Kentucky knocks off Florida, Stanford tops USC, No. 400 for WSU’s Lamb

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Stanford libero Morgan Hentz dives for a dink at USC Ed Chan, VBshots.com

No one’s going unbeaten in NCAA Division I women’s college volleyball this season.

Not after No. 8 Kentucky laid claim to the top of the Southeastern Conference by knocking off top-ranked and previously unbeaten Florida on its home court Sunday in four sets.

“Well, that was a spanking,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. 

Third-ranked Stanford got out of USC with a tough four-set win over the No. 19 Trojans.

No. 6 Minnesota cruised to victory in the only Big Ten match of the day, while in the ACC, the leaders — Pittsburgh and NC State — stayed unbeaten in conference play.

And No. 22 Wichita State not only swept Tulsa, coach Chris Lamb recorded his 400th career victory.

There are only three matches on tap for Monday and you can follow them and all the others this week by going to our daily VBM list of who’s on TV and who’s being streamed.

Rhamat Alhassan, left, and Shainah Joseph put up the block against Kentucky’s Leah Edmond/UAA Communications photo by Ashley Williams

Kentucky takes over top of SEC: Never before had UK beaten a No. 1 team, but the 25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16 victory left the Wildcats 16-2 overall and 7-0 in the SEC, while Florida dropped to 13-1, 5-1.

Kentucky hit .309 and had four players with 10 or more kills, led by Leah Edmond, who had 18 kills and nine digs. Darian Mack had 13 kills, hit .379, and Kaz Brown had 11 kills, hit .474 and had four blocks, one solo. Avery Skinner added 10 kills. Setter Madison Lilley not only had 52 assists, but four kills in six swings and 10 digs and two blocks.

“I love the composure and toughness of the team after set three,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “I give a lot of credit to our seniors for leading the charge with their confidence. Darian Mack was big time Mack today. This team continues to impress us as a staff with how much they want something else, something beyond what they’ve done before.”

Florida got 15 kills from Rachael Kramer, who hit .423 and two blocks.

“Their setter was doing a great job being balanced and setting all their options, so you’ve got to give them credit,” Kramer said. “There were times where we looked great; we looked like the No. 1 team in the country. And there were other times that it just wasn’t happening. Eventually, it just wasn’t enough.”

The other UF middle, Rhamat Alhassan, had 10 kills, hit .422 and had six blocks.

“Kentucky played well,” Alhassan said. “They came out swinging.” 

Carli Snyder had 10 kills, an ace, eight digs and two blocks.

“Well, you can see why we voted Kentucky No. 1,” Wise said. “They have the most talent in the league. They’re very, very good now that they’re healthy. I’ve said before, they’re a final four team. They could win it all. They’re that good.”

Florida plays at Kentucky on November 1.

LSU moved into sole possession of third place by beating visiting Alabama 22-25, 25-22, 27-25, 26-24. The Tigers are 15-4, 6-2 in the SEC, a half game up on Missouri (12-8, 5-2) which lost at Tennessee.

LSU freshman Taylor Bannister had 21 kills and hit .333 and Milan Stokes added 19 kills and hit .417. Alabama (14-7, 2-5) got 15 kills from Ginger Perinar and 12 from Mahalia Swink.

Also in the SEC, Ole Miss swept South Carolina, Texas A&M beat Auburn in four and Georgia swept Mississippi State.

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Stanford wins in four sets/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Stanford, Utah, CU, OSU win in Pac-12: Stanford won its 10th in row by getting out of the Galen Center with 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 26-24 victory that gave the Cardinal a two-game lead over the Trojans at the top of the league.

Stanford is now 15-2 overall, 8-0 in the Pac-12. Second-place Utah, which won at Arizona State, is 16-3, 7-1, while USC is 14-5, 6-2.

Stanford hit .318, led by Merete Lutz, who had 15 kills, hit .609, and had five blocks.

“It feels good. It’s definitely not an easy road in the Pac-12, we’ve definitely had some matches where we’ve really been pushed, but that we’ve managed to come out with a win in all those matches that we’ve struggled is really awesome, and it definitely hasn’t gone like that in previous years that I’ve played here,” Lutz said.

“To be able to fight through adversity and still get the W is really awesome.”

Kathryn Plummer had 13 kills, but hit .073, and Audriana Fitzmorris had 11 kills, hit .363 and had eight blocks. Tami Alade added nine kills and hit .538.

“I think Merete was great in our match. And I think that Fitzmorris and Tami did a nice job with a very difficult team to play against in scheme,” first-year Stanford coach Kevin Hambly said. “They run it really fast, with a bunch of different tempos, it was difficult for us to get a bead on them. I thought they really fought through.

“Merete really carried us at the end. Plummer struggled a little bit, and she had to work through some things, it was good, we needed Merete to do that to win the match.

“They’re very calm, they’re very relaxed in big moments, they love to compete and they love to play, and they get along great, it’s a really easy culture to be around as far as communicating with the players. As human beings, they’re great human beings, and it’s a lot of fun being around them.”

No. 13 Utah grinded to a tough road victory at ASU 24-26, 25-17, 31-29, 28-26 that left the home team 10-10, 0-8.

Carly Trueman led the Utes with 20 kills as her team won its fifth Pac-12 match in a row, its longest streak since joining the league. Trueman hit .368 and had four blocks, three of them solo. Adora Anae had 12 kills and seven digs and Berkeley Oblad had 11 kills, hit .346 and had five blocks, two solo.

Oluoma Okara led ASU wth 14 kills and 11 digs, while Ivana Jeremic added 11 kills and 10 digs.

