NCAA volleyball: Penn State rallies against Illinois, UK, Georgia alone atop SEC

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NCAA volleyball 10/24/2019-Alli Stumler-Kentucky volleyball
Kentucky's Alli Stumler hits through the LSU block this past October/Hannah Philips, Kentucky athletics

Eighth-ranked Penn State was down 0-2 to visiting No. 17 Illinois on Wednesday night, but came back to win the Big Ten match in five.

No. 16 Kentucky and Georgia both won and are now tied for the lead atop the Southeastern Conference.

Of course, No. 4 Texas crushed top-ranked Baylor, and you can read all about it in our match story from Austin.

There were just 10 NCAA Division I volleyball matches on Wednesday’s schedule, and Thursday’s is light, too, but there’s a busy slate in the West Coast Conference.

That includes the top four teams playing each other. No. 12 BYU (16-3, 7-1), needing to bounce back from being upset by San Diego, goes to third-place Loyola Marymount (12-8, 6-2). League-leader San Diego (15-4, 8-0) goes to fourth-place Pepperdine (10-9, 6-2). Also, Santa Clara (14-7, 4-4) is at Saint Mary’s (7-11, 3-5) and San Francisco (5-14, 1-7) goes to Pacific (11-9, 3-5).

There is one Pac-12 match on tap as No. 24 Washington State (16-4, 5-3), sitting in fourth place, goes to Colorado (8-10, 0-8), which is still looking for its first league win. The Buffs came close their last time out, losing in five to Cal.

The lone Big 12 match has West Virginia (10-9, 1-5) at TCU (6-11, 1-6).

The Big West league leaders are in action as UC Santa Barbara (16-2, 6-1) goes to UC Davis (12-8, 4-3), and Cal Poly (13-6, 6-1) plays at UC Riverside (5-13, 1-6).

The five matches in the Mountain West include league leader and No. 14 Colorado State home for San Jose State. The Rams are 18-1 overall, 8-0 in the MW, and have won 17 in a row. San Jose is 7-12, 2-6. Also, second-place Wyoming (12-7, 7-1) is home for Nevada (14-6, 4-4), third-place UNLV (11-9, 7-2) is home for Air Force (7-3, 4-4), Boise State (12-7, 4-4) goes to San Diego State (9-10, 2-6), and Utah State (2-18, 2-6) is at Fresno State (11-9, 4-4).

Stephen F. Austin (20-1, 8-0) tries to keep its Southland Conference record intact as it goes for win 14 in a row at Central Arkansas. Also in the SLC, New Orleans is at UIW, Southeastern Louisiana plays at Houston Baptist, McNeese goes to Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian is at Northwestern State and Nicholls State is at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

WAC-leader NM State (17-3, 8-0), to be featured here later Thursday, is home for Utah Valley (8-12, 5-3). Grand Canyon (16-4, 6-2) is home for Chicago State (4-18, 0-8), and Kansas City (10-8, 6-2), tied for second with GCU, is at CSU Bakersfield (7-13, 2-6). Also, Seattle U goes to UT Rio Grande Valley.

Big Sky-leader Northern Colorado (14-6, 8-0) goes Northern Arizona (12-9, 5-4), while second-place Idaho (10-10, 6-2) is at Weber State (13-6, 4-4). Also, Montana (2-17, 1-7) is at Sacramento State (10-11, 5-3), Eastern Washington (3-17, 1-7) plays at Idaho State (6-14, 3-5), and Montana State (9-8, 5-3) is at Portland State (7-12, 3-5).

The lone MAC match has Buffalo (7-13, 3-5) at Eastern Michigan (7-13, 2-6), and in the Colonial, Elon (11-11, 5-3) is at Hofstra (12-8, 5-3).

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.

NCAA volleyball 10/24/2019-Penn State volleyball-Serena Gray
Penn State’s Serena Gray hits against Illinois/Mark Selders photo

Big Ten: Penn State (15-3, 8-1) won the hard way, coming away with an 18-25, 24-26, 25-15, 30-28, 15-13) over Illinois (9-9, 4-5). What’s more, the Nittany Lions faced match point four times in the fourth set.

