[Premium] NCAA: Who’s in, who’s out, who won bids, a report on every conference

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Western Kentucky volleyball-WKU-Hilltoppers-Conference USA-C-USA-NCAA volleyball-volleyball-volleyball magazine-VolleyballMag.com
The WKU Hilltoppers celebrate their Conference USA championship/WKU photo

More teams were dancing Sunday, from the hottest team in the country, VCU, to the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina to Western Kentucky to the Sugar Bears of Central Arkansas to Howard.

The Pac-12 had three matches as No. 10 Washington went to Oregon and swept the No. 20 Ducks, No. 17 UCLA did the same to Cal and Oregon State stayed hot and beat visiting Washington State in four.

In the ACC, Louisville and Pitt stayed in a tie at the top, but their lead widened.

The only match in the Big Ten saw No. 12 Wisconsin sweep Northwestern.

Baylor won the only Big 12 match on Sunday as the No. 19 Bears swept West Virginia.

In the SEC, No. 6 Kentucky swept Ole Miss and pulled back into a first-place tie with idle No. 3 Florida.

We’ve got the breakdown of all 32 conferences from who’s in and who’s still playing as the NCAA Division I women’s college volleyball season heads into the final week of the regular season.

ACC
Louisville (22-6, 16-2) beat North Carolina in five and Pittsburgh (23-6, 16-2) swept at Georgia Tech to stay atop the league. But NC State (19-10, 14-4) fell two games with two games left by losing in five at Notre Dame.

Melanie McHenry had a career-high 30 kills in Louisville’s 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 15-11 victory.

“It was a good win by our team,” first-year Louisville coach Dani Busboom Kelly said. “It’s hard when you lose momentum to get it back and we did a great job keeping our composure in game five even when we were down.”

McHenry, whom Kelly said “was due for a great match,” hit .318 with nine errors in 66 swings. She had eight digs and two blocks, one solo. Jasmine Bennett added 11 kills and five blocks, setter Wilma Rivera had a kill, an ace, 12 digs and four blocks to go with her 56 assists. Amanda Green added nine kills, four digs and three blocks, one solo.

North Carolina (14-12, 11-7) got 14 kills and 15 digs from Taylor Leath, who had two blocks. Holly Carlton had 10 kills, an ace, 12 digs and two blocks, Taylor Fricano had nine kills and six blocks and Beth Nordhorn had eight kills and eight blocks.

Pittsburgh beat Georgia Tech (13-16, 8-10) 25-22, 25-20, 25-21 as Stephanie Williams had 16 kills while hitting .467, four aces, a block and five digs. Nika Markovic had 15 kills, hit .379 and had nine digs and three blocks.

“I was really pleased with our back row defense,” said head coach Dan Fisher. “Out-digging a good defensive team by 10 is a great victory for us.”

Gabriela Stavnetchei had 13 kills, an ace, seven digs and three solo blocks for the Yellow Jackets.

Notre Dame (21-8, 11-7) beat visiting NC State 27-25, 22-25, 26-24, 24-26, 15-9 as the Irish had 21 blocks and finished 13-4 at home, the program’s best mark since going 15-1 in 2005.

Jemma Yeadon led with 17 kills, seven dig and seven blocks, one solo. Sydney Kuhn had 11 kills, two aces, 13 digs and two blocks, and Sam Fry had 11 kills, four aces, two digs and nine bocks.

”We played clean in the fifth game and we just kept fighting and found a really good rhythm when the match was on the line,” Notre Dame coach Jim McLaughlin said.

NC State broke a program record with 106 digs. The Wolfpack was led by Julia Brown, who had 22 kills, two aces, 19 digs and three blocks. Teni Sopitan had 15 kills and two blocks, and Kaitlyn Kearney had 13 kills, hitting .480, five digs and seven blocks.

Also in the ACC, Miami is 19-5 and all alone in fourth at 13-5 after sweeping Virginia Tech. Also in the ACC, Boston College swept visiting Wake Forest, Florida State won in four at Virginia and Syracuse beat visiting Duke in four.

The league is off until Wednesday.

Big 12
Baylor (23-5, 13-2 Big 12) won at West Virginia 27-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21.

