Wisconsin made a big-time statement Sunday as the No. 5 Badgers swept visiting No. 6 Nebraska.
Second-ranked Pittsburgh won again and is one victory away from finishing the ACC season unbeaten.
No. 4 Stanford won again and clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 title. There was an upset in the Pac-12 as Arizona beat No. 22 Washington State.
And 15 more NCAA Tournament slots were filled as UCF (American Athletic), Dayton (Atlantic 10), Winthrop (Big South), Western Kentucky (Atlantic 10), Towson (Colonial), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Fairfield (Metro Atlantic), Ball State (Mid-American), Howard (MEAC), American (Patriot), SFA (Southland), Samford (Southern), Denver (Summit), Texas State (Sun Belt), and Alabama State (SWAC) all won their respective conference titles and the automatic bids that go with them.
Big Ten: Wisconsin (21-5, 17-1) took control of the match early and took it to visiting Nebraska (23-4, 15-3), which fell two games back after the 25-19, 25-22, 25-21 defeat.
Molly Haggerty led with 16 kills and had two assists, two digs and a block. She spent much of the match coughing.
“Yeah, I’m not feeling too good, but I don’t care,” she said. “If I was feeling great instead of feeling like this, I knew I was going to play and I knew I was going to play for my team. I don’t think I really let down too much, I didn’t want anyone to notice that I was sick. I think we just played really good as a team.”
Dana Rettke had 12 kills with no errors in 25 swings to hit .480. Rettke had three digs and five blocks, one solo. That all came after the team’s victory Friday over Iowa in which she hit .591 after getting 15 kills in 22 attacks and recording eight blocks.
Madison Duello had 10 kills and hit .450 after making one error in 20 attacks. She had four blocks. Setter Sydney Hilley had three kills, 48 assists, an ace and eight digs.
“I thought that was a great college volleyball match,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “There was a lot of high-level play on both sides of the net. I thought both teams applied pressure to the other.
“Defensively, I thought we were awfully good out of the gate. Our ball control was solid, we passed a pretty good number there. Syd was fantastic, really keeping them off balance with her play calls and who she was setting.”
Wisconsin hit .331, while the Huskers hit .239.
Lexi Sun led Nebraska with 16 kills and hit .308 and had six digs. Lauren Stivrins had eight kills and a block and setter Nicklin Hames had three kills in six attempts, 31 assists, seven digs and a block …
No. 8 Penn State (23-4, 16-2) stayed a game back of Wisconsin with a 25-14, 25-19, 25-12 sweep at Rutgers (8-21, 2-16). The Nittany Lions, who hit .351, got 12 kills from Tori Gorrell and 11 from Jonni Parker, who had two aces and three digs. Serena Gray had seven kills, five digs, three aces and a block.
Wisconsin goes to Penn State on Friday …
No. 25 Illinois (15-12, 10-8) won 21-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-16 at Ohio State (14-16, 7-11), which has lost four of five. Jacqueline Quade led the Illini with 16 kills and had an assist, two aces, eight digs and two blocks. Ashlyn Fleming had 12 kills, hit .360, and had five digs and a block. Megan Cooney had 11 kills, three digs and a block and setter Diana Brown had three kills in five errorless attempts to go with 48 assists, eight digs and two blocks.
Jenaisya Moore had 13 kills for Ohio State. Gabby Gonzales had 12, 10 digs and a solo block …
Indiana (14-17, 3-15) swept at Michigan State (13-14, 4-13) as Kendall Beerman and Megan Sloan had 10 kills each in the 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 victory. The Hoosiers hit .347, which included Kamryn Malloy getting nine kills and hitting .533. Biamba Kabengele led Michigan State with 15 kills. She hit .625 after having no errors in 24 swings … Northwestern (13-17, 4-14) swept Maryland (13-17, 5-13) behind 19 kills by Nia Robinson and 17 from Alana Walker. Temi Thomas-Ailara added 15 kills. Katie Myers had 18 kills and hit .586 for Maryland and had four aces, five digs and four blocks. Jada Gardner had 13 kills, hit .355 and had three digs and nine blocks, one solo.
Pac-12: Stanford (22-4, 16-2), Washington (23-5, 14-4) and Utah (20-9, 12-6) all won, so the top three spots stayed the same in the conference as the Cardinal clinched at least a tie for the program’s 19th title.
