NCAA volleyball: Getting upset has poll, RPI implications, Monday’s results, POWs

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Helena Elbaek of American University is the Patriot offensive POW/AU photo

Creighton, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, and Rice were upset last week and paid for those losses in this week’s AVCA poll and NCAA RPI.

More on both of those rankings to come and a recap of Monday night’s seven matches, but first a look at Tuesday’s schedule before examining the newest AVCA top 25, the NCAA RPI, and the players of the week around the nation.

Tuesday has nine matches on deck, with a ASUN meeting between Stetson (10-13, 7-6) and Liberty (17-9, 10-4) headlining. Liberty current sits third in the conference standings, while Stetson is fifth, but the Hatters won the first matchup between these two teams this year.

Also Tuesday is a Big Sky contest between Eastern Washington and Idaho, Howard versus Norfolk State in the MEAC, and the Mountain West’s Fresno State (12-14, 5-9) at San Diego State (12-13, 5-9).

The Patriot League has three matches as Navy (14-10, 9-4) plays Bucknell (14-12, 3-11), Army (18-9, 9-5) goes to Lafayette (13-16, 2-11), and Lehigh (13-15, 6-8) hosts Loyola Maryland (12-16, 5-9).

Rounding out the slate is Furman (6-19, 6-8) versus UNC Greensboro (10-18, 4-10) in the SoCon and Nicholls State (11-14, 5-9)versus Southeast Louisiana State (13-15, 7-7) in the Southland.

AVCA Top 25: Creighton made the biggest move in this week’s AVCA poll. The Bluejays lost to Villanova in straight sets on Friday, and as a result plummeted five spots to No. 14. Wisconsin’s ranking also suffered due to a surprise loss—the Badgers are now No. 7 following a defeat at the hands of unranked Ohio State.

Western Kentucky jumped three spots to No. 19 thanks to its five-set victory over previous No. 17 Rice, which fell to No. 21.

Texas A&M’s stint in the rankings was short lived, dropping out just a week after cracking the top 25 last week. UCLA also dropped out. Instead, Michigan made it in this week at No. 23 with San Diego close behind at No. 24.

The top five, mostly unchanged this week, looks like this: Texas, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Stanford, and Minnesota.

NCAA RPI: It’s a mystery why, but Baylor reclaimed the top spot in the RPI this week, switching spots with Texas, which is now No. 2.

Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Stanford, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington, and Texas A&M round out the top 10. Wisconsin and Texas A&M hold on to those top-10 spots despite losses last week, as previously discussed.

Hawai’i, riding a nine-match win streak, is looking good at No. 11. Rice stays high at No. 15, while Missouri sits at No. 19, and Cincinnati sneaks into the top 25, at No. 25.

AVCA ranked teams coming in rather low are Cal all the way down at No. 30, Michigan at No. 36, Washington State at No. 40, and Illinois at No. 43.

Monday’s results: In its third five-set match in a row, Chicago State (6-23, 1-13) lost to out-of-conference opponent Eastern Illinois (3-24, 1-13). Morgan Matusik led EIU with 18 kills.

In the WAC, Grand Canyon (22-5, 12-3) beat Cal Baptist (6-8, 12-15) in four sets with 17 kills from Melody Horton and 21 digs from setter Klaire Mitchell. The match between UTRGV (13-15, 7-7) and CSU Bakersfield (9-18, 4-11) went to five sets, with Brooke Boiseau’s 22 kills helping to push CSUB past the finish line.

Hofstra (17-9, 10-4) dropped the first set to College of Charleston (6-21, 3-12) but came back to win in four. CAA Preseason Player of the Year Laura Masciullo had 15 kills. In Summit League action, Omaha (16-12, 9-5) swept Western Illinois (6-21, 3-11).

And in the SWAC, Alcorn State (6-23, 3-15) beat Mississippi Valley State (3-30, 0-17) in four; Arkansas Pine Bluff (9-23, 7-10) also got a four-set victory, beating Texas Southern (11-17, 10-8); and Alabama State (14-20, 11-6) swept Jackson State (16-18, 12-5).

