3 tied for 2nd in Pac-12, 3 tied for 1st in ACC, big A-10 win for VCU

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UCLA libero Zana Muno digs against Washington/Stephen Burns photo

Second-ranked Stanford won again Sunday and stands far alone atop the Pac-12 at 12-0. But No. 14 Washington swept visiting No. 13 UCLA and No. 19 USC won at Washington State and now UW, USC and idle Utah are tied for second at 8-4.

In the Big Ten, Nebraska pulled back into a first-place tie with idle Penn State by sweeping Michigan, while Maryland upset No. 17 Purdue in five.

And in the ACC three teams — Pittsburgh and NC State, which won Sunday, and idle Louisville — are tied for first at 10-2.

Both ranked SEC teams, No. 4 Florida and No. 6 Kentucky, won Sunday, and so did No. 21 Wichita State in the American Athletic and No. 25 Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley.

And VCU won a big battle in the Atlantic 10.

There are just seven matches on Monday’s slate, including an interesting non-conference matchup when No. 22 Iowa State of the Big 12 plays host to North Dakota of the Big Sky. Iowa State (16-4) is coming off its upset of Kansas, while North Dakota (24-5) leads the Big Sky North but is coming off a surprising loss to Montana State.

The listing for how to watch that match and all the others can be found in our daily TV/streaming update.

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Washington’s Tia Scambray attacks against UCLA in the Huskies’ sweep Sunday/Stephen Burns photo

Cardinal stands alone atop Pac-12: The race to win the regular-season title is all but over, now that Stanford has a four-game lead with eight to play. The Cardinal cruised past Arizona 25-15, 25-16, 25-23 to get to 19-2 as Kathryn Plummer had 15 kills, hit .538, had nine digs and an ace. Merete Lutz added 11 kills, hit .391 and had three digs and four blocks. Audriana Fitzmorris added six kills,  hit .364 and had four blocks. Tami Alade had five kills in 10 swings and five blocks. Stanford hit .383.

Arizona (9-12, 3-9) got 13 kills from Kendra Dahlke, who had eight digs.

Washington beat UCLA for the second time this season and is 18-5 after its 25-21, 25-15, 25-23 victory. Carly DeHoog, who had a career-high 19 kills in a five-set win over USC on Friday, had 10 kills with no errors in 19 attacks and hit .526 while getting four blocks. Courtney Schwan had nine kills and nine digs and Marion Hazelwood, who had four blocks, and Tia Scambray, who had 13 digs, had seven kills each.

“It was a goal after the first two sets, we said it would say a lot about us, to play three good sets in a row,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said. “To sweep a Pac-12 opponent is not easy to do, and we haven’t had the chance to do it that many times, so I was glad that we went out and proved that we could do it.”

Madeleine Gates led UCLA with 11 kills. She had one error in 20 attacks and hit .500. Reily Buechler had nine kills, a solo block and six digs.

USC’s sweep at Washington 25-23, 25-16, 25-13 saw Alyse Ford get 14 kills while hitting .400 to go with a block and two digs. The Trojans (16-7), still playing without injured Khalia Lanier, got 10 kills from Brooke Botkin, who hit .318 and two blocks and eight digs. Niki Withers added nine kills while hitting .333 and Brittany Abercrombie had eight kills and five blocks.

Washington State (14-10, 3-9) got 10 kills from Ella Lajos, who hit .500 and had three blocks.

Cal (13-10, 4-8) won at Arizona State 25-14, 22-25, 25-22, 25-11. Freshman middle Preslie Anderson, who is from nearby Chandler, Arizona, had a career-high 11 kills and hit .421 while getting two solo blocks. Mima Mirkovic led the Bears with 13 kills and 19 digs.

Oluoma Okaro had 14 kills for ASU (10-14, 0-12).

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Maryland’s Erika Pritchard serves against Purdue in the Terps’ upset on Sunday/Maryland photo

Nebraska, Maryland get Big Ten wins: The Huskers got their fifth win in a row as they overpowered the home team 25-22, 25-18, 25-13 to improve to 18-4, 11-1 in the B1G, as Michigan dropped to 15-9, 5-7.

Mikaela Foecke had 13 kills, hit .379 and had an ace, nine digs and five blocks to lead Nebraska. Annika Albrecht had seven kills and 14 digs and Briana Holman had six kills in 11 errorless swings and 10 blocks, two solo. Setter Kelly Hunter not only had 31 assists, but four kills, two aces, seven digs and three blocks.

Michigan got 11 kills from Carly Skjodt, who hit .043 in a match in which the Wolverines hit .046. Skjodt had an ace, five digs and two blocks.

