NCAA volleyball: Cal beats WSU, Baylor stays unbeaten, 33 kills for Iott

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NCAA volleyball 9/29/2019-Lexi Sun-Nebraska volleyball
Lexi Sun swings cross court against Northwestern/Michael Gomez photo

Twelve matches Saturday involving ranked teams and not an upset in the bunch.

For that matter, just one close call, as No. 21 Cal bounced back from its only defeat to win in five and break Washington State’s 11-match winning streak.

Baylor remained the nation’s only unbeaten team with a sweep at Kansas, and Skylar Iott, a senior outside hitter for George Washington, had 33 kills — 10 in the fifth set — as the Colonials beat George Mason. There were quite a big-time individual performances around the country.

Saturday’s recaps and notes follow, but first a look at Sunday’s NCAA Division I volleyball schedule that includes No. 1 Stanford at home for No. 8 Washington in a battle of the two highest-ranked Pac-12 teams. Also in the Pac-12, No. 18 Utah goes to No. 24 Oregon and Arizona State plays at UCLA.

There are two matches in the Big Ten as No. 13 Wisconsin plays host to Indiana and Ohio State goes to Michigan. 

A six-match SEC slate includes No. 12 Florida home for Georgia and No. 16 Kentucky at No. 19 Missouri in a match that could go a long way in determining who wins the league. Also, Auburn goes to South Carolina, LSU is at Mississippi State, Arkansas is at Alabama and Texas A&M plays at Tennessee.

No. 4 Pittsburgh, home for Virginia Tech, highlights a seven-match ACC schedule. No. 23 Florida State goes to Wake Forest, Boston College is at Georgia Tech, Miami is at Duke, North Carolina is at Louisville, NC State is at Notre Dame, and Syracuse is at Clemson.

The Big 12 is idle.

No. 14 Creighton plays one of the two Big East matches when Georgetown visits, while Villanova goes to Providence.

Conference USA has six matches on tap, including No. 22 Rice at North Texas.

Click here for the complete NCAA.com scoreboard and to watch any match that is being broadcast, go to the VolleyballMag.com daily TV and streaming listings.

Baylor, Texas sweep in Big 12: The No. 2 Bears (11-0, 2-0) won at Kansas (4-7, 0-1) 25-15, 25-13, 25-22 to tie the best start in Baylor history. The leader again was Yossiana Pressley, who had 17 kills and hit .483 to go with two blocks and four digs.

Gia Milana had nine kills with one error in 12 attacks and hit .667 and had two blocks, Kara McGhee had six blocks and Marieke Van der Merke had five, two solo. Setter Hannah Lockin had three kills in four errorless attempts, 35 assists, two blocks and 12 digs as Baylor hit .386.

“Any road sweep in conference is a good start,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “I thought we were hitting well even though we weren’t quite in rhythm. We did a good job managing our swings. 

“Our blocks came up big for us when we needed. I was really impressed with Gia. We probably didn’t set her enough. When we got her the ball, she made some big plays and had big swings for us. Hannah Lockin continues to do a good job. She got good timely kills and moved the ball around. We’re looking forward to next week.”

Ashley Smith had eight kills for Kansas, which hit .055 …

Sixth-ranked Texas (8-2, 2-0) beat visiting Texas Tech (11-5, 1-1) 25-17, 25-18, 25-18 as Micaya White led a balanced attack with 13 kills and no errors in 25 attacks to hit .520. She had a block and a dig. Texas hit .456 and Logan Eggleston was right there, with 12 kills as she hit .455 and had two aces, a block and six digs. Skylar Fields had 11 kills with no errors in 17 swings and hit .647 to go with an assist and three blocks. Jhenna Gabriel had three kills, hit .500, and had 34 assists, two aces and five digs.

