NCAA volleyball: Lipscomb, Texas State get sweeps, Minnesota faces Illini

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Northwestern State's Darria Williams, left, Kourtney Seaton, middle, and Alexis Warren put up the triple block on Lamar's Nina Pevic/Northwestern State photo

With just 14 matches scheduled on a Tuesday, two sweeps highlighted the action.

First, the Atlantic Sun’s Lipscomb (7-9, 3-2) played one of its most dominant matches of the season, defeating conference foe North Alabama (3-15, 1-4) on the road. The Bison hit a season-high .310 and scored seven aces from behind the service line.

Then, in Arlington, Texas State (12-7, 4-1) blanked UT Arlington (10-7, 2-3) in a Sun Belt contest. Not only did the Bobcats hold the Mavericks to fewer than 15 points in two of the three sets, but they racked up six aces and 11 blocks as UTA hit a dismal -.067.

More on Tuesday’s results, including four mid-season non-conference matches to come, but first a look at Wednesday’s schedule.

No. 11 Minnesota (10-2, 4-0) hits the road to face No. 17 Illinois (8-5, 3-1) in a huge Big Ten match for both teams. Undefeated so far in conference, the Gophers will face a tough challenge from the Illini, who pushed Nebraska to five sets and just beat Purdue in four.

Wednesday’s B1G schedule also includes No. 20 Purdue (9-4, 1-3) at Indiana (12-5, 1-3), and red-hot No. 7 Wisconsin (8-4, 4-0) looking for its fifth conference win in a row in a road match at Northwestern (9-7, 0-4).

In the Big 12, undefeated and national No. 1 Baylor (13-0, 3-0) goes to Ames to face Iowa State (11-4, 2-1). It will be a homecoming of sorts for Baylor setter Hannah Lockin, this week’s Big 12 defensive honoree and an Iowa native.

Fourth-ranked Texas (9-2, 3-0), the Big 12’s other team undefeated in league action, hits the road to take on Kansas State (6-9, 1-2).

Both Magnolia State schools are in action Wednesday in the SEC, as Mississippi State heads to Alabama (10-5, 2-2) and Ole Miss (11-3, 3-0) travels to Columbia to play No. 22 Missouri (10-3, 2-1).

Georgia Tech (8-7, 1-3) and Clemson (6-9, 0-4) face off in the Tigers’ home gym in the only ACC match of the night.

In the SoCon, there’s Chattanooga versus Mercer, and Northeastern plays Hofstra in the CAA. The Ohio Valley Conference features Eastern Kentucky versus Morehead State and Murray State versus Austin Peay, both 3-1 in league.

Three contests are scheduled in the Horizon League: Oakland v. Northern Kentucky, Cleveland State v. Wright State, and Youngstown State v. IUPUI.

St. John’s and Villanova, both fresh off sweeps from Saturday, go head-to-head, while also in the Big East, Seton Hall and Georgetown are each hoping for a redemptive win in their contest after losses over the weekend.

Stephen F. Austin (16-1, 4-0), which came in at a program-best No. 37 in the first NCAA RPI ranking of the season, looks to extend its conference win streak at New Orleans.

Finally, the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference has two matches on the docket Wednesday: Marist at Quinnipiac and Manhattan at St. Francis Brooklyn.

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.

Lipscomb crushes UNA: “I continue to tell people to not sleep on this team,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said after his team’s sweep of North Alabama Tuesday night (25-20, 25-12, 25-15). “There is something special going on and I promise we are going to continue pushing forward.”

The Bisons’ overall record of 7-9, 3-2 in ASUN play may not look like anything too special, but with reigning ASUN player of the week Morgan Elmore at the controls they have now won two in a row by sweeps, including Saturday’s defeat of Liberty that marked the Flames’ first conference loss of the season.

Megan Kuper and Garrett Joiner each had nine kills for Lipscomb versus North Alabama, but it was middle Samantha Rubal whose performance stood out the most: seven kills, no errors, hitting .500, along with five block assists.

Texas State never trailed against UTA: Historically, UTA has had the advantage in the head-to-head series with Texas State. But with a sweep on Tuesday night (25-14, 25-21, 25-10), the Bobcats brought the all-time record within one, 40-41, and Texas State has now won nine consecutive meetings with UTA.

In her second season in San Marcos, former Florida Gator Cheyenne Huskey led the Texas State offense from the left pin, tallying 12 kills. Her counterpart in the second OH spot, Janell Fitzgerald, hit .533 with 10 kills on 15 attempts with only two errors.

Non-conference action: In one of four non-league matchups Tuesday, Charlotte ended Winthrop’s nine-match win streak (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-10). The five-set match saw Charlotte set a season-high with eight aces, three from senior Sofie Perrens. The 49ers also out-blocked Winthrop 16 to six with senior middle Jocelyn Stoner tallying nine blocks. Freshman outside hitter Nalani Lyde led all players with a career-high 22 kills …

USC Upstate swept South Carolina State, holding the home team to fewer than 20 points in each set (25-17, 25-7, 25-15). Upstate hit .521 for the match, and SCSU remains winless on the season …

With 17 kills, Iva Durdanovic led the Sun Belt’s South Alabama to a sweep of Southern Mississippi of Conference USA (25-22, 25-16, 25-16) …

Jackson State won in its home gym, defeating West Alabama in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-23).

Around the nation: Howard is now 5-0 in MEAC play as the Bison swept Morgan State (28-26, 25-18, 25-23). Kira Porter led Howard with eight blocks, two solo …

Also in the MEAC, Florida A&M won a five-setter over Bethune Cookman in a battle of the preseason favorites of the Southern Division (25-23, 25-15, 19-25, 21-25, 15-8). Maria Yvette Garcia had 15 kills for A&M. Nahla Muhammad collected 26 digs …

San Jose State came very close to getting its first Mountain West win of the season, as the Spartans went up 2-0 over Nevada before losing in five sets (16-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-15, 15-13). San Jose State setter Mamie Garad had 41 assists and added five kills as three Spartan hitters ended the match with double-digit kills …

Central Arkansas needed five sets and extra points in the fifth (25-18, 13-25, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14) to get past Southland opponent McNeese. Abbie Harry led UCA with 22 kills, while libero Emily Doss topped the stat sheet with 24 kills. McNeese’s top hitter Alexis Lambert had 17 kills with just one error to hit .381 …

Northwestern State dominated Lamar 25-16, 25-8, 25-16 and finished the match with a .425 team hitting percentage. Texas A&M Corpus Christi also won its Southland contest versus Incarnate Word by a large margin and preventing UIW from getting its first league win …

Despite eventually taking a four-set loss (25-20, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21), Eastern Washington had a good showing in a home match versus Idaho. The Eagles set a new season high with a .282 team hitting percentage and four players reached double-digit kills, including a career high 17 for Ashlyn Blozter. Setter Ana Paula Zandona also set a new personal best with 52 assists.

In the match, the two teams tied the score 41 times — 14 times in the fourth set. Idaho held the advantage in aces (7-3) and blocks (9-3), while Eastern Washington led in the kills category (65-59) and digs (69-47).

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