Power-five POWs: USC senior outside Khalia Lanier had a ridiculous week, tallying 40 kills in a five-set loss to Utah and 33 in a win over Colorado in four sets and was also named the AVCA national player of the week. So she was the obvious choice for Pac-12 offensive POW, as Lanier also hit .417 for the week. Washington State libero Alexis Dirige is the defensive POW (4.63 digs per set), and Utah outside Zoe Weatherington earned the freshman honor (3.11 kills per set, hitting .300) …

It’s starting to feel like Groundhog’s Day in the ACC. For the third week in a row, Syracuse outside hitter Polina Shemanova took home the POW honor and Pittsburgh setter Lexis Akeo is the freshman OTW. In a five-set win over Boston College and a sweep of Virginia Tech last week, Shemanova collected 49 kills, 21 digs, and hit .350. Akeo had 75 assists, 15 digs, three blocks, and three aces in two wins to help Pitt secure at least a share of the ACC title …

Baylor’s Hannah Lockin and TCU’s Julia Adams shared the Big 12’s offensive POW award. Setter Lockin recorded her 10th double-double of the season in a sweep of Texas Tech, collecting 42 assists and 14 digs, and quarterbacking Baylor to a season-best .396 hitting percentage.

Outside hitter Adams, who is also the Big 12’s rookie OTW, set new career highs with 23 kills hitting .500 in a 3-1 win over Kansas.

The Big 12 also selected Kansas’ Zoe Hill as its defensive POW. She had seven blocks versus Texas Tech and six in the TCU match …

Michigan’s Paige Jones earned the top honor in the Big Ten after averaging 4.75 kills per set, hitting .298, with 2.4 digs per set in a pair of wins last week. Penn State libero Kendall White is the defensive POW with 6.14 digs per set last week, and her teammate Gabby Blossom got the setter OTW nod (12.86 assists, 2.71 digs per set). Ohio State’s Kylie Murr had 5.86 digs per set last week, helping OSU knock off No. 4 Wisconsin, and she is the Big Ten freshman OTW …

Leah Edmond, the SEC offensive POW, led Kentucky to wins over Georgia and Auburn on the road last week. She averaged 5.83 kills per set, hitting .387, and scored a double-double with 11 digs versus Auburn.

LSU libero Raigen Cianciulli scooped 36 digs in a pair of matches last week and is the defensive POW. Setter OTW goes to Florida’s Marlie Monserez, who averaged 13.12 assists per set and led Florida to a .305 hitting percentage for the week. Samarah Hill of LSU is the top freshman. She averaged 4.57 kills and 3.29 digs per set in a 2-0 week for her team.

Nyssa Baker of Wright State is the Horizon League offensive POW/Wright State photo

Around the nation: Cincinnati may have cracked the RPI top 25 this week, but it was UCF’s McKenna Melville that got the AAC offensive POW award. She averaged 5.43 kills and 4.00 digs per set and hit .352 in a 1-1 week for UCF. Defensive POW Taylor Horsfall of Tulsa had 8.62 digs per set (30+ in a pair of matches) last week …

Kennesaw State and North Florida players swept the ASUN awards this week with KSU middle Quin Sutphin and UNF outside Solimar Cestero sharing the POW honor, KSU libero Karlee Groover the defensive POW, and UNF setter Julianna Askew the freshman OTW. Cestero set a new program single-match kill record with 30 in a win over Bethune Cookman (hitting .529). Groover also broke a school record with 41 digs in a 3-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast …

Hartford middle Jenna Bridges had 36 kills and hit .745 last week and is the America East POW. With 11.6 assists and 6 digs per set, Taylor Dunn of UMBC became the first America East player to earn both setter and defensive POW …

Three of four A10 honorees this week play for the Dayton Flyers, including offensive POW Jamie Peterson, who had 4.57 kills per set last week to go with 1.14 blocks per set …

