Wisconsin wins B1G, Texas St. thumps Baylor, every conference recap with NCAA bids on the line

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NCAA women's men's volleyball 4/2/2021-Wisconsin volleyball-Big Ten championship
Wisconsin holds up the Big Ten trophy after beating Michigan

Wisconsin swept Michigan to win the Big Ten championship for the second straight year as the Badgers improved to 14-0.

Texas State of the Sun Belt ended its regular season by not only getting its 30th victory, but upsetting Baylor of the Big 12, while Texas hit .591 in a sweep of TCU.

Utah was scheduled to play at Oregon State and was already in Corvallis for their Pac-12 match when it was canceled. So the Utes scrimmaged amongst themselves before changing their flights and heading home. Also in the Pac-12, Arizona State knocked off Oregon.

Northern Colorado will play Weber State for the Big Sky’s NCAA bid.

Bradley advanced to the Missouri Valley semifinals when its opponent, Valparaiso, couldn’t play when it had positive COVID tests.

For that matter, the Northeast Conference canceled its title match, which means LIU gets the automatic bid.

Line of the day: Missouri State freshman Teagan Polcovich had 46 digs in a five-set Missouri Valley loss to Loyola, the most digs in the NCAA this season. She also had four assists and two aces.

And then there’s Chicago State, which was 0-8 this season, but beat UT Rio Grande Valley for not only its first victory, but to move into the WAC semifinals.

Every NCAA Division I women’s conference is listed with recaps and/or schedules.

There is NCAA men’s Division I-II volleyball, too, on Friday. 

In the MPSF, UCLA is at Grand Canyon, Concordia goes to Stanford, and USC is at BYU. The MIVA schedule has Lewis back at Loyola where it swept on Thursday, Purdue Fort Wayne at Lindenwood, Ball State at McKendree, and Ohio State at Quincy. In the Big West, UC Santa Barbara plays UC Irvine, CSUN is at UC San Diego, and Long Beach State plays at Hawai’i. The EIVA has Penn State at George Mason, Charleston at Sacred Heart, and NJIT is at Saint Francis. The lone Conference Carolinas match has Erskine at Mount Olive.

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

Solei Thomas of Clemson attacks against Pitt/Clemson photo

ACC — Pitt (15-4, 13-4) won its 11th match in a row with a sweep at Clemson (11-10, 5-9) as the Panthers had four players with seven or more kills in the 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 victory. Jordan Lockwood had a career-high 11 kills and Sabrina Starks had eight kills with one error in 10 attacks, two aces, and four blocks … 

Louisville (13-2,11-2) kept its lead with a 25-12, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16 win at Miami (10-7, 9-7). Nena Mbonu led with 14 kills as she hit .367 and had four blocks, one solo. Anna Stevenson had 10 kills, hit .421, and had two assists, four digs, and seven blocks, two solo. Elizaveta Lukianova had 18 kills for Miami … 

Notre Dame (13-3. 12-3) got a big sweep at Georgia Tech (12-4) as Charley Niego had 17 kills in the 25-21, 25-18, 25-20 victory. She had five digs, three blocks, and three aces. Zoe Nunez had a kill, 38 assists, an ace, five digs, and two blocks … Florida State (13-5, 9-5) swept visiting Syracuse (7-8) 25-16, 25-14, 25-13 as the Seminoles hit .317. Morgan Chacon led with 13 kills … Boston College (4-12, 3-12) won in four at Wake Forest (1-14, 1-13).

BIG TEN — Michigan (4-8) battled tough in the first set but then it was Wisconsin (14-0) in the 25-23, 25-12, 25-11 victory that clinched the B1G title.

“It certainly felt good to play. One match in the last 39 days for some and for some of them it’s been even longer than that,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Happy for them. It was certainly difficult.”

It didn’t look that difficult offensively for the Badgers, who hit .344, led by Dana Rettke, who had 17 kills with no errors in 29 attacks to hit .586. She had five blocks and a dig. Molly Haggerty and Devyn Robinson had seven kills each. Paige Jones had 13 kills for Michigan, which hit .046.

“We thought it might be a little bit tough coming out the gates,” Sheffield said. “Michigan is a talented team, they have a lot of talented players and we were a little bit rough out of the gate and I think that can be expected. That’s why we didn’t call a timeout for a while because we wanted them to get into a rhythm. We got better as the set went on, we got better as the match went on.”