Maryland upset visiting Purdue 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-27, 17-15 as freshman outside Erika Pritchard had a career-high 18 kills and hit .324.

“This is a big win for the program, and I’m proud of the team for continuing to fight,” said Maryland coach Steve Aird after his team improved to 16-8, 5-7. “Purdue has a veteran staff and they have some excellent talent. We know how good they are, and I love that this team fought and played hard to get the win.”

Gia Milana, who had 11 digs, and Samantha Dreschel, who hit .429 and had two aces and three blocks, had 13 kills. Maryland hit .351.

Purdue (17-6, 7-5) hit .366 as Sherridan Atkinson had 19 kills and hit .633 with eight digs. Azariah Stahl added 17 kills, hit .364, and had six digs and a block.

Three tied for the ACC lead: They’re all at 10-2 after Pittsburgh won in a sweep at Notre Dame 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 and NC State won a wild five-setter at Florida State 23-25, 27-25, 20-25, 25-22, 22-20. Louisville had the day off.

Pitt (17-6) got 13 kills from Stephanie Williams, who hit .300 and had four aces and 11 digs. Nika Markovic had 12 kills, four blocks and six digs, and Kayla Lund had 10 kills, two block and nine digs.

“This was a great win for us,” Pitt coach Dan Fisher said. “We got back to being the team we’ve been and that’s a team that is very good offensively and balanced. We showed that today with a lot of people contributing offensively.”

Notre Dame (16-7, 6-6), which had the highest RPI (30) of any team in the league (Pitt was 32) in last week’s NCAA ranking, hit .126. Sam Fry, who hit .462, and Sydney Kuhn led with seven kills each.

NC State (15-8) won a gripping fifth set that saw 11 ties as the visiting Wolfpack fought off two match points and Florida State faced match point five times before Teni Sopitan ended it with her 18th kill. Bree Bailey led NC State with 24 kills and hit .327. Julia Brown had 23 kills, also hit .327, and had two aces, two solo blocks and eight digs. Sopitan had four blocks and three digs. And setter Kylie Pickrell had 70 assists, an ace, two blocks — one solo — and eight digs. Her 70 assists and the team’s 80 kills are school records in the rally-scoring era.

“Our team showed so much maturity and resiliency today,”  NC State coach Linda Hampton-Keith said. “I’m so proud of them for executing in high pressure situations and staying focused. What a great win for us today.”

Florida State (12-8, 6-6) got 19 kills from Natasha Calkins, who hit .500. Milica Kubura had 14 kills, four blocks and two digs and Taryn Knuth had 13 kills, hit .500 and had seven blocks, one solo, to go with an ace and a dig. Setter Brianne Burkert had 46 assists, 10 kills and 10 digs. She also had two blocks.

Syracuse (17-8, 9-3) stayed a game back of the pack with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 sweep of visiting Virginia. Anastasiya Gorelina led the Orange with 13 kills and six digs.  Christina Oyawalke and Santita Ebangwese both had six kills and hit .500.

Virginia is 5-18, 1-11.

Miami (14-4, 8-4) is alone in fifth after sweeping North Carolina (10-10, 7-5) 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 as the Hurricanes hit .374 behind Olga Strantzali, who had 15 kills, hit .480, and had 10 digs.

UNC got eight kills each from Beth Nordhorn and Taylor Leath.

Duke (15-8, 7-5) swept Clemson (7-17, 2-10) 25-12, 25-20, 25-21 as Jessi Bartholomew got 11 kills, hit .588 and had two digs and three blocks.

Also in the ACC, Georgia Tech beat Wake Forest in four and Boston College beat Virginia Tech in four.

Kentucky, Florida keep pace in SEC: The top two teams won, but LSU fell out of third by getting swept at home by Tennessee, while Missouri beat Georgia.

Kentucky is 19-2, 10-0 in the SEC after winning at Texas A&M 25-19, 25-18, 25-17. UK has won 14 in a row after hitting .393. Avery Skinner led with 12 kills and hit .320, while Leah Edmond had 11 kills, hit .556 and had four digs and three blocks, one solo. Kaz Brown had nine kills, hit .500 and had six blocks.

“I was impressed with our focus,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “We were down 12-14 in the first set and volleyball is such a game of momentum, at that moment it can go either way. We did a really good job of staying the course today. Our focus was as about as good as it has been all season. The staff is impressed with our ability to move on to the next point.”

Texas A&M (7-11, 4-7) got 11 kills from Kiara McGee, who hit .304 and had two blocks.

