NCAA volleyball: UNI wins battle for top of MVC, AVCA poll, RPI, POWs

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NCAA volleyball 10/22/2019-Hannah Flowers-Memphis volleyball
Hannah Flowers of Memphis is the American Athletic Conference offensive POW/Memphis photo

Northern Iowa is alone atop the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Panthers broke a tie for the lead Monday night by winning at Loyola, one of just six matches on the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule.

The recaps follow, but first a look at Tuesday’s schedule before examining the newest AVCA top 25, the NCAA RPI, and the players of the week around the nation.

There are two Southland Conference matches as New Orleans goes to Abilene Christian and Lamar plays at McNeese.

In the Summit League, Purdue Fort Wayne goes to Western Illinois, and Denver plays at North Dakota.

Red-hot Lipscomb goes for five in a row in the ASUN when it plays host to North Alabama.

Also Tuesday, UNCW plays a Colonial match at College of Charleston, there’s a Northeast Conference match between Merrimack and Sacred Heart, and in the Patriot League Loyola Maryland goes to American.

There are a handful of non-conference matchups.

It’s a big night for MEAC teams going out of conference. FGCU, leading the ASUN with Kennesaw State, plays a non-conference match against Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC. Another MEAC team, South Carolina State, is home for the Big South’s UNC Asheville. And N.C. Central of the MEAC goes to Charlotte of Conference USA. Another C-USA team, Middle Tennessee, plays UT Martin of the Ohio Valley. The America East’s Albany is at Siena of the Metro Atlantic.

St. Francis Brooklyn of the Northeast Conference goes to Saint Peters of the Metro Atlantic

Want to watch a match? We’ve got you covered. 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.

AVCA top 25: If nothing else, the voters remained consistent as teams 1 through 8 stayed the same with little major movement in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Those top eight remain Baylor (61 votes), Stanford (2), Pittsburgh (1), Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Penn State. 

Washington moved up one to No. 9 and Creighton did the same to No. 10. BYU, which lost to San Diego in West Coast Conference play, dropped three spots to No. 12, while San Diego made it back in at No. 22. Louisville, which was No. 23, fell out.

Teams 13 through 20 stayed the same.

NCAA RPI: Here’s the top 10, which looks somewhat like the poll, with Baylor No. 1 and Stanford No. 2. Then comes Wisconsin, Texas, Nebraska, Washington, Pittsburgh, Kentucky (No. 16 AVCA), Penn State and Hawai’i (No. 21 AVCA).

Three teams are not ranked but in the top 25 of the RPI are Louisville at 18th, UCLA at No. 24, and Notre Dame at No. 25. Among the RPI listings that get your attention are Illinois at No. 32 and Washington State at No. 44.

Having the best records in the country doesn’t mean much, either. Western Kentucky (21-1) of Conference USA is No. 31, Milwaukee (20-2) of the Horizon is No. 54, and Stephen F. Austin (20-1) of the Southland is No. 41. And Robert Morris (19-3) of the Northeast comes in at No. 175.

Loyola’s Addie Barnes hits against UNI’s Inga Rotto/Loyola photo

Tuesday’s results: Northern Iowa improved to 14-9 overall and 8-1 in the Missouri Valley with its 25-16, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21 victory at Loyola (14-8, 7-2).

Karlie Taylor led with 20 kills and had an ace, 12 digs and three blocks, one solo. Kaylissa Arndorfer and Kate Busswitz had nine kills each and Inga Rotto eight. Arndorfer had three aces, theee digs and three blocks, Busswitz had two blocks and two digs and Rotto hit .353 and had four blocks and two digs. Setter Rachel Koop had four kills in five errorless attempts, 46 assists, an ace and six digs.

