NCAA volleyball: BYU wins at Stanford, big Sunday matches as preseason winds down

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NCAA volleyball 9/22/2019-Ella May Powell-Washington volleyball
Washington's Lauren Sanders goes for the pancake dig/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest photography

The race for the NCAA title opened up even more on Saturday as No. 12 BYU not only won at No. 2 Stanford, it dealt the Cardinal their first home loss since November 2016.

Just four unbeatens remain as well, which includes No. 24 Cal, which improved to 10-0 by beating Saint Mary’s. The other three are No. 5 Baylor (8-0), No. 6 Pittsburgh (11-0), and No. 13 Hawai’i.

There were no other upsets to speak of, but No. 10 Washington swept visiting No. 9 Wisconsin, beating the Badgers for the second time in three days. 

And while Sunday marks the end of the fourth — and final — weekend of pre-conference play, take note that Fairfield, Siena, Rider and Saint Peters are all tied for the lead at 1-0 after winning their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matches of the season. Yes, the MAAC beat everyone to the punch.

The recaps and notes follow, but first a look at Sunday’s NCAA Division I schedule.

The big one is the rematch between No. 6 Pittsburgh and No. 4 Penn State, this time in Pittsburgh. The Panthers won in a sweep on Friday at Penn State. Also in in the Big Ten, Michigan is home for the ACC’s Notre Dame.

There’s a huge battle in Waco, Texas, when No. 5 Baylor of the Big 12 plays host to No. 13 Hawai’i of the Big West, which survived a five-set victory over No. 17 Missouri on Saturday. When it’s over, there will be just three unbeatens.

The ACC slate includes what should be an outstanding match when No. 25 Louisville goes to Cincinnati of the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati swept Bowling Green on Saturday and Jordan Thompson had 21 kills, hit .455, and had 10 digs and three aces in the three sets.

South Carolina of the SEC is home for two matches when the Gamecocks play Kennesaw State and then High Point.

And, yes, there are four more MAAC matches and at least one team will drop out of the lead when Fairfield goes to Siena.

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

BYU beats Stanford: The Cougars (9-2) of the West Coast Conference won 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 31-29, handing Stanford (6-2) its second defeat in three matches. Stanford has played a remarkable pre-conference schedule, which included winning at No. 4 Penn State, losing to then-No. 8 Minnesota at Penn State, and then winning at No. 1 Nebraska this past Wednesday. Stanford had won 37 in a row at home and third-year coach Kevin Hambly hadn’t lost in Maples Pavilion.

In 2018, BYU gave visiting Stanford its only loss of the season and then lost to the Cardinal in the NCAA national semifinals.

“What a gritty match by our team,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “I’m so proud of the way we stuck together and stayed the course. There were so many crucial, big-time plays by so many different players. Everyone had great energy and I’m really proud of the way the team executed on the road.”

Stanford out-hit BYU .238-.232.

McKenna Miller led BYU with 18 kills, two aces, three digs and a block. Kate Grimmer had 11 kills, four block and two digs and Heather Gneiting had 10 kills, hit .333, and had six blocks and two digs. Whitney Bower had three kills in four errorless attacks, 48 asissts, an ace, a block and 18 digs. Libero Mary Lake not only had 15 digs, but an ace and 10 assists.

Kathryn Plummer led Stanford with 21 kills, three assists, a block and five digs. Audriana Fitzmorris and Kendall Kipp had 10 kills each and Madeleine Gates nine. Fitzmorris had seven blocks and Gates six. Holly Campbell had seven kills and 11 blocks. Setter Jenna Gray had two kills, 52 assists, five blocks and four digs, and libero Morgan Hentz had 27 digs and three assists.

NCAA volleyball 9/22/2019-Avie Niece-Washington volleyball
Washington’s Avie Niece exploits a hole in the Badger block/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest volleyball

Top 25: Nebraska (8-1) swept Wichita State (3-9) as Jazz Sweet led with 11 kills, hitting .435 in the 25-17, 25-10, 25-15 victory … No. 7 Minnesota (6-2) swept Oral Roberts (4-10) 25-15-, 25-9, 25-12 as five players had eight or more kills, including Stephanie Samedy with nine kills, five blocks and four digs … 

No. 8 Marquette (10-2) won twice, sweeping Saint Louis and beating Northern Iowa in four. Allie Barber had 17 kills and four blocks against Saint Louis and 17 more kills against UNI …  

Washington (9-1) finished the pre-conference season on the up escalator, but left Wisconsin (4-4) wondering after the 25-20, 25-20, 25-14 outcome in Seattle. Kara Bajema led Washington with 19 kills, hitting .515, and had an ace, a block and eight digs. Dana Rettke had nine kills and hit .444 for the Badgers … 

No. 11 Florida (9-2) swept Louisiana-Lafayette. Holly Carlton had 11 kills, five assists, two blocks and four digs … 

Hawai’i beat Missouri (8-2) 17-25, 28-26, 16-25, 25-16, 16-14. Skyler Williams led a balanced attack with 13 kills and hit .500. She had two assists, five blocks and three digs. Hanna Helving had 12 kills, six blocks and 11 digs, and Mckenna Ross had 11 kills, a block and four digs. Brooke Van Sickle added seven kills, five blocks and 14 digs, and Amber Igiede had seven kills, a dig and eight blocks, one solo.

