more kills, including Hannah Vanden Berg and Kaitlyn Lines with 12 each. Savannah Rennie had 10 kills and six blocks, two solo, and an ace and five digs. Maya Taylor had 18 kills and 17 digs for Saint Louis and Juliana Phillips had 14 kills, while Emily Henken had 11 kills, an ace, 14 digs, and five blocks … 

Houston (8-1) of the American Athletic swept visiting Texas Tech (5-12) of the Big 12 despite hitting .161. Abbie Jackson led with 13 kills, an assist, an ace, two solo blocks, and five digs. Reagan Cooper had 11 kills with one error in 23 attacks for Texas Tech … 

Coppin State (2-4, 1-1) won its MEAC match over visiting Howard (2-3, 1-1). Paola Caten had 15 kills with one error in 30 attacks and an ace, four blocks, and six digs. Salma Gonzalez had 10 kills with one error in 22 swings, an assist, five aces, a block, and 11 digs. Chudear Tut had eight kills with no errors in 15 attacks and four blocks. Marcelle Butler led Howard with 14 kills … 

Prairie View (5-2, 4-1) swept visiting Southern (2-3) as Autumn Dowell had 10 kills and hit .389 in their SWAC match. She also had four blocks … Also in the SWAC, Jackson State (5-0) beat visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-2) in four. Alexis Williams led JSU with 20 kills, an assist, four aces, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo. Zyonn Smith had 20 kills for UAPB and two assists and 14 digs …

High Point improved to 5-0 in the Big South with its sweep of visiting Radford (3-4) as Annie Sullivan had 11 kills with one error in 18 attacks and three blocks … 

Kyle Trefflich had 16 kills and hit .357 to go with two blocks and three digs as Tulsa (1-2) won its American Athletic match at Memphis (3-4, 0-3). Kayley Cassaday had 12 kills and three blocks, and Maggie Hembree had 10 kills with no errors in 17 swings and six blocks, one solo. Hannah Overmeyer had 23 digs, two assists, and an ace. Elizabeth Orf had 20 kills for Memphis while hitting .500 after having two errors in 36 attacks. She also had three blocks and four digs. Bailey Houlihan had 25 digs, five assist, and three aces … 

North Florida (5-6,4-1) won its ASUN match at Stetson (1-3, 0-3) in five despite 25 kills by the Hatters’ Elena Djokovic. Solimar Cestero led UNF with 14 kills while hitting .361 to go with an assist, a block, and four digs. Gabby O’Connell had 24 digs, nine kills, two assists, two aces, and three blocks, and Rocio Moro had a kill, six assists, and 23 digs. Stetson’s Djokovic also had two assists, 14 digs, and three blocks, one solo. Chelcie Spence had 28 digs and five assists … 

UConn (1-1, 1-0) won its Big East opener over visiting St. John’s (3-2, 0-1) as Caylee Parker had 18 kills and 12 digs. Rachelle Rastelli had 22 kills for St. John’s and hit .370 to go with an ace, an assist, two blocks, and nine digs … 

And Northeastern (3-1) of the Colonial swept visiting Merrimack (0-2) of the Northeast Conference. Erica Staunton led Northeastern with 20 kills as she hit .643 with two errors in 28 attacks. She also had two aces and six digs. 

NCAA volleyball 2/26/2021-Ryan Ka-UCSD men's volleyball
UCSD’s Ryan Ka encounters the Hawai’i triple block of Spyros Chakas, Max Rosenfeld and Brett Sheward/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

MEN — We have to start with Grand Canyon’s stunning MPSF sweep of visiting BYU, which is ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll. The final was 25-22, 45-43, 25-10, but it was all about that second set as Grand Canyon improved to 2-3 and BYU dropped to 5-2.

First the numbers and then the story of the second set. 

GCU hit .355 and Camden Gianni led with 19 kills. He had two errors in 30 attacks to hit .567 and had an ace, five digs, and four blocks, three solo. Christian Janke had seven kills, a block, two aces and seven digs, and Ian McLain had five with no errors in seven attacks to go with an ace and five blocks, two solo. BYU hit .165 and got 15 kills from Gabi Garcia Fernandez, who had two aces and four digs. Davide Gardini had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and six digs.

From the GCU recap:

The Lopes earned a spot in the NCAA record books by winning the highest-scoring set in men’s volleyball history, 45-43 in the second set … 

Two Cougars errors led GCU to a set point at 24-22, but a BYU kill triggered a long back-and-forth series. The Cougars tied it at 25 with an ace, followed by a service error. The teams traded kills, followed by three straight service errors between the two teams to tie up at 27-27. Kills from Janke and Gianni were split by one from BYU, giving the Lopes a 29-28 lead. Service errors kept either team from going up two, as the set continued in ties or one-point differentials. The Lopes stayed tough through the extended set, with McLain coming in with a powerful kill to tie it at 39-39, followed by a block assisted by (Hugo) Fischer to take a 40-39 lead.

Both teams seemed to find their strides as aces and kills were traded leading to a 43-42 lead for the Cougars. Fischer made a big kill for the Lopes to tie it at 43-43 before BYU made an attack error to set up set point again. Janke was able to key the block in a clutch play, giving GCU the 45-43 win in the record-setting second set.

UCLA (5-2) hit .338 and swept visiting Concordia (0-4). Cole Ketrzynski led with 12 kills as he hit .429 and had an assist, five aces, and a dig. Merrick McHenry had 11 kills, hit .500, and had an ace, two digs, and two blocks, one solo … 

Hawai’i improved to 4-0 as the Rainbow Warriors swept at UC San Diego (0-2). Colton Colwell led with 13 kills, an ace, a block and three digs, and Rado Parapunov had 11 kills, hit .421, and had five digs and six blocks, one solo. Ryan Ka had 12 kills and hit .391 for UCSD and had an assist, eight digs, and a block … 

NJIT (6-3, 6-1) swept its EIVA match against visiting Saint Francis (1-13, 0-7) as Alvaro Gimeno had 10 kills in the Highlanders’ fourth victory in a row. He had an assist, three blocks, and four digs. Luca Berger had four kills with no errors in eight swings and eight blocks, two solo.

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Raddo Parapunov-Hawaii men's volleyball-NCAA volleyball 2/26/2021
Hawai’i’s Rado Parapunov beats the UCSD block crosscourt/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

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