NCAA volleyball: VT, UVA win openers; Cajuns, Texas State win twice

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NCAA volleyball 9/20/2020-Christine Jarman-UVA volleyball
Virginia's Christine Jarman hits past the block of The Citadel's Gina Delancey/UVA photo

The Citadel was the the victim twice as the ACC’s Virginia Tech and Virginia opened their respective fall NCAA Division I volleyball seasons with victories, there was no volleyball at all at South Alabama, and Louisiana and Texas State kept on rolling.

There is one match Sunday when Missouri State of the Missouri Valley Conference goes to Little Rock of the Sun Belt in the season opener for both teams.

The Big 12 gets under way this week. Things get started Thursday when Texas goes to Oklahoma and West Virginia goes about 1,500 miles to Texas Tech.

Virginia Tech sweeps The Citadel — On Thursday, the Hokies of the ACC cruised 25-13, 25-16, 25-18, in coach Marci Byers’ Virginia Tech debut.

“It was exciting to get back on the court again,” Byers said. “I thought the kids did a great job with the scouting report. Looking forward to getting back in the gym tomorrow so we can continue to get better.”

Ashley Homan had 12 kills with no errors in 18 swings to hit .667 and had an assist and five digs for the Hokies. Marisa Cerchio had nine kills and hit .571 to go with six blocks, three solo. VT hit .348.

The Citadel of the Southern Conference hit .074 as it dropped to 0-2.

Virginia also sweeps Bulldogs — UVA had a tougher time but still won in three, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23, when The Citadel went to Charlottesville on Friday.

Sarah Billiard led a balanced attack with nine kills and two blocks, one solo. Christine Jarman had seven kills and hit .429 and Alexandra Spencer, who had 12 digs, had six kills, and so did Simone Dominique.

Melanie King had 13 kills, two assists, a block, and 10 digs for The Citadel, and Sharlissa de Jesus had eight kills, an assist, three aces, two blocks and 10 digs.

“When we scheduled this match the team lit up,” UVA coach Aaron Smith said. “Our approach to the season is to take advantage of every day in the gym practice wise and certainly every opportunity to play a match – it’s an opportunity we do not take lightly.

“To get out here tonight on a short turnaround in terms of scheduling the match was really beneficial for the team and it’s going to prepare us for these upcoming eight matches.”

Georgia State beats Mercer — The Panthers beat Mercer 25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-7 on Friday behind 19 kills by Leah Wilcox. She hit .368 and had an ace, two blocks and nine digs as Georgia State improved to 1-1.

Dzemila Hadzic had 12 kills, hit .478 and had a solo block, and four digs. Meisheaia Griffin had 10 kills, two aces, two blocks, and three digs. GSU hit .286.

Aniie Karle, who hit .406, and Brittany Major had 15 kills each for Mercer, also 1-1. Karle had an assist, a block and six digs, while Major had an assist, three aces, a solo block, and seven digs.

Texas State downs HBU — Houston Baptist fell to 1-5 this season while the Bobcats are 5-1 after a 25-18, 25-20, 25-21 victory Friday night and then a 25-17, 25-20, 25-27, 25-16 outcome Saturday.

On Friday, Texas State’s Lauren Teske had 10 kills and 12 digs and Tyeranee Scott had nine kills and hit .368. Jillian Slaughter had six kills and three blocks, one solo. Emily DeWalt had four kills, hit .333, and had 36 assists, 10 digs, and a block. HBU’s Kelly Colwell had 13 kills and 13 digs.

On Saturday, Teske went off for 19 kills as she hit .318, and added an assist, three of her team’s nine aces, 14 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Janell Fitzgerald had 14 kills and hit .522 to go with three blocks, one solo. Caitlin Buettner had 13 kills, and DeWalt had 50 assists, 11 digs, and three blocks, two solo.

Colwell and Megan Patillo had nine kills each for HBU and Mikayla Vivens and Reagan Leiden eight apiece. Patillo had five blocks, one solo.

“I love how we are progressing,” Texas State coach Sean Hulet said. “The things we worked on in practice showed up this weekend on the court. I thought our defense was good spearheaded by Kayla (Granada), who had a phenomenal weekend in the libero jersey.

“Lauren also had her best weekend as a Bobcat after she set consecutive career-highs in kills and digs. But as a team, we played well. We were one kill away from having four players in double digit kills and I love that balance.”

Louisiana blasts Lamar — The Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-0 and have won 15 sets in a row. Saturday, they swept visiting Lamar twice, 25-15, 27-25, 25-14 in the morning and then 25-12, 25-14, 25-13 in the afternoon.

In the first match, UL hit .305 as Hali Wisnoskie led with 15 kills, three digs, an ace, and a block. Kelsey Bennett had 13 kills, hit .414 after having one error in 29 attacks, and added an assist, 15 digs, and a block.

Lamar got 10 kills from Kayla Neumann.

In the nightcap, the Cajuns hit .383 as Bennett and Tia Jade Smith led a balanced attack with nine kills each. Bennett hit .304 and had two aces, 10 digs and two blocks. Smith had one error in 15 swings and hit .533 to go with a dig and two blocks.

Wisnoskie and Taylor Gates added eight kills apiece. Gates had no errors in 14 attacks and hit .571. Kara Barnes had five kills in nine errorless attacks and had two aces, three digs and four blocks, one solo.

No go at USA — The Jaguar Invitational, a round-robin tournament scheduled at South Alabama that included Stephen F. Austin and ULM, was canceled. Additionally, USA matches next weekend against Coastal Carolina were also postponed.

No reason was given on the South Alabama website.

ULM was scheduled to face Stephen F. Austin on Friday and South Alabama on Friday and Saturday. The matches will not be made up at this time.

South Alabama will likely return to action October 1, when Troy visits to open Sun Belt Conference play. ULM is off until its SBC opener at Texas State on September 25.

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