In matches Friday, Michigan is back at Wisconsin, Rutgers goes to Michigan State, Iowa is at Minnesota, Northwestern is at Maryland, and Illinois is at Purdue. Penn State at Nebraska and Ohio State at Indiana were canceled.

BIG 12 — Texas (22-1) held batting practice at TCU (4-16) as the Longhorns had 44 kills and just two errors in 81 attacks to hit .519 in a 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 sweep that has no bearing on the standings. Logan Eggleston had 14 kills with no errors in 24 attacks, two assists, four aces, and eight digs. Skylar Fields had 14 kills with no errors in 22 swings, a block, and two digs. TCU’s Taylor Raiola had seven kills with no errors in 10 attacks …

Texas State (30-8) beat Baylor (19-6) 28-30, 25-15, 26-24, 25-22. The Bobcats, who hit .200, got 15 kills from Janell Fitzgerald and 12 each from Caitlan Buettner and Courtney Heiser. Fitzgerald had four blocks and 10 digs, and Buettner had two blocks and six digs. Kayla Granado had 22 digs and an assist, and Emily DeWalt had a kill, 46 assists, two blocks, and 15 digs.

“I am so happy for these kids,” Texas State coach Sean Huiet said “They have been battling and working their butts off since August. “We had a stretch that made us have to dig deeper and it challenged us. I cannot say enough about how this group responded. To get win No. 30 on the road against the No. 9 team in the country feels really good. What a great team win.” 

Baylor, which hit .127, got 19 kills from Yossiana Pressley, who had two blocks and seven digs. Lauren Harrison had 13 kills but hit .024. She had an ace, three blocks, and five digs.

“Good job by Texas State, they’ve been good all year,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “This was a scary match for us to have on back-to-back nights, especially after not playing well but getting the sweep against K-State. I’m disappointed in our execution. We just did not play Baylor volleyball.”

The Big 12 season concludes with Kansas at home Friday and Saturday for the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State.

PAC-12 — Washington (16-3) won its fifth in a row, 26-24, 25-13, 25-14 at Cal (1-20) as the Huskies hit .318 and four players had seven or more kills. Claire Hoffman led with nine and she had no errors in 18 attacks, an assist, two aces, a block, and six digs … 

Washington State (11-3) beat visiting Arizona (9-11) 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-12. Julianna Dalton led with 14 kills, four blocks, and seven digs. Argentina Ung had 12 kills with no errors in 21 attacks and a solo block …

Arizona State (6-13) dealt visiting Oregon (13-4), which is ranked No. 16 in the AVCA poll, a 15-25, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 15-10 defeat. ASU, which hit .171, got 20 kills from Marta Levinska, who had 11 digs and three blocks, one solo. Roberta Rabelo had 10 kills, five digs, and three blocks, one solo. Oregon, which lost a five-set match for the first time this season, had won five in a row. The Ducks, who hit .188, had four players with 10 or more kills, 12 by Gloria Mutiri. She had six blocks and four digs. Taylor Borup had 11 kills, three blocks, and 19 digs … 

USC (6-8) beat visiting Colorado (8-11) 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 as Brooke Botkin had 15 kills, two assists, and 10 digs, and Kalen Owes had 13 kills, two blocks, and nine digs. Emilia Weske had 11 kills, two aces, four blocks, and six digs, and Aleksandra Gryka had 11 kills, hit .400, and had an assist, three blocks, and five digs. Raquel Lazaro had two kills, 45 assists, an ace, a block, and 16 digs. Leah Clayton and Sterling Parker had 12 kills each for the Buffs … 

UCLA at Stanford was canceled.

SEC — Kentucky won the league.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC — Friday’s semifinals in Cincinnati pit Tulane (10-9, 7-3), which finished second in the West, vs. East winner UCF (14-1, 8-0) and then West winner Houston (13-5, 9-1) vs. East runnerup Temple (10-5, 4-4). 

ASUN — Friday’s semifinals at Kennesaw State have North Florida (10-9) vs. Lipscomb (15-2) and Kennesaw State (11-2) vs. FGCU (13-2). 

AMERICA EAST — The league title will be decided Friday when UMBC (10-3)  plays at Albany (10-4). Both had 9-3 conference records and Albany won both their meetings during the regular season.

ATLANTIC 10 — The four-team bracket at Dayton pits VCU (12-4) vs. Rhode Island (7-7), which won the East, and top-seeded Dayton (11-1), which has won 11 in a row and won the West, vs. Fordham (5-4). 

BIG EAST — Top-seeded Creighton (10-3) plays UConn (4-6), which got the spot when Providence dropped out, and St. John’s (10-3) plays Marquette (9-3). 

