NCAA volleyball: More upsets as CU stuns Illini, CSU beats FSU, Dayton outlasts Michigan

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NCAA volleyball 9/8/2019-Megan Miller-Nebraska-Huskers
Nebraska's Megan Miller, Nicklin Hames (left) and Hayley Densberger (right) celebrate a fifth-set block/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Another day and more surprises, and two of the biggest came from Colorado schools.

Colorado not only upset No. 5 Illinois, but swept the visiting Illini. And Colorado State did the same to No 22 Florida State.

Dayton gutted out a five-set victory over No. 14 Michigan.

No, 23 Creighton beat No. 15 USC and while No. 2 Nebraska held on, the Huskers had to go five to get out of No. 25 San Diego with a win.

Also, No. 8 Minnesota swept No. 7 Florida and No. 6 Penn State did the same to LSU, and No. 10 Pittsburgh won twice.

And what a Saturday for Alli Lowe of Colgate: In a four-set win over Harvard, the junior outside had 17 kills, three blocks and two aces, and then in a five-set victory over Sacred Heart, Lowe had 31 kills while hitting .407 and had two blocks and six assists. Her team is 5-1 and she’s got 116 kills, averaging 4.3 per set. 

There are just 16 matches on Sunday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule and none bigger than No. 3 Texas (3-0) of the Big 12 at top-ranked and defending national-champion Stanford of the Pac-12 (2-0). These teams played a home-and-home last year and Stanford won both.

For that matter, the last time Stanford — en route to a 34-1 finish — lost was on August 31, 2018, in the third match of the season. 

The rest of Sunday’s 16-match schedule is highlighted by two teams that upset No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 17 Baylor of the Big 12 at No. 11 Marquette of the Big East.

Florida State tries to bounce back against TCU and LSU plays at Iowa State. No. 20 Hawai’i plays host to Denver, Kansas is at UCF, Indiana plays Yale, and three SEC schools are in action, as Auburn faces George Washington, South Carolina plays Albany and Ole Miss plays Tulane. 

Also, there’s Kennesaw State vs. High Point, North Dakota vs. Brown, Davidson vs. Liberty, Prairie View vs. Abilene Christian, UTEP vs. NM State, and Furman vs. High Point.

Top 25: Start with the upsets.

Colorado of the Pac-12 (5-0) is now 15-1 in sets this season after stunning Illinois of the Big Ten 30-28, 25-19, 25-20. The Buffs hit .462 as Justine Spann had 16 kills, hit .560, and added five digs and a block. Jill Schneggenburger had 12 kills and hit .611 to go with an assist, an ace, two blocks and two digs. 

“Those are some pretty gaudy numbers, especially against a really good team and a really good blocking team,” Colorado coach Jesse Mahoney said. “We are going to be successful this year if our outsides can be that efficient. That being said, that comes from good passing, good defense and really good setting, so it’s a team effort to get those two to put up those type of numbers.”

Illinois (2-2) hit .330 and was led by Jacqueline Quade, who had 15 kills and hit .364. She had three blocks, one solo …  

Colorado State of the Mountain West is 5-1 after sweeping up-and-down Florida State of the ACC 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 at TCU. Breana Runnels led with 14 kills, three aces, seven digs and three blocks, Kirstie Hillyer had 10 kills, hit .400, and had six blocks, one solo, and Alexa Roumeliotis had 23 digs. FSU (2-2) this season has gotten swept by Wisconsin, swept Minnesota, and beaten Florida Atlantic. The Seminoles hit .169 against CSU. Taryn Knuth led with six kills … 

Dayton of the Atlantic 10 improved to 3-4 by going toe-to-toe with visiting Michigan of the Big Ten 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-12. Jamie Peterson had a career night with 27 kills in 65 attacks to go with six assists, four aces, 10 digs and a block. Alli Papesh had 18 kills in 60 swings and had two assists, three blocks and eight digs .. Paige Jones led Michigan (4-2) with 16 kills, nine digs and three blocks, one solo. May Pertofsky had 14 kills, an ace, seven blocks and six digs, and Sydney Wetterstrom had 12 kills, three blocks and nine digs …

Creighton of the Big East (3-2) came up big against Pac-12 USC (2-3) as Megan Ballenger had 16 kills and hit .414 in the 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 victory. Creighton, which hit .355, got 11 kills from Naomi Hickman, who had no errors in 15 swings and hit .533, and 10 each from Jaela Zimmerman and Erica Kostelac. USC freshman Kalen Owes had 18 kills, three aces, two blocks and 15 digs.

USC earlier beat the home team, Northern Iowa 23-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 as Owes had 15 kills, three aces, seven digs and four blocks. And in the final match of the day, UNI lost to No. 12 Kentucky 25-18, 25-20, 25-20. The Wildcats (4-2) got 12 kills from Leah Edmond, who hit .391 … 

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USD’s Thana Fayad leaps to cover a blocked ball/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Nebraska of the Big Ten (4-0) was down 2-1 before coming away with a 22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 victory at San Diego of the WCC (2-3). Lexi Sun led with a 21 kills, which tied her career high, as she hit .318 and had an ace, 12 digs and four blocks. Lauren Stivrins had 14 kills, hit .393 and had eight blocks. Nicklin Hames had 49 assists and 17 digs. The Huskers hit .440 in the fifth set. USD Katie Lukes had 17 kills, five digs and two blocks and Grace Frohling also had 17 kills as she hit .371 and had a dig and two blocks.

“They really keyed in on blocking, and it made it much harder to score,” USD coach Jennifer Petrie said. “I think we probably could have distributed the ball a little better at the end, we became a little too predictable, and their defense just ate that up.” 

