Wednesday night was a good time to be a “berg.”
That’s because Grace Loberg had a career-high 21 kills as No. 13 Wisconsin routed No. 5 Penn State in the third and fourth sets en route to a Big Ten victory.
And Kylie Deberg’s 20th kill was the match winner at LSU as No. 20 Missouri also won in four.
Top-ranked and unbeaten Baylor has no bergs, but the Bears are 12-0 after making short work of visiting Oklahoma.
The recaps and notes follow, but first a look at Thursday’s relatively light schedule in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. Things really heat up around the nation on Friday.
There are four matches in the West Coast Conference, including No. 9 BYU at Pacific and San Diego at Saint Mary’s. There are five matches in the Mountain West, New Mexico at Fresno State, UNLV at San Diego State, Wyoming at Air Force, San Jose State at Utah State, and Nevada at Boise State.
The WAC has three matches, including 12-2 Grand Canyon home for Seattle U. Also, UT Rio Grande Valley goes to NM State and Utah Valley is at CSU Bakersfield.
The Big Sky slate includes Eastern Washington at Montana, Idaho at Montana State, Southern Utah at Sacramento State, and Northern Arizona at Portland State.
Six matches are on tap in the Southland Conference, including 14-1 Stephen F. Austin at Lamar. Also, Central Arkansas is at UIW, New Orleans is at Sam Houston State, Northwestern State is at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Nicholls State is at Houston Baptist, and Abilene Christian is at McNeese.
There’s a Patriot League match between Holy Cross and Colgate.
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.
Wisconsin dispatches Penn State: The Badgers (7-4, 3-0 Big Ten) just ran away from Penn State (9-2, 2-1) after losing the first set, battling to the win the second, and then cruising to a 23-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-13 victory.
“That’s obviously a good win, but more than that it’s just how we played is better than even the result,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “We bounced back after that first set. We fell behind a bit in the second set and I thought our serving really kicked into another gear. Those last two sets of holding them to (a hitting percentage) .050 or so — those are pretty low numbers against a team that has as much offensive talent as Penn State does.”
Wisconsin hit .310 for the match, while Penn State finished at .167. The win was the 1,000th in the 46-year history of the Wisconsin program.
Loberg’s 21 kills came on 35 swings and she hit .486 and had an assist, a block and four digs.
“We talked about how we might have surprised some people tonight but us as a team, we were not surprised at all,” Loberg said. “We work hard every day and we know what we are capable of and I think we showed that tonight.”
Dana Rettke had 14 kills, hit .323, and had five digs and six blocks, one solo. Madison Duello had 11 kills, two digs and four blocks, and setter Sydney Hilley had two kills in three errorless attempts, 46 assists, three aces, 10 digs and two blocks.
“I thought offensively we were awfully good and we got even better as the match went on,” Sheffield said. “Grace was really aggressive, working with what she was getting and working the entire court and Syd was awfully special getting everyone involved and putting hitters in good positions.”
Jonni Parker had 15 kills for Penn State to go with four digs and three blocks, one solo. Kaitlyn Hord hit .471 and had 10 kills and five blocks, and Allyson Cathey had 10 kills, a block and a dig.
Baylor sweeps Oklahoma: The Bears (12-0, 2-0 Big 12) made short work of OU (10-4, 2-1) 25-16, 25-19, 25-12 as the Sooners hit .011.
Yossiana Pressley led with 14 kills and hit .379 and had 10 digs and two blocks. Gia Milana had 12 kills and hit .364 to go with an assist, two digs and a solo block. Hannah Lockin had two kills in five errorless attempts, 31 assists, an ace, two blocks and eight digs. Baylor hit .301.
Baylor has won 19 sets in a row and is 36-2 in sets this season.
Nebraska sweeps Rutgers: The Huskers (11-1, 3-0 Big Ten) won easily at Rutgers (6-8, 0-3) 25-16, 25-15, 25-14. Lexi Sun led with 12 kills and hit .800 after having no errors in 12 attacks and had five digs. Nebraska, which hit .468, got nine kills from Madi Kubik, who hit .316 and had two assists and five digs. Jazz Sweet had eight kills and three blocks. Rutgers hit .112.
Texas sweeps TCU: The Longhorns are 9-2, 3-0 in the Big 12, after winning in Fort Worth 25-19, 25-20, 25-21.
Micaya White led Texas with 13 kills and had one error in 24 swings to hit .500. She had two aces, a solo block and four digs. Logan Eggleston had 11 kills and Skylar Fields had eight kills, hit .375, and had three blocks.
Audrey Nalls had 13 kills and hit .391 for TCU (5-8, 0-3), and added a block and eight digs.