Jonni Parker had 17 kills, an assist, three aces, four blocks and 15 digs for Penn State. Serena Gray also had 17 kills, hit .378, and had five digs and three blocks, one solo. Tori Gorrell had 14 kills, two solo blocks, an ace and a dig, and Kaitlyn Hord had 11 kills, an assist, and four blocks, one solo. Gabby Blossom had four kills in seven attempts, 58 assists and 13 digs. Kendall White had four aces and 21 digs.

Jacqueline Quade had 18 kills, an ace, a block and 15 digs for Illinois. Megan Cooney had 13 kills and five digs, Beth Prince had 11 kills and hit .348 to go with a block and a dig, and Ashlyn Fleming had 10 kills, an assist, an ace, three digs and five blocks … 

Also, Ohio State (11-10, 4-5) beat Rutgers (6-14, 0-9) 25-20, 25-18, 18-25, 25-20; and Maryland (12-9, 4-5) beat Northwestern (9-11, 0-8) 22-25, 25-22, 25-16, 20-25, 15-7.

Jenaisya Moore led Ohio State with 15 kills and two solo blocks. Elle Sandbothe had 11 kills, hit .300 and had four blocks … Erika Pritchard led Maryland with 18 kills and hit .302 to go with an ace, a block and six digs. Katie Myers had 16 kills with no errors in 25 attacks and hit .640 to go with 10 blocks, one solo. She added an assist, an ace, and three digs. Temi Thomas-Ailara had 17 kills, two aces and 10 digs for Northwestern and Alana Walker and Ella Grbac had 14 kills each.

NCAA volleyball 10/24/2019-Leah Edmond-Kentucky volleyball
Kentucky’s Leah Edmond takes an outside swing against LSU/Hannah Philips, Kentucky athletics

Around the nation: In the SEC, Kentucky (14-5, 7-1) swept LSU (10-9, 4-5) and Georgia (15-4, 7-1) beat Ole Miss (14-5,6-2) in four to forge a two-way tie atop the league, a half game ahead of idle Florida.

Kentucky won 25-17, 25-13, 25-21 as Leah Edmond led a balanced attack with 10 kills and five digs. Leah Meyer had nine kills with no errors in 12 attacks to hit .750 and had three digs and five blocks, one solo .. Georgia won 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15 as Ole Miss dropped its second straight after being the last team unbeaten in league play. Kacie Evans led the Bulldogs with 20 kills, an ace, 10 digs and five blocks, one solo. Rachel Ritchie added 13 kills and Kianna Young 12 as she hit .435 to go with four digs and two blocks. Ole Miss hit .097, led by Emily Stroup, who had 11 kills but hit .000 … 

Duke (9-13, 2-7) swept Wake Forest (11-9, 1-8) in the only ACC match Wednesday as Payton Schwantz had 10 kills and hit .350 to go with eight digs in the 25-14, 25-17, 25-22 victory … 

Also in the Big 12, Kansas State (7-12, 2-5) staged a big rally over visiting Kansas (6-11, 2-5) by coming away with a 31-33, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9 victory. Anna Dixon led with 21 kills and had an assist, three aces, two blocks and six digs. Brynn Carlson had 15 kills, two blocks and seven digs, and Peyton Williams had 13 kills, hit .379, and had two assists, two aces, six digs and four blocks, one solo. Gloria Mutiri had 12 kills, three blocks and three digs, and Megan Vernon had seven kills, hit .417, and had six blocks. Morgan Christon led Kansas with 18 kills and had two blocks and six digs, and Ashley Smith had 14 kills, three blocks and three digs. Rachel Langs added 11 kills, hit .318, and had an ace, four blocks and a dig. Setter Sara Nielsen had a kill, 46 assists, three aces, three blocks, and six digs … 

In the Southern Conference, Samford (14-5, 8-1) dealt Chattanooga (5-17, 0-9) its 12th loss in a row by coming back for a 23-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-17, 15-12 victory. Lauren Deaton led the Bulldogs with 22 kills and hit .339 to go with three blocks and 22 digs. Kelsi Hobbs had 14 kills, two blocks and 17 digs, and Sierra Rayzor had 16 kills, hit .500, and had four blocks and a dig. Gylian Finch had 16 kills for Chattanooga and Brianna Anderson had 14 … 

Towson of the Colonial was scheduled to play Coppin State of the MEAC, but the match was canceled. 

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