Emily Hill led Texas Tech, which had won seven matches in a row, with 11 kills but hit .029. Brooke Kanas had 10 kills and hit .450 …

Also in the Big 12, Kansas State (6-7, 1-0) swept at TCU (5-7, 0-2) and Oklahoma (10-3, 2-0) won in four at West Virginia (8-6, 0-2). Brynn Carlson had 18 kills and hit .362 for K-State to go with three blocks and three digs, and Anna Dixon had 13 kills, three blocks and five digs. Peyton Williams had six kills and nine blocks, one solo. Oklahoma’s Ashlynn Dunbarr had 19 kills, an assist, three aces, a block and 12 digs. Teammate Sarah Sanders had 17 kills, hit .400 and had six blocks.

NCAA volleyball 9/29/2019-Lauren Stivrins-Nebraska volleyball
Nebraska’s Lauren Stivrins hits a slide as Northwestern’s Olivia Viscuso, left, and Nia Robinson prepare to block/Michael Gomez photography

Five Big Ten sweeps: That included No. 7 Minnesota (8-2, 2-0) sending No. 15 Purdue (8-3, 0-2) home with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 defeat. Stephanie Samedy led with 21 kills, an assist, three aces and 11 digs. Regan Pittman had 10 kills and Alexis Hart nine. Taylor Morgan had seven with no errors in 16 swings and hit .438. With starting setter Kylie Miller out, Bayley McMenimen stepped in and had 45 assists, a block and 12 digs, and libero CC McGraw had 24 digs. Purdue’s Grace Cleveland had 11 kills, an assist, an ace, 11 digs and three blocks, one solo …

Third-ranked Nebraska (10-1, 2-0) won at Northwestern (9-5, 0-2) 25-21, 25-17, 30-28. Northwestern had set point twice in the third. Jazz Sweet led with 13 kills and hit .526, Lexi Sun had 11 kills and Lauren Stivrins had 10, hit .615, and had three aces, two digs and three blocks, two solo. Temi Thomas-Ailara had 16 kills, an ace, a block and seven digs for Northwestern … 

No. 5 Penn State (9-2, 2-0) beat visiting Rutgers (6-7, 0-2) 25-15, 25-20, 25-14. Jonni Parker led with 12 kills … 

No. 20 Illinois (6-5, 1-1) beat visiting Iowa (7-6, 1-1) 25-21, 25-18, 25-22. Jacqueline Quade led with 14 kills, two assists, six digs and two blocks. Bruna Vrankovic and Ashlynn Fleming had nine kills each. Fleming had five blocks. Griere Hughes led Iowa with nine kills and hit .389 … 

And Michigan State (10-2, 1-1) beat Maryland (8-6, 0-2) 25-17, 25-18, 25-19 as Naya Gros had 10 kills and hit .412. Maryland hit .097.

Cal, USC get Pac-12 wins: They alternated set wins and then Cal (11-1, 1-1) put Washington State (12-2, 1-1) away in the fifth 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 18-25, 15-4.

Mima Mirkovic led with 14 kills and had an assist, an ace, 12 digs and four blocks. Preslie Anderson had 13 kills and hit .435 to go with three digs and five blocks, and Maddie Haynes had 12 kills, hit .333, and had an ace, seven digs and three blocks. Lauren Forte added nine kills and six blocks, one solo.

“This was a good Pac-12 battle, we always tell our team to expect that in conference,” Cal coach Sam Crosson said. “With Washington State coming in we were expecting a really tough serving team and a good blocking team. That’s the way they’ve been scoring a lot of points. It was a back-and-forth match with a couple close sets, but good resilience from our group and ability to mentally control the fifth set. 

“I actually thought in the fifth set when there is a potential for more perceived pressure, we actually seemed more calm. That’s a very reassuring position to be in with this team. I’m pleased with the outcome from the players perspective to see the resilience pay off, but we need to address a few things with finding our rhythm offensively.”

Jocelyn Urias tied her career high with 18 kills for WSU as she hit .405 and had five digs and five blocks, two solo. Penny Tusa had 10 kills, an assist, an ace, a block and seven digs …

USC (7-5, 1-1) beat Arizona (10-4, 0-2) 25-21, 14-25, 25-22, 25-22. Khalia Lanier had 16 kills, three assists, 14 digs and two blocks, one solo. Emilia Weske, who hit .438, Jasmine Gross and Kalen Owes had eight kills each. Gross had five blocks and Owes four. Devyn Cross led Arizona with 15 kills as she hit .522 and had two digs and three blocks, two solo. Paige Whipple had 12 kills.

