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Wackiest weekend: A 46-44 set as WSU upsets UW, UCLA reverse sweeps, Minnesota, Penn St., Pitt, Louisville win


After an absolutely, well, bonkers Sunday, NCAA Division I women’s volleyball teams better take to heart every coaching cliche.

Take it one point at a time.

No lead is safe.

Realize that anyone can beat anyone at any time.

And you can win a set 46-44.

OK, so the last one is new, but it really did happen when Washington State defeated visiting No. 6 Washington 25-14, 23-25, 25-16, 44-46, 15-11. Three of the five Pac-12 matches Sunday went five, including No. 19 UCLA’s pulling off the reverse sweep at No. 14 Stanford.

Seriously, anything can happen this season. And if you don’t believe it, read our roundup of what happened Friday.

In the ACC, No. 4 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Louisville both swept, and both are 12-0. 

But in the Big Ten, No. 9 Minnesota gave Maryland its first loss after a 13-0 start, and third-ranked Ohio State lost again, this time to No. 20 Penn State.

A handful of one-loss teams won, including No. 7 Purdue, No. 13 Oregon, No. 18 Georgia Tech, and Delaware State.

The highlights and notes follow with a reminder that later Monday you can come back to for our weekly visit with Salima Rockwell, Jenny Hazelwood, and Emily Ehman. As Sunday’s events unfolded, Jenny said in our group text, “This has been my most favorite weekend of college volleyball ever!!!”

It would be hard to argue, especially after Friday’s results, which we will certainly cover in our video gathering. With that in mind:

WSU BEATS UW — There’s a long, deep-rooted, in-state rivalry between Washington State and Washington as the two schools compete for the Apple Cup. Washington State took a big bite with its historic victory before 1,535 in Pullman.

It left Washington State 8-4 and 2-0 in the Pac-12.

Washington, which had won six five-set matches in a row — including three in last spring’s NCAA Tournament — lost in five this past Friday at home to Utah and is now 7-3, 0-2, and has a lot of work to do if it is going to defend its conference title.

It was “a match that had a lot of a lot,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said.

Pia Timmer led WSU with a career-high 31 kills as she hit .303 after having eight errors in a whopping 76 attacks. She had four aces, a career-high 21 digs, and a career-high seven blocks, one solo.

“I don’t have words. It’s so cool,” said Timmer, a 6-foot-2 junior outside from Emlichheim, Germany. “It’s such a good feeling. There were so many people here today, and I’m just so proud of my team and what we did.”

Katy Ryan had 14 kills with two errors in 24 attacks, three digs, and five blocks, one solo. Kalyah Williams had 13 kills, hit .310, and had an assist, a dig, and four blocks, one solo. Magda Jehlarova had eight kills, an assist, an ace, two digs, and 10 blocks, one solo. The Cougars held a 17-14 blocks advantage.

WSU setter Hannah Pukis had two kills, 53 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 11 digs. Her team hit .250. Karly Basham had 18 digs and seven assists.

Samantha Drechsel led Washington with 20 kills, an assist, two blocks, and 11 digs. Marin Grote had 14 kills, hit .333, and had four digs and three blocks, one solo. Emoni Bush had 11 kills, an assist, two aces, four digs, and five blocks, two solo. Claire Hoffman had nine kills, an assist, three aces, two blocks, and 12 digs. Ella May Powell had two kills, 46 assists, two blocks, and 29 digs. Her team hit .159.

Washington reported that the fourth set equaled the NCAA record in the 25-point-set scoring era, set in 2017 when Santa Clara beat Saint Mary’s by the same 46-44 score. In just the fourth set alone, the teams combined for 51 kills and 83 digs; Dreschel had 10 kills and Powell had a double-double with 13 assists and 13 digs.

WSU was up 11-6 in the fourth and had 12 — 12! — set points. Washington took advantage of its 11th set-point opportunity when Bush got a kill to end it.

After the fourth set, “We kept telling each other to stay aggressive and stay positive,” Timmer said. 

That had to be hard, because in the fifth, Washington got out to a 4-0 lead, but the Cougars stormed back and took an 8-5 lead. It was 13-11 WSU when the Cougars closed it out on back-to-back blocks by Jehlarova and Timmer on Drechsel.

PAC-12 — It couldn’t have seemed more unlikely after the first two sets, but UCLA (9-1, 2-0) rallied for an 18-25, 18-25, 25-23, 27-25, 15-9 victory at Stanford (6-4, 1-1).

