NCAA volleyball: Florida; Arizona, Hawai’i, NM State, Colo. St. win; WCC, WAC, Big Sky, Summit recaps and more

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Florida's Gabbi Essix hits through the Mississippi State block/Courtney Culbreath photo

Mississippi State took No. 17 Florida to the limit, Arizona won in five at Arizona State in five, Hawai’i swept as the Big West season got going, NM State got some revenge, and Colorado State made a Mountain West statement.

The highlights from Thursday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball follow, but first a look at key matches Friday, the first day of conference play for most leagues:

In the Big Ten, things get going with a bang as No. 3 Ohio State plays at No. 7 Purdue and No. 2 Wisconsin goes to unbeaten Maryland. Also in the B1G, No. 9 Minnesota plays host to Michigan, No. 20 Penn State goes to Rutgers, and Michigan State is at Indiana.

The lone Pac-12 match has No. 15 Utah, coming off that big victory at No. 6 Washington, at No. 24 Colorado, which took its first loss on Wednesday.

All the ACC teams are in action with seven matches, including the battle of the unbeatens when No. 4 Pittsburgh goes to North Carolina. Also, No. 5 Louisville home for Miami, No. 18 Georgia Tech at Wake Forest, Florida State at Notre Dame, Boston College is at Duke, and Virginia is at NC State.

There are three Big 12 matches. West Virginia, featured here Thursday, is home for Oklahoma, Kansas is at Texas Tech, and TCU is at Iowa State.

The SEC shows Mississippi State back at Florida and No. 7 Kentucky home for Missouri. 

In the American Athletic, the slate includes UCF entertaining East Carolina, Houston home for Tulsa, and SMU hosting Temple.

Creighton of the Big East, ranked No. 16, is at Butler, while league rival Marquette is at Villanova. Conference USA’s No. 22 Western Kentucky is home for Marshall.

Want to watch a match? We have the links. Go to our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming listings to find any match that is being shown.

STATE PUSHES GATORS — Florida (7-4) escaped visiting Mississippi State (9-4) 25-17, 25-11, 16-25, 18-25, 15-13 in the SEC opener for both teams. It was the first time State ever took two sets from Florida.

T’Ara Ceasar led the Gators with 17 kills, an ace, 13 digs, and four blocks, one solo. Sofia Victoria had 14 kills, two assists, two aces, two blocks, and nine digs, and Thayer Hall had 10 kills, two blocks, and six digs. Lauren Dooley had eight kills, hit .538, and had four blocks, one solo, and Gabbi Essix had four kills in eight errorless attacks and six blocks. Elli McKissock had 31 digs, two assists, and two aces. Marlie Monserez had a kill in five errorless tries, 51 assists, two aces, three blocks, and nine digs. Her team hit .262.

State, which hit .214, got 19 kills from Lauren Myrick, who hit .390 and had two aces and 18 digs. Gabby Waden had 15 kills, two blocks, and two digs. Setters Gabby Coulter and Margaret Dean combined for 47 assists, three aces, and 11 digs.

HAWAI’I WINS — The Big West skipped last season, but Hawai’i didn’t skip a beat in its conference-opening sweep at UC Riverside. The Rainbow Wahine are now 25-0 all-time against UCI as they hit .320 in the 25-21, 25-19, 25-16 victory. Amber Igiede led with 13 kills as she hit .524 and had four blocks and three digs. Brooke Van Sickle and Riley Wagoner had nine kills and seven digs each. Van Sickle had one error in 24 swings, an assist, and three blocks.

There are four more Big West matches Friday, including Cal Poly at Long Beach State.

WEST COAST — All three ranked teams swept as conference play began.

BYU, ranked No. 11, improved to 11-1 with its 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of visiting Pacific (3-9). Nine Cougars had kills, nine by Kenzie Koerber and eight by Eylse Stowell, who hit .538. UOP hit minus .038 … No. 23 Pepperdine (9-1) won 25-13, 25-20, 25-13 at San Francisco (0-9). Rachel Ahrens had 16 kills, hit .452, and had a block and a dig. USF hit .047 … No. 25 San Diego (7-3) beat visiting Saint Mary’s (6-4) 25-7, 25-21, 25-9, as the Toreros hit .378. Katie Lukes had 15 kills, hit .375, and had an ace, a block, and six digs. Saint Mary’s hit .091 … And Megan Rice, out for nearly three weeks, returned with 23 kills as Loyola Marymount (10-1) won in four at Santa Clara (4-7) 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-15. Rice hit .395 and had three assists and eight digs.

ARIZONA TOPS ASU — Arizona improved to 9-3 in its 23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 21-25, 15-9 victory at Arizona State (7-5) in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Jaelyn Hodge led with 15 kills, two blocks, and 17 digs. Sofia Maldonado Diaz had 11 kills, an assist, an ace, five blocks, and 11 digs, and Puk Stubbe had 10 kills with one error in 21 attacks, an assist, an ace, seven digs, and four blocks, one solo. Emery Herman had six kills with one error in 11 attacks, 38 assists, two aces, seven digs, and four blocks. 

Arizona State’s Iman Isanovic had 13 kills, an assist, two aces, two solo blocks, and 11 digs. Clare Jeter had 12 kills, hit .348, and had an ace, four blocks, and four digs.

