Upsets abound in Pac-12, Cal Poly, Nebraska win, Kentucky holds on

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Washington's Carly DeHoog attacks against USC's Dailey Krage, left) and Jordan Dunn/Stephen Burns photo

This was a Friday night of West Coast volleyball to remember.

In the Pac-12 alone, Oregon State upset No. 12 Utah, Washington State upset No. 13 UCLA, Colorado upset No. 15 Oregon, No. 14 Washington beat visiting No. 19 USC in five and Arizona State took a set off No. 2 Stanford.

No. 23 Cal Poly was down 2-1 before rallying to beat Hawai’i in five, 17-15 in the fifth, to hold onto first in the Big West.

There’s a tie again atop the West Coast Conference after No. 18 San Diego went into Provo and knocked off No. 8 BYU in four, avenging an earlier loss to the Cougars.

There almost was a three-way tie atop the SEC, but Kentucky rallied from being down 0-2 at LSU to win in five.

But the ACC? Suddenly Louisville leads the league by half a game after knocking off one of the league leaders, Pittsburgh, while the other, NC State, lost to Miami.

Nebraska is tied with Penn State for the lead in the Big Ten after beating Michigan State.

And No. 25 Northern Iowa was also an upset victim.

The recaps of an exciting night in NCAA women’s college volleyball follow, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule, which includes 95 matches but not many matches involving ranked or power-five conference teams.

The Big Ten has four matches on the slate as top-ranked Penn State goes to Illinois. No. 5 Minnesota goes to Rutgers, Michigan State plays host to Iowa, No. 9 Wisconsin entertains Northwestern and Indiana goes to Ohio State.

The Big 12 has No. 3 Texas playing host to West Virginia, while No. 11 Kansas goes to No. 22 Iowa State. Also, No. 24 Baylor goes to Oklahoma and Kansas State plays at Texas Tech.

There is one match in the Pac-12 when Colorado goes to Oregon State.

The ACC and SEC don’t play volleyball on football Saturdays.

No. 16 Creighton, which beat Providence in the Big East on Friday night, plays the Friars again on Saturday.

Remember that VolleyballMag.com has all the TV and streaming listings every day for every match that is being shown.

Washington’s Crissy Jones makes the dig against USC/Stephen Burns photo

OSU, WSU, CU get Pac-12 upsets: The race to win the regular-season is all but over, now that Stanford holds a 3.5-game lead over second place Utah. But whoever emerges from the pack for second, third and fourth will make for a compelling next nine matches.

Oregon State (16-7, 6-5 Pac-12) is in a three-way tie for sixth with Colorado and UCLA after beating visiting Utah (17-6, 8-4) 16-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 for its fifth win in a row.

Mary-Kate Marshall led the Beavers with 19 kills to go with 11 digs and four blocks, one solo. Kory Cheshire had 12 kills, hit .379 and had five blocks, two solo. Maddie Goings added 10 kills and nine digs and Maddy Gravley had nine kills and four blocks.

“We were not good in that first set,” OSU coach Mark Barnard said. “Our passing was poor and we couldn’t get into our offense, which really helped Utah. But once we settled in the second set and picked up our serve-receive game we were able to get into an offensive rhythm.”

Utah, which lost its third in a row, got 13 kills from Adora Anae, who had 13 digs. Berkeley Oblad had 10 kills and two blocks. Tawnee Luafalemana had eight kills and five blocks, one solo.

Washington State (12-10, 3-8) had lost five in a row before stunning UCLA 16-25, 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12.

Taylor Mims led with 21 kills despite hitting .096. She had 11 digs and five blocks. Casey Schoenlein had 15 kills and five blocks. Ella Lajos had five kills and 10 blocks, and Jocelyn Urias had five kills and 10 blocks, but two were solo as WSU out-blocked UCLA 21-10.

Alexis Dirrige had a career-high 37 digs, second most in WSU single-match history.

”I thought there were a lot of good things, especially blocking. I thought our block was extremely solid,” WSU coach Jen Greeny said.

“They are such a good defensive team that sometimes you can get frustrated offensively with them just digging lights out, but I think we just stayed in there, kept at it and we were able to do a really good job on the blocking.”

UCLA (13-7, 6-5) was led by Madeleine Gates, who had 16 kills and hit .317 to go with six blocks, one solo. Reily Buechler added 11 kills, but hit minus-.071. She had 15 digs and three blocks, two solo. Sarah Sponcil not only had 37 assists, but eight kills, 16 digs and three blocks.