Freshman Charitie Luper continued to sparkle, this time with 18 kills as she hit .372 and had two aces, two blocks, and 13 digs. Mac May hit negative .022 but had 12 kills, two assists, three digs, and four blocks, three solo. Iman Ndiaye had nine kills and two blocks, and Anna Dodson had six kills and six blocks. Shelby Martin had three kills, 45 assists, five blocks, and six digs. Her team hit .161. Zoe Fleck had 19 digs, four assists, and two aces.

Stanford, which held a 20-13 blocks advantage, hit .227. 

McKenna Vicini, who had six kills with no errors in nine attacks, had a career-high 14 blocks, fifth-most in Stanford history. Kendall Kipp led with 16 kills as she hit .364 to go with two aces, eight blocks, and four digs. Caitie Baird had 14 kills, an assist, three blocks, and 10 digs. Sami Francis had 12 kills and three blocks, and Holly Campbell had seven kills and six blocks … 

Oregon (11-1, 2-0) won 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 23-25, 15-7 at Arizona State (7-6, 0-2) behind 22 kills by Brooke Nuneviller, who hit .375. She had an ace and 17 digs. Gloria Mutiri, who had six blocks, and Karson Bacon, who had eight, had 13 kills each. Iman Isanovic and Marta Levinska had 14 kills each for ASU, and Claire Jeter had 13. The Sun Devils have played seven five-set matches this season, winning two, and this was the third in a row.  Arizona (10-3, 2-0) swept visiting Oregon State (2-10, 0-2) behind 13 kills by Jaelyn Hodge and 11 by Sofia Maldonado Diaz. OSU’s Kateryna Tkachenko had 15 kills … USC (5-6, 1-1) won 25-21, 25-21, 18-25, 25-9 at Cal (7-6, 0-2). Brooke Botkin led with 14 kills, two assists, two blocks, and 11 digs. Raquel Lazaro had two kills in three errorless tries, 42 assists, three aces, four blocks, and three digs. Cal hit .023.

Penn State’s Erika Pritchard blocks Ohio State’s Emily Londot/Mark Selders photo

BIG TEN — Penn State (9-3, 2-0) lost both its meetings last spring to Ohio State. Not Sunday, when the Nittany Lions hit .380 and swept the visiting Buckeyes (10-2, 0-2) 25-19, 27-25, 25-21. Adanna Rollins led with 14 kills as she hit .524 and had two blocks and six digs. Jonni Parker had 12 kills with one error in 29 swings, an ace, a block, and five digs. Gabby Blossom had three kills in five errorless tries, 36 assists, and 13 digs. Ohio State’s Emily Londot had 17 kills, two blocks, and eight digs. Rylee Rader had 10 kills with one error in 14 attacks, a block, and a dig. The Buckeyes hit .269 … 

Maryland was coming off its stunning upset Friday of No. 2 Wisconsin, but there was no magic to be had Sunday in Minneapolis as Minnesota (7-3, 2-0) crushed the Terrapins (13-1, 1-1) 25-13, 25-12, 25-16. Minnesota, which hit .302, got 11 kills each from Stephanie Samedy, who had five blocks and 14 digs, and Jenna Wenaas, who had an ace, two blocks, and nine digs. Ellie Husemann had three kills and nine blocks. Maryland hit negative .096 … 

Purdue (10-1, 2-0) won easily at Indiana (7-7, 1-1) 25-17, 25-14, 25-20 despite hitting .198. Grace Cleveland led with 11 kills, an ace, a dig, and three blocks, one solo. Caitlyn Newton had nine kills, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and five digs. Indiana hit .009 … 

And Michigan (8-3, 1-1) beat visiting Michigan State (7-4, 0-2) 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 28-26. Behind 16 kills each from Paige Jones and Jess Mruzik. Scottee Johnson had 42 assists, an ace, a block, and 14 digs. Sarah Franklin had 25 kills for Michigan State to go with two aces, a block, and 14 digs.

ACC — After Sunday, the three ranked teams and Clemson are all 2-0 in conference play, followed by seven teams at 1-1. 

