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NCAA volleyball: Wisconsin-Penn St. canceled, Kentucky wins SEC, busy Friday ahead

Kentucky clinched the SEC title, but once again a COVID cancelation tops the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball news.

Top-ranked Wisconsin’s two-match Big Ten series at No. 11 Penn State, set for Friday and Saturday, was canceled.

“This weekend’s Wisconsin at Penn State volleyball series has been canceled,” Wisconsin announced Thursday night. “The decision to cancel was mutually agreed upon by the two schools out of an abundance of caution surrounding the health and safety of the participants.

“The events have been canceled due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 on the Penn State squad.”

It is the third time Penn State has had a two-match series canceled this season, and the fourth for Wisconsin plus one other match. 

In other Big Ten action, Nebraska rallied from a first-set loss to defeat Michigan.

Now the showcase match of Friday is Pac-12 leader Washington State at fourth-place Utah. Second-place Washington is home for Stanford, Cal is at Oregon, Arizona State is at Colorado, Oregon State is at UCLA, and USC is at Arizona.

Purdue, ranked No. 10, at No. 9 Ohio State tops the Big Ten schedule with Minnesota at Northwestern (which hasn’t played since February 27 after three consecutive cancelations), Michigan State at Iowa, and Indiana at Illinois.

The ACC slate is highlighted by Georgia Tech at Louisville and Florida State at Pitt. Wake Forest is at Syracuse, Miami is at Boston College, and Clemson is at Notre Dame.

There’s another TexasBaylor match in Waco in the Big 12, TCU is at Oklahoma, and Iowa State plays host to Wayne State.

The SEC is off. But there are plenty more matches around the country — including High Point at home against Campbell in a key Big South match — and if they’re being shown, the best way to watch them is by going to our TV & Streaming Listings.

And you can find the NCAA Division I-II men’s matches there, too, and Friday’s schedule includes UC San Diego at Hawai’i as the Rainbow Warriors open their home Big West schedule, UC Santa Barbara at CSUN, UC Irvine at Long Beach State. There are three MIVA matches, three in the EIVA, and three in Conference Carolinas, including second-place Belmont Abbey at league leader Mount Olive.

NEBRASKA BEATS MICHIGANNebraska (13-2) recovered from a 19-7 set-one deficit to Michigan (4-6) to win in four at Michigan. Lexi Sun led the Huskers with 13 kills, six digs and three blocks, with Lauren Stivrins hitting .368 with 10 kills and five blocks. Jess Mruzik led Michigan with 20 kills against five errors,six digs, four blocks and two aces.

SEC — Kentucky (19-1), which clinched, and Florida (19-3) both won Thursday and maintained their lead at the top over Missouri (15-7).

Kentucky hit .469 and swept visiting Alabama 25-16, 25-9, 25-14 to claim its fourth Southeastern Conference championship in a row. According to Kentucky, “The four SEC titles is the first time since 2010 that an SEC team has won the volleyball championship in four-consecutive seasons. Additionally, this adds to a program-record streak for Kentucky, which prior to 2017-2021, the team’s current run, had never won more than two SEC titles consecutively.”

Avery Skinner had 11 kills with no errors in 23 attacks to hit .478 and she had two aces, five blocks, and five digs. Azhani Tealer had 11 kills with one error in 14 swings to hit .714 and had six blocks and two digs. Alli Stumler had 10 kills in 20 errorless attacks, an ace, and seven digs. Madison Lilley had two kills in three errorless attempts, 29 assists, an ace, two blocks, and four digs. Alabama (7-15) hit .045 … 

Florida won in four at Texas A&M (9-9) as four players had 10 or more kills. T’ara Ceasar led with 14 and she had two assists, two blocks, and 13 digs. Holly Carlton had 13 kills with one error in 28 attacks to hit .429 and she had an ace, five blocks, and five digs. A&M’s Treyaunna Rush had 13 kills, three blocks, and four digs … 

Missouri (15-7) swept at Mississippi State (4-14) as Kylie Deberg led with 14 kills. She hit .333 and had an ace, three digs, and two blocks, one solo … 