Hawai’i won despite being out-hit .202-.183.

Missouri’s Kylie Deberg and Leketor Member-Meneh went down swinging. Deberg led with 25 kills on 64 attacks and had two aces, two block and nine digs. Member-Meneh had 21 kills on 56 swings and an assist and five digs … 

No. 15 Creighton (7-3) swept visting Wyoming behind 16 kills and three blocks by Jaela Zimmerman … No. 19 Illinois (5-4) beat Loyola Marymount (5-6) in four as Jacqueline Quade had 16 kills, three aces, seven digs and five blocks in the 24-26, 25-17, 25-14, 25-11 victory. Megan Cooney had 13 kills, hit .385, and a dig and five blocks, two solo …  No. 21 Purdue (8-1) beat visiting Eastern Michigan in four as Grace Cleveland had 25 kills and hit .404 to go with two aces and nine digs. Caitlyn Newton had 10 kills and five blocks, one solo, and Shavona Cuttino had 10 kills and three blocks …

And Cal won at Saint Mary’s 25-12, 25-18, 19-25, 25-21 behind 17 kills each by Maddie Haynes and Mima Mirkovic, who also had 13 digs. Savannah Rennie had nine kills, hit .467, and had an assist, three aces, five blocks and five digs.

Big Ten: Maryland (8-4) won twice, sweeping Kennesaw State and Appalachian State, which gave the program its 1,000th victory … Northwestern (9-3) also swept twice, beating two other Chicago teams, UIC and then DePaul … Indiana finished the preseason 11-2 with a four-set win at South Florida, beating the Bulls for the second straight day …

Michigan State (9-1) swept Western Michigan as it hit .413, Rutgers dropped to 6-5 as it lost to Howard in four, and Iowa fell to Iowa State in five. Iowa State of the Big 12 (9-3) got 19 kills from Eleanor Holthaus, who hit .395 in the 25-18, 25-22, 19-25, 18-25, 15-10 victory. She added three assists, five digs and three blocks. Iowa dropped to 6-5. Courtney Buzzerio led with 19 kills and hit .441 and had three assists, 11 digs and a block.

Pac-12: Colorado (8-2) won twice, sweeping UMBC and Campbell. Justin Spann had 18 kills against UMBC and 12 more against Campbell … Washington State (11-1) swept Texas Southern for its 10th win in a row … Arizona (10-2) beat Sacramento State in four as Devyn Cross had 10 kills in 11 errorless swings to hit .909. She had four blocks and three digs. Paige Whipple led with 19 kills and 11 digs … And Oregon State, which hit .081, dropped to 6-5 with a four-set loss to Cal Poly (7-5).

Big 12: Texas Tech (10-4) beat Incarnate Word in four and swept UTEP. Emily Hill had 17 kills and four blocks against IW and 12 more kills and two blocks against UTEP … West Virginia (8-4) also won twice, sweeping Eastern Kentucky before getting past Navy in five. Briana Lynch had 14 kills, hit .414, and had four blocks and two digs against Navy and Kristin Lux and Kristina Jordan had 13 kills each. Amanda Montag had 22 kills for Navy to go with two assists, an ace, a block and eight digs … 

It was a tough day for the Kansas schools. KU (4-6) lost in four to UNLV and Kansas State (5-7) lost in four to New Mexico despite 21 kills by Brynn Carlson, who hit .436. Three Lobos finished with double-doubles, Tai Bierria (14 kills, 17 digs), Lauren Twitty (14 kills, 10 digs) and Jaclyn Inclan (24 assists, 12 digs) … 

TCU (5-5) also lost, getting swept by red-hot Rice of Conference USA (11-1). Nicole Lennon had 19 kills for Rice, which last week upset No. 3 Texas. Lennon hit .484, had an ace and 12 digs … And Oklahoma (8-3) came away with a four-set win over SMU of the American Athletic Conference (7-3) as Ashlynn Dunbar had 16 kills, an ace, a block and 15 digs. Mekenzie Heckmann had 17 kills for SMU.

