There was only one ranked team in action Thursday and No. 14 Colorado State had to pull out all the stops at Boise State to avoid the Mountain West upset, closing the fifth set with a 6-1 run to win its 16th match in a row.
Stephen F. Austin improved to 19-1 with a Southland Conference victory over Nicholls State, and Megan Rice had 24 kills, hit .306, and had five digs and six blocks in Loyola Marymount’s five-set WCC win over Saint Mary’s.
The recaps follow, but first a look at a busy Friday schedule in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball.
Start with the Big Ten, where No. 6 Wisconsin — the only team left unbeaten in league play at 6-0 — plays host to No. 17 Illinois. Eighth-ranked Penn State goes to Michigan, No. 7 Minnesota is home for Northwestern and Rutgers goes to Michigan State.
Second-ranked Stanford is back in action as it plays host to Colorado in the Pac-12 where Stanford, Cal and Utah are tied for the lead at 5-1 and Washington, Washington State and UCLA are a game back at 4-2.
Tenth-ranked Washington is home for Arizona State and there’s a big one in Berkeley as No. 18 Utah goes to No. 15 Cal. No. 21 Washington State is home for Arizona, and UCLA plays at Oregon, while USC goes to Oregon State.
There are four matches in the SEC, but No. 13 Florida and No. 16 Kentucky are idle as No. 25 Missouri goes to Auburn. Also, Texas A&M is at Mississippi State and Alabama plays at LSU.
League-leader Louisville (7-0) is off, but No. 3 Pittsburgh (6-0) has an ACC home match against North Carolina (4-2). Two other teams trying to keep pace go on the road as Notre Dame (6-1) is at Virginia Tech (0-6) and Boston College (5-1) goes to Florida State (4-2), which fell out of the rankings this week is now two games back of Louisville in the loss column. Also in the ACC, Duke is at Clemson, Wake Forest goes to Georgia Tech and Syracuse plays at Miami.
There is only one match in the West Coast Conference, but it’s one of the two highlighted battles of the season between the league’s two perennial powers as San Diego goes to No. 9 BYU.
In the Big East, both ranked teams are in action as No. 11 Creighton is home for Butler and No. 12 Marquette goes to Villanova. Also, DePaul goes to Georgetown and Xavier is at Providence.
The Big 12 has the night off, but the three matches in the Big West include No. 22 Hawai’i home for UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State and UC Irvine at CSUN.
The two ranked teams in Conference USA play as No. 19 Rice goes to Marshall, and Western Kentucky, in at No. 24 in this week’s AVCA Poll, is at Middle Tennessee.
Among the other matches, Dayton tries to go 7-0 in the Atlantic 10 when it plays at Fordham; Towson, riding high at 16-2, tries to do the same in the Colonial when it entertains UNCW; the Horizon League leaders are in action as Milwaukee (18-2, 5-1) is home for IUPUI and Wright State (16-2, 5-1) goes to Green Bay; Akron, leading the MAC East, is home for NIU, while Central Michigan, the only team unbeaten in conference play and atop the West, goes to Bowling Green; Loyola, atop the Missouri Valley at 6-0, plays at Illinois State, while UNI, a game back in the loss column, is home for Drake; and the big battle looms large in the Southern Conference as ETSU (16-3, 5-0) plays at Samford (12-4, 6-0).
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Mountain West: Colorado State is 17-1 and 7-0 in the Mountain West after getting out of Boise State (12-6, 4-3) with a 21-25, 25-16, 25-17, 23-25, 15-8 victory.
Kirstie Hillyer and Breana Runnels had 17 kills apiece for Colorado State, featured here earlier this week. Hillyer hit .333 and had an ace, six blocks and a dig, while Runnels had an ace, three blocks and 15 digs. Paulina Hougard-Jensen had 12 kills, hit .308, and had seven blocks and a dig. Setter Katie Oleksak had 59 assists, five blocks and 13 digs. Sasha Colombo and Jessica Jackson had 10 kills and four blocks each. Their team hit just .184.
