Top-seeded and unbeaten Wisconsin not only made short work of BYU on Saturday, now the Badgers get a day off, something seven other NCAA Tournament round-of-16 winners won’t have.

Wisconsin (15-0) lambasted BYU (17-2) 25-20, 25-17, 25-12 and plays again Monday against the winner of the Sunday match between eighth-seeded Florida and No. 9 Ohio State. The Badgers are a victory away from returning to the national semifinals for the second straight year.

Here are the seven NCAA round-of-16 matches Sunday:

Pitt vs. Minnesota, 1 p.m., ESPN3
Baylor vs. Nebraska, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Louisville vs. Washington, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Penn State vs. Texas, 5 p.m., ESPNU
Ohio State vs. Florida, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Oregon vs. Purdue, 8:30 p.m., ESPNU
Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky, 10 p.m., ESPN2

All four regional finals are Monday.

In NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball, Lewis and Loyola won MIVA semifinal matches and will play next Saturday for the conference title and NCAA automatic bid. In Conference Carolinas, the semifinal winners were the top seeds, Mount Olive and Belmont Abbey, and they play Sunday for that league’s automatic bid. There was also action in the EIVA, Big West, and MPSF, and all the recaps follow.

BYU’s Late Grimmer hits over Wisconsin’s Molly Haggerty/Mark Kuhlmann, NCAA Photos

WISCONSIN CRUISES — How strong were the Badgers against 16th-seeded BYU? Their best player, All-American middle Dana Rettke, had just six kills and hit .095. And they never missed a beat.

A big reason was senior outside Molly Haggerty, who might have had the best match of her career for the Big Ten champions. Haggerty had 14 kills with no errors in 28 attacks, hitting .500 by mixing powerful kills with soft tips and when in doubt, keeping the ball alive. She also had two digs. 

“It’s a little different because usually this is in December but it being in the spring, we have been waiting for this moment for so long,” Haggerty said. “I love winning championships and so right now that is what I’m aiming to do with my team and I think that puts us one step closer to getting it.”

“I’ve watched her for a lot of years. There’s been a lot of national championships as a club player, won four state championships in a row and then the NCAA tournaments here. When the moments get bigger, she gets so much better,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “She was great tonight.”

Freshman Devyn Robinson had 11 kills — including the match winner — with two errors in 18 attacks to hit .500 and she had five blocks. Grace Loberg  had eight kills, an assist, two aces, two blocks, and eight digs. Rettke had six kills with four errors in 21 attacks but had six blocks. Danielle Hart had four kills in six errorless swings, an assist, a dig, and three blocks.

Setter Sydney Hilley had four kills in 10 errorless tries, 33 assists, eight digs, and two blocks. Her team hit .423, which included hitting .486 in the third set when Wisconsin had 18 kills with no errors in 37 attacks. Lauren Barnes had 16 digs, seven assists, and an ace, and Giorgia Civita had six digs, two assists, and two aces.

“I think something really special about our team is how balanced we are,” Hilley said. “If someone is not having a great offensive night, then someone can take the load. I thought that Molly, Grace, and Devyn all did a great job of putting balls down when I gave them the opportunity. 

“I just love how I have so many options and everyone is so talented and I feel confident that no matter where I set that we can get a kill.”

West Coast Conference-champion BYU, which hit .152, got nine kills from Kate Grimmer, who had a dig and two blocks. Erin Livingston had seven kills and a dig, and Taylen Ballard-Nixon had four kills, hit minus .133, and had an assist and seven digs to go with three blocks. 

Whitney Bower had three kills in four errorless tries, 22 assists, and 11 digs. Madi Allen had 14 digs, four assists, and an ace.

“I’m super proud of our team for the way that we battled,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “We’re grateful for the NCAA for making tonight’s match happen.”

The match was played a day earlier than the others to accommodate BYU’s request because of religion — which the NCAA traditionally honors — to not play sports on Sunday.

“We’re very grateful for what the NCAA did to make the tournament happen and we feel privileged to have played in such a unique tournament,” Olmstead said.

MIVA — Top-seeded Lewis and second-seeded Loyola will play for the title next Saturday.

Lewis (19-2) swept Ball State (12-8) on semifinal, moving the Flyers into the title match April 24 and ending the career of Ball State coach Joel Walton, who is retiring.