Missy Huddleston contributed all-around as she led Montana to its first road victory over Idaho since 1991 and a win over Eastern Washington. For the week, the Big Sky defensive POW averaged 1.30 blocks, 2.30 digs, and 3.00 kills per set, hitting .349 …

Big West POW Kashauna Williams of Long Beach State led her team to a pair of sweeps last week, averaging 5.83 kills per set, hitting .483 …

Western Kentucky players claimed three weekly honors in the C-USA. Middle Lauren Matthews, who had 17 kills and six blocks in the top-25 win over Rice, shared the offensive award with Marshall’s Ciara Debell (48 kills, 21 digs, eight blocks in two matches). Nadia Dieudonne is the setter OTW and outside hitter Paige Briggs (3.56 kills, 2.33 digs per set) took home the top freshman award …

Towson secured the regular-season title in the CAA last week and its setter Marissa Wonders got the CAA offensive POW nod, averaging 13.6 assists per set over the weekend …

Junior middle blocker Nyssa Baker collected 27 kills and 15 blocks in two victories for Wright State last week, and she is the Horizon League offensive POW …

Ivy League POW Jessie Harris, a senior setter for Princeton, averaged 11.67 assists for set in a pair of wins last week, adding nine kills, a block, and 16 digs …

Fairfield junior middle and MAAC POW Kaylie Butts collected 33 kills with just one error last week (.653) to help her team clinch the MAAC regular season title. The MAAC rookie OTW Morgan Romano of Rider averaged 6.00 kills and 4.29 digs per set, but it’s nothing new for the Oviedo, Florida, native who ranks in the top four in the country in both total kills and total points …

Tia Jimerson took home the MAC East offensive and defensive honor after hitting .667 with 31 kills and adding 1.67 blocks per set in a pair of sweeps for Ohio last week …

Morgan State’s Zoe McBride averaged 6.0 kills, 1.33 digs, 1.0 aces, and 1.0 blocks per set, hitting .467, in her team’s sweep of Coppin State and is a co-POW in the MEAC, sharing the honor with Bethune-Cookman’s Faith Landreneaux (.534, 2.9 kps, 1 bps) …

Senior UNI setter Rachel Koop, the MVC POW, was just one assist away from 100 for the week (11.0 per set). She leads the NCAA in total assists …

Wyoming swept the Mountain West awards, with senior outside Tara Traphagan claiming the offensive honor and senior libero Madi Fields earning the defensive award. Traphagan hit .533 with 25 kills in two matches, while Fields collected 36 digs …

Robert Morris outside Emma Granger took home her fifth NEC POW award of the season, averaging 4.75 kills, 1.25 blocks, and 0.5 aces per set in a pair of wins last week. Her 26 kills versus Central Connecticut ties a program single-match record …

OVC defensive POW Justine Walker had 20 blocks in a 1-1 week for UT Martin. Tennessee Tech sophomore Ashley Hand is the OVC setter OTW after recording 87 assists in a pair of matches …

Samford’s Corinne Meglic is the SoCon setter OTW after setting a new career-high with 67 assists in a five-set victory over Furman. She added 43 assists versus UNCG to total 110 for the week (12.22 per set) …

In the Southland Conference, New Orleans’ Ehize Omoghibo tallied 46 kills on the week, including a career-high 28 versus Nicholls, and is the league’s offensive POW. Northwestern State libero Megan Lohmiller earned the defensive nod, totalling 58 digs in two matches (6.4 per set) …

WAC offensive POW Julianna Salanoa’s 3.29 kills per set (.579) helped New Mexico State secure the WAC regular season title last week. Chicago State libero Megan Klavitter averaged 7.20 digs per set last week and is the defensive POW …

It’s rare to see a libero earn a POW honor, but BYU’s Mary Lake did just that this week in the WCC. Lake collected 32 digs, 11 assists, and an ace in two victories last week, and with that tally she became BYU’s all-time leader in career digs.

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