Both teams hit .126.

Colorado beat Oregon for the second time this season, this one 25-17, 25-19, 17-25, 9-25, 15-10 in Eugene that left CU 16-6, 6-5 while the Ducks dropped to 14-6, 7-5.

Frankie Shebby led a balanced Colorado attack with 14 kills and eight digs. Anna Pfefferle added 13 kills, hit .478 and had six blocks. Alexa Smith had 11 kills and 14 digs.

“It was a really strange match,” CU coach Jesse Mahoney said. “We controlled the first two sets fairly easily, almost too easily because we went into the third set and lost a little bit of our discipline before getting blown out in set four. To the players’ credit, they were able to refocus and play a very high level set in set five. We scored the last six point of the match and are coming out of here with a win.”

Oregon’s Jolie Rasmussen continued her resurgence, leading with 14 kills, nine digs and four blocks, one solo. Ronika Stone had 13 kills and five blocks, while Willow Johnson, who had five blocks, one solo, and Lindsey Vander Weide, who had 11 digs, had 12 blocks each.

“When you get in a fifth set, anything can happen,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said. “We would have liked to have made a little more plays, but I thought Colorado played well in the fifth set. I think who we are was the third- and fourth- set team, but who we can be are the first- and second-set team. So we need to be more of who we are.”

USC has been living on the edge and was 3-0 in five-set matches this season, but Friday lost at Washington 25-19, 16-25, 22-25, 32-30, 15-12 to put both teams into a tie for third in the Pac-12, a half game behind Utah a half-game ahead of Oregon.

“Holy cow, we talk a lot about playing well enough to have a chance to make memories, and they’re going to remember that one for sure,” UW coach Keegan Cook said. “I’m just stoked for them that they’ve got this one to hang onto, winning a five set match against a really good USC team.”

Carly DeHoog led the Huskies (17-5, 7-4) with 19 kills, hit .514 and had three blocks and four digs. Courtney Schwan had 14 kills, two aces, two blocks and 12 digs, while Crissy Jones had 13 kills, five blocks and seven digs. Tia Scambray had 11 kills, four blocks, an ace and 22 digs. And Marion Hazelwood had 10 kills and seven blocks.

Brooke Botkin led USC (15-7, 7-4) with 20 kills, 10 digs and a solo block. Brittany Abercrombie had 19 kills, two blocks and three digs and Niki Withers had 16 kills and six digs to go with two blocks, one solo. Jordan Dunn added 10 kills while hitting .471. She had three blocks, one solo.

Stanford won at Arizona State 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 25-13 and stands 18-2, 11-0. Kathryn Plummer led with 23 kills while hitting .419. She had seven digs, an ace and a block. Audriana Fitzmorris and Merete Lutz had 11 kills each. Fitzmorris hit .476 and had six blocks, two solo, while Lutz hit .333 and had three blocks.

ASU (10-13, 0-11) got 19 kills from Oluoma Okaro, who hit .300.

Arizona (9-11, 3-8) crushed visiting Cal (12-10, 3-8) 25-16, 25-15, 25-13.

“It was a good game,” Arizona coach Dave Rubio said. “You never know when you’re going to win in this conference. It was certainly nice to come out on top.

“I still feel that the second half of the season is when we will play our best volleyball. Hopefully tonight is an indication of that. The unfortunate part is we play Stanford on Sunday, which will give us a good barometer of where we are at.”

Arizona’s .412 hitting percentage was its best ever in Pac-12 match since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2011. Meanwhile, UA limited Cal to an .025 hitting percentage, the lowest for a league opponent since Nov. 17, 2013, when Colorado hit minus-.018.

Katie Smoot led Arizona with eight kills while hitting .500 to go with four blocks. Candice Denny had seven kills, hit .417 and had five blocks, while Paige Whipple had seven kills, hit .500 and had an ace, two blocks and four digs.

Cal got nine of its 25 kills from Ashten Smith-Gooden.

Cal Poly gets past Hawai’i: The battle for the top of the Big West lasted nearly three hours before Cal Poly (21-2, 11-0) won out 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18, 17-15. The Mustangs won their season series with Hawai’i for the first time since 1985 and beat the Rainbow Wahine in San Luis Obispo for the first time.

