No. 11 Washington got swept at Colorado and there are five teams either in second place or within a game of it in the Pac-12.
No. 9 Wisconsin lost in five to Ohio State, making the Badgers 0-4 in five-setters this season.
The ACC still has a three-way tie at the top.
And some great races are developing in a handful of mid-major conferences.
First a look at Saturday’s schedule, where the best matchup might involve two of the league’s unranked teams as Michigan plays at Illinois.
There are five other matches involving ranked teams and if any of them lose it will be highly significant.
Top-ranked Penn State plays host to last-place Rutgers, No. 5 Minnesota plays host to Ohio State, No. 7 Nebraska is home for Indiana, No. 8 Wisconsin has Maryland in Madison, and No. 9 Michigan State goes to Northwestern.
Three of the Pac-12’s ranked teams are in action, with a big one in Salt Lake City as No. 11 Washington and No. 15 Utah square off. No. 18 UCLA is home for winless Arizona State.
Three of the Big 12’s four ranked teams play Saturday. No. 3 Texas plays host to Texas Tech and No. 19 Iowa State goes to No. 24 Baylor.
There is a rare Saturday match in the ACC when Georgia Tech goes to Virginia.
The SEC doesn’t play volleyball on football Saturdays.
Both ranked West Coast Conference teams play. No. 10 BYU is home for Saint Mary’s, while No. 13 San Diego gets visiting Pacific.
No. 14 Creighton has a Big East match against visiting and second-place Marquette, which beat the Bluejays earlier this season.
No. 20 Colorado State has a Mountain West match against visiting Boise State.
The leaders in the Atlantic Sun face off when Jacksonville plays at Kennesaw State.
There are two big match-ups on the Big Sky when North Dakota is at Idaho and Portland State.
Remember that VolleyballMag.com has all the TV and streaming listings every day for every match that is being shown.
Colorado sweeps Huskies in Pac-12: There were five matches in the conference on Friday and you could say the other four were what you might have expected. But probably not Washington getting beaten at Colorado 25-22, 25-18, 25-22.
The Buffs (19-6, 9-5) not only won its fourth in a row, but avenged getting swept at Washington earlier this season. Junior Alexa Smith had 14 kills, hit .444 and had 12 digs. Joslyn Hayes had 12 kills and hit .500 and Frankie Shebby had nine kills, nine digs and two blocks.
“It was a great performance by all of our players,” Buffs coach Jesse Mahoney said. “I thought everyone did a fantastic job.”
Setter Brynna DeLuzio sprained her ankle mid-match and when she went out, Emily DeMure filled in admirably.
“Last year we were injured during the second half of Pac-12 play and we just weren’t firing on all cylinders,” said Mahoney, whose team went 14-16, 6-14 in 2016. “First year through with the group, we understand how we want to game plan and attack certain teams. I think this time through, we’ve been healthy. We’re a year older, a year wiser.
“The last three weeks, our kids have been all over it game planning before games and adjusting during games. Defensively, we’ve been ahead of the other team tactically for the last couple of matches.”
Washington (18-6, 8-5) got 12 kills from Courtney Schwan, hit .440 and had nine digs and two blocks. Crissy Jones added eight kills and had four digs and Avie Niece had six kills and two blocks.
“Outstanding serve, pass, and setting performance by Colorado. I thought Brynna DeLuzio showed some real grit in playing through the early ankle injury,” UW coach Keegan Cook said. “I’m disappointed for our team. There was an opportunity tonight to play an outstanding opponent who is playing December-caliber volleyball. We missed that opportunity. Thankfully the game won’t make us wait long for another opportunity to play a great opponent.”
No. 2 Stanford won its 15th in a row to improve to 20-2, 13-0 with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of visiting Oregon State (16-9, 6-7).