Kacie Evans had 24 kills and Rachel Ritchie had 20 as Georgia (7-13) hit .374 and beat Ole Miss (1-19), which hit .323, in five. Evans hit .321 and had two assists, two aces, two blocks, and two digs. Ritchie had three errors in 30 attacks, hit .567, and had a block and a dig. Four Ole Miss players had 10 or more kills, 14 by Lauren Thompson, who had an assist, two blocks, and seven digs. Sasha Ratliff had 13 kills with one error in 18 swings, an assist, and six blocks, one solo … 

Tennessee (12-8) beat visiting LSU (9-13) in five as Morgahn Fingall had 19 kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and 13 digs. Lily Felts had 15 kills and Ava Bell 13 and nine blocks, four solo. Natalie Hayward had two kills, 48 assists, 12 digs, and three blocks, one solo. LSU’s Taylor Bannister had 22 kills and 16 digs. Hannah Brister had 11 kills, three blocks, and 11 digs, and Whitney Foreman had 10 kills and five blocks, four solo.

BIG SOUTH — High Point (14-0, 13-0) beat visiting Campbell (9-4) in four to gain at least a share of the conference title. The Panthers will try to clinch the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament bid in five years when they play again Friday. Madison Smith had 15 kills, two aces, a block, and 10 digs. Maria Miggins had six kills and hit .385 to go with 24 assists, two blocks, and eight digs, and Abby Bottomley had 30 digs and five assists. Campbell’s Lailah Green had 15 kills, two blocks, and 13 digs … 

USC Upstate (6-7) hit .337 and swept visiting Radford (3-10) for its fifth win in a row. Breeana Gamueda led with 14 kills as she hit .355 and had a block and 11 digs … Winthrop (8-5) beat visiting Presbyterian (2-11) in four as five players had five or more kills. 

MOUNTAIN WEST — Haylee Nelson had 23 kills as San Jose State (5-8) beat visiting New Mexico (3-8) in five. Nelson hit .313 and had an assist, four aces, and 10 digs. Latahevai Lousi had 6 kills, an assist, four aces, a block, and 14 digs. New Mexico’s Kaitlynn Biassou had 22 kills as she hit .360 and had an assist, four aces, 15 digs, and three blocks, two solo … 

UNLV (10-0) swept at Fresno State (6-6) as three players had eight or more kills, 10 by Mariena Hayden … Jacqi Van Liefde had 20 kills as Colorado State (7-5) beat visiting Boise State (10-4) in four. Van Liefde had a solo block and two digs. Alexa Roumeliotis had 22 digs and four assists, and Ciera Zimmerman had six kills, 47 assists, two aces, a block, and nine digs … Utah State (4-8) beat visiting Nevada (3-10) in four as six players had seven or more kills.

SOUTHLAND — In a battle of the league leaders, Stephen F. Austin (22-5, 10-1) won in four at Sam Houston (9-2) to clinch a share of the regular-season conference title. SFA is home against Houston Baptist as the regular season ends Saturday. 

Southeastern Louisiana (9-2) was off but plays at Central Arkansas on Saturday, while Sam Houston is home for Abilene Christian.

Taya Mitchell led SFA with 14 kills and hit .542 with one error in 24 attacks. She had five digs and four blocks, two solo. Madelynn Miller had 22 digs and four assists. Sam Houston’s Ashley Lewis had 14 kills …

Also in the Southland, Bethany Clapp had 19 kills as UIW beat Lamar in four, Central Arkansas did the same to Nicholls State, New Orleans swept at Northwestern State, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi swept visiting McNeese. 

AROUND THE NATION — Western Carolina hit .310 and swept its SoCon match over visiting Western Carolina. Merry Gebel led with 12 kills as she hit .379 and had three aces and seven digs … Santa Clara swept visiting San Francisco in their West Coast Conference match. Julia Sangiacomo had 17 kills, hit .333, and had an ace, seven digs, and three blocks. Sophie Tulino had 14 kills, three aces, and seven digs … Delaware State won its MEAC match in four over visiting Morgan State as Alondra Maldonado had 15 kills, hit .414, and had two blocks … Texas State of the Sun Belt swept Conference USA’s North Texas.

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