The schedule keeps getting tougher and Ohio State just keeps rising to the occasion.
Thursday’s schedule is again fairly light. Kansas State of the Big 12 plays host to Texas State of the Sun Belt; there are three American Athletic matches on tap, including Cincinnati at USF; five matches in the MAC, including unbeaten Bowling Green at Central Michigan; and a full slate in the Big South. The only Mountain West match has unbeaten league leader UNLV at Utah State.
Want to watch a match? We’ve got the links in the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.
OHIO STATE SWEEPS — The Buckeyes (12-0) won 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 two weeks after beating Penn State (4-4) in five. In that match, Ohio State was at home and lost the first two sets before rallying. Wednesday, the Buckeyes hit .380, their best of the season.
It marked the first time since 2001 that Ohio State beat Penn State in both matches in the same season and was Ohio State’s first win at Penn State’s Rec Hall since 2004.
Ohio State’s top four hitters were nearly unstoppable.
Freshman Emily Londot led with 13 kills as she hit .423 with two errors in 26 attacks. She also had two blocks and four digs. Vanja Bukilic had nine kills with no errors in 16 swings to hit .563. Lauren Witten had eight kills with no errors in 12 attacks and had an ace, a block, and four digs. Rylee Rader had eight kills with one error in 13 swings, two digs, and four blocks, one solo. Setter Mac Podraza had two kills, 44 assists, two blocks, and six digs.
Anastasiya Kudryashova led Penn State with 11 kills. She had three errors in 25 attacks and hit .320 to go with two assists, a block, and two digs. Annie Cate Fitzpatrick had 10 kills, a block, and five digs, and freshman Annie Holland had eight kills with no errors in 13 attacks to hit .615 in her first start to go with two blocks and two digs.
“On our side, I didn’t think we were very good from the first whistle to the last whistle,” said Penn State coach Russ Rose, whose team hit .275. “Maybe a little in the first game and a little in the third game where I thought we looked like we were playing a game that resembled what we had spent time on the last couple of weeks. That’s a real disappointment and a lot of that falls on me as a coach. I’m disappointed with the effort that we put forth on the floor today.”
LONGHORNS ROLL ON –– Texas improved to 17-0, 3-0 this spring, with a 25-22, 25-17, 17-25, 25-20 victory over visiting Baylor (15-4). Three of Baylor’s losses are to Texas, two last fall.
Logan Eggleston had 23 kills with three errors in 48 attacks and hit .417 to go with an assist, five aces, two blocks, and 14 digs.
“She just played clean,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “They found her and used her at the right time, so she was low error on out-of-system stuff, and we couldn’t convert,” McGuyre said. “I thought we had the digs and touches, but we didn’t turn those back into points. And then, when the opportunity was there, she was able to just swing away.”
Brionne Butler had 10 kills with two errors in 21 attacks and nine blocks. Skylar Fields had 10 kills and three blocks, Melanie Parra had six kills and three blocks, ad Asjia O’Neal had four kills, an ace, and five blocks. Jhenna Gabriel had a kill, 42 assists, two blocks and 12 digs. Her team hit .265.
“I thought we had some really good performances,” Texas coach Jerritt Elliott said.
Baylor, which hit .194, got 16 kills from Lauren Harrison, who hit .344 and had three digs. Yossiana Pressley had 13 kills but hit .044 to go with a block and a digs. Marieke van der Mark had 12 kills, five blocks, and two digs. Callie William had 22 assists and 15 digs, and Shanel Bramschreiber had 19 digs, six assists, and an ace.
“A lot of it was our execution,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “It’s a game of rhythm. Texas is very good, probably one of the biggest blocks we’re going to see. But, we know that, and we’ve trained for them and that before … I think it was a combination, Yossi, but more so the setters bringing the ball off and keeping it in rhythm.”
AROUND THE NATION — Rachelle Rastelli went off for 25 kills as St. John’s (5-2) of the Big East won in four at the Atlantic 10’s Rhode Island (3-5). Rastelli, a junior right side from Italy, had five errors in 51 attacks and hit .392 and added an ace, a solo block, and four digs. Jovana Askovic had 10 kills and two blocks. Claire Chaplinsky continued to be Rhode Island’s bright spot, this time with 16 kills, an assist and 12 digs …
Old Dominion (7-4) of Conference USA got 22 kills from Alessia Sgherza and beat visiting UNCW (0-5) of the Colonial in five. Sgherza hit .327 and had an ace, two blocks, and 14 digs. Three other ODU players had 10 or more kills, including Ashley Pero with 13, four aces, and eight digs. Kristen Badowski had 19 kills with three errors in 33 swings for UNCW to hit .515 and she had a block and four digs. Brynn Montgomery had 10 kills, 26 assists, 12 digs, and three blocks, one solo …
NM State (9-0) not only stayed unbeaten with its WAC sweep over visiting Seattle U (1-6) but hit a school-record .554 in a three-set match. NM State had 45 kills with five errors in 74 attacks in the match that was played in El Paso, Texas.
That included Shaney Lipscomb going 14-for-14 to 1.000 and she had five blocks and a dig. Katie Birtcil had nine kills with no errors in 12 attacks and had two blocks and a dig …
“I’m impressed with what we did,” NM State coach Mike Jordan said. “Obviously, we saw some big performances and we passed it well enough and dug well which gave us transition opportunities. We have a lot of arms so when we defend like we defended today we can score.”
And Lipscomb (10-2, 7-1) won its fourth match in a row, a sweep of visiting North Alabama (1-8, 1-7) as Megan Kuper had 14 kills, an ace, two blocks, and three digs. Kamryn Bacus had seven kills with one error in 13 attacks. Lipscomb hit .364, while UNA hit .000.
MEN — UC Santa Barbara won its season and Big West season opener over visiting UC San Diego (0-3, 0-1). UCSB hit .352 as Keenan Sanders had 16 kills with no errors in 20 attacks to hit .800. He had five blocks and a dig. Randy DeWeese led with 19 kills and hit .342 and had two assists, an ace, six digs, and three blocks, one solo. Ryan Wilcox had 13 kills, an ace, eight digs, and a four blocks. Kyle McCauley had 19 kills for UCSD and added three assists, an ace, nine digs, and solo block. Logan Clark had 13 kills with no errors in 20 errorless attacks and he had two blocks and two digs …
Pepperdine (7-2) swept its MPSF match against visiting Stanford (0-3) as Jacob Steele led a balanced attack with 12 kills while hitting .321. He added an ace and a dig. Spencer Wickens had eight kills, three assists, and five digs. Will Rottman had 11 kills and hit .333 for Stanford to go with two blocks and two digs. Kupono Browne had nine kills, two blocks, and four digs …
In Conference Carolinas, North Greenville (7-2, 5-2) swept visiting King (6-5, 3-3) as it hit .326 and got 16 kills from Jackson Gilbert, who added an assist, two aces, two blocks, and three digs … Also, Belmont Abbey swept visiting Queens.