NCAA volleyball: Another win for UL, keeping tabs on the upcoming schedules

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Houston Baptist's Kelly Colwell, who also led her team with 11 kills, gets one of her match high 19 digs as punches the ball up against Louisiana/Lee Feinswog photo

There was volleyball.

NCAA Division I action continued Saturday as Louisiana of the Sun Belt Conference beat Houston Baptist of the Southland Conference for the second time in as many days.

Next up? 

Seven more matches on Friday. 

For that matter, a summary follows of what looks like what will be the fall schedule, except for the SEC, which has yet to announce. We’ve also got a recap of Louisiana-HBU.

As a reminder, there are 32 NCAA DI conferences. All but four of them — ACC, Big 12, SEC, Sun Belt — have postponed volleyball to the spring, but there are exceptions, where those leagues are allowing their teams to play non-conference matches in the fall. 

That includes the Southland — HBU, Stephen F. Austin, and Central Arkansas all played this weekend — and Conference USA. And Chattanooga of the Southern Conference has one match this fall.

There was also some sad news this past week when William & Mary of the Colonial Athletic Association became the first DI school to drop its volleyball program.

Houston Baptist’s Mikayla Vivens, left, and Jada Allen block against Louisiana/Lee Feinswog photo

Louisiana wins in four — The Ragin’ Cajuns, who dominated on Friday, fell behind and then came back to notch a 20-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Houston Baptist. 

Hali Wisnoskie led a balanced attack with 14 kills, two assists, an ace, 18 digs and two blocks. Kara Barnes had 13 kills, hit .458, and had UL’s other ace — the Cajuns had 18 serving errors — four digs and a block. Tia Jade Smith had 10 kills, hit .412, and had three digs, one solo. Kelsey Bennett had nine kills, two assists, 13 digs and two blocks, one solo.

“They’re going to be a really nice team,” said ninth-year HBU coach Trent Herman said of UL.

Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns (14-16, 10-6 Sun Belt) led the SBC in digs and finished second in the West Division.

HBU was 17-15 in 2019, 9-7 in the SLC.

HBU went into the weekend without senior setter Morgan Dewyer, who came up with a bad back. Freshman Ellie Wipf filled in admirably for a team that took its lumps in the Earl K. Long Gym. HBU’s best player, Mikayla Vivens, also dealt with an injury this weekend and struggled.

Kelly Colwell led with 11 kills, but hit .146 and her team hit .071. 

“We’re hoping we’re going to have our conference schedule in the spring. It will be shorter, but this is a great chance for all of our younger kids who haven’t had a lot of playing time to get a real taste of what college volleyball is about it,” Herman said.

William & Mary — The school in Williamsburg, Virginia, with an undergraduate enrollment of about 6,300, is dropping seven sports after this school year, including volleyball. 

The team, coached by Tim Doyle, who was hired before the 2018 season, finished 7-20 last year, 3-13 in the CAA. The program has not had a winning season since 2009. The current W&M roster lists 13 players, two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores, and two freshman.

Next Friday-Saturday: Here’s what’s on tap for the next playing dates using the resources we have available to us:

Texas State of the Sun Belt is home for UTEP of Conference USA and the match is scheduled to be shown on ESPN+. The same teams play against Saturday morning. 

Louisiana is home again for back-to-back matches against another Sun Belt team, South Alabama. 

SFA is home again, too, this time to play Lamar of the SBC and Louisiana-Monroe of the SBC on Friday before playing Lamar and Houston Baptist on Saturday. HBU and ULM play Saturday morning.

Chattanooga plays host to Georgia State of the SBC on Saturday. It will be shown on ESPN+.

ACC — The 15-team league is broken into three pods of five teams each and starts play September 17. The season ends October 25 as each team will play eight conference matches, although ACC schools can play non-conference competition. And that what the first three dates show as Virginia Tech opens with The Citadel of the Southern Conference on Thursday, September 17, before Clemson plays host to The Citadel the next day. Then, on Saturday, September 19, Syracuse plays host to Army West Point of the Patriot League. The Patriot League is allowing Army and Navy to play their own fall schedules.

The first ACC match is September 20 when Wake Forest goes to Duke, although that pits two teams outside of their pods.

The three pods: 

— Boston College, Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt

— Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech

— Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Wake Forest

Click here to see the complete ACC schedule.

Big 12 — The name is misleading because there are only nine volleyball programs in the conference. Play starts Thursday, September 24 when Texas goes to Oklahoma and West Virginia plays at Texas Tech. The same teams play the next day.

Also that Friday, Baylor is at Kansas and Iowa State goes to Kansas State. Those four teams play again Saturday.

TCU doesn’t start until October 2 when it goes to Baylor.

Click here for the complete Big 12 schedule, which runs all the way through November 21.

SEC — The league has announced only that the season will run from October 16-November 27 and will include eight matches for each team, which will play four opponents twice on the same weekend.

 

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