Stanford, which marked the 17th straight season and 37th time overall in program history with 20 or more more wins, got 11 kills from Audriana Fitzmorris, who hit .667 and had six blocks and an ace. Merete Lutz had 11 kills while hitting .409 and had three blocks. Michaela Keefe had 10 kills and hit .348 and Kathryn Plummer had seven kills and six blocks.
Oregon State’s Mary-Kate Marshall had 12 kills, a block and five digs.
No. 15 Oregon went to Cal and swept the Bears 25-18, 25-16, 25-19. Oregon (15-6, 8-5) was led by Ronika Stone, who had 10 kills and hit .667 to go with five blocks. Jolie Rasmussen had eight kills and eight digs.
“What I’ve been telling them is, ‘If you want to do what you want to do in the tournament, then you have to have six great matches in a row.” And I asked them when we’ve had six great matches in a row this year, and their answer to me was, ‘Never.’ So we’re fortunate right now that we still have that many matches to play,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said.
“We need to do that, and I don’t care who we’re playing, Cal or Stanford or whoever. It’s about us, and if we give our best effort, I like our shot, so we need to start putting great matches together. I thought tonight we played a nice match and thought we were pretty solid. I hate the letdown in the third, and that’s something we have to get better at.”
Cal (13-11, 4-9) 10 kills from Antzela Dempi.
No. 17 USC had to go four to beat visiting Arizona State 25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18 to get to 17-7, 9-4, while the Sun Devils stayed winless in the league at 10-15, 0-13.
Khalia Lanier was back after missing four matches and led with 20 kills, 13 digs, an ace and a block. Brittany Abercrombie had 12 kills, four digs and four blocks. ASU got 15 kills from Griere Hughes.
No. 18 UCLA beat visiting Arizona 25-14, 29-27, 21-25, 25-9 to improve to 14-8, 7-8, while dropping the Wildcats to 9-13, 3-10.
UCLA got 16 kills apiece from Reily Buechler, who had seven digs and five blocks, and Mac May, who hit .636 to go with two digs and three blocks. Madeleine Gates had 13 kills, hit .478 and had eight blocks, one solo.
Kendra Dahlke led Arizona with 16 kills and 10 digs. McKenzie Jacobson and Tyler Spriggs had 10 kills each and Spriggs had three blocks, one solo.
Buckeyes, Nebraska, Minnesota win in B1G: Ohio State had lost three in a row and four of five before sweeping Indiana last Saturday. Then the Buckeyes got some much-needed time off and it paid off for them Friday night at Wisconsin 14-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-13.
It left Wisconsin 15-7 overall, 6-7 in the B1G as it lost to Ohio State for the first time in two years. Ohio State is 13-11, 6-7.
Ashley Wenz led Ohio State with 15 kills while hitting .325 in front of a Wisconsin crowd of more than 6,000. She also had an ace, seven digs and five blocks. Luisa Schirmer had 14 kills and 10 digs and Ayanna Swan had 11 kills, three digs and two blocks. Lauren Witte had five kills and nine blocks, one solo.
Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams had a career-high 19 kills while hitting .621 to go with six blocks, one solo. Dana Rettke added 13 kills and three aces, while Kelli Bates had 12 kills and 15 digs.
The match was tied at 13-13 in the fifth before Wenz had a kill and Lauryn Gillis was blocked by Wenz and Witte.
“It’s not easy right now, and especially when we need to find a little more toughness within ourselves,” Wisconsin’s Bates said. “How many five-setters are we going to go losing 13-15? That’s frustrating, and you always think you can do more, but we just need to move on and we need to take away really specific things from this match.
“Like Kelly (Sheffield) said, our defensive intensity dropped, and that is what this program is great at. When we suffer with that, then that’s what takes advantage of us, just like Ohio State did tonight.”
Wisconsin has lost in five on four occasions this time, also to Michigan State and Minnesota 15-13 in the fifth.
No. 7 Nebraska beat visiting No. 22 Purdue 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23 as Mikaela Foecke had 20 kills, hit .444, had 10 digs and two blocks, one solo.