Audriana Fitzmorris led visiting Stanford with nine kills and hit .615 in a 25-14, 25-5, 25-18 victory at Colorado. She had a dig and six blocks, one solo. Madeleine Gates had eight kills and hit .368 and had a dig and seven blocks, one solo. Megan McClure had seven kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks and four digs, and Kathryn Plummer had six kills, three aces and five digs. Jenna Gray had four kills in six errorless attempts, 30 assists, three aces, a block and nine digs.
Stanford hit .330, but Colorado hit minus .024 …
Dani Drews had 16 kills, an assist, five blocks and 12 digs. Zoe Weatherington and Berkeley Oblad had nine kills each. Oblad had seven blocks. Cal’s Bailee Huizenga had 10 kills, two blocks and five digs and Maddie Haynes had nine kills, an ace, two blocks and six digs. Lauren Forte had eight kills and six blocks, one solo, and Savannah Rennie, wearing a brace and playing with a torn ACL, had six kills in 12 errorless attempts to hit .500 and had three blocks …
Washington won 17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 at Arizona State (16-13, 8-10) for its seventh win in a row. Kara Bajema led Washington with 22 kills, hit .413, and added two assists, an ace and 11 digs. Samantha Drechsel had 12 kills, an ace, five blocks and five digs, and Lauren Sanders and Claire Hoffman had nine kills each. Ella May Powell had three kills, 52 assists, two blocks and seven digs as her team hit .311.
Andrea Mitrovic led Arizona State with 15 kills and hit .302 to go with two assists, four digs and three blocks, one solo. Ivana Jeremic had 10 kills and hit .400 and had two assists, a block and 13 digs …
Arizona (15-15, 5-13) beat visiting Washington State (22-8,11-7) as Paige Whipple had 29 kills in the 25-22, 20-25, 25-15, 25-23 victory. Whipple hit .299, had three assists, an ace, a block and nine digs. Katie Smoot had 14 kills and a dig, and Devyn Cross had seven kills and six blocks, two solo. Arizona,which had been 0-11 against ranked teams this season, got 24 digs from libero Kamaile Hiapo, who had six assists and an ace. Pia Timmer led WSU with 17 kills and eight digs. Hannah Pukis had two kills, 34 assists, an ace, 15 digs and four blocks, one solo …
UCLA (16-11, 11-7) swept Oregon State (9-20, 3-15 ) as Mac May had 20 kills in the 25-23, 25-13, 25-16 victory. May hit .385 and had six digs. Savvy Simo had 14 kills with one error in 22 attacks and hit .591 and had two blocks and 14 digs. Maddie Goings had 12 kills and hit .379 for the Beavers …
And Oregon (8-19, 4-14) broke its six-match losing streak with a 20-25, 27-25, 25-18, 22-25, 18-16 victory at USC (16-12, 10-8) that dropped the Trojans into a sixth-place tie with Cal.
Willow Johnson led with 16 kills, two blocks and three digs. Karson Bacon had 12 kills, hit .360, and had an assist, a dig and two blocks, one solo. Brooke Nuneviller had 11 kills, an assist, two blocks and 24 digs. Setters Kylie Robinson and Elise Ferreira combined for two kills, 54 assists, an ace and 23 digs.
Khalia Lanier led USC with 22 kills, an assist, two blocks and 16 digs. Kalen Owes had 12 kills, a dig and five blocks, one solo. Emilia Weske had 11 kills with no errors in 29 attacks and hit .379 to go with seven digs and a block. Jasmine Gross had 10 kills, hit .348, and had a dig and six blocks, one solo. Raquel Lazaro had 51 assists, 15 digs and five blocks, two solo.