BIG SKY — Top-seeded Weber State plays second-seeded Northern Colorado on its home court Friday to decide who gets the league’s NCAA automatic bid.

Weber State (17-1) beat Northern Arizona (10-6) in four. Rylin Adams led with 19 kills, 16 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Northern Colorado (15-3) swept Southern Utah (9-8) as it hit .389. Rachel Hickman led with 11 kills as she hit .846 after having no errors in 13 attacks.

BIG SOUTH — There are matches Friday and Saturday, but High Point (14-0) already clinched the conference’s automatic bid.

CONFERENCE USA — Western Kentucky will play UTEP in one semifinal Friday, while Rice faces Charlotte in the other.

WKU (19-0) swept North Texas (11-11) as the Lady Toppers hit .326. Lauren Matthews led with 17 kills as she had one error in 29 attacks, an assist, two blocks, and a dig. Kayland Jackson had 13 kills with one error in 22 swings and a block. UNT’s Barbara Teakell and Rhett Robinson had 15 kills each … 

UTEP (10-6) hit .385 and swept Marshall (10-5). Serena Patterson had 14 kills, hit .407, and had two assists, two digs, and two blocks … 

Rice (15-4) swept Middle Tennessee (5-11) as the Owls hit .424. Nicole Lennon led with 13 kills as she hit .321 and had an ace, a block, and seven digs. Anota Adekunle had 10 kills with one error in 14 attacks, two blocks, and two digs … 

Emani Foster had 20 kills and Charlotte (13-4) won its eighth in a row, a five-set victory over UAB (8-8). Foster hit .364 and had an assist, two aces, and nine digs. Nalani Lyde had 15 kills, hit .314, and had four blocks and five digs, and Amani McArthur had 15 kills, hit .542, and had a dig and five blocks, one solo.

COLONIAL ATHLETIC — The tournament starts Friday with Charleston (5-5) playing host Towson (4-0) and Northeastern (7-2) facing James Madison (7-2). 

HORIZON — The conference is down to a one-match, winner-take-all Saturday final between Wright State (15-1, 14-0 Horizon) and UIC (14-2, 13-1). 

METRO ATLANTIC — Fairfield usually wins this league, but the top-seeded Stags are out after going 9-1 but having a positive COVID test within the program Wednesday. As a result, eighth-seeded Siena (1-6) advanced to Friday’s semifinals and plays Rider. In the other semifinal Canisius plays Niagara.

Thursday, second-seeded Canisius beat Quinnipiac in four as Bree Long had 38 digs, third-seeded Niagara swept Iona, and fourth-seeded Rider swept Manhattan.

MID-AMERICAN — The semifinals are Friday at Bowling Green, which dominated the league this spring. The Falcons (20-1), who won the East, play fourth-seeded Miami (13-8), while second-seeded Western Michigan (17-4), winner of the West faces Ohio (12-7). 

MEAC — Friday’s semifinals have Delaware State playing Southern division winner N.C. A&T (9-1, 8-0 in the MEAC) and N.C. Central playing Coppin State, which won the Northern division,  and is having its best season ever. Coppin State is 9-4 overall, 8-1 in the MEAC. 

Missouri State’s Teagan Polcovich/MVC photo

MISSOURI VALLEY — Friday’s semifinals are set with Bradley facing Illinois State and UNI playing Loyola.

Top-seeded Illinois State (14-5) hit .357 and swept Indiana State (7-13) as Sydney Holt, who hit .500 and had three blocks, and Kaylee Martin, who also hit .500 and had eight eight digs, had 12 kills each … Bradley (12-6), as mentioned, moved on without playing …

Northern Iowa (9-12) swept Drake (13-7) as six players had four or more kills. Emily Holterhaus had 11, an assist, two blocks, and 11 digs. Kaylissa Arndorfer had 10 kills, two aces, six blocks, and four digs … 

And Loyola (10-8) beat Missouri State (15-7) in five for the Ramblers’ first tournament victory since 2012. And that was in the Horizon League. Taylor Venuto led with 18 kills as she hit .318 and had four digs and 10 blocks, two solo. Emily Banitt had 15 kills, three assists, nine digs, and four blocks, one solo. Sarah Murczek had 12 kills, an assist, a solo blocks, and 22 digs, and Grace Hinchman had 37 digs and two assists. 

