NCAA volleyball: No. 9 BYU, No. 15 CSU, Kansas, San Diego win

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NCAA volleyball 10/11/2019-Annie Benbow-USD volleyball-San Diego volleyball
USD libero Annie Benbow passes for the Toreros/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Two ranked teams played Thursday night and both won their matches in straight sets.

In No. 15 Colorado State’s sweep of Fresno State redshirt senior middle blocker Kirstie Hillyer scored her 1,000th career kill and setter Katie Oleksak led the team to a .348 hitting percentage.

No. 9 BYU held San Francisco to fewer than 15 points in two of three sets inside the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday.

In the night’s only Power Five match, Kansas got its first Big 12 win of the season, beating West Virginia in five sets.

More on those results to follow, but first a preview of another massive, action-packed Friday in NCAA women’s volleyball.

The nation’s most effective hitter, Devyn Cross of Arizona (11-5, 1-3), will have her .512 hitting percentage put to the ultimate test as the Wildcats go to Palo Alto to play Stanford (9-3, 3-1).

But before the Arizona/Stanford match at 8 PM PT, Cal will play its match with Arizona State at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion because of regional power shutoffs affecting the Berkeley area. The university has not yet made a decision on where Sunday’s match home match versus Arizona will be played.

Friday’s Pac-12 schedule also features Oregon (5-8, 1-3) at No. 24 Washington State (13-3, 2-2), UCLA (8-5, 1-3) at No. 18 Utah (11-4, 3-1), USC (8-6, 2-2) at Colorado (8-6, 0-4), and Oregon State (8-7, 2-2) at No. 11 Washington (11-3, 2-2).

Of the 15 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, only Georgia Tech has the night off, and if you’re good at math that means you’ve calculated that there are seven ACC matches on Friday. The meeting between Duke (8-9, 1-3) and Louisville (11-3, 4-0) in Durham will be a good chance to see the Cardinals, who cracked the top 25 this week, in action.

Ohio State (8-8, 1-3) might just have a chance to stop a three-match skid when it goes to Rutgers (6-9, 0-4). Michigan (11-3, 4-0) will have to defend its undefeated record in Big Ten play against Iowa, while Maryland (9-7, 1-3) plays No. 8 Penn State (10-3, 3-1) and Michigan State (2-2, 11-3) takes on a No. 5 Nebraska (3-1, 11-2) team no doubt fired up after getting swept by Wisconsin at home.

Georgia (11-4, 3-1) hits the road to face red-hot Kentucky (11-4, 4-0) in Lexington. The Dawgs cracked the top 40 of this week’s new RPI, but they’ll have their hands full with No. 12 Kentucky, which is riding a five-match win streak.

The SEC schedule also pits Florida (11-3, 2-1) versus Arkansas (6-9, 0-3), South Carolina (10-6, 2-2) against Texas A&M (10-4, 2-2), and LSU (8-6, 2-2) versus Tennessee (8-6, 2-2).

Loyola Marymount (10-7, WCC 4-1) has won four in a row at home this season, and the Lions will try to extend that streak Friday as they host Pepperdine (8-8, 4-1).

Both of the Big East’s ranked teams are in action, as No. 13 Creighton (11-3, 4-0) takes on DePaul (9-7, 1-3) and No. 10 Marquette (14-2, 4-0) plays Providence (5-12, 0-4).

No. 19 Hawai’i (13-2, 3-1) may be ranked, but it’s Cal Poly (12-5, 5-0) that enters the two teams’ Big West matchup on Friday night with the undefeated conference record.

No. 21 Rice (14-1, 3-0) hasn’t lost a set since it beat Texas in five on Sept. 18. The Owls will hope to keep that train rolling with a home match versus Southern Miss (1-16, 0-3).

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.

Colorado State sweeps: In CSU’s (15-1, 5-0) 25-22, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Fresno State (10-7, 3-2), Hillyer smashed her 1,000th kill midway through the second set. She is now one of just four CSU players in program history to reach 500 blocks and 1,000 kills. Hillyer finished the match with seven kills and no errors to hit .636.

Although the final scoreline showed domination by CSU, the Rams trailed to start the first and second set, only taking the lead at 17-16 in the first and 15-14 in the second.

“They know they have to go for it to beat us,” CSU head coach Tom Hilbert said. “That team always serves that well. I think it’s not necessarily a risk (for them). Conference is a different animal. You get into conference and people are prepared … They know you – they’ve played you before.”