The Huskers are 19-4 and at 12-1 once again tied with top-ranked and idle Nebraska atop the league. Briana Holman had 15 kills, hit .417 and two blocks, while Annika Albrecht and Jazz Sweet had 10 kills each in a match played before a crowd of 8,420.
Purdue (17-7, 7-6) got 20 kills each from Danielle Cuttino, who hit .450 and had three blocks, one solo, and Sherridan Atkinson, who also hit .450 and had four blocks, two solo. Ashley Evans had four kills and 13 digs and Azariah Stahl had seven kills, six digs and two blocks, two solo.
Minnesota (22-2, 11-2) stayed a game back of the lead with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 sweep of visiting Maryland (16-9, 5-8).
Stephanie Samedy had 18 kills, hit .471 and had nine digs and two blocks. Alexis Hart added eight kills, seven digs and two blocks and Jasmyn Martin had seven kills. Molly Lohman had six kills, two digs and and three blocks.
Maryland’s Gia Milana had 14 kills and 11 digs, while Erika Pritchard had 10. Hailey Murray had seven kills, two digs and five blocks two solo.
Iowa is 16-10, 5-8 after sweeping Indiana (12-13, 1-12). The 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 victory saw Jess Janota get 10 kills and five blocks for the Hawkeyes, while Indiana hit minus -.010.
Louisville, Pittsburgh, NC State stayed tied in ACC: All three teams are 11-2 with a two-game lead over Syracuse.
Louisville swept Wake Forest 25-16, 25-15, 25-19 to improve to 17-6, 11-2 as Amanda Green had 12 kills, hit .360 and had seven digs. Tess Clark had 11 digs and hit .348.
Wake Forest, 11-4, 3-10, got 15 kills from Kylie Long, who had two blocks and seven digs.
Pittsburgh (18-6, 11-2) dealt Miami (15-5, 9-5) a tough loss by beating the Hurricanes 22-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-20. The Panthers hit .346 as Kayla Lund had 19 kills and hit .364 to go with an ace, seven digs and three blocks. Nika Markovic had 15 kills, hit .448, also had seven assists, and had nine digs and four blocks. Stephanie Williams had 11 kills, four aces, 11 digs and three blocks, one solo.
”This is maybe our best win of the season in terms of putting pressure on a team defensively,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Fisher said.
Miami’s Kolby Bird had 18 kills and Olga Strantzali added 12 and 14 digs.
And NC State kept pace with a 25-11, 31-29, 29-27 win over visiting Syracuse. The Wolfpack (16-8, 11-2) certainly earned it in the last two sets.
“We went on a little run there so that was nice but 31-29, 29-27, those are some pretty interesting scores,” NC State coach Linda Hampton-Keith said. That’s what I thought about Syracuse, that we knew we were going to be in for it, so I’m really impressed with our team’s ability to just settle in and grind it out.”
Julia Brown and Bree Bailey had 16 kills each for NC State. Brown had six digs, while Bailey had an ace, three digs and two blocks, one solo. Teni Sopitan had 10 kills.
Syracuse (17-9, 9-4) got 10 kills from Anastasiya Gorelina and seven from Christina Oyawale, who hit .389 and had five digs and two blocks.
Also in the ACC on Friday, Duke beat visiting Notre Dame in four, North Carolina swept visiting Boston College, Virginia swept visiting Clemson and Georgia Tech went to Virginia Tech and swept the Hokies. Cadie Bates had 17 kills and 32 digs for Duke.
LSU, Mizzou keep up in SEC: No. 4 Florida and No. 6 Kentucky, both with one loss, were off, but Missouri (15-9, 8-3) beat Texas A&M and LSU (17-6, 8-4) won at Arkansas to keep it a four-team race.