“Good gritty win on the road. Not our best match, but we had good composure to finish some sets off,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “There’s no bad teams in our conference. West Virginia has caused problems for a lot of teams here. I really wanted to see us a little more crisper. We were kind of slow to execute the game plan tonight, but we were able to pull it off then.”

Baylor’s Yossiana Pressley led with 14 kills, Shelly Fanning had 13 while hitting .455 to go with three blocks, one solo, and Aniah Philo had 12 kills and 14 digs.

West Virginia (16-12, 4-10) got 20 kills from Payton Caffrey.

The league is off until Wednesday.

Big Ten
Wisconsin won at Northwestern 25-20, 25-18, 25-17 to improve to 19-8, 10-8 B1G. The Badgers hit .344 as Dana Rettke had 13 kills and 10 blocks, one solo.

“It was really important just to go out and keep building up our seed for the NCAA tournament,” said Rettke, who hit .611. “That was our goal for this weekend and I think we did that.”

Teammate Lauryn Gillis added 12 kills, hit .348 and had an ace, five digs and three blocks. Setter Sydney Hilley had three kills, five digs and three blocks to go with her 32 assists.

“We needed to be tough,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “This is a team that goes back there and their serves are pretty gnarly. They go back there and let it rip. They didn’t give us a lot of points behind the service line. They kept a lot of them in play. This is a team that gets a lot of one-option passes. Their setter does a really good job of putting up a nice out-of-system ball. Their (left-side hitters) really get big swings out of system. I thought our backcourt battled really well. I thought Syd did a really nice job.”

Northwestern (14-16, 4-14) hit .119. Symone Abbott led with nine kills.

The next B1G matches are Wednesday.

Pac-12
Washington (22-7, 12-6) pulled back into a third-place tie with idle Utah after winning at Oregon 25-22, 25-19, 26-24.

Kara Bajema led with 14 kills while hitting .357. She had two blocks, an ace and five digs. Courtney Schwan had nine kills, three aces and eight digs.

“It was tough November volleyball,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said. “We’ve been battling through the Pac-12 conference all year, playing a lot of five set matches. It was a difficult match.

“I wouldn’t call it clean or the highest level we’ve played, but we were pretty connected, and didn’t let anything going on around us affect that we were going to play hard for each other. We made a lot of hitting errors early in sets one and three and fell behind but kept pushing forward and they stayed connected to each other and to me. It’s hard to sweep a match like that on the road.”

Oregon (16-10, 9-9) lost its third match in a row. Taylor Agost had 11 kills and 11 digs.

“I thought we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to be successful, so it’s always frustrating when you get there and you don’t make plays down the stretch,” said Oregon’s Matt Ulmer, whose team led 19-15 in the third. I thought we were much tougher today, I thought our defense was miles better than it has been in a really long time, so I was really proud of the way we fought on defense.”

UCLA (17-10, 10-8) won at Cal 25-23, 25-23, 25-15 as Mac May had 10 kills, five digs and four blocks and Kyra Rogers had nine kills, hit .667 and had four digs. Reily Buechler and Jenny Mosser added eight kills each.

Cal (13-16, 4-14) fell to 0-2 under interim head coach Jennifer Dorr. Cal said Sunday that head coach Matt McShane was on a “leave of absence” through the end of the season. Cal’s Antzela Dempi led the Bears with nine kills, five digs and two blocks, one solo.

Oregon State swept the season series with both Washington schools for the first time since 1984 by beating visiting Washington State 25-17, 25-21, 6-25, 25-22. It left the Beavers 21-9, 11-7.

Oregon State hit just .187. Maddie Goings led with 13 kills and 13 digs. Haylie Bennett added 12 kills and Mary-Kate Marshall had 11 kills, struggling to an .087 hitting percentage. She had 15 digs and three blocks, one solo.

“That wasn’t good enough,” OSU coach Mark Barnard said. “We hit some highs that we’ve never seen before, but we also plumbed some depths that were horrific.”

Washington State, hoping to be the last Pac-12 team to get an NCAA at-large bid, dropped to 16-14, 5-13. Taylor Mims led the Cougars with 23 kills, 15 digs, an ace and six blocks.

The Pac-12 is off until Wednesday when everyone is back in action.