BYU sweep tops WCC slate: The Cougars (11-2, 2-0) won at Portland (8-5, 0-2) as McKenna Miller led a balanced attack with nine kills, three aces, two digs and two blocks … Pepperdine (6-7, 2-0) beat Santa Clara (10-5, 0-2) 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19 behind 19 kills from Hannah Frohling, who had 10 digs, three blocks, and an ace. Rachel Ahrens had 14 kills and hit .345. Allison Kantor had 14 kills, hit .364, and had a block and 19 digs for the Broncos … San Diego (9-4, 2-0) swept Gonzaga (6-8, 0-2) 25-17, 25-18, 25-9 as Megan Jacobsen, who hit .526, and Thana Fayad had 12 kills each … And Loyola Marymount (6-5, 2-0) swept San Francisco (4-8, 0-2) 25-12, 25-23, 25-20 as Megan Rice had 15 kills and hit .500 to go with three digs and four blocks. Savannah Slattery had 13 kills and hit .522 and four digs and four blocks, three solo.

Marquette gets past St. John’s: The No. 10 Golden Eagles improved to 13-2 and 3-0 in the Big East after coming back 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-18. St. John’s is 9-6, 1-1. Allie Barber had 16 kills for Marquette, which hit .195. She added a dig and four blocks, one solo. Six teammates had five or more kills. Klara Mikelova led St. John’s with 15 kills and eight digs, and Efrosini Alexakou and Rachele Rastelli had 14 kills each. Rastelli had six blocks and 12 digs …  Also in the Big East, DePaul beat Seton Hall in four.

Rainbow Wahine roll on: No. 11 Hawai’i (12-1, 2-0 Big West) won at CSUN (5-9, 0-2) as McKenna Ross and Hanna Helvig had 14 kills each. Nicole Nevarez led CSUN with 13 kills … Also in the Big West, UC Santa Barbara (13-1, 2-0) kept pace with a 25-15, 25-13, 25-17 sweep over Cal State Fullerton (8-6, 0-2) as Lindsey Ruddins led with 10 kills. She had no errors in 19 attacks and hit .526 and had 10 digs and five blocks, four solo … And Cal Poly (10-5, 2-0) swept UC Irvine (3-12, 0-2) 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 behind 16 kills by Maia Dvoracek, who had 15 digs and two blocks.

Rams win in Mountain West: No. 17 Colorado State (12-1, 2-0) won its 11th match in a row with a 24-26, 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 victory at UNLV (4-9, 0-2) as Kirstie Hillyer has 16 kills with no errors in 25 attacks to hit .640. She added two blocks. Breana Runnels had 11 kills, a block and nine digs, and Katie Oleksak had three kills in six errorless attempts and had 42 assists, five blocks and seven digs. Marienna Hayden had 15 kills for UNLV to go with three aces and 15 digs … Boise State, Fresno State, and Wyoming kept pace atop the standings at 2-0. Janelle Walley had 14 kills and hit .500 for Boise State in its win over Air Force. She had an assist, 15 digs and five blocks … Amilya Thompson had 11 kills and hit .579 for Fresno in its sweep over San Jose State … Wyoming won in five at NM State as Haile McArdle and Jackie McBride had 14 kills apiece. McBride had two digs and 11 blocks, two solo … Also, Nevada beat San Diego State in four and Kayla Afoa had 19 kills.

Skylar Iott

Around the nation: Skylar Iott went off for George Washington (7-7) as it came back from 0-2 and won its Atlantic 10 opener, a 22-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17, 15-11 victory over visiting George Mason. Iott got her 33 kills in 81 swings and had just seven errors to hit .321. She added an assist, three aces, eight digs and two blocks. Her teammates combined for 30 kills. She had 10 of her kills in the fifth set, including the match winner … Also in the A10, Rhode Island beat Fordham in five as Natale Zanellato had 19 kills for URI and McKenna Lahr had 21 for Fordham to go with an ace, 17 digs and three blocks … 