Cal Poly, which won its 16th in a row, got 20 kills from Raeann Greisen, who hit .306 and had five blocks, one solo. Adlee Van Winden had 17 kills and hit .372 to go with an ace, a solo block and 18 digs. Torrey Van Winden had 14 kills despite hitting .073 and 10 digs. And Savannah Niemen had 11 kills, hit .579 and had three blocks and four digs.

Hawai’i, which led 14-12 in the fifth set, was led by Emily Maglio, who had 27 kills while hitting .381. She had five blocks, one solo. The Rainbow Wahine also got 14 kills apiece from Kendra Koelsch and McKenna Granato, who hit just .019 but had 19 digs.

San Diego thumps BYU: The Toreros (17-4, 10-1) avenged an earlier loss at home to BYU (21-2, 10-1) with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16 win in Provo that made for a tie atop the West Coast Conference.

Jayden Kennedy led USD, which won its seventh in a row, with 18 kills and hit .378. Roxie Wilbin added 15 kills, hit .323 and had 11 digs and four blocks. Addie Picha and Lauren Fuller had 11 kills each. Picha hit .476 and had nine blocks, two solo.

BYU, which had won 13 in a row, got 15 kills from Cosy Burnett, who hit .375 and had four blocks. Veronica Jones-Perry added 14 kills and had six digs and three blocks, while McKenna Miller had 13 kills, three digs and three blocks, one solo.

Both teams hold a one-game lead in the loss column over Gonzaga (13-9, 8-2), which swept San Francisco on Friday.

Kentucky rallies at LSU, Florida sweeps in SEC: Kentucky was overpowered by LSU in the first two sets, but came back to win 12-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-11 to hold onto sole possession of first place.

“Like I told the team in the locker room, you have to be in situations like that to learn and mature and get better,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Sure, we weren’t happy with the way we were playing and some players want to prepare better and be better at the beginning of matches, but it’s the first time we’ve down two-zero and come back and won in five. You’ve always got to believe and our team did a good job of that.”

UK has only two losses, getting swept at Creighton  and at Kansas in early September. This was the Wildcats’ 13th win a row since losing at Kansas.

Kentucky (18-2, 9-0) was led by Leah Edmond, who heated up as the match went on and had 14 kills despite hitting .065. She had three digs and five blocks. Four players — Kaz Brown, Darian Mack, Emily Franklin and Avery Skinner — had 10 kills apiece. Franklin had eight blocks and Brown four.

“We had a rough time starting,” Edmond said. “In the huddles we were talking about playing our game and not worrying about the other side and focusing and staying calm. That helped us get back into it in the third and fourth sets.”

Freshman setter Madison Lilley had two kills, two aces and nine digs to go with her 47 assists.

“I think this was good for us,” Lilley said. “Facing diverse situations makes us come together as a team. I think we needed it and it gave us motivation and showed us no matter what the result is against someone in the first match, the next match is always a fresh start.”

LSU (16-5, 7-3), which lost in three at UK a month ago, got a tremendous match from Gina Tillis, who had 15 kills and 17 digs. Toni Rodriguez had 12 kills and Anna Zweibel had 40 assists, six kills while hitting .545, 11 digs and four blocks.

“I thought we gave an incredible effort,” LSU coach Fran Flory said. “We had our chances and we just didn’t quite play clean enough at critical times to either catch them or expand the lead. When you jump on a team like that the first two sets you can’t let them off the mat. You have to give them credit. They rose to the occasion. They have a top-10 program and they have an incredibly talented lineup.

“We had the game plan to beat them, we had the situation to beat them, and we had the matchups to beat them. We were just a few plays short. I’m super proud of our team. I’m proud of their effort. I’m proud of Gina Tillis, most kills and digs in the match. I thought we were pretty balanced tonight.” 

Florida swept visiting South Carolina 25-17, 25-16, 25-17 to improve to 17-1, 9-1, as Shainah Joseph had 13 kills and hit .458. Carli Snyder added 10 kills, three aces, three blocks and nine digs.  Rhamat Alhassan had nine kills, hit .375 and had six blocks. USC (10-11, 3-6) hit .066.

Texas A&M (7-10, 4-6) had to go five to beat visiting Tennessee (10-9, 3-7) 25-17, 15-25, 25-21, 23-25, 16-14. A&M, which led 11-6 in the fifth before winning at the end, got 16 kills from Hollann Hans, who hit .097 on a night when her team hit .124. She added 12 digs. Teammate Kiara McGee had 15 kills, three blocks, one solo, and three digs. Amy Nettles had 34 digs.