Missouri beat the visiting Aggies 25-23, 25-23, 25-19 as Leketor Member-Meneh led with 12 kills while hitting .500. Kayla Caffrey had seven kills and hit .462 and Alyssa Munlyn had five kills and five blocks, one solo.
Texas A&M (7-12, 4-8) got got 12 kills from Kiara McGee. The Aggies hit .115.
LSU won at Arkansas 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 26-24 as Jacqui Armer led with a career-high 18 kills while hitting .593 and also had seven blocks. The other middle, Olivia Beyer, had 14 kills, hit .367 and had four blocks. Gina Tillis had 11 kills and 19 digs.
Arkansas (16-8, 6-6) got 20 kills from Pilar Victoria, who hit .111. She had 11 digs and three blocks, one solo, and two aces.
Also in the SEC, Georgia swept visiting Mississippi State for its fourth win in five matches, and South Carolina won at Tennessee in four.
Wichita State, Cal Poly, WKU all win: No. 21 Wichita State routed visiting Connecticut 25-14, 25-16, 25-11 to improve to 21-3 overall and 13-0 in the American Athletic Conference.
Wichita State, playing before more than 3,600 fans, was led by Abbie Lehman, who had 12 kills while hitting .632. UConn hit just .019.
SMU stayed two games back in the AAC with a five-set win at Houston. SMU (17-7, 11-2) got 23 kills and 21 digs from Brittany Adams.
No. 23 Cal Poly continues to run away in the Big West, where the Mustangs improved to 22-2, 12-0 in conference with a 27-25, 27-29, 25-21, 25-23 win against UC Santa Barbara. Torrey Van Winden led with 20 kills in Cal Poly’s program-record 17th victory in a row. Van Winden had 10 digs and two blocks.
Adlee Van Winden had 13 kills, nine digs and three blocks, one solo, while Savannah Niemen had 12 kills and hit .500. Raeann Greisen had 10 kills and seven digs.
UCSB (6-17, 5-6) got another big match from Lindsey Ruddins, who had 26 kills, an ace, nine digs and four blocks, one solo.
Also in the Big West, Hawai’i beat visiting CSUN 25-19, 25-21, 25-12 to improve to 17-7, 11-2. Emily Maglio led with 13 kills, hit .478 and had five blocks, one solo.
WKU won for the 22nd time in a row as the Lady Toppers won at Rice 25-17, 25-16, 25-22. WKU is 26-2 overall, 12-0 in Conference USA, while Rice dropped to 19-7, 9-3.
Rachel Anderson led a balanced attack with 14 kills, while Taylor Dellinger and Alyssa Cavanaugh had 12 each. Rice got seven kills from Kassidy Muse.
“This was a great win for our team on the road tonight,” WKU coach Travis Hudson said. “We came out hot offensively but Rice was able to make some nice adjustments as we went along. That forced us to have to raise our level of defense down the stretch to secure this win. I’m really proud of our kids tonight.”
While Rice lost out on its last chance to close the gap, North Texas (23-2, 10-1) stayed a game back in the loss column with a 25-21, 25-16, 25-15 win at Marshall. Amanda Chamberlain led with 13 kills while hitting .650.