BYU 6-0 in conference play: San Francisco (4-12, 0-5) managed just a .058 hitting percentage in its meeting with BYU (15-2, 6-0), averaging .000 in the first two sets before improving slightly to .176 in the third, when the Dons tied the score 14 times before BYU finished the match 25-11, 25-14, 25-23.

Sophomore Madelyn Robinson led the Cougar offense with 10 kills and libero Mary Lake tied her new career high with three aces.

Kansas gets a win: Kansas (4-9, 0-3) led in almost every statistical category in its Thursday night win over West Virginia (8-8, 0-4), but it took five closely matched sets to get its first conference victory of the season 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 17-25, 15-13.

Camryn Ennis led the Jayhawks with 14 kills with a .303 hitting percentage. Libero Allie Nelson topped all players with 25 digs.

West Virginia, however, won the serving contest, scoring seven aces, led by Natalie Winter with three.

NCAA volleyball 10/11/2019-Megan Jacobsen-USD volleyball-San Diego volleyball
San Diego’s Megan Jacobsen beats the Santa Clara block on an Anna Newsome set/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Around the nation: San Diego (13-5, 6-0) swept WCC foe Santa Clara (12-6, 2-3) 25-23, 25-22, 25-18 at Jenny Craig Pavilion in their annual Pink Game for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The sweep was the Toreros’ 10th sweep of the season. Megan Jacobsen and Thana Fayad led San Diego with ten kills each on a night where coach Jennifer Petrie was honored for her 400th win a week ago against St. Mary’s. Jacobsen hit .471 and added a block and four digs, while Fayad hit for .148 with two blocks and ten digs.

With a five-set victory over Pacific, Portland got its first WCC win of 2019. Three Pilot players made it to double-digit kills, with Liz Reich’s 19 leading the way …

Air Force (5-12, 2-3) secured a big Mountain West road win and ended a three-match losing streak, beating Nevada (14-4, 4-2) in four 25-16, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21. Senior Denise Ssozi led the match with 19 kills and just five errors to hit .350. She added 11 digs for her 28th career double-double. Setter Andi Ahlers scored five errorless kills to go along with 44 assists and 14 digs …

Alicia Harrington’s team season high of 22 kills led the way in Kansas City’s five-set defeat of Utah Valley. Four other Roos set or tied career highs  — outside Raina Smith with 12 kills, libero Maddie Renn with 24 digs, and outside Alex Ratzlaff with five aces. And setter Alli Schomers had an impressive nine kills.

“Alli is continuing to grow as an offensive minded setter,” head coach Christi Posey said. “She is working hard to provide a good mix to keep defenses off balance. An aggressive setter always opens things up for hitters.” …

Another five-setter saw Northern Illinois (6-13, 3-2) get the best of Western Michigan (11-6, 2-3). Peyton Tilley had 14 kills and Brinley Milbrath tied her career high with 13. WMU’s Rachel Bontrager led all players with 16 …

Arkansas Pine Bluff (4-17, 0-7) defeated Southern (5-14,1-6) 25-7 in the fourth set of the two team’s SWAC matchup Thursday, but Southern came back to win the fifth and the match 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 7-25, 15-9. UAPB finished the match with 19 aces, six from Bri-Anna Armstrong and five from Kaila Robinson. Haley Gomez had 18 kills for the losing team.

“This was a tough game we let slip away,” UAPB head coach Chelsey Lucas said. “We can’t afford to make mistakes, we got to learn finish to the end.” …

Montana State (8-6) improved to 4-1 in the Big Sky, beating Northern Arizona (9-8, 2-3) in five with three sets going to extra points (26-24, 14-25, 25-19, 27-29, 17-15). It was MSU’s first five-set win of the season and the first defeat of NAU in eight meetings …

Sacramento State (8-10, 3-2) rode 26 kills from Sarah Davis to a five-set victory over Idaho State (4-13, 1-4). As a team, the Hornets collected a season-high 116 digs led by Michelle Taynton’s career-best 31 …

UC Davis (11-7, 3-2) maintained its undefeated home record with a win over Long Beach State (4-12, 1-3) 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 15-12, despite being out-hit, out-blocked, and out-served by the 49ers. Both teams hit above .400 in the fifth set and LBSU’s Kashauna Williams finished with a match-high 21 kills, while UCD’s Mahalia White had 20 …

Reigning Southland defensive POW Addison Miller had a career-high 37 digs in Sam Houston State’s (9-8, 5-0) win versus Houston Baptist (10-10, 2-3) 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-13. As a team, SHSU had 14 blocks.

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