Loyola, which had been swept by UNI the last six times they played, hit .119. Addie Barnes led with 13 kills and had 13 digs and two blocks. Taylor Venuto and Quinn Spieker had 10 kills each …

Also in the Valley on Monday, Southern Illinois (11-12, 3-6) beat visiting Missouri State (5-18, 2-7) 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13, as Hannah Becker led with 19 kills. She hit .362 and had a dig and a block. Savannah Sheridan had 15 kills, a dig and three blocks, and Rachel McGuire had 10 kills, 20 assists, three aces, eight digs and three blocks. Amelia Flynn had 13 kills for Missouri State, which had five players with 11 or more kills … 

Cal Baptist (10-11, 4-4 Western Athletic) beat visiting CSU Bakersfield (7-12, 3-5) 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 10-25, 15-12. Cal Baptist, which hit .172, got 14 kills from Ellie Voss, who hit .375 and had three digs and six blocks, one solo. Christine Graf had 12 kills, two blocks and two digs, and Cassidy Dennison had 11 kills, a block and 16 digs. Natalie Zimmerer had four kills, 44 assists, an ace, five blocks and 12 digs. CSU Bakersfield had five players with 10 or more kills, led by Brooke Boiseau, who had 19, hit .395, and had two digs and four blocks. Hana Makonova had 11 kills, two aces, four digs and six blocks, one solo … 

Omaha (11-11, 4-4) evened its record with a Summit League sweep of visiting South Dakota State (5-12, 2-6) as Sadie Limback had 19 kills and hit .630 in the 25-17, 25-11, 25-13 victory.  Limback added two aces, four blocks and a dig. Isabella Sade had 10 kills and hit .444 and had a block and a dig. And Anna Blaschko had seven kills and hit .500 and added an ace, four blocks and a dig. SDSU hit .054 … 

In the Big Sky, Northern Arizona (12-9, 5-4) won 13-25, 25-15, 25-21, 25-23 at Southern Utah (11-10, 6-3). Sydney Lema led with 16 kills and had an assist, an ace, a block and 16 digs. Abby Akin hit .545 with 13 kills, an ace, three blocks and a dig, and Taylor Jacobsen had 11 kills, two aces, and 13 digs. Shannon Webb had 22 kills for Southern Utah as she hit .377 and had two assists and 16 digs. Stacey Hone added 16 kills and hit .314 and had a dig and three blocks … 

And in a non-conference match, George Washington of the Atlantic 10 (12-9) swept Norfolk State of the MEAC (1-16). Skylar Iott had 12 kills for GW and added an assist, an ace, six digs and two blocks.

The POWs: Clemson swept the ACC honors, with junior outside hitter Kaylin Korte being named player of the week and setter Mckenna Slavik the freshman of the week. Korte had 43 total kills, 12 digs, and five blocks in the Tigers two matches this week, including a 30-kill performance versus Duke. Slavik tallied 50 assists in that same match and had 11 digs for her fifth double-double …

Texas’ freshman Skylar Fields picked up double honors this week, taking home offensive and rookie of the week in the Big 12. Fields hit .522 in a sweep of West Virginia, collecting 13 kills, eight blocks, and a dig. Kansas State’s freshman libero Dru Kuck, the defensive POW, set a new career high and a new 2019 Big 12 single match record with 36 digs versus Oklahoma …

Madi Kubik is the top freshman and player in the Big Ten. The Nebraska outside averaged 4.57 kills per set, hitting .320, in wins over Purdue and Maryland. The defensive POW CC McGraw of Minnesota averaged 6.86 digs per set in the Gophers pair of wins last week, including a 32-dig performance versus Illinois. Penn State setter Gabby Blossom earned her first setter of the week honor after posting 12.14 assists per set and 2.29 digs per set in wins over Michigan and Michigan State …

Cal junior outside Mima Mirkovic is the Pac-12 offensive POW, while Shayne McPherson of Washington garnered the defensive award. Top freshman Iman Isanovic played a pivotal role in Arizona State’s upset of Washington State, contributing a career-high 20 kills in the match.

Texas A&M’s Hollann Hans continues to impress and is this week’s SEC offensive POW after averaging 6.66 points and 5.89 kills per set in wins over Ole Miss and Mississippi State. She tied her career-high with 32 kills versus Ole Miss and tied the A&M record for kills in a five-set match. Florida’s Allie Gregory and Kentucky’s Gabby Curry shared the defensive honor, and Kentucky’s Madison Lilley is the setter OTW. Lilly had 80 assists and led UK to a .417 hitting percentage in two matches. Freshman OTW is LSU’s Samarah Hill …

Around the nation: With all but three conferences reporting, here are highlights from the standouts of last week.

