NCAA volleyball: St. John’s, USD score upsets, Washington, BYU get big road wins

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NCAA volleyball 9/20/2019-Grace Loberg-Wisconsin volleyball
Wisconsin's Grace Loberg hits against Washington/Photo by Greg Anderson/Wisconsin Athletic Communications)

It’s not No. 1 vs. No. 2, but it’s pretty close and they are, in fact, pretty close.

Fourth-ranked Penn State of the Big Ten (6-1) plays host to No. 6 Pittsburgh of the ACC (10-0) on Friday night and then Sunday, they travel the 137 miles to Pittsburgh to play again.

It comes on the heels of a Thursday night when No. 10 Washington won in four at No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 12 BYU won at No. 18 Utah, No. 14 Oregon continued its East Coast trip and got knocked off in four at St. John’s as Efrosini Alexakou had 28 kills, and No. 20 USC lost at San Diego.

Thursday’s recaps follow, but first a look at Friday’s schedule.

This is the fourth and final weekend of pre-conference play and like the previous three, there are plenty of intriguing match-ups that you see only in late August and September.

No. 19 Illinois faces Pacific. 

Purdue, ranked 21st and coming off its big win over Kentucky, plays twice Friday when it entertains first Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and then Murray State. 

Also in the Big Ten, Michigan State is home for Auburn and IUPUI, Iowa plays host to Lipscomb and Coastal Carolina, Indiana plays Stetson and South Florida, and Ohio State has Illinois State and Dayton. In the Windy City, Northwestern goes to Loyola Chicago.

In the Pac-12, No. 14 Oregon plays Duke and Hofstra, while Arizona is home for Alabama State and NM State, which pits AU head coach Dave Rubio against his brother, NM State assistant Keith.

No. 20 USC is in San Diego and plays Long Beach State. No. 22 Colorado State of the Mountain West is home for Oregon State, Arizona State plays host to Kansas, Washington State is at UTRGV and plays Houston Baptist, and Colorado plays host to Oakland. 

There are two big Big 12-SEC matches on tap. Baylor of the Big 12, ranked No. 5, plays host to No. 17 Missouri of the SEC, while third-ranked Texas, coming off that stunning loss at Rice, is home for surprising Texas A&M, off to an 8-1 start. 

Kentucky of the SEC, ranked No. 16, tries to bounce back against No. 25 Louisville of the ACC in a battle of Commonwealth powers. 

Among the other matches involving ACC teams, No. 23 Florida State is home for the SEC’s Alabama, Miami plays FGCU and FAU, and Syracuse goes to Northeastern.

The SEC slate has No. 11 Florida playing Liberty and then Northern Arizona, Georgia plays Georgia Tech, and LSU finally plays at home when the Tigers welcome Southern Miss.

The West Coast Conference has some interesting matches as Santa Clara plays Montana, Loyola Marymount faces Belmont, San Diego plays San Diego State, and Pepperdine faces UC Santa Barbara.

Also, No. 8 Marquette of the Big East is home for Green Bay of the Horizon League.

Click here for Thursday’s results and the Friday schedule at NCAA.com. And to watch any NCAA match that is being broadcast or streamed, go to the daily VolleyballMag.com TV listings.

Top 25: Seventh-ranked Minnesota (5-2), coming off that huge upset Saturday of Stanford, beat visiting Clemson 25-22, 25-22, 26-24. Stephanie Samedy and Regan Pittman had nine kills and five blocks each and Taylor Morgan had five kills and seven blocks. Clemson (5-5) got 15 kills from Kaylin Korte …

Washington (8-1) won at Wisconsin (4-3) 25-23, 27-25, 20-25, 25-22 as Kara Bajema had 19 kills, an assist, two aces, 11 digs and seven blocks. Claire Hoffman had 17 kills, an assist, and 14 digs. Molly Haggerty led Wisconsin with 19 kills and six digs. Dana Rettke, who had five blocks, and Grace Loberg had 14 kills each … 

BYU (8-2) beat Utah (8-3) for the ninth time in 10 tries as McKenna Miller had 22 kills and hit .413 in the  25-22, 25-21, 12-25, 25-18 victory. Miller also had an assist, five digs and a block. Madelyn Robinson had 14 kills and four digs, and Kennedy Eschenberg had seven kills with no errors in 16 attacks to hit .413 and had five blocks, one solo. Dani Drews led Utah with 21 kills and eight digs. Kenzie Koerber added 14 kills, nine digs and three blocks, and Zoe Weatherington had 13 kills, hit .455, and had two digs and a block … 