Around the nation: High Point is 21-6 overall, 14-0 in the Big South after beating Charleston Southern 25-18, 25-10, 25-10 and clinched at least a share of the regular-season title. Haley Barnes led with 13 kills while hitting .500 and had three blocks, one solo and 18 digs. HPU has a two-game lead in the loss column over Radford (21-3, 11-2), which was off Friday …
As mentioned earlier, things are heating up in the ASUN. Jacksonville and Kennesaw State remained tied for first at 10-1 and they play Saturday at KSU. Kennesaw State beat North Florida in four as setter Kristi Piedimonte had eight kills, eight digs and 33 assists. Jacksonville won its fifth in a row with a four-set victory at Lipscomb as four Dolphins had 12 kills or more, led by Natalie Wehner’s 15 …
There was a big match-up in the Summit and now Oral Roberts’ lead over Denver and South Dakota is a half a game. Denver swept visiting ORU 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 to improve to 18-5, 9-2, while ORU is 13-11, 10-2. Teal Schnurr led Denver with 10 kills while hitting .353. South Dakota (15-8, 9-2) won in five over Omaha as Hayley Dotseth had 22 kills and 17 digs …
Louisiana (18-9, 11-2) stayed alone atop the Sun Belt West after the Ragin Cajuns beat South Alabama (15-8, 10-3), which dropped USA two games behind Coastal Carolina (16-7, 13-1) in the East. Louisiana won 24-26, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25 as Hali Wisnoskie had 17 kills and hit .317. Coastal swept Georgia State as Leah Hardemann had 14 kills. Also, Texas State (19-8, 10-2) stayed a half game back of Louisiana with a sweep of Arkansas State as Madison Daigle had 13 kills and hit .619 …
Charleston’s lead in the Colonial is now two games after it beat Towson to improve to 23-4, 12-1. Northeastern (17-9, 10-3) won in four at William & Mary to stay within striking distance. Devon Rachel had 16 kills and eight digs for Charleston …
Albany is 9-13 overall but 9-1 in the America East after sweeping UMBC. Albany, which clinched a least a share of the regular-season title, got 10 kills each from Tatiana Tiangco and Akubata Okenwa. Albany holds a two-game lead in the loss column over Stony Brook (16-9, 6-3), which swept UMass-Lowell as Maria Poole had 10 kills and hit .471 …
It’s a two-team race in the Atlantic 10. VCU (26-2, 12-0) won again, sweeping LaSalle 25-19, 26-24, 25-21, for its 23rd victory in a row. Alicia Kandler had 13 kills and hit .765 with two blocks and 11 digs. Dayton (19-7, 10-1) was keeping pace by sweeping Rhode Island 25-9, 25-19, 25-12 as Lauren Bruns had 13 kills and hit .812 …
Cleveland State and IUPUI are tied atop the Horizon at 10-3 and Oakland is a game back at 9-4 after Cleveland State beat Oakland in five and IUPUI won in five at Green Bay. Sara Skeens had 17 kills, six digs and block for Cleveland State, which is 17-7. Kori Waelbroeck had 20 kills, seven digs and five blocks, one solo for IUPUI (14-12) …
Three teams are within a game of each other atop the Ivy League. Princeton (15-6 8-3) is tied with Yale (14-6, 8-3), while Harvard is a game back at 12-8, 7-4. The picture muddied Friday when Harvard won a wild one at Yale 25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 20-18. Paige Kebe led with 15 kills. Princeton swept Columbia …
In the MAC, Bowling Green (14-9, 10-2) saw its lead shrink to one-game in the East over Miami (17-8, 9-3) as Bowling Green lost in five to Ohio and Miami was sweeping Kent State. Olivia Rusek had 17 kills, hit .500 and had 15 digs and two blocks, one solo, for Miami. In the West, Western Michigan lost in three to Eastern Michigan to fall into a first-place tie with idle Ball State at 7-5 …
Maryland Eastern Shore is 23-7, 9-0 in the MEAC after sweeping Morgan State as Rachel Kayongo had 12 kills, hit .574, and had an ace and 11 digs. UMES has a two-game lead over Howard in the loss column … Austin Peay won again. The Govs are 25-4, 12-1 after sweeping Tennessee-Martin as Kaylee Taff and Christina White had 10 kills each. Austin Peay hit .336 … American swept Lafayette for its 13th win in a row and the Eagles are 2-17 overall and 12-1 in the Patriot League …
Furman (17-9, 11-2) was upset in the Southern Conference, losing in four at UNC Greensboro. East Tennessee State (14-10, 10-3) pulled to a game behind with a four-set win at Samford as Leah Clayton had 20 kills, hit .486 and had four digs and three blocks.