Boise State stayed in the match despite hitting .045 but had 18 blocks. Janell Walley led with nine kills, seven blocks and 16 digs. Jessica Donahue had five kills and seven blocks, one solo.
Wyoming (11-7, 6-1) kept pace with a 25-13, 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-13 win at Utah State (2-17, 2-5) as KC McMahon had 18 kills, two blocks and three digs. Halie McArdle had 15 kills, an ace and 11 digs. Jackie McBride and Faith Waitsman had nine kills each and Waitsman had six blocks, one solo. Mackenzie Coates added three kills, 54 assists, four aces, two blocks and four digs. Hailey Cuff had 17 kills and Izzie Belnap and Whitney Solosbal 13 each for Utah State … Air Force (5-12, 2-3) won at Nevada (14-4, 4-2) in four behind 19 kills by Denise Ssozi, who had six assists, 11 digs and two blocks, one solo … UNLV (9-9, 5-2) won its fifth match in a row with a sweep at San Jose State (6-12, 1-6). Mariena Hayden had 15 kills, hit .306, and had two assists, four aces and 13 digs … And Air Force (6-13, 3-4) won in four against visiting Fresno State (11-9, 4-4) as Desiree Sukhov had 15 kills, two aces, two blocks and two digs. Bailey Keith had 18 kills for Air Force as she hit .485.
WCC: Loyola Marymount (11-8, 3-4) won at Saint Mary’s (6-11, 3-4) 24-26, 25-19, 23-25, 25-9, 15-12 after pulling away from an 11-11 tie in the fifth. In addition to Megan Rice’s 24 kills and impressive line, Savannah Slattery had 19 kills, an ace, a block and eight digs. Tess Reid had three kills in six errorless attempts, 54 assists, two aces, four blocks and 12 digs. Ashley Breyan and Elena Baka had 13 kills each for Saint Mary’s, and Alex O’Sullivan had 11 kills, hit .381, and had eight blocks …
Pepperdine (10-8, 6-1) stayed a game back of BYU and San Diego with a 15-25, 25-17, 25-13, 25-17 win at Pacific (11-8, 3-4). Rachel Ahrens led the Waves with 14 kills and hit .321. She had four blocks, one solo. Tarah Wylie had 11 kills, hit .409, and had eight kills, one solo, and Hannah Frohling had 10 kills, an assist, an ace and 10 digs. Riley Patterson had 18 kills for Pacific and six digs and three blocks …
Santa Clara (13-7, 3-4) swept Gonzaga (6-13, 0-7) as Julie Sangiacomo had 11 kills, 11 digs and two blocks, and Portland (10-8, 2-5) extended San Francisco’s losing streak to 11 with a 25-14, 18-25, 25-22, 16-25, 16-14 victory over the Dons (4-14, 0-7). Liz Reich led Portland with 17 kills and two blocks and Shayla Hoeft added 11 kills and four blocks, one solo.
San Francisco had match point at 14-13, but two attack errors gave Portland the lead and Jayde Harris ended it with a kill. Valeria Alegrias Cambindo led USF with 22 kills, three block and seven digs, Emily Zineger had 17 kills and Kathya Garcia had 15 kills, two assists, an ace, two blocks and 22 digs.