ACC: Wake Forest ended the preseason 10-1 with two four-set victories, beating William & Mary and then Seton Hall. Peyton Suess had 15 kills and four blocks in the first match and came back with 19 and 1 in the second … Miami (4-4) won in five at UCF of the AAC (6-5) as Janet Kalaniuvalu led with 17 kills and Kennedy Prince and Elizaveta Lukianova had 15 kills each. McKenna Melville had 22 kills for UCF … 

Duke split the day, losing to St. John’s and beating Hofstra. Ade Owokoniran had 14 kills in the first match and 16 in the second … North Carolina (3-7) beat Colgate in four as Lauren Harrison had 15 kills. Alex Stein had 19 kills for Colgate. Then the Tar Heels swept Radford behind 15 kills by Parker Austin, who hit .571 … 

Virginia (8-5) won twice, beating Elon in five and then sweeping UNCG. Sarah Billiard had 18 kills and three blocks against Elon, while Elon’s Leah Daniel had 19 kills, five blocks and eight digs. Billiard had 10 more kills, this time with no errors in 17 attacks, against UNCG … Also, Syracuse (3-4) beat Harvard in four, Virginia Tech (7-6) was swept by Charlotte, and Boston College (9-4) lost to Albany in five. Jewel Strawberry had 20 kills for BC and Akuabata Okenwa had 20 for Albany, which earlier in the day swept Bryant.

SEC: Tennessee (6-4) swept Georgia Southern and North Dakota State. Tessa Grubbs had 28 kills in the two matches combined … Auburn (6-5) swept IUPUI … Ole Miss (8-3) beat American in four behind Emily Stroup’s 16 kills … And LSU (6-4) lost to visiting Tulane of the American Athletic Conference (10-3) 25-18, 24-26, 11-25, 11-25 as the Green Wave knocked off a power-five team for the second time this season. Tulane earlier beat Ohio State.

Around the nation: Southeast Missouri State (8-6) put an end to Memphis’ unbeaten season, beating the Tigers (11-1) on their home court 25-21, 25-27, 25-18, 25-13. Laney Malloy and Mikayla Kuhlmann had 13 kills apiece for SEMO …

Southern Illinois (8-6) trailed 12-6 in the fifth and came back to beat Tennessee Tech 25-12, 19-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13 before then beating Western Illinois 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 26-24. Savannah Sheridan had 18 kills against Tennessee Tech and 13 more against WIU … 

No, they didn’t have record-breaking kills this time, but Rachel Tam had 19 kills and Melanie Feliciano 18 as Evansville (9-2) won its eighth in a row, beating Mercer in four … Lipscomb (4-7) came away with a big five-set victory over Coastal Carolina (10-2). The Bisons won 25-18, 19-25, 24-26, 25-21, 15-12 despite 20 kills each by Coastal’s Anett Nemeth and Kylan Manning … Grand Canyon is 10-2 after beating Idaho in four and then winning in five against Omaha. Yeny Murillo had 19 kills against Omaha … 

Wright State (11-2) won twice Saturday, beating Ball State in five and then sweeping Austin Peay. Celia Powers had 27 kills and Gibson Taylor had 24 kills in the two matches … Austin Peay earlier beat Missouri State in five and Brooke Moore had 29 kills, hitting .377, and had two aces, three blocks and 22 digs .. 

East Carolina is 11-1 after Sydney Kleinman had 22 kills and three blocks in a five-set win over Alabama A&M …

San Diego (7-4) won its fifth in a row with a 25-8, 25-13, 25-23 sweep of Long Beach State (3-9). USD hit .315 and had a 15 blocks … 

Four players had 10 or more kills as Loyola Chicago (7-6) beat DePaul, but then the Ramblers were swept by UIC (11-3) …

Santa Clara is 10-3 as the Broncos won at Air Force 25-21, 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, 15-9. Julia Sangiacomo led with 17 kills, an assist, 12 digs and two blocks, one solo … 

Purdue Fort Wayne (6-8) won in five two times Saturday, beating Central Arkansas and SIUE. Against Central Arkansas, Katie Crowe had 18 kills and Elizabeth Fuerst 15, and against SIUE, Fuerst had 19 more and Crowe had 17 …

ETSU (9-3) won twice, beating North Dakota State in four and then taking Georgia Southern in five. Kaela Massey and Olivia Cunningham combined for 66 kills, 11 aces, 14 blocks and 55 digs in the two matches. That included 23 kills by Cunningham in the Georgia Southern match … 

Stephen F. Austin is 12-1. The Ladyjacks swept Chicago State and UT-Arlington on Saturday … 

And Nevada is 10-2 after the Wolf Pack beat Cal Baptist in five behind 20 kills by Kayla Afoa, who had two aces, four blocks and 14 digs. CBU’s Sydney Marks also had 20 kills.

Spring Hill celebrates Peggy Martin’s milestone/Spring Hill photo

NCAA record for Peggy Martin: When Spring Hill College beat Mississippi College in five and then Henderson State again in five on Saturday, it gave coach Peggy Martin her record-breaking 1,350th victory against 349 losses and eight ties. The victory total is an NCAA all-divisions record.

Martin is in her 44th season overall, the last 11 at the Division III school in south Alabama.

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Lee Feinswog is the co-publisher and editor of VolleyballMag.com Contact him at Lee@VolleyballMag.com

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