St. John’s (7-5) beat Oregon 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, its first win over a ranked opponent since 2007. Efrosini not only had her 28 kills, but hit .460 and had two assists, an ace, seven digs and three blocks. Rachele Rastelli and Klara Mikelova had 11 kills each. Brooke Nuneviller led Oregon with 18 kills, hitting .389, and had eight digs and two blocks. Ronika Stone had 17 kills, hit .433, and had two assists, three aces, two digs and seven blocks, one solo … 

No. 15 Creighton (6-3) swept visiting Wichita State (3-7) 25-15, 25-17, 25-19. Keely Davis led with 12 kills and hit .409 to go with an ace, two digs and two blocks, one solo. Jaela Zimmerman had 11 kills and six digs. Wichita State hit .011 …

San Diego and USC are both 5-4 after the Toreros’ 25-18, 25-17, 19-25, 18-25, 15-13 victory, USD’s first win over a ranked opponent this season. Grace Frohling led with 17 kills as she hit .464 and had three blocks and a dig. Katie Lukes had 13 kills, two digs and two blocks, one solo. Khalia Lanier led USC with 18 kills, an ace, five digs and a block. Brooke Botkin had 12 kills, an ace, six digs and three blocks, one solo, and Emilia Weske had 11 kills … 

Colorado State improved to 9-1 as the No. 22 Rams swept Cal Poly (5-5). Breana Runnels led with 14 kills and hit .481 to go with an ace, five digs and four blocks, two solo. Cal Poly hit minus .072 … 

And Cal remained unbeaten as the No. 24 Bears (9-0) swept Saint Mary’s 25-21, 25-21, 25-14. Mima Markovic led with 12 kills and hit .323 to go with 14 digs and three blocks. Preslie Anderson had 11 kills with no errors in 18 swings and hit .611 and had five digs and three blocks, one solo, and Maddie Haynes had 10 kills, three aces, eight digs and a block. Saint Mary’s (4-5) hit .074.

Around the nation: Georgia (7-3) beat NC State (4-6) in four behind 16 kills by Kacie Evans and 13 from Rachel Ritchie. Melissa Evans had 17 for the Wolfpack … Also in the SEC, Mississippi State improved to 10-1 with wins over Jackson State and North Florida. Gabby Waden had 10 kills with no errors in 17 attacks against Jackson State to go with three digs and two blocks, and had 24 kills and hit .409 against UNF to go with three digs and four blocks … 

Two Big 12 schools won as Iowa State (7-3) swept Lipscomb and Kansas State (5-5) beat North Texas. Eleanor Holthaus and Annie Hatch had eight kills each for Iowa State. Holthaus had five digs, an assist, an ace and six blocks, one solo, and Hatch had five blocks. Lipscomb hit .047. And K-State got 17 kills each from Brynn Carlson and Gloria Mutiri. Valerie Valerian led North Texas with 18 kills and 11 digs … 

Ohio State beat Miami, Ohio, in four as Vanja Bukilic had 12 kills and hit .429 to go with three digs and two blocks … 

Northern Colorado of the Big Sky (6-5) knocked off visiting Oregon State of the Pac-12 (6-3) in five. Jo Ince Kelly led with 19 kills, Taylor Muff added 17 and two aces, five digs and two blocks, Jadyn McCartney had 12 kills, two aces, an assist, five digs and a block, and Lauren Hinrichs had 11 kills, four blocks and three digs. Maddie Goings had 13 kills for Oregon State and Haylie Bennett and Kory Cheshire had 11 each … 

Another Pac-12 school, Arizona State, beat UNLV in five. Andrea Mitrovic led with 16 kills and hit .483 to go with two aces, a block and nine digs … 

Olivia Lohmeier is relentless. She had 32 more kills in a five-set victory over Marshall as Morehead State improved to 7-3. She hit .329 and had an ace and 11 digs. Lauren Rokey added 17 kills. Ciara Debell had 20 kills, 13 digs and four blocks for Marshall … 

San Diego State (7-3) beat visiting Long Beach State (3-7) in four as Hannah Turnland had 17 kills, eight digs and an ace. Victoria O’Sullivan added 14 kills. Kashauna Williams had 19 kills for Long Beach … 

Jordan Thompson had 22 kills and hit .372 as Cincinnati swept Xavier. She also had 11 digs, a block and an ace … 

And Temple is unbeaten no more. The Owls (9-1) lost to Villanova (8-2) 25-14, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18. Villanova hit .310, led by Clare Delaplane, who had 15 kills, 11 digs, two assists, and two aces. Mallory Potts had 13 kills, hit .345, and had two digs and three blocks, and Sanaa Barnes had 10 kills. Gem Grimshaw and Dana Westfield had 12 kills each for Temple. 

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