Big Sky: Northern Colorado improved to 13-6, 7-0 and built its lead to two games with a 25-16, 25-19, 19-25, 25-22 win over Sacramento State (10-11, 5-3). Taylor Muff led UNC with 15 kills, two aces 10 digs and three blocks, two solo. Neither team was sharp on offense as Northern Colorado hit .201 and the Hornets .138. Sarah Davis, however, led Sacramento State with 20 kills and hit .304 and had an ace, six digs and two blocks, one solo …
Southern Utah (11-8, 5-2) won at Eastern Washington (3-16, 2-4) 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-7 as Stacey Hone had 16 kills, hit .324, and had two assists, a dig and two blocks, one solo. Shannon Webb had 13 kills and 11 digs. Ashlyn Blotzer had 17 kills and hit .448 for EWU, which hit .326. She aded an assist, an ace, two blocks and two digs. Makenna Davis had 13 kills and hit .357 and Ehu Keala had 23 kills and five blocks … Idaho State (6-13, 3-4) swept at Montana (2-16, 1-6) as Brooke Pehrsen and Taylor Meeks had 10 kills each. Meeks had six blocks … Idaho (9-10, 3-4) beat Northern Arizona (10-9, 4-3) in four as Kyra Palmbush had 17 kills, hit .484, and had four blocks … And Weber State (12-6, 5-2) swept Montana State (8-8, 3-4). Megan Gneiting had 18 kills, hit .324, and had an assist, four blocks and six digs. Dani Nay added 15 kills, hit .345, and had an ace, two blocks and five digs, and Rylin Roberts had 12 kills and 14 digs. Ashlyn Power had two kills in two tries, 48 assists, and 15 digs.
WAC: NM State (16-3, 6-1) built its lead atop the league with a 25-21, 25-18, 13-25, 25-18 win at Kansas City (9-8, 5-2). Savannah Davison led with 16 kills, hit .350, and had an assist, an ace, a solo block and 14 digs. Cat Kelly added 14 kills, two assists, a block and 10 digs, and Megan Hart had 11 kills and hit .455 to go with three blocks, one solo. Alicia Harrington led UMKC with 16 kills, an assist, and 11 digs …
Grand Canyon (15-4, 5-2) won 25-18, 23-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-13 at CSU Bakersfield (7-12, 2-5) to improve to 4-1 in five-set matches. Kaira Moss led with 20 kills, hit .385, and had four digs and six blocks, one solo. Melody Horton had 11 kills, 14 digs and three blocks, one solo, and Hannah Eskes had 10 kills with no errors in 16 swings to hit .625 and added three blocks and a dig. Milica Vukobrat led CSU Bakersfield with 15 kills, 12 digs, two assists, two aces and five blocks, two solo … And UT Rio Grande Valley (10-11, 4-3) swept Chicago State (4-17, 3-4) as Sarah Cruz and Victoire Nama had 10 kills each.
Southland Conference: Stephen F. Austin (19-1, 7-0) keeps on rolling, this time a sweep of visiting Nicholls State (10-8, 4-3) for its 11th win in a row. Corin Evans led a balanced attack — eight players had kills — with 10 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and nine digs. Kate Hoerdemann had 13 kills for Nicholls State …
Sam Houston (10-9, 6-1) took its first league loss with a four-set loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (11-9, 4-3). Chloe Simon led TAMUCC with 16 kills and hit .364 and had four assists, 10 digs and two blocks. Breanne Chausse had 18 kills and hit .378 for SHSU and had two digs and three blocks …
Houston Baptist (12-10, 4-3) swept at Incarnate Word (4-17, 0-7). Mikayla Vivens had 14 kills and hit .355 … Southeastern Louisiana (10-11, 4-3) swept at Abilene Christian (4-13, 2-5) as Karlee Wilkerson, Caroline Golden and Jolie Hidalgo had 12 kills each and Jodi Edo and Sam Gomez had 11 each … And Central Arkansas (9-12, 3-5) swept Lamar (6-11, 1-6). Abbie Harry had 14 kills for UCA.
Also: Arkansas-Pine Bluff won a five-set SWAC match at Grambling as Zyaire Garrett had 15 kills, hit .345, had an assist, four aces, a block and nine digs … Also in the SWAC Jackson State swept at Mississippi Valley …
In the Northeast Conference league-leader Robert Morris (17-3, 7-0) crushed Merrimack (1-13, 0-7) as Emma Granger had 14 kills, hit .370, and had three aces, three digs and three blocks, one solo … and in the Sun Belt, Louisiana-Monroe (10-12,4-3) won in five at Georgia Southern (6-14, 4-3). Ina Gosen led ULM with 15 kills, hitting .355, and had an ace, four digs and six blocks. Carly Turner had 16 kills for Georgia Southern.