Pittsburgh is alone atop the ACC, but the Panthers didn’t play Wednesday night. NC State did and lost to UNC to fall out of the top spot with its first league loss.
In the Big Ten, No. 5 Minnesota swept Ohio State, ninth-ranked Wisconsin did the same to Maryland and No. 10 Michigan State beat Michigan. Wisconsin’s victory was also coach Kelly Sheffield’s career win No. 400.
The Big 12 had a big night as No. 11 Kansas beat No. 24 Baylor, third-ranked Texas swept Texas Tech and No. 22 Iowa State beat West Virginia.
There was one match in the Pac-12 and Oregon State kept things going with a sweep of Arizona.
And in the SEC, LSU continued to win, maintaining its hold on third place with a five-set victory over Ole Miss, 19-17 in the fifth.
The recaps follow, but first a look at Thursday’s schedule.
The only power-five-conference match has No. 14 Washington at No. 2 Stanford. Defending national-champion Stanford is 15-2 overall, 8-0 in the Pac-12. Defending league-champion Washington is 15-4 and tied with No. 13 UCLA for fourth place at 5-3. A loss to Stanford would all but kill Washington’s chances of winning the Pac-12.
Both ranked West Coast Conference teams play Thursday. No. 8 BYU goes to Pepperdine, while No. 18 San Diego plays at Loyola Marymount.
In the Mountain West, No. 20 Colorado State (click here for our video chat with coach Tom Hilbert) plays at UNLV. The Rams are 18-2 overall, 8-0 in the league. Second-place Wyoming (11-9, 6-2), which has won five conference matches in a row, plays at New Mexico.
The respective division leaders in the Big Sky face off as Sacramento State (17-7, 8-0), which tops the South, plays at Idaho (12-7, 7-1), which is first in the North.
Ohio Valley Conference leader Austin Peay (19-4, 7-1) is home for Belmont (11-9, 6-2), which is tied with SIUE for second place. It’s the only match in the league on Thursday.
Southland Conference leader Sam Houston State (11-9, 7-0) is idle, but second-place Stephen F. Austin (19-5, 7-1) plays host to McNeese State.
And in the Western Athletic Conference, CSU Bakersfield (12-10, 5-2) stands a game back of idle UT Rio Grande Valley and tied with idle NM State as it plays host to UMKC.
As always, you find links to every match that’s being shown on TV or being streamed at the daily VolleyballMag.com listings.
Tar Heels top NC State: Injury-plagued North Carolina has slowly gotten itself back in the mix. The Tar Heels are 10-7, 7-2 after winning their fifth in a row, a 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22 victory over visiting NC State, which was unbeaten in the ACC.
Idle Pittsburgh (15-4, 8-0) is alone at the top. NC State is second at 13-7, 8-1, idle Louisville is third at 13-5, 7-1 and North Carolina is a half-game ahead of idle Syracuse in fourth.
Taylor Leath led UNC with 25 kills while hitting .442. She also had and ace, five digs and three blocks. Her team, which hit .304, got eight kills apiece from two of the other three Taylors on the team, Taylor Borup and Taylor Fricano.
“I’ll just say this is a really great match by this team,” UNC coach Joe Sagula said. “To beat a team that was undefeated), to hold State to .148 hitting — that’s the lowest they’ve hit all year. They were playing really good volleyball. They’re on a roll. We played a great first set. That was very rewarding, to see us get off to a good start.”
Bree Bailey led NC State with 12 kills and Julia Brown and Teni Sopitan had 11 each. Kaitlyn Kearney added six kills to five blocks, one solo, to become the school’s all-time blocks leader. “We’re disappointed,” NC State coach coach Linda Hampton-Keith said. “It was an interesting match from the standpoint that the match was won and lost at the service line with serve-receive. We talk about winning the serve-receive battle all the time and I think that’s where this match was won.
“When things were going well for either team it was because they were passing well and able to run their offense and when things weren’t going well, it was because they weren’t passing well and able to run their offense. We have to be cleaner for longer periods on the road to win.”
Minnesota, Wisconsin, MSU win in B1G: Minnesota made short work of Ohio State 25-15, 25-20, 25-18 to improve to 18-2 overall, 7-2 in the Big Ten. Penn State and Nebraska, both off, lead the league at 7-1. Minnesota is tied with Michigan State (14-4, 7-2) for third, while idle Illinois is a half-game back.
Stephanie Samedy led visiting Minnesota with 16 kills and 12 digs. She had two blocks, one solo. Alexis Hart had 11 kills and five digs.
Ohio State is 11-9, 4-5. Ashley Wenz led with 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks. Luisa Schirmer had nine kills.
Wisconsin won at Maryland 25-16, 25-20, 25-19. The Badgers are 14-4, 5-4, while Maryland is 14-7, 3-6.
Wisconsin freshman middle Dana Rettke led with 14 kills while hitting .632. She had four blocks. Lauryn Gillis, Kelli Bates and Tionna Williams had eight kills each. Bates had 20 digs.