Memphis opposite Hannah Flowers scored on 14 of her 17 attacks against Temple on Sunday, earning her the American Athletic Conference offensive POW honor. Her .824 hitting percentage was the second-highest by any player in the conference so far this season. Houston’s Rachel Tullos is the defensive POW after setting a new conference record for blocks in a match with 17 in Sunday’s match versus Cincinnati.

Stetson setter and ASUN POW Emily DeStaffino had 45 assists in a sweep of North Alabama, a number that ranks 15th nationally for assists in a three-set match thi season. Her offense hit .440 for the week. Defensive POW Karlee Groover of Kennesaw State tied her career high with 32 digs versus Liberty …

America East setter OTW Megan Anderson had 88 assists (12.57 per set) in a 1-1 week for Hartford …

A pair of freshmen shared the rookie of the week honors in the Atlantic 10. Dayton’s Amelia Moore hit .714 with 10 kills against Rhode Island and averaged a .444 clip in two matches last week. Her fellow honoree Marisa Guista of La Salle had 24 kills, hit .340, and totaled 11 blocks in a 1-1 week for her squad. Guista hasn’t made a blocking error in six matches …

Tallulah Froley is the Big West POW after leading UCSB to an upset of Cal Poly. She stepped up in the absence of UCSB’s injured big hitter Lindsey Ruddins and finished the match with 16 kills, six of which came in the decisive fourth set …

Conference USA offensive POW Nicole Lennon averaged 6.83 kills per set as Rice swept Marshall and Louisiana Tech last week. Her teammate Lee Ann Cunningham is the defensive POW after collecting 34 digs for the week and dishing out 32 receptions without an error. Setter OTW Kaliegh Skopal of North Texas set a new season-high with 51 assists versus Marshall and then tallied 41 against Charlotte to average 13.14 per set …

Middles swept the Colonial Athletic Association honors with James Madison’s M’Kaela White the offensive POW, Towson’s Silvia Grassini defensive POW, and Towson’s Lydia Wier the top rookie …

The highlight of the MAC’s six awards this week was East setter OTW Emily Weigand of Akron who tallied 95 assists, 17 digs, eight aces, and eight kills in a pair of matches. The junior ranks first in the conference with 0.51 aces per set …

North Carolina A&T junior collected her sixth triple-double of the season with 12 kills, 26 assists, and 13 digs versus Maryland Eastern Shore and is the MEAC co-POW. She shares the honor with Morgan State’s Zoe McBride who had 51 kills over two matches …

Missouri Valley Conference defensive POW Gabriela Macedo of Evansville had 32 digs versus Missouri State, 48 for the week …

Robert Morris middle blocker Emma Granger had 15 kills, hitting .583, eight blocks, and two aces against Central Connecticut and is the Northeast Conference POW. She ranks fourth in the country with 0.61 aces per set and is just one ace away from setting a new program record for career aces …

Murray State setter Ashley McBee topped 30 assists in both of her team’s matches last week and is the Ohio Valley Conference Setter OTW …

Southern Conference POW Sharlissa De Jesus led the Citadel to a 3-0 week, recording double-doubles in each of the three wins …

Troy libero Lacey Jeffcoat is the Sun Belt defensive POW after averaging 6.14 digs per set for the week. Emily DeWalt of Texas State is the setter OTW. She averaged 12.43 assists per set, recording 38 in a sweep of Troy and 49 in a 3-1 victory over South Alabama. Freshman OTW Brigitta Petrenko totaled 72 assists, 11 digs, and five aces in two wins for Coastal Carolina …

Setter Anna Newsome is the West Coast Conference POW. The senior led San Diego to a five-set upset of BYU last week, posting 49 assists and 13 digs in the match, adding five kills with zero errors on nine attempts (.556) …

And in the Big East, the offensive POW is Marquette senior Allie Barber, who averaged 4.83 kills last week while hitting .500 in two victories.

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