Penn State (5-0) rolled past LSU (2-2) 25-16, 25-11, 25-16 as the Nittany Lions hit .427. Jonni Parker led with 11 kills, an ace and five digs. LSU hit .060 …

Minnesota and Florida are both 2-2 after the Gophers won at home 25-20, 25-17, 25-22. Stephanie Samedy led with 16 kills and hit .343 to go with an ace, two blocks and 12 digs. Thayer Hall had 11 kills for Florida, which hit .137 … 

Pittsburgh (6-0) swept both Duquesne and Green Bay. Green Bay dropped to 5-1 after the 25-17, 25-15, 25-18 outcome as Pitt’s Kayla Lund had nine kills with no errors in 111 attacks. The Panthers beat Duquesne 25-12, 25-15, 25-15 as Layne Van Buskirk had eight kills … 

Marquette (5-0) blasted visiting Syracuse (0-2) 25-12, 25-23, 25-18. Allie Barber led with 15 kills as she hit .433 with two blocks … 

No. 13 BYU (5-1) beat Weber State 25-22, 25-16, 25-22 as McKenna Miller had 11 kills, an ace and nine digs. Heather Gneiting of BYU had eight kills and three blocks, while her sister Megan had eight kills, five digs and two blocks, one solo, for Weber State … 

No. 16 Washington (4-1) battled to a 33-31, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23 victory over Iowa (3-2). Samantha Drechsel led the Huskies with 16 kills and hit .406. She had three blocks and two digs. Kara Bajema had 15 kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Iowa’s Meghan Buzzerio tied her career high with 23 kills. She hit .305, had two blocks and five digs …

No. 19 Utah is 7-0 with six sweeps, the latest 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 at Utah Valley (2-5). Dani Drews led the Utes with 21 kills as she hit .405 and had two aces and six digs.

This is the best start for Utah since going 10-0 in 2014.

“We’re getting better every match, and we’ve got an experienced, mature group that is really focusing on continuing to get better,” coach Beth Launiere said. “It’s a very workmanlike attitude in the gym.”

Tennessee (2-3), ranked No. 21, came away with a 16-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 15-11 victory at previously unbeaten Michigan State (4-1) after being down 22-14 in the fourth set. Tessa Grubbs led with 22 kills, two aces, three digs and four blocks. Meredith Norris had 17 kills, three aces, and six digs for the Spartans … 

And No. 25 Louisville beat Arizona State 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-15, leaving both teams 5-1. Aiko Jones led the Cardinals with 13 kills, four digs and four blocks, and Melanie McHenry had 12 kills, nine digs and two blocks, one solo. Jada Burse had 15 kills, two digs and four blocks, one solo, for ASU.

Around the nation: Rutgers (3-3) beat Virginia and won its own tournament. Anastasiia Maksimova led with 17 kills … 

Cal is 6-0 after sweeping both UNLV and the home team, UC Irvine. Against UNLV, Mima Mirkovic led with 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks. In the UCI match, Mirkovic had 11 more kills, eight digs and two blocks, one solo, and Savannah Rennie had nine kills in 10 swings to hit .800 and added two aces and two blocks. 

UNLV (3-3) then beat North Carolina in five as Thea Sweder had 24 kills. She hit .383, had two aces and five digs … 

NCAA volleyball 9/8/2019-Paige Whipple-Arizona
Arizona’s Paige Whipple blasts one by the West Virginia block/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Green Bay is 6-1 after Taylor Wolf had 23 kills, two assists, five blocks and 15 digs in a four-set win over Ohio State (3-3) … San Diego State won in five, but Jillian Gillen had 28 kills and hit .440 to go with an ace and 11 digs for Arkansas. SDSU later got swept by Arizona, which earlier beat West Virginia …

UCLA (3-2) has won three in a row, including 31-29, 27-25, 27-25 at Long Beach State as Mac May had 14 kills and Simo Savvy 13 … Enija Bidzane had 19 kills and hit .483 for Auburn in its victory over South Florida. She added three digs and two solo blocks … Texas A&M won twice Saturday, sweeping Fairfield and then beating Pepperdine on its home court in four … 

Portland’s Shayla Hoeft had 21 kills and Liz Reich 19 in a five-set win over Utah State. Hoeft hit .515 and had five blocks, one solo … 

Lindsey Ruddins had 21 kills and hit .452 to go with an assist, six digs and three blocks when UC Santa Barbara beat Navy in four — Maddie Sgattoni had 21 kills, 12 digs and a block for Navy — and came back with 20 more kills and four blocks, two solo, as UCSB beat VCU in five … Liz Pulver had 16 kills, Kendra Harlow 15 and De’Long Amiyah 14 as Stony Brook broke into the win column for the first time with a five-set victory over Georgetown … 

Lauren Masciullo had 26 kills for Hofstra in its five-set win over Stetson. She had three aces and seven digs … 

Mississippi State is 6-0 after beating Arkansas State and Southern Miss on Saturday … Rice is also 6-0 after the Owls beat Loyola Marymount and Abilene Christian … Coastal Carolina is 6-0 as the Chanticleers beat ETSU in five behind 23 kills from Anett Nemeth. She hit .348 and added an assist, an ace, seven digs and nine blocks … And Temple is 6-0 after sweeping American as Gem Grimshaw had 13 kills and 11 digs … 

Kennesaw State beat Furman in five and Lauren Chastang had 22 kills for KSU to go with 21 digs, a block, an assist and four aces, while Nicole Mack had 21 kills, 15 digs, two assists, an ace and two blocks for the Paladins … 

And finally, when they met on Friday night, score this one for Derek Sullivan. He’s the William & Mary volunteer assistant who married Akron assistant coach Heather Gearhart in June. W&M won in a sweep.

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