Missouri State’s Teagan Polcovich had 46 digs, four assists, and two aces. Brooklyn Cink had 18 kills, two assists, four blocks, and 14 digs, and Amelia Flynn had 16 kills, an ace, a block, and 17 digs.

Polcovich set an MVC tournament digs record as she had the most digs in the NCAA this season and tied the school record.

MOUNTAIN WEST — UNLV won the regular-season title for the first time and the NCAA bid that goes with it. There were four matches Thursday and three more Saturday. That included UNLV sweeping Wyoming to improve to 12-0 as Mariena Hayden had 14 kills. She hit .524 and had an assist, three aces, 10 digs, and three blocks, one solo.

NORTHEAST — Sacred Heart (11-3, 10-0 in the NEC) was to play second-place LIU (8-5, 8-4) for the title on Saturday, but, from the NEC news release:

This Saturday’s Northeast Conference (NEC) Women’s Volleyball Championship match has been cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 result among Sacred Heart’s Tier 1 personnel.

Due to contact tracing, Sacred Heart cannot meet the NEC’s minimum roster requirements to compete in the Championship match against LIU.

As a result, LIU will advance to the NCAA Tournament as the NEC’s automatic qualifier.

“This is a heartbreaking situation for all involved,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “I know how challenging this year has been for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and both Sacred Heart and LIU worked diligently to put themselves in a position to compete for the NEC Championship this weekend. However, we are concerned first and foremost with the health and safety of our campus communities, and providing an environment to compete without placing our student-athletes at undue risk remains our top priority. I share in the disappointment of our teams and fans, and look forward to a time in the near future when there is less uncertainty and we are able return to normalcy in both college athletics and campus life.”

OHIO VALLEY — Morehead State won the regular-season title and moved into Friday’s final on when SIUE was forced to drop out. The other semifinal has second-seeded Jacksonville State playing Southeast Missouri on Thursday.

PATRIOT — Top-seeded Colgate, the home team in upstate New York, plays American on Friday and then second-seeded Holy Cross faces Army West Point.

SWAC — Jackson State won the league.

SOUTHERN — On Friday, Samford (13-3), which won the SoCon top seed, plays host to Wofford (10-6), followed by Western Carolina (11-7) vs. Mercer (14-7, 13-3 SoCon). 

SOUTHLAND — Friday’s semifinals have Sam Houston facing Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin taking on the host team, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Central Arkansas (12-7) beat Southeastern Louisiana (11-5) in four as eight players had kills. Charlie Tidwell had 16 as she hit .394 and had an assist, two blocks, and a dig. SLU’s Kailin Newsome had 19 kills, an assist, two aces, nine digs, and three blocks, one solo … 

TAMUCC (12-4) beat Houston Baptist (9-10) in four. Chloe Simon had 15 kills and nine digs … SFA (23-5, 11-1 SLC) and Sam Houston (10-2) had byes into the semifinals.

SUMMIT — The Friday semifinals have top-seeded Denver (13-2) playing Omaha (12-4) and second-seeded Kansas City (13-3) facing South Dakota (12-3). 

SUN BELT — Texas State won the conference tournament in November and gets the NCAA bid.

WAC — On Friday, top-seeded NM State (15-1) plays previously winless Chicago State (1-8),  which knocked out UT Rio Grande Valley, in one semifinal,  while the second seed, Grand Canyon (11-3), plays Utah Valley (12-5) in the other.

“This is a huge win for our program and our university,” Chicago State coach Tanio Trifonov said. “I’m extremely proud of the fight and heart our team showed. It’s the first time in program history Chicago State is in this tournament, so we’re thrilled to make it to the semifinals.”

Yanlis Feliz led Chicago State with 13 kills as she hit .346 and had 12 digs.

WEST COAST — BYU won the conference title. Pepperdine plays at Santa Clara on Friday and Saturday to close out the regular season.

MEN — Lewis (16-2, 11-2) clinched its second straight MIVA title with a sweep at Loyola Chicago (13-4, 9-4). Ryan Coenen led with 13 kills, three blocks. Loyola’s Cole Schlothauer had 14 kills, two assists, and five digs. Luke Denton had 11 kills, an ace, nine digs, and four blocks, one solo … 

BYU (15-2, 14-2) swept visiting USC (5-9) in their MPSF match for the Cougars’ 10th victory in a row. Davide Gardini led with 11 kills as he hit .769 after having one error in 13 attacks to go with a dig and four blocks, one solo. Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Zach Eschenberg had nine kills each … 

In Conference Carolinas, King swept Lees-McRae but the Erskine-North Greenville match was canceled.

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