Southeastern Conference
Kentucky rolled over Ole Miss 25-16, 25-10, 26-24 to improve to 24-3, 15-1 in the SEC.

Kaz Brown led with 18 kills, hitting .654. She had five blocks, two solo. Leah Edmond had 17 kills and hit .405 and had 10 digs, an ace and a block. And Avery Skinner had 10 kills.

“I was impressed with our team’s concentration today,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Ole Miss has got some arms. Their pin hitters hit the ball hard. To hold them to 28 kills and us get 59 is a big day.”

Ole Miss (16-14, 7-10) got 13 kills from Emily Stroup, who had 13 digs, an ace and a block.

Missouri’s hold on third place got stronger as the Tigers beat Arkansas and LSU lost at Alabama.

Mizzou (19-10, 12-4), which won its seventh match in eight outings, beat Arkansas 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-17 as Kira Larson had 16 kills, hit .462 and had two aces and 13 digs. Alyssa Munlyn had eight kills and hit .533.

“Having people healthy is a big part of it,” Missouri coach Wayne Kreklow said of his team’s late-season surge. “Our depth this season is a big plus for us. Not everybody is going to be ‘on’ every single match, but having depth and maybe someone is having an off night then someone else can pick up the slack. I thought today was a real good team effort and our depth helped us. I believe this is one of the deeper teams we’ve ever had at Mizzou.”

Arkansas (18-10, 8-8) got 15 kills from Hailey Dirrigi and 12 from Pilar Victoria, who hit minus .017.

Alabama (18-12, 6-10) dealt LSU (19-8, 10-6) a 25-15, 14-25, 25-23, 25-17 defeat as Hayley McSparin had 15 kills and hit .462 to go with three blocks, one solo. Ginger Perinar added 14 kills. LSU got 19 kills from Taylor Bannister, who hit .382.

Also in the league, Texas A&M swept South Carolina,  Georgia did the same to Tennessee and Auburn blanked Mississippi State.

The SEC is off until Wednesday.

America East
Stony Brook clinched the NCAA bid by beating Binghamton in the AE tourney final Saturday.

American Athletic
Wichita State (26-3, 18-0) continued to dominate in its first year in the league. The No. 21 Shockers dismantled SMU, its next closest challenger, on Sunday 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 as Mikaela Raudsepp led with 14 kills. Wichita State leads SMU (20-9, 14-4) by four games with two games left on the schedule.

Atlantic Sun
Kennesaw State won the NCAA bid by beating FGCU in the ASUN tourney final Saturday.

Atlantic 10
VCU not only won its 27th match in a row, the Rams beat Dayton in the tournament final on Sunday 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-13 to clinch the league’s automatic bid.

Vicky Giommarini led VCU (30-2) with 16 kills and 15 digs. Alica Kandler had 14 kills – including the matchwinner — and 13 digs and Gina Tuzzolo had 11 kills, five digs and five blocks.

Dayton (23-8) had slim hopes of an at-large NCAA bid, but will assuredly get invited to the NIVC. The Flyers were led by Jessica Sloan, who had 16 kills, 13 digs, an ace and two blocks.

Big East
Creighton (23-6, 16-2) has clinched the regular-season title for the fourth year in a row. The No. 13 Bluejays play Villanova on Friday in one Big East tournament semifinal in Milwaukee, while Butler plays Marquette in the other. Villanova and Marquette are the only teams to beat Creighton in conference play. Both Creighton and Marquette would get at-large NCAA bids if they don’t win the tournament.

Big Sky
North Dakota beat Sacramento State in the tourney final on Saturday to win the automatic bid.

Big South
Top-seeded High Point won the league, but No. 2 Radford won the tournament Sunday and the automatic bid that comes with it. The Highlanders, playing at home, won 25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 25-17.

Radford (25-4) was led by Maddie Palmer, who had 26 kills and hit .309. She had two aces, 11 digs and three blocks, one solo. Mallory McKnight had 11 kills, hit .435 and had five blocks, and Valerie Gonzalez and Stephanie Neast had 10 kills each.