Frankie Shebby and Alexa Smith had 25 kills apiece as Colorado (14-5, 4-4) won at Arizona 28-30, 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10, leaving the Wildcats 8-9, 2-6.

Shebby hit .357 and had 15 digs and three blocks, two solo, and Smith hit .339 and 18 digs and solo block.

Elizabeth Shelton led Arizona with 16 kills while hitting .324. Kendra Dahlke had 14 kills and 13 digs.

And Oregon State followed up its upset win at Washington with a 25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 14-25, 15-12 victory at Washington State. OSU is 13-7, 3-5, while WSU is 13-7, 2-6.

Mary-Kate Marshall led the Beavers with 21 kills and 11 digs. Maddie Goings had 13 kills and 11 digs.

“We got two on the road. That’s a big deal,” OSU coach Mark Bernard said. “We are coming up on the last week of the first half of conference play. We’ve put ourselves in a much better place. This win really validates our win Friday night. This boosts their belief and confidence in ourselves. We aren’t a fluke.”

Taylor Mims had 25 kills, 18 digs and eight blocks, two solo, for Washington State.

Gophers top Iowa: Minnesota beat the visiting Hawkeyes 25-23, 25-18, 25-15 and are 17-2 overall, 6-2 in the Big Ten, while Iowa dropped to 14-7, 3-5.

Alexis Hart led with 16 kills while hitting .412 to go with four blocks and five digs. Stephanie Samedy had 11 kills, four digs and four blocks, one solo, and Regan Pittman had 10 kills, hit .471 and and had three blocks, one solo. Molly Lohman had nine kills, hit .412 and had nine blocks, one solo.

Iowa hit .139. Claire Sheehan and Jess Janota led with nine kills each.

NC State’s Kassie Kasper sends one back against Virginia Tech/NC State photo

Pitt, NC State, Louisville stay atop ACC: After all three won Sunday, Pittsburgh (15-4, 8-0) and NC State (13-6, 8-0) stayed tied for first and Louisville (13-5, 7-1) remained a game back. Syracuse and North Carolina are tied for fourth at 6-2.

Pitt won at Boston College (5-13, 2-6) 25-17, 25-22, 25-18 as Stephanie Williams had 10 kills, hit .381 and had nine digs and a solo block. Amaka Chukwujedwu led BC with 11 kills in 13 errorless swings to hit .846.

NC State beat visiting Virginia Tech (7-12, 1-7) 24-26, 25-16, 25-20, 25-21 as Bree Bailey had 17 kills, hit .429 and had three blocks and three digs. Teni Sopitan had 16 kills, hit .438 and had four blocks and two digs. Jalia Tolbert had 22 kills, three blocks and hit .350 for VT.

Louisville swept Georgia Tech (8-11, 3-5) 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 as Melanie McHenry had 14 kills, an ace and three blocks.

Also in the ACC on Sunday, Miami swept Wake Forest, Notre Dame did the same to Clemson and Florida State won in four at Duke.

Chris Lamb won his 400th match Sunday as the coach at Wichita State

400 for WSU’s Lamb: Wichita State beat visiting Tulsa 26-24, 25-11, 25-12 as setter Emily Hiebert had 33 assists, seven kills, five digs and six blocks. Tabitha Brown had 10 kills — seven in the third set — and 10 digs and Abbie Lehman had 10 kills and seven blocks.

But when it was over the spotlight was on Lamb, who is in his 18th year at Wichita State. Previously, he and WSU more or less owned the Missouri Valley and now that the Shockers have moved to the American Athletic Conference, they’re in first place there where they stand 8-0 in the league and 16-3 overall. Lamb is 400-259 as WSU’s head coach.

Also in the AAC, SMU, whose only loss in the league was to Wichita State, beat Memphis. The 25-16, 25-13, 25-14 sweep left the Mustangs a game back at 13-6, 7-1.

Around the nation: No. 17 Creighton beat visiting Xavier 25-14, 25-19, 25-15 to improve to 14-5, 7-1 in the Big East as Marysa Wilkinson had 14 kills and hit .700 and Jaali Winters had 14 kills and hit .433. Marquette kept its one-game lead on Creighton in the league with a sweep at Georgetown. Marquette (14-6, 8-1) got 15 kills from Allie Barber, who hit .406 …

Western Kentucky won its 22nd set in a row by beating Florida International 25-11, 25-14, 25-18. WKU is 21-2, 7-0 in Conference USA. Rachel Anderson had 12 kills and hit .409 for the Hilltoppers, who hit .326 as team. North Texas (19-2, 6-1) kept pace with a four-set win at Florida Atlantic as Barbara Teakell had 20 kills, 12 digs and four blocks 

Northeastern (15-6, 8-0) and College of Charleston (18-4, 7-1) are getting some distance at the top of the Colonial standings. Northeastern won at Hofstra as Amy Underdown had 17 kills and 13 digs, while Charleston won at William & Mary as Devon Rachel had 16 kills …

Fairfield (14-6, 9-0) won its 10th in a row with a Metro Atlantic sweep at Siena … Austin Peay swept Jacksonville State and is 19-4, 7-1 atop the Ohio Valley as Brooke Moore had 12 kills, hit .545 and and had two blocks and 11 digs … Oral Roberts beat Omaha and is 9-10 overall and at 6-1 a game up on Denver, North Dakota State and South Dakota, all 5-2 in the Summit League … Arkansas State broke Louisiana’s run in the Sun Belt Conference, beating the Ragin’ Cajuns 25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22. ASU is 13-9, 6-3, while Louisiana is 14-8, 7-1, now a game back of South Alabama in the standings.

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