And Michigan State beat visiting Michigan 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 25-16. The Spartans had a balanced attack as they hit .310. Autumn Bailey led with 16 kills and 10 digs. Alyssa Garvelink had 14 kills, hit .560 and had seven blocks. Brooke Kranda had 13 kills, three aces and three blocks, and Holly Toliver had 11 kills and 10 digs.
Michigan (13-8, 3-6) got 24 kills from Carly Skjodt, who hit .370 as she had 54 attacks. She also had an ace, 10 digs and two blocks. Claire Kieffer-Wright had 13 kills, an ace, three digs and three blocks, one solo.
Texas, KU, ISU win in Big 12: The Longhorns (15-2, 7-0 Big 12) had their hands full as they won a deuce first set but then cruised 27-25, 25-12, 25-18 at Texas Tech (13-7, 2-5).
Micaya White had 15 kills, hit .424, and had two aces, seven digs and two blocks for Texas, which also got 11 kills apiece from Chiaka Ogbogu and Ebony Nwanebu. Ogbogu, who had 13 errorless swings and hit .846, had seven blocks, one solo and Nwanebu, who hit .435, had four blocks.
The Red Raiders, who led 24-20 in the first set, got eight kills each from Sarah Redding and Allison White.
Kansas went to Baylor and manhandled the Bears 25-14, 25-22, 25-14 as Madison Rigdon had 18 kills and hit .400. It left KU 17-3, 6-1, while Baylor dropped to 16-5, 6-2.
Rigdon also had four digs and two blocks. Jada Burse had 11 kills, two digs and three blocks and Zoe Hill had eight kills in 11 errorless swings and had seven blocks, one solo.
“This was a great opportunity for us tonight,” Kansas coach Ray Bechard said. “To control the momentum on the road against a ranked opponent by the way we defended was crucial.
“We had a week since a very, very disappointing loss to No. 5 Texas. You never know how your team is going to respond after a match like that. It was evident from the get-go that we were up to the challenge tonight.”
Baylor’s nine-match home win streak and four-match streak overall ended as the Bears hit .088. Aniah Philo led with nine kills and 12 digs. Katie Staiger added eight kills, but hit minus .034.
“I’m absolutely disappointed. We are so much better than what we did,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “Kansas is very, very sharp, so they didn’t give away anything or make it easy for us. It just wasn’t Baylor volleyball tonight.”
Also in the Big 12, TCU had its largest crowd of the season, 2,248, but it didn’t help as visiting Oklahoma (5-15, 2-5) broke a tie for last in the league with a 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 victory. It left TCU 9-10, 1-6).
Madison Drescher, Morgan Miller and Alyssa Enneking had 11 kills each for Oklahoma. Allye Beth Deaton led TCU with 15 kills.
Oregon State keeps it going: The Beavers (14-7, 4-5 Pac-12) swept visiting Arizona 25-11, 25-15, 25-18.
Mary-Kate Marshall led Oregon State with 11 kills while hitting .375. She had two aces, three blocks — one solo — and six digs. Haylie Bennett added nine kills and hit .421 and had three blocks.
Arizona (8-10, 2-7) hit .054. Kendra Dahlke led with six kills.
LSU, South Carolina win in SEC: The Tigers maintained their hold on third place behind Kentucky and Florida with a 25-22, 25-27, 25-23, 28-30, 19-17 win over visiting Ole Miss.
LSU (16-4, 7-2), which finished 9-20, 4-14 last year, has won five in a row and six of seven. A big reason why is freshman Taylor Bannister, who led again with 21 kills. She had six blocks.
Gina Tillis had 15 kills and 23 digs and Olivia Beyer added 10 kills and nine blocks, two solo. Toni Rodriguez added 10 kills.
“We are really tired,” said LSU coach Fran Flory, whose team had three match points in the fourth but couldn’t close out. “We had a bunch of matches stacked up back-to-back-to-back. We have to rest to get better.
“Thankfully fall break is here and we will actually get some time off. So we will rest and recover. I am super proud of the performance of these kids. They were not going to be denied and they weren’t.”
Ole Miss (13-9, 4-5) got 19 kills from Lexi Thompson, who had 12 digs and three blocks, one solo. Kate Gibson had 18 kills, an ace, 17 digs and three blocks. And Emily Stroup had 15 kills, an ace, 21 digs and three blocks, one solo.
Also in the SEC, South Carolina (10-9, 3-4) won at Auburn (11-7, 4-5) 25-19, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19 as the Mikaylas had 13 kills each. Mikayla Shields had nine digs and Mikayla Robinson hit .385 and had five blocks, one solo.
Breanna McIlroy and Gwyn Jones had 13 kills apiece for Auburn.
Paladins ride on: Furman is 9-0 and holds a big lead in the Southern Conference. The Paladins (15-7) beat Wofford 25-17, 25-17, 25-22. Nicole Mack had 18 kills, hit .333 and had nine digs. Jamila Johnson added 14 kills and hit .542 to go with an ace and 19 digs.