Louisville (12-0, 2-0) swept Florida State (8-3, 1-1) as Claire Chaussee led with 14 kills. Anna DeBeer had 11 … Pitt (12-0, 2-0) swept at NC State (7-6, 1-1). Chinaza Ndee led with 12 kills and three blocks … Georgia Tech (11-1, 2-0) swept at Virginia Tech (9-5, 0-2) as Mariana Brambilla had 16 kills, hit .378, and had two aces and nine digs, and Julia Bergmann had 13 kills, two aces, a solo block, and nine digs … Clemson (10-3, 2-0) won in five at Wake Forest (9-4, 0-2) behind 20 kills by Camryn Hannah, who hit .471 and had two aces, a solo block, and nine digs … 

Virginia (8-4, 1-1) got a four-set win at North Carolina (11-2, 0-2). Brooklyn Borum led with 15 kills as she hit .318 and had two assists, an ace, 11 digs, and four blocks, two solo. Alana Walker, a transfer from Northwestern, had 10 kills and 11 blocks, two solo. UNC’s Northwestern transfer, Nia Robinson, had 11 kills … Miami (10-2, 1-1) swept at Notre Dame (3-9, 0-2). Angela Grieve had 16 kills, hit .429, and had three blocks and four digs … Syracuse (12-2, 1-1) swept at Duke (10-3, 1-1) behind 18 kills by Marina Markova, who hit .556, and 15 by Polina Shemanova.

AROUND THE NATION — No. 10 Baylor (7-3, 2-0) made it a 2-0 weekend at Kansas State (9-4, 0-2)  with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-15 Big 12 sweep. The Bears hit .398 and got 13 kills from Yossiana Pressley, who had two blocks and three digs, and 10 kills from Avery Skinner, who had two aces, a solo block, and five digs. K-State’s Aliyah Carter had 18 kills … 

Maya Taylor had 25 kills for Saint Louis in its five-set Atlantic 10 win at VCU. Taylor had an assist, an ace, nine digs, and two blocks … 

The SWAC’s Alabama State knocked off visiting Auburn, of the SEC, despite hitting .145 in the five-set victory. Jada Rhodes led with 21 kills, an assist, an ace, eight digs, and a block. Kalysia Bates had 11 kills, hit .304, and had a dig and two blocks. Rebekah Rath had 24 kills for Auburn to go with an assist, two aces, 13 digs, and four blocks, two solo … 

In the American Athletic Conference, just three teams are left unbeaten in league play after Sunday, all at 2-0, after UCF swept Cincinnati and Tulane swept Tulsa. Also ubeaten is SMU, which had the day off. 

Rice opened Conference USA play 2-0 with a second sweep at North Texas in as many days. Nicile Lennon had 13 kills, an assist, 11 digs, and two blocks, one solo, and setter Carly Graham had four kills, 33 assists, two aces, and seven digs … Hofstra beat Northeastern in five as Zyare Abdul-Rahim had 17 kills in the Colonial Athletic Association win … Elon (9-5, 4-0) is the only team left unbeaten in CAA play after sweeping Delaware behind 16 kills by Leah Daniel, who hit .467 and had two blocks and eight digs … In UIC’s five-set Horizon win over Purdue Fort Wayne, UIC’s Paola Santiago had 24 kills, four assists, six digs and a block, and PFW’s Katie Crowe had 22 kills, hit .347, and had three aces and 12 digs … 

Break up Siena! The Saints won again and improved to 2-13 with a MAAC sweep of winless ManhattanMarist beat Iona in four in the MAAC, and Jordan Newblatt had 20 kills, hit .486, and had an ace, 21 digs, and two blocks … 

Paola Caten had 28 kills for Coppin State, but the Eagles lost their MEAC match to North Carolina Central in five. Ammaarah Williams had 19 kills for the winners … In another MEAC match, Alondra Maldonado had 18 kills with no errors in 27 attacks in Delaware State’s sweep of Norfolk State 

In the Sun Belt, Coastal Carolina beat Arkansas State in four as Doris Carter had 21 kills. She hit .372 and had an assist, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo … Also in the SBC, Little Rock won in five at App State as Laura Jensen had 22 kills, an assist, an ace, 12 digs, and four blocks. Lulu Ambrose had 20 kills for App State … Three of the six ASUN matches went five Sunday. Only North Florida, which swept at North Alabama, and FGCU, which swept at Eastern Kentucky, are unbeaten in league play. Both are 3-0.

And former Volleyball Baton Rouge player Elise Doomes had 11 kills with one error in 23 attacks to hit .435 to go with an ace and 12 digs as Southern swept its SWAC match against winless Prairie View.

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