MOUNTAIN WEST — Colorado State (5-5) not only beat Boise State (11-2), it swept the visiting Broncos despite hitting .198. But CSU held the Broncos, who were leading the league at .261, to a .128 hitting percentage. Kenedy Stanford led the Rams with 13 kills, two blocks, and eight digs. Ciera Pritchard had two kills, 30 assists, two aces, two digs, and two blocks, one solo. Lauren Ohlinger had 12 kills, three aces, and nine digs for Boise State … 

San Jose State (7-4) swept off defending-champion UNLV (9-3). Amethyst Harper had 12 kills, two aces, three blocks, and 10 digs … 

Utah State (9-4) earned it, especially in the second set, with a 23-25, 33-31, 25-14, 22-25, 15-11 victory at Wyoming (8-5). Corinne Larsen led with 18 kills, hit .405, and had two digs and six blocks, one solo. Tatum Stall had 17 kills, an assist, 11 digs, and three blocks, and Kennedi Boyd had 15 kills, hit .444, and had seven blocks, one solo. Abby Peterson had 25 digs and eight assists. From Utah State: “The third set was the highest-scoring set by a Utah State team since a 33-31 set win at Idaho on Nov. 5, 2007. At that point, however, NCAA volleyball sets were played to 30, with the sport moving to 25-point sets in 2008. USU’s win over Wyoming snaps a six-match losing skid against the Cowgirls, the first since Nov. 4, 2017.” Wyoming’s KC McMahon had 19 kills, two aces, two blocks, and eight digs. The Cowgirls lost a conference opener for the first time since 2014 … 

San Diego State (4-9) swept Nevada (3-9) as six players had four or more kills, nine by Victoria Sullivan … New Mexico (11-2) swept visiting Fresno State (4-5) as Kaitlynn Biassou led with 12 kills, three blocks, and nine digs. New Mexico, 4-10 in the shortened spring season, matched its victory total for all of the 2019 season.

WAC — In a rematch of last spring’s conference tournament final, when Utah Valley won the league’s NCAA bid, visiting NM State won in four. Katie Bircil had a career-high 24 kills for the Aggies (10-3) to go with three aces, a block, and 11 digs. Mari Sharp had 14 kills with one error in 35 attacks, an assist, an ace, a block mand six digs. Shaney Lipscomb had nine kills an, an ace, 10 digs, and six blocks, one solo. Utah Valley (5-7) was led by Kazna Tanuvasa, who had 16 kills, hit .394, and had an assist and three digs … 

Dixie State (2-7) swept visiting Grand Canyon (8-2). Megan Treanor led with 11 kills and had one error in 25 attacks to go with an assist, two aces, a dig, and six blocks, one solo … Chicago State (9-4) swept at Seattle U (3-9) behind 19 kills from Yanlis Feliz, who had an ace, 17 digs, and a block … 

Also, UTRGV lost in four to UTEP of Conference USA, and Tarleton State swept the SWAC’s Texas Southern.

BIG SKY — Northern Colorado (9-3) swept visiting Montana (5-7). UNC’s Rachel Hickman and Makenzie Morris had 13 kills each and Jo Ince Kailey had 12 … Weber State (6-5) beat visiting Portland State (6-6) to extend its home winning streak to 20. Dani Nay led the winners with 13 kills, while Portland State’s Makayla Lewis had 17 kills … Northern Arizona (3-7) swept visiting Idaho (3-7). Taylor Jacobsen led with 13 kills, four assists, an ace, seven digs, and four blocks, two solo .. Eastern Washington (5-4) won in five at Southern Utah (4-9), which had four players with 10 or more kills. Sage Brustad and Sadie Bacon had 13 apiece … Idaho State (5-8) beat visiting Sacramento State (5-6) in five. Kennedee Tracy led with 15 kills, seven digs, and three blocks, one solo.

SUMMIT LEAGUE — Denver (10-1) opened with a sweep of visiting Western Illinois (1-11). Erica Andrich and Hailey Green had 11 kills apiece. Green had no errors in 16 attacks and three blocks … Oral Roberts (7-3) swept at North Dakota (1-12). Trinity Freeman had 12 kills, five digs, and two blocks … Kansas City (10-3) won in four at North Dakota State (6-7) as four players had 10 or more kills, 18 by Melanie Brecka. She hit .484 and had 14 digs and four blocks … And Omaha (4-7) hit .370 in a sweep of newcomer St. Thomas (1-10). Sadie Limback had 14 kills, hit .407, and had six digs and two blocks.

ALSO — Louisiana-Monroe (5-11) won its Sun Belt match in four over visiting Georgia State (3-8) as Cali Assaley had 27 kills, hit .393, and had an assist and nine digs … 

In a MAC match, Western Michigan (8-4) beat Eastern Michigan (5-7) in four as Maggie King had 24 kills, hit .327, and had two aces, nine digs, and two solo blocks … 

There were two Horizon League matches as Green Bay had to go five to win at Purdue Fort Wayne and UIC won in four at IUPUI. Four players had 12 or more kills for Green Bay (6-7), 16 by Tiffany Paalman, who hit .355 and had two aces two blocks, and a dig. Katie Crowe had 19 kills for PFW (2-12) … UIC (5-8) got 12 kills each from Paola Santiago and Becca Oldendorf, who hit .476 and had five blocks, one solo. IUPUI dropped to 2-10.

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