South Dakota beat visting South Dakota State and clinched the regular season Summit League title with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-11 victory Tuesday night.
South Dakota not only improved to 24-1 overall with its 21st win in a row, but is 12-0 in the Summit. Idle Denver is three games back with three matches left and could conceivably force a tie, but South Dakota beat Denver in both their meetings.
“We’re enjoying the fact that we have at least a share of the conference championship,” South Dakota coach Leanne Williamson said. “I feel like this team has put in a lot of work to get to that point and we’re excited about it.”
It was a relatively slow night in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, but not for North Florida’s Solimar Cestero. She had a school-record 30 kills in a non-conference victory over Bethune-Cookman.
All the recaps follow, but first a look at Wednesday’s schedule.
Four Big Ten matches highlight the schedule, starting with league-leading No. 4 Wisconsin (16-4, 12-0) at Ohio State (12-12, 5-7), which stands at 50th in the NCAA RPI and needs an upset along the way to get into postseason at-large contention. Sixth-ranked Minnesota (17-3, 11-1) goes to Maryland (12-12, 4-8). No. 8 Penn State (17-4, 10-2), tied with idle Nebraska for third place, is home for Indiana (12-13, 1-11), and No. 15 Purdue (15-6, 7-5) goes to Rutgers (8-15, 2-10), which has two B1G victories for the first time since it joined the conference in 2014.
The lone ACC match of the day has North Carolina (11-11, 8-4), tied with idle Louisville and Boston College for third place, traveling eight miles to Duke (11-14, 4-8).
In the Big 12, Iowa State (14-8, 5-5), No. 36 in the RPI, tries to strengthen its NCAA at-large possibilities when it’s home for West Virginia (11-12, 2-8), while Texas Tech (14-9, 4-5) goes to Kansas (6-13, 2-7).
There is one SEC match when last-place Auburn (6-15, 0-10) goes to LSU (11-10, 5-6).
The Pac-12 is off, but has a full slate Thursday with six matches.
The three matches in the Horizon League include second-place Wright State at Cleveland State, while league-leading Milwaukee, a game up, is off.
Metro Atlantic leader Fairfield, which has won 16 matches in a row and stands 18-4, 13-0 in the league, is home for Marist.
Patriot League leader American, 18-7 overall and 11-1 in the conference, is home for Loyola Maryland. American is tied with idle Colgate.
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South Dakota wins: The Coyotes, featured here last week, hit .331 against SDSU (6-19,3-10). The offensive leader was again freshman Elizabeth Juhnke, who had 20 kills, hit .366, and had seven digs.
Elizabeth Loschen had 11 kills and two blocks, and Madison Harms had 10 kills, hit .412, and had six blocks, one solo. Madison Jurgens had 45 assists, a kill, a block and 13 digs.
“That first set was a high-level game and South Dakota State came out and played really, really well in that first set,” Williamson said. “We expected that so I do think we stayed patient through it.
“They hit for a really high percentage and so did we. We ended up having 21 kills in that first set and I believe we had a block and an ace as well so we earned actually almost every single point that we had there. That was really key for us going into the next couple of sets.”
Makenzie Hennen and Crystal Burk had 10 kills each for South Dakota State.
Big West: There were two matches Tuesday as UC Riverside (6-17, 2-10) beat visiting UC Irvine (4-18, 1-9) to leave the Anteaters alone in last place, while UC Davis (14-11, 6-6) won at home against Cal State Fullerton (11-10, 3-7).
Riverside won 11-25, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8 for its first victory since September 24 as Amarachi Osuji and Ayla Fresenius had 14 kills each and Kathleen Lowry 13. Osuji had three aces, three blocks and three digs, Fresnenius had 11 digs, and Lowry had two blocks and hit .667 after having one error in 18 attacks. Setter Morgan Kline had seven kills in nine attempts with just one error, 42 assists, two blocks and a match-high 17 digs. Makayla Wolf led UCI with 14 kills and Joy Emeh and Loryn Carter had 10 each …
UC Davis won 25-20, 25-15, 25-19, 25-7 as Lauren Matias had 24 kills, hit .339, and had an assist, an ace and 14 digs. Alexa Rockas had 10 kills with no errors in 16 attacks and hit .625 and had three blocks. Jane Seslar had three kills in as many attempts to go with 43 assists, two blocks and 11 digs.
Around the nation: Idle Northern Colorado still holds a three-game lead in the Big Sky standings. Second-place Weber State (18-6, 9-4) beat visiting Idaho State (6-19, 3-10) 25-23, 25-7, 14-25, 29-27 as Megan Gneiting led with 17 kills, an assist, 12 digs and five blocks, one solo. Rylin Roberts and Dani Nay had 11 kills each and Aubrey Adams 10 and eight blocks. Taylor Meeks had 16 kills and hit .609 for Idaho State and had three blocks …
In the Mountain West, San Jose State (9-15, 4-9) beat visiting Nevada (15-9, 6-7) 19-25, 25-19, 13-25, 25-18, 16-14. SJSU trailed 12-6 in the fifth and was still down 14-12 before scoring the last four points. Haylee Nelson led with 24 kills and had a block and 14 digs. Thaliana Grajeda had 12 kills with no errors in 23 attacks and hit .522 and had five digs and three blocks, two solo. Kayla Afoa led Nevada with 14 kills and had an assist, four aces, a block and 12 digs …
The lone Ohio Valley match saw Tennessee State (10-15, 6-6) sweep Belmont (2-26, 1-12). Julia Pierson led with 13 kills, hit .344, and had two aces, eight digs and two blocks …
New Orleans (12-15, 5-8) swept Lamar (8-15, 3-10) in the Southland Conference as Eliza Omoghibo had 18 kills with no errors in 39 attacks and hit .462. She had an assist, two aces, eight digs and a block … .
In the Sun Belt, Arkansas State (14-10, 5-7) swept Little Rock (6-18, 4-8). Macey Putt led with 11 kills and Little Rock hit minus .048 …
North Florida of the ASUN beat Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC in four as Cestero broke her own record of 29 kills set last month, this time getting her 30 on 51 attacks with just three errors. She hit .529 and had an ace, a block and two digs. Taryn Griffey added 15 kills, hit .344, and had three blocks and a dig. Faith Landreneaux had 13 kills for B-C and had no errors in 20 swings to hit . 650 and had a block and two digs …