NCAA volleyball: Wisconsin beats Minnesota in four, CSU, Rice, WKU win

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NCAA volleyball 11/15/2019-Stephanie Samedy-Minnesota volleyballStephanie Samedy
Minnesota's Stephanie Samedy hits against the Wisconsin block of Danielle Hart and Grace Loberg/Brad Rempel, Minnesota athletics

Wisconsin is the real deal and more. The No. 7-ranked Badgers proved that much Thursday night with a four-set victory over No. 5 Minnesota inside the Gophers’ Maturi Pavilion.

With the win, Wisconsin secured a season sweep over Minnesota for the first time since 2014 and with a 14-1 Big Ten record took sole possession of first place in the conference standings. If they can avoid upset in the remaining five matches on their schedule, the Badgers may have even locked up a top-four NCAA Tournament seed.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

More on how Wisconsin did it to come, along with results from around the country, but first a look at the top matches on Friday’s schedule.

In the Big Ten, No. 25 Illinois hosts No. 8 Penn State, Maryland goes to Indiana, Ohio State takes on No. 16 Purdue, and Rutgers faces Northwestern.

ACC leader and national No. 2 Pitt has the night off, but Miami’s at home for NC State, Virginia heads to Wake Forest, Clemson hosts Virginia Tech, and Syracuse takes on Louisville.

Friday’s only Big 12 match has Iowa State playing host to Oklahoma.

There are six Pac-12 matches, with more than one that could be considered a headliner. For instance, No. 4 Stanford, with a healthy Kathryn Plummer, plays at home against USC, featuring red-hot Khalia Lanier, the reigning Pac-12 offensive POW. Then there’s UCLA at No. 20 Cal and No. 15 Utah versus No. 22 Washington State. No. 13 Washington has Colorado and the Arizona school are in Oregon with Arizona State playing Oregon State and Arizona facing Oregon.

SEC leader No. 11 Florida plays LSU in Gainesville, and No. 17 Kentucky plays South Carolina on the road. Georgia versus Ole Miss and Alabama at Mizzou round out the SEC slate.

No. 10 BYU goes to No. 24 San Diego, looking to redeem a loss from earlier in the season — the Cougars only WCC loss on the year. No. 9 Marquette has Georgetown, but the Big East’s other ranked team, No. 14 Creighton is off.

In the Big West, No. 18 Hawai’i is off, but there are four matches, including Cal Poly, which sits second in the conference standings, versus Cal State Northridge.

Both undefeated Atlantic 10 teams are in action Friday, with VCU playing Saint Louis and Dayton taking on Davidson. The CAA has two big matchups as Hofstra hosts James Madison and league-undefeated Towson has Elon.

The Ivy League would have had four matches, but Penn had its final two matches of the season cancelled after “vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful” posters were found in the team’s locker room, so Penn/Yale is off and there’s just three matches on the schedule, including standings leader Princeton versus Brown.

Loyola Chicago and Bradley, the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the MVC, respectively, play Friday in Chicago, while league leader UNI takes on Drake. The Summit League’s top team, 14-0 South Dakota will play the last team in the standings, Western Illinois.

Want to watch a match? We’ve got you covered. Click here for the complete NCAA.com scoreboard and to watch any match that is being broadcast, go to the VolleyballMag.com daily TV and streaming listings.

Wisconsin takes over Big Ten lead: The Badgers (18-5, 14-1) defeated Minnesota (19-4, 13-2) in four sets (25-22, 23-25, 30-28, 29-27), with two of the four going into extra points. Molly Haggerty smashed a season-high 24 kills, while Dana Rettke had 21 and Grace Loberg added 19.

The Badgers hit .313 as a team, with plenty of credit going to setter Sydney Hilley, who tallied a career-high 78 assists, tying the UW all-time record for assists in a four-set match. (Her previous high was just 61!) The team’s 82 kills also represents a school record for kills in the 25-point rally scoring era.

Libero Tiffany Clark also posted season-high numbers with 25 digs.

“All of our hitters have worked really hard on being able to get their feet to the ball, take the ball high, and be able to hit it with range,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said, “and you could see that all of them were feeling good all night. Molly (Haggerty) was chirping more than I’ve seen her do in a long time. She had a lot of swagger out there tonight.”

On the Minnesota side, Adanna Rollins led with 16 kills and 14 digs, and libero CC McGraw topped all players with 28 digs. Regan Pittman scored 11 kills with zero errors to hit .647 and added six blocks. Stephanie Samedy, frequently the Gophers’ go-to offensive option, was uncharacteristically quiet, finishing with five kills and two errors on 23 attempts to hit .130.

Around the nation: Northern Arizona (17-10, 10-5) snuck past Montana (5-21, 4-11) for a five-set Big Sky win. Montana’s Missy Huddleston led the match with 22 kills and 15 digs, and her teammates Amethyst Harper had 19 kills and 25 digs. On the NAU side, Taylor Jacobsen had 10 kills and 24 digs, while Heaven Harris led the team with 19 kills …

Portland State’s (9-17, 5-10) Parker Webb had 24 kills hitting .400 in a five-set loss to Idaho State (7-20, 4-11). Her teammate Ellie Snook had 31 digs, and Taylor Meeks led Idaho State with 17 kills …

In its penultimate regular season match, FIU (10-15, 3-10) got a five-set win over Southern Miss (2-26, 0-13). FIU’s Sidney Henderson had 17 kills and 10 digs and Gina Lipscomb also recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs …

Alex Kells of UAB (12-14, 4-9) had 20 kills and 17 digs in a four-set loss to Marshall (18-9, 9-5). Ciara DeBell led Marshall with 21 kills and 10 digs and Sarah Schank added 14 kills and 17 digs …

No. 21 Rice (23-2, 12-1) outside hitter Nicole Lennon had 12 kills with no errors to hit .571 in a sweep of UTSA (15-11, 8-5) …

No. 19 WKU (27-1, 13-0) swept Louisiana Tech (13-14, 3-10). Middle Lauren Matthews contributed 14 kills and four blocks (three solo) …

Green Bay (20-7, 12-3) narrowly escaped with a win over UIC (20-9, 9-6) in five to remain on top of the Horizon League standings. Taylor Wolf had 25 kills (.339) and 14 digs in the effort. Setter Maddie Yoss had six kills and zero errors on 10 attempts to hit .600 in addition to 49 assists …

A very defensive five-set match won by Bowling Green (16-11, 10-5) over Miami of Ohio (16-10, 11-4) saw BGSU libero Julia Walz scoop 33 digs and Miami’s Taylor Daignault collect 29 digs to go with seven kills …

No. 12 Colorado State (25-1, 15-0) swept Utah State (2-25, 2-13), holding the Aggies to a .054 hitting percentage. With 43 assists, CSU setter Katie Oleksak broke the 25-point rally scoring era record for career assists …

Abbie Harry led Central Arkansas (15-13, 9-6) to a sweep of UIW (7-22, 3-12) with 20 kills and just four errors on 40 attempts (.400) …

Stephen F. Austin (27-1, 15-0) senior middle blocker Danae Daron led a strong blocking effort for her team, finishing the sweep of Lamar (9-16, 4-11) with seven block assists and a solo …

Kazna Tarawhiti set a new season-high with 25 kills (.378) in a four-set victory for her Utah Valley (10-17, 7-8) team over Seattle (12-17, 3-12). With 14 digs, she also recorded her ninth double-double of the season.

 

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