Minnesota gets past Iowa: The Gophers (9-2, 3-0 B1G) not only lost a set at Iowa (7-7, 1-2) but had to go extra overtime to win the fourth in an 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 30-28 victory.
Taylor Morgan and Regan Pittman led Minnesota with 16 kills apiece. Morgan hit .577 after having one error in 26 attacks and added a dig and four blocks. Pittman had no errors in 25 swings and hit .640 and had three assists, five blocks and five digs. Stephanie Samedy and Adanna Rollins had 14 kills each. Samedy had four blocks and seven digs, and Rollins had a block and 17 digs.
Griere Hughes had 22 kills for Iowa and added two assists, a block and four digs. Courtney Buzzerio and Edina Schmidt had 14 kills each. Buzzerio had an assist, an ace, a block and nine digs, and Schmidt hit .440 and had four digs.
Marquette tops Xavier: The Golden Eagles (14-2 overall, 4-0 Big East) won 25-15, 19-25, 25-23, 25-16 in a morning match at Xavier (4-8, 1-1). Allie Barber led with 16 kills. Norah Painter had 13 for Xavier.
Missouri beats LSU: In an SEC battle of Tigers, Missouri (9-3, 1-1) won at LSU (8-5, 2-1) 25-10, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18. Deberg had her 20 kills and added two assists, two aces, six digs and three blocks, one solo. Kayla Caffey had 11 kills and hit .600 and had a solo block, and Tyanna Omazic had 10 kills, an ace and two blocks, one solo. Leketor Member-Meneh had nine kills, an ace, three digs and solo block.
Taylor Bannister led LSU with 19 kills, two aces, seven digs and three blocks, one solo. Samarah Hill had nine kills with no errors in 24 attacks, hit .375 and had three digs and a block, and Whitney Foreman had eight kills, hit .500, and had two blocks, one solo.
Around the nation: There were two other Big 12 matches as Iowa State (10-4, 1-1) swept visiting Kansas (4-8, 0-2) and Texas Tech (12-5, 2-1) swept at Kansas State (6-8, 1-1).
Josie Herbst led Iowa State with 15 kills and hit .314 to go with four blocks and a dig in a 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 victory. Morgan Christon had 14 kills for Kansas, which hit .126 …
Texas Tech won 33-31, 25-21, 25-20 as Emily Hill had 20 kills — 11 in the first set — an assist, two blocks and 10 digs. Gloria Mutiri had 12 kills for K-State. There were 11 lead changes and 13 ties in the first set …
North Carolina (4-9, 1-2 ACC) got a much-needed victory at rival NC State (5-10, 0-3) 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12. Lauren Harrison led with 21 kills and had two digs and five blocks. Parker Austin had 11 kills, an assist, an ace, a solo block and seven digs. Skyy Howard had five kills and 11 blocks, one solo. Melissa Evans led NC State with 15 kills and Jessica Kemp and Jade Parchment had 14 each.
The Tar Heels trailed 8-3 in the fifth set.
“We knew this was going to be a battle,” UNC coach Joe Sagula said. “NC State is scrappy and plays tough defense. They have some great hitters too. For us, the biggest turnaround for us was the three-straight blocks by Skyy Howard in the fifth set. To be down like we were and come back, unbelievable. It’s a credit to this team and that they stayed with it.”
Butler beat DePaul in a Big East match that saw Brittany Maxwell get 19 kills, six digs and three blocks, one solo, for DePaul. Anna Logan had 15 kills, an ace, 13 digs and five blocks for the winners …
Samford and UNC Greensboro were both winners in Southern Conference sweeps. Samford won at Mercer as Kelsi Hobbs had 15 kills, an ace, six digs and three blocks … Maria Esch had 12 kills for UNCG as it beat visiting The Citadel …
In an Ohio Valley Conference match that would have to be kindly described as a defensive battle, SIUE (6-9, 1-2) swept Eastern Illinois (1-14, 0-3) 25-7, 25-20, 25-16 as SIUE hit .029 and EIU hit .005 …
And Southern Miss finally broke through with a win after opening the season with 14 losses. The Eagles of Conference USA beat visiting Alabama State of the SWAC (3-17) in five as Liana Guillemaud had 15 kills and Gillian Hidalgo 14. Krysta Medearis had 18 kills for Alabama State.
Senior Class Award: The annual list of 30 is out and will be narrowed to 10 midway through the regular season. Click here to see the complete list.
In its news release, the Senior Class Award says, “To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.”
Stanford has all four of its celebrated senior class — Kathryn Plummer, Morgan Hentz, Audrianna Fitzmorris and Jenna Gray — on the list.