We had a game plan and our kids did it to perfection tonight,” Radford coach Marci Jenkins said. “I’m so proud of all of them. We made some adjustments that we had been working on for about four weeks in practice and they paid off. It was something that the coaching staff decided to change in order to generate some more offense. It came down to our kids executing the change. They trusted us and what we had to say and executing it to perfection. It was an awesome all-around team effort.”

High Point, which went 16-0 in the Big South this regular season, has a chance to get an NCAA at-large. The Panthers (24-7) were led by Haley Barnes, who had 13 kills and 17 digs. Katie Doering had 12 kills.

Big West
The league doesn’t have a tournament. No. 22 Cal Poly won the regular-season title and the NCAA bid that comes with it.

Colonial Athletic Association
James Madison beat Charleston on Saturday and took the league’s automatic bid.

Conference USA
Make it four in a row for Western Kentucky (28-3) as the Lady Toppers beat North Texas in the C-USA tourney final at WKU 25-15, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21. Rachel Anderson led with 15 kills while hitting .462 to go with seven blocks, one solo. Alyssa Cavanaugh had 10 kills and setter Jessica Lucas had 39 assists, six kills, an ace and 13 digs.

North Texas (28-3) has a strong chance of getting an NCAA bid. Holly Milam and Valerie Valerian had 12 kills each. Valerian had 16 digs.

“What a year North Texas has had. I really hope they get the benefit of the doubt in terms of at large selections to the NCAA Tournament,” WKU coach Travis Hudson said. “They are a quality team and they’re tremendously well coached. They walked into a tough environment today to play in. They’ve had an unbelievable year and I have so much respect for them and I think they’re worthy of being an NCAA Tournament team and hope they get the opportunity.”

Cleveland State-Horizon League-NCAA volleyball-volleyball-VolleyballMag.com-Volleyball Magazine
Cleveland State won the Horizon League

Horizon League
Cleveland State is going back to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row. The Vikings swept Green Bay 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 for their fifth Horizon title overall.

Cleveland State (27-7) was led by Sara Skeens, who had 10 kills, three digs and three blocks, one solo. Alexis Middlebrooks had nine kills, four digs and six blocks, one solo.

Green Bay’s season ended 15-15. Taylor Wolf led with 12 kills, eight digs and two blocks, one solo.

Ivy League
Princeton beat Yale in a one-match playoff Saturday and claimed the NCAA bid.

Fairfield-Stags-MAC-Metro Athletic Conference-NCAA volleyball-volleyball-Volleyball Magazine-VolleyballMag.com
Fairfield won the Metro Athletic Conference title

Metro Atlantic
Make it three in a row for Fairfield, which has won 21 matches in a row. The Stags swept Iona 25-14, 25-19, 25-11 to win the program’s 10th title overall as they beat a MAAC for the 51st consecutive time.

“I’m incredibly proud of this team,” Fairfield coach Todd Kress said. “This group supports each other, they fight for each other and they care about each other. And that’s so important when you’re building a program and establishing a culture. We’ve created an environment where people can be themselves and succeed, and that’s what makes this team special.”

Skyler Day led with 14 kills. She hit .367 and had nine digs. Megan Theiller added with kills and 13 digs.

Iona’s season ended 16-18 as the Gaels hit .053.

Mid-American
Miami swept Western Michigan 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 as the Red Hawks improved to 23-8 and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

“Western is a great team,” veteran Miami coach coach Carolyn Condit said. “We knew we had to come out and serve and pass well and keep a determination for three straight sets and that’s what we did. I am very proud of my team.”

Olivia Rusek led with 13 kills while hitting .355. She had six digs and two blocks, one solo. Taylor Daignault and Stela Kukoc had seven kills each.

WMU finished 18-13 after hitting .074.

Mid-Eastern
Howard took the MEAC NCAA bid for the third year in a row with a 25-22, 25-19, 29-27 win over Florida A&M.

“Every one is different,” Howard coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “Every one has different feelings attached to it. This one was a struggle, this one was probably the hardest. We had a long year, we had a lot of injuries, a lot of new players … it was chaos trying to put it all together.”

Perhaps, but the Bison are advancing despite being just 16-15. Jessica Young led with 17 kills while hitting .424. She had four digs and seven blocks, three solo. Kira Porter and Khalia Donaldson added nine kills each.