Tennessee, which hit .099, got 10 kills apiece from Stephanie Buss and Madison Coulter, who had 21 digs.

And Alabama (16-8, 4-6) won at Mississippi State (9-16, 0-10) 25-21, 25-18, 25-21 as Ginger Perinar had 16 kills and hit .464. Khristian Carr had 14 kills for State.

Nebraska tops Spartans, Purdue sweeps in Big Ten: No. 7 Nebraska won at No. 10 Michigan State 25-16, 19-25, 25-17, 25-14 behind Mikaela Foecke, who had 14 kills and hit .394 while also getting an ace, five digs and three blocks, one solo. Her team improved to 17-4, 10-1 in the Big Ten, as Jazz Sweet added 11 kills, four digs and two blocks.

Michigan State (15-5, 8-3) got nine kills each from Autumn Bailey, who had eight digs, and Brooke Kranda, who had six digs and two blocks.

No. 17 Purdue routed Ohio State 25-16, 25-17, 25-22. The Boilermakers (17-5, 7-4) , who hit .322, got 10 kills apiece from Caitlyn Newton, who hit .350, and Sherridan Atkinson, who hit .471.

“I thought our team played very well tonight,” Purdue coach Dave Shondell said. ”Game one was probably the best set we’ve had all season. We hit .615, only one hitting error, served really tough and just set the tone for the match the way we played.” 

Ohio State (11-11, 4-7) got 12 kills from Luisa Schirmer, who had six digs.

Also in the B1G, Maryland won at Indiana 25-19, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20 to improve to 15-8, 4-7, as Gia Milana had 14 kills and nine digs. Erika Pritchard added 11 kills and six digs. Indiana (12-11, 1-10) got 15 kills from Elizabeth Asdell, who  hit .464.

And Michigan (15-8, 5-6) beat visiting Iowa (15-9, 4-7) 25-17, 25-15, 26-24. Michigan hit a season-high .465 as Carly Skjodt led with 10 kills and four digs. Adeja Lambert had nine kills, hit .667, to go with three digs and two blocks, one solo. Claire Kieffer-Wright had eight kills and hit .778 to go with three blocks.

Iowa’s Taylor Louis had 10 kills. 

Louisville claims ACC lead: Louisville beat visiting Pittsburgh, which had been in a first-place tie with NC State, 25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12 and stands alone atop the league at 16-6, 10-2, a half-game up.

Melanie McHenry led with 13 kills despite hitting .022. She added 12 digs and two blocks, one solo. Amanda Green had 11 kills, hit .320 and had four blocks, two solo. Jasmine Bennett had six kills and four blocks.

“It was a gritty win by our team tonight,” Louisivlle coach Dani Busboom Kelly said. “After playing a five-game match on Wednesday night at Notre Dame and getting home at 2 a.m. to come out against Pitt, who’s obviously a very good team, and play through a couple minor injuries, it just felt like we had to play as a team for every point. It’s pretty awesome to see our girls do that.” 

Pittsburgh’s Kayla Lund had 12 kills and 10 digs, Nika Markovic added 11 kills but hit .025 to go with four digs and four blocks, and Stephanie Williams had 10 kills and Layne Van Buskirk had seven kills and five blocks.

Meanwhile Miami was beating visiting NC State 27-25, 25-22, 25-21 to drop the Wolfpack to 14-8, 9-2. Miami is 13-4, 7-4 and got 20 kills from Olga Strantzali, who had hit .514 and had 10 digs and two blocks. Kolby Bird added 10 kills and eight digs and Brooke McDermott had five kills, eight digs and seven blocks.

NC State got 10 kills apiece from Julia Brown, who had three of her team’s seven aces, five digs and two blocks, and Teni Sopitan, who hit .333 and had two blocks, one solo. The Wolfpack hit .114.

Syracuse (16-8, 8-3) stayed a game back in the loss column by sweeping visiting Virginia Tech (8-14, 2-9) 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 as Anastasiya Gorelina led with 14 kills and eight digs. Ella Sada and Santita Ebangwese added 10 kills each. VT hit .097.

Florida State (12-7, 6-5) took care of visiting North Carolina (10-9, 7-4) 25-11, 25-22, 27-25 as Milica Kubura and Taryn Knuth had nine kills apiece. UNC got eight kills from Beth Nordhorn.

Duke won at Georgia Tech 19-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 to improve to 14-8, 6-5, while dropping the Yellow Jackets to 10-12, 5-6. Jessi Bartholomew led with 14 kills.