Shannon Webb also had big numbers for Southern Utah in its five-set Big Sky win over Weber State. She had 25 kills, hit .345, and had 17 digs and an ace … Also in the Big Sky, Idaho beat Sacramento State in five and Sarah Davis had 24 kills, an ace and 15 digs for the Vandals … 

NM State is 11-3, 2-0 in the WAC after its sweep at Seattle U in which Megan Hart had 13 kills in 17 errorless swings to hit .765. She had four blocks, an assist, and dig … Also in the WAC, Hayley McCluskey had 20 kills as CSU Bakersfield won at Chicago State, and Utah Valley won in five against UTRGV and Kazna Tarawhiti had 19 kills, an assist, two aces, 11 digs and five blocks … 

Charleston Southern lost in four to Winthrop but Brooke Monssen had 26 kills, an ace, seven digs and two blocks … Also in the Big South, Megan Kratzer had 20 kills, 13 digs and a block for High Point in its win over Radford … 

In a SWAC victory for Prairie View over Alabama State, Tamaira Armstrong had 27 kills and hit .371 … 

The Purple Aces pair of Melanie Feliciano (24 kills) and Rachel Tams (20 kills) did it again as Evansville won a Missouri Valley match at Drake in four … But they were outdone by Western Carolina’s Abigail Veit and Merry Gebel, who had 24 kills apiece in the Catamounts’ five-set win at Furman. Veit had four assists, an ace, 13 digs and two blocks, one solo, while Gebel hit .316, and had an assist, two aces, 14 digs and three blocks … 

Bryant won a Northeast Conference match at St. Francis Brooklyn in five and Riley James had 24 kills, hit .468, and had two aces, 12 digs and a block … Also in the NEC, LIU beat Sacred Heart in five and Kora Schaberl had 23 kills and Karolina Nova 20 and 20 digs … 

Stephen F. Austin won its seventh in a row and is 14-1, 2-0 in the Southland, after sweeping Incarnate Word. And what a line for Ann Hollas, who led with 12 kills while hitting .412 and had 13 assists, three aces, five blocks and six digs …

Milwaukee is 14-1 after winning its 11th in a row, a Horizon League-opening sweep over UIC in which Kleja Cerniauskaite had 17 kills, hit .417, and had a dig and three blocks, one solo … Also in the Horizon, Wright State is 13-1 after sweeping Youngstown State …

What a one-two combo as Marist won a Metro Atlantic match at Saint Peter’s in five as Sarah Austin had 22 kills and 20 digs and Megan Fergus had 21 kills and 20 digs … Also in the MAAC, Rider beat Siena in four and Morgan Romano had 24 kills, an ace, eight digs and five blocks … 

Tennessee Tech beat Southeast Missouri as Ali Verzani had 23 kills, a block, and 12 digs in the Ohio Valley victory … Lehigh won a Patriot League match in four at Bucknell as Sabrina Lancaster had 19 kills, an assist, 20 digs and two blocks, one solo … 

And finally, the six-match Mid-American slate and start with Akron.

The Zips are 9-4 overall, 2-0 in the MAC, after beating visiting Ball State (7-7, 1-1) 21-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-22, 18-16. The Akron recap called it “miraculous,” which is a bit strong, but it certainly was interesting at the end. Ball State, up 9-5, was then up 14-13 and the match seemingly ended on an attack error, but Zips coach Tom Hanna challenged the call, saying it went off the block. He won the challenge and it was tied 14-14 on the kill by Alexis Adleta. 

Akron had a chance to close it out at 15-14 and then Ball State had a shot at 16-15, before the Zips got another kill by Adleta, one from Elya Karsner and then won on a hitting error.

Karsner led with 17 kills, 11 digs and a solo block, and Adleta had 15 kills, two aces, 16 digs and five blocks, two solo. Natalie Risi led Ball State with 14 kills … 

Central Michigan is 12-2 with a big sweep of Western Michigan (10-4) … Bowling Green swept Kent State … Ohio beat Miami in four … NIU held off Eastern Michigan in four … and Buffalo beat Toledo in five as Polina Prokudina had 18 kills, hit .317, and had an assist, two aces, and three digs.

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