Florida (18-1, 10-1) won at Mississippi State 25-18, 25-10, 25-15 to set up the rematch, when the Gators go to Kentucky on Wednesday. Florida hit .405 against State, which hit .054 as it dropped to 9-17, 0-11. Rachael Kramer led Florida with 11 kills, hitting .733, to go with four blocks, two solo. Carli Snyder had eight kills and 17 digs.

Tennessee was coming off losses to UK and A&M but stunned LSU on its home floor 25-23, 25-19, 25-21. The Vols (11-9, 4-7), got 11 kills from Tessa Grubbs, who hit .375. LSU (16-6, 7-4) got another tremendous performance from Gina Tillis, who had 16 kills, hit .308 and had eight digs.

Missouri (14-9, 7-3) moved a half game up on LSU with its 25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 25-16 win at Georgia (15-9, 5-6). Kira Larson led with 13 kills while hitting .611 to go with two aces, seven digs and six blocks. Leketor Member-Meneh had 13 kills, hit .478 and had five blocks, two solo. Alyssa Munlyn had six kills, hit .667 and had eight blocks.  And Darianna Hollingsworth had eight kills, hit .571 and had four blocks and five digs.

Rachel Ritchie led Georgia with 14 kills and T’ara Ceasar had 11 kills.

Also in the SEC, Arkansas beat Ole Miss in five as Pilar Victoria had 26 kills and 20 digs and Auburn won in four at South Carolina. as Brenna McIlroy had 17 kills and 17 digs.

Wichita State, UNI, VCU get victories: Wichita State routed South Florida 25-11, 25-12, 25-18 to improve to 20-3, 12-0 in the American Athletic. Abbie Lehman led with 11 kills, hitting .625, and had seven blocks, while Mikaela Raudsepp had 10 kills and hit .500. Temple (14-6, 10-2) stayed two games back with a sweep of Tulane.

Northern Iowa (21-6, 11-2 Missouri Valley) rolled over Bradley 25-16, 25-22, 25-19 as Piper Thomas had 16 kills and hit .583. She also had two blocks. Jaydlin Seehase added 13 kills, 13 digs and a solo block.

VCU laid claim to the top spot in the Atlantic 10 as the Rams not only won 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11, but snapped Dayton’s 45-match A-10 winning streak. It left VCU 25-2, 11-0) after its 22nd win in a row and dropped the Flyers to 18-7, 9-1.

VCU only hit .153, but .435 in the fifth set. Alicia Kandler led with 17 kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Vicky Giommarini had 15 kills and 17 digs to go with five blocks. Tori Baldwin had six kills and 10 blocks, while Gina Tuzzolo had nine kills and nine blocks.

Dayton’s Amber Erhahon had 16 kills while hitting .448. She had five digs and seven blocks, one solo. Mackenzie Weaver had 12 kills and 14 digs and Jessica Sloan had 10 kills and eight digs. Setter Jane Emmenecker had 17 digs.

Around the nation: Western Kentucky (25-2, 11-0) kept on winning in Conference USA. The Hilltoppers swept visiting UAB 25-14, 25-15, 25-20 for their 21st win in a row as Sydney Engle and Taylor Dellinger had 12 kills each. North Texas (22-2, 9-1) stayed a game back in the loss column by Southern Miss in five and Rice (19-6, 9-2) stayed two games back with a sweep of Charlotte. Barbara Teakell had 17 kills and hit .400 for North Texas, while Rice, which won the third set 30-28, got 21 kills from Nicole Lennon, who had 12 digs and three blocks, one solo …

Coastal Carolina (14-7, 11-1 Sun Belt) moved into first place in the East Division of the SBC by sweeping South Alabama 25-21, 25-14, 25-21. Leah Hardeman had 15 kills to lead the Chanticleers. South Alabama is 15-7, 10-2 …

Albany is 8-1 in the American East after sweeping New Hampshire. Albany (8-13 overall) holds a two-game lead over Stony Brook in the loss column … Kennesaw State (15-4, 9-1) climbed into a tie atop the ASUN with Jacksonville State with its sweep of USC Upstate as Anaiah Boyer had 16 kills and eight digs …

Towson and Northeastern are both 9-3 in the Colonial after Towson won in four. They both trail idle Charleston by two games … Alabama State (22-9) is 15-0 in the SWAC after beating Mississippi Valley in four. The Hornets hold a three-game lead over Alabama A&M …

Oral Roberts won again and is 13-10, 10-1 in the Summit after sweeping South Dakota State while hitting .373. Denver (17-5, 8-2) stayed a game back in the loss column by sweeping North Dakota State.

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