And Clemson (7-16, 2-9) swept visiting Wake Forest (11-12, 3-8) 25-23, 25-21, 25-18.

Creighton, Wichita State win, UNI upset: Creighton beat Providence 25-19, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20 and is 17-5, 10-1 in the Big East, a half game up on Marquette. Creighton got 12 kills and 19 digs from Jaali Winters, 11 kills from Megan Ballenger and 10 from Marysa Wilkinson. Providence (15-11, 4-7) got 10 kills from Addison Root.

Marquette (16-7, 10-2) kept pace with a sweep at St. John’s 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 as Allie Barber had 11 kills and Hope Werch 10.

Wichita State (19-3, 11-0) had to go the distance for its American Athletic Conference win at Central Florida 23-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-15, 15-10, its 12th win in a row. Tabitha Brown had 23 kills, hit .349 and had 11 digs and Abbie Lehman had a career-high 22 kills, hit .415 and had eight blocks. Wichita State holds a two-game lead over Temple (13-6, 9-2) which won its sixth in a row by sweeping Houston.

Northern Iowa got knocked off at Illinois State 22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12 to fall to 20-6 overall, 10-2 in the Missouri Valley and is two games back in the loss column of league-leading Missouri State. Illinois State is 15-10, 8-4.

Illinois State was led by Ella Francis, who had 16 kills and four blocks. Juma Armando added 14 kills. UNI got 24 kills from Piper Thomas, who hit .385.

Also in the Valley, Missouri State improved to 19-5, 11-0 with a 27-25, 25-23, 25-18 sweep at Evansville. Lilly Johnson led with 23 kills and hit .408. She also had 12 digs.

Around the nation: Let’s Go Peay. That’s Austin Peay and the Govs got coach Taylor Mott her 100th victory by beating Eastern Illinois 25-19, 25-23, 25-14. Austin Peay (22-4, 10-1 in the Ohio Valley with a game lead over SIUE) got 12 kills from Ashley Slay and 10 from Christina White …

Western Kentucky won its 20th in a row by beating Marshall in four as a 30-set winning streak ended. The 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16 victory left the Hilltoppers 24-2, 10-0 in Conference USA. Rachel Anderson led with 17 kills, hit .419 and had four blocks, one solo …

Dayton is 18-6, 9-0 in the Atlantic 10 after sweeping Davidson as Amber Erhahon had 14 kills in 16 swings with one error to hit .812. But VCU (24-2, 10-0) still holds a half-game lead after sweeping Saint Louis as Vicki Giommarini had 12 kills and six digs …

High Point is 12-0 in the Big South after sweeping Campbell. Molly Livingston led with nine kills, hit .368 and had five dig and five blocks, one solo as her team improved to 19-6 …

IUPUI swept Youngstown State to get to 13-11, 9-2 in the Horizon League as Kori Waelbroeck had 11 kills, hit .476, and had 10 digs and two blocks. IUPUI is a game ahead of Cleveland State and Oakland, which are both 8-3 …

There’s a logjam at the top of the Atlantic Sun standings. Kennesaw State (14-4) beat NJIT, Jacksonville (14-8, 8-1) beat Stetson and FGCU is a game back at 17-7, 7-2 after losing at North Florida in five …

Yale (14-4, 8-1) moved two games up in the Ivy League with a win over Princeton (13-6, 6-3). Tristin Kott had 12 kills, hit .417 and had four blocks in the sweep …

Fairfield is 17-6 but more importantly 12-0 in the Metro Atlantic. The Stags swept Quinnipiac as Skyler Day had 15 kills, hit .394 to go with 10 digs, an ace and a block …

American (19-7, 10-1) stayed a game up in the Patriot League with a four-set win over Army (15-9, 6-3) as Aleksandra Kazala had 18 kills, hit .500 and had 10 digs nd three blocks. Navy (19-5, 9-2) kept pace with sweep of Holy Cross …

Furman is 10-0 in the Southern Conference. The Paladins (16-7) won in four at Chattanooga as Christen Sikora had 18 kills, hit .410 and had six digs and a block … South Alabama (15-6, 10-1) maintained its lead in the Sun Belt with a five-set win at Appalachian State … Oral Roberts (12-10, 9-1)  maintained a one-game lead atop the Summit with a four-set win over North Dakota State. Lauren Milos had 26 kills, hit .311 and had 12 digs.

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