Lewis, which hit .431 with 38 kills and seven errors in 72 attacks, won 25-15, 25-20, 25-23. Ryan Coenen led with 12 kills, hit .385, and had two assists, two blocks, and three digs. Kyle Bugee had 10 kills, hit .444, and had two aces and four digs. TJ Murray had seven kills in nine errorless attacks. Kevin Kauling had three kills in four errorless tries, 32 assists, two blocks, and a dig. 

Ball State’s Blake Reardon had 13 kills and hit .333 and had eight digs. Kaleb Jenness had 10 kills, two blocks, and four digs. Quinn Isaacson had 30 assists, two blocks, and three digs. His team hit .224 … 

Loyola (15-5) rallied from losing the first two sets to beat McKendree 17-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9 despite hitting .131. Cole Schlothauer and Luke Denton had 13 kills each and Colton Brooks 11. Schlothuaer had two aces, a block, and 12 digs, while Denton had an assist, seven digs, and seven blocks, one solo. Garrett Zoig had a kill, 44 assists, two aces, and 13 digs.

McKendree’s Patrick Ross had 12 kills, two assists, four blocks, and 10 digs, and Ethan Carroll had 11 kills, two assists, an ace, a block, and 11 digs. Zach Schnittker and Wyatt Dimke had nine kills each. Ryan Serrano had four kills in six errorless attempts, 35 assists, an ace, four blocks, and seven digs.

EIVA — Saint Francis beat Charleston, setting up Thursday’s semifinals pitting the Red Flash against Penn State and George Mason against NJIT.

Saint Francis (8-18) beat Charleston (4-13) in four as Michael Fisher had 22 kills, hit .385, and had two blocks and eight digs. AJ Schmidt had 40 assists, an ace, four blocks, and five digs.

Moorten Bartels had 17 kills for Charleston to go with two aces, four digs, and six blocks, two solo.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS — Mount Olive and Belmont Abbey square off for the title Sunday and the winner gets the league’s NCAA bid.

Mount Olive (13-3) beat King (12-13) 29-27, 24-26, 25-16, 27-25 in their semifinal match as four players had nine or more kills. Tobi Azeez led with 21, three assists, an ace, three blocks, and eight digs. Luke Visgitis had nine kills and eight blocks, and Jarrod Ferguson had a kill, 53 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 12 digs. Trevor Treser had 23 digs and two assists.

Joshua Kim had 19 kills for King to go with two blocks and 13 digs. Diego Marcano and Jackson Carroll had 11 kills each. TJ Deppe had 48 assists, five blocks, and 10 digs …

Matteo Miselli had 20 kills as Belmont Abbey (14-7) beat North Greenville (13-5) 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20. Miselli hit .341 and had a block and a dig. Andrew Kohut had 11 kills and Brian Long 10. Brennan Davis had a kill, 42 assists, an ace, five blocks, and 13 digs. His team hit .318. 

North Greenville’s Jackson Gilbert had 16 kills and Diego Rosich 13. North Greenville hit .106.

MPSF — In the only match as the regular season ended, Grand Canyon (8-10) swept Concordia (3-13). David Kisiel had 15 kills and hit .367 for GCU and had an assist, an ace, two blocks, and five digs. Onur Cukur had five kill in six errorless tries, 34 assits, an ace, three blocks, and five digs.

BIG WEST — Hawai’i (15-0, 10-0) hit .385 and completed a perfect regular season with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-13 sweep of visiting UC Irvine (2-13). Rado Parapunov led with 13 kills and hit .417.  He had five aces, three blocks, and two digs. Jakob Thelle had two kills, 31 assists, an ace, two blocks, and four digs. Joel Schneidmiller and Francesco Sani had nine kills each for UCI … 

UC Santa Barbara (13-4, 7-3) hit .397 and swept UC San Diego (3-12, 3-7) for its eighth win in a row. Henry Hancock had 11 kills and hit .474 to go with an ace and six digs. Ryan Wilcox had 10 kills with one error in 19 attacks, and had two aces, nine digs, and a block. Casey McGarry had a kill, 32 assists, three aces, three digs, and three blocks. UCSD’s Ryan Ka and Kyle McCauley had 11 kills each.

The Big West Tournament begins on Thursday with two quarterfinal matches followed by the semifinals on Friday and the championship match on Saturday. Hawai’i is the No. 1 seed. UC Santa Barbara is the No. 2 seed and will also receive a bye into the semifinals.

In the other match Saturday, Long Beach State (6-4) swept CSUN (2-8). Ethan Siegfried had 11 kills, an assist, two aces, a block, and three digs. CSUN’s Griffin Walters had 10 kills. 


We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Help keep free journalism free by becoming a Sustaining Member:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here