FAMU’s season ended 15-12. Nicole Abreu led with 14 kills and nine digs.

Missouri Valley
No. 25 Missouri State won the league by going 18-0. The league tourney begins Thursday with quarterfinals pitting Drake against Indiana State, with the winner getting Missouri State, and Illinois State vs. Valparaiso, with the winner getting Northern Iowa. Should they lose, Missouri State would likely get an at-large NCAA bid, while UNI will be touch and go.

Mountain West
Colorado State (27-3, 17-1), which won the league by five games, is off until Saturday when the No. 24 Rams play host to UC Davis in a non-conference match.

Northeast Conference
LIU Brooklyn claimed the NCAA bid by beating Central Connecticut in Saturday’s tourney final.

Ohio Valley
The NCAA bid went to Austin Peay, which beat Murray State in Saturday’s tourney final.

Patriot League
American swept Navy 25-17, 25-14, 25-22 for not only its 18th win in a row, but it also takes the league’s NCAA bid. American (26-7) won its fifth in a row and 15th Patriot title in 17 years.

Aleksandra Kazala led American with 18 kills. She hit .432 and had four digs, an ace and three blocks.

Navy’s season ended 23-8. Tara Dotzauer led with 10 kills.

Southern Conference
ETSU is NCAA-bound after sweeping Wofford 25-21, 25-12, 26-24. The Bucs won the tournament for the first time since 1992 and improved to 19-11.

Leah Clayton led with 14 kills, 13 digs and two blocks, one solo. Rylee Milhorn had 10 kills, an ace and nine digs.

Wofford’s season ended 22-11 as Catie Cronister had 14 kills, 10 digs and five blocks, two solo.

Southland
Central Arkansas claimed its third SLC championship and first since 2013 with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-22 win over upstart Abilene Christian on Sunday. What’s more, Central Arkansas (27-4) is the first No. 2 seed to win the tournament since 2010.

The Sugar Bears hit .330 as Haley Tippett led with 14 kills, hit .423 and had 18 digs and two blocks, one solo. Abbie Harry had 10 kills and three blocks.

ACU, which was the eighth seed, ended its season 13-18. It was led by Jacey Smith, who had 18 kills, two aces and 10 digs.

Southwestern
Alabama State won the title for the fourth time in five years. The Hornets beat Texas Southern 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 25-18 to take the league’s automatic bid.

“This match was the hardest match I have had in my seven years,” Alabama State coach Penny Lucas-White said. “Both of these teams play each other so well, if you take something you are giving up something else. I thank God for my kids fortitude, they just have fortitude.”

Ni’yesha Brown led ASU with 15 kills and  nine digs. Briana Dorsey and Krysta Medearis had 10 kills each.

Texas Southern’s season ended 16-13.

Summit
Denver is the champion for the fourth year in a row after beating Oral Roberts 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16 Sunday as Emma Willis had 15 kills and the Pioneers won on their home court.

Willis hit .636 and had three blocks, one solo. Cassie Baird had 11 kills, an ace, eight digs and four blocks.

ORU’s season ended 15-13, but not before Laura Milos had another tremendous match with 25 kills while hitting .333. She had 10 digs and four blocks.

Sun Belt
Coastal Carolina won the 2014 and 2015 Big South championships. Now the Chanticleers have gone back-to-back in the Sun Belt. They beat Texas State 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15 Sunday to claim the NCAA bid while improving to 20-7.

Leah Hardeman was magnificent for Coastal, leading with 21 kills while hitting .354 with many of those attacks coming from the back row. She also had 16 digs and three blocks, one solo. Kyla Manning had 19 kills and four blocks, two solo.

Texas State saw its season end 24-9. Amy Pflughaupt had 13 kills, nine digs and two blocks, one solo, and Madison Daigle had 11 kills, four digs and five blocks, three solo.

West Coast
The league’s two ranked teams, No. 9 BYU and No. 11 San Diego, close out the regular season Tuesday when BYU plays host to Loyola Marymount and USD is home for Pepperdine. Both teams are 16-1 in WCC play and both will get NCAA bids.

Western Athletic
CSU Bakersfield claimed the NCAA bid by beating Texas Rio Grande Valley in Saturday’s tourney final.

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