ACC: Pittsburgh (28-1, 17-0) cruised at NC State (11-18, 6-11) as Kayla Lund had 18 kills and hit .351 in the 25-20, 25-14, 25-22 victory. Lund had three assists, an ace, a block and four digs. Stephanie Williams had 10 kills and Chinaza Ndee had nine, hit .375 and had four blocks. The Panthers hit .346. Melissa Evans had eight kills for NC State, which hit .162 …
Mariana Brambila had 24 kills and Georgia Tech (20-8, 13-4) over sole possession of second place over idle North Carolina with its 25-20, 18-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-8 win at Notre Dame (18-9, 11-6). Brambilla hit .302, had five assists, an ace, two blocks and nine digs. Mikaila Dowd had 18 kills and hit .424 to go with three assists, an ace and 14 digs, and Julia Bergmann had 17 kills, hit .300, and had an assist, 14 blocks and three digs, one solo. The Yellow Jackets hit .319. Charley Niego had 23 kills for Notre Dame, hit .327, and had three assists, two aces, a block and eight digs. Caroline Meuth had 15 kills, an ace, three blocks, and nine digs. Notre Dame lost despite hitting .308 …
Florida State (18-9, 11-6) swept Duke (12-18, 5-12) 25-22, 25-7, 25-10 as Payton Caffrey had 15 kills with no errors in 23 swings to hit .652. FSU had 10 aces and hit .378. Duke hit .022 …
Louisville (18-8, 11-5) swept visiting Miami (10-13, 6-9) to stay a game ahead of FSU in the loss column and alone in fourth. Claire Chaussee led with 13 kills, hitting .357, and had 11 digs …
Syracuse (11-13, 8-9) beat Boston College (19-11, 10-7) in five as Paulina Shemanova had 24 kills, two assists, 11 digs and three blocks. Dana Gardner had a kill and 12 blocks, three solo. BC hit .079 … Wake Forest (13-15, 3-14) swept at Virginia Tech (10-19, 3-13) in a battle for last place.
SEC: No. 15 Florida (23-4, 14-2) pulled into a first-place tie with idle No. 14 Kentucky with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-13 sweep at Georgia (19-9, 11-6). Rachael Kramer had 14 kills with no errors in 20 attacks to hit .700 and added two digs and five blocks, one solo. Holly Carlton had 10 kills, hit .600, and had two digs and three blocks. Kacie Evans had seven kills for Georgia, which hit .120 …
Third-place Texas A&M (20-6, 12-4) dealt visiting Ole Miss (14-13, 6-10) its 10th loss in a row, a streak started with A&M winning at Ole Miss. Hollann Hans had 20 kills in the 25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20 victory. She had 11 digs and two blocks. Lauren Davis had 19 kills and hit .389 and had two digs and two blocks. Setter Camille Conner had 10 kills and hit .381, had 52 assists, an ace, a block and 17 digs. Emily Stroup had 21 kills for Ole Miss to go with 12 digs and three blocks …
LSU (15-11, 9-7) swept at Alabama (12-15, 4-12) as Taylor Bannister had 14 kills, five digs and three blocks, one solo … South Carolina (18-10, 10-6) swept at Auburn (6-21, 0-16) behind 13 kills by Mikayla Shields, who hit .520 after having no errors in 25 swings. She also had 11 digs and a block … Arkansas (11-17, 5-11) beat visiting Mississippi State (13-16, 2-15) in five behind 20 kills by Jillian Gillen … and Missouri (19-7, 11-5) won in four at Tennessee (13-13, 7-9) as Kylie Deberg had 22 kills, eight digs and two blocks.
WKU wins Conference USA: No. 19 Western Kentucky continued its dominance of the league with a five-set victory over No. 21 Rice in the C-USA tournament final.
Western Kentucky (31-1, No. 21 NCAA RPI) won for the 27th time in a row and captured the league’s automatic NCAA bid with the 25-17, 18-25, 29-27, 24-26, 15-9 hard-fought victory. Rice (26-3) is No. 14 in the NCAA RPI and will get an at-large bid.
“This was another unbelievable match against Rice; what a showcase for Conference USA,” WKU coach Travis Hudson said. “I wonder if we play them 10 times, if we wouldn’t end up in a fifth set every time.
“Our kids went out there and made plays at the end to get us over the top. This was two terrific teams going at it with neither one backing down.”
Lauren Matthews led WKU with 21 kills, hit .529, and had seven blocks, one solo. Sophia Cerino had 12 kills, four aces, a block and six digs. Paige Briggs had 11 kills, an ace, two assists, 11 digs and two blocks, one solo. Kate Isenbarger had 11 kills, hit .526, and had four digs and a solo block. Kayland Jackson had 10 kills, hit .375, and had three digs and three blocks, one solo. Nadia Dieudonne had six kills, 61 assists, an ace, two blocks and 15 digs.
Nicole Lennon had 25 kills for Rice and hit .328 to go with an assist, an ace, a block and 13 digs. Grace Morgan had 11 kills, hit .391, and had an ace, three digs and three blocks. Anota Adekunle and Ellie Bichelmeyer had 10 kills each.
Big East: Regular-season play concluded as No. 9 Marquette (26-4, 16-2) swept at Providence and No. 12 Creighton (24-4, 17-1) held off DePaul in four.
Marquette won 5-22, 25-7, 25-10 as Allie Barber had 12 kills and Hope Werch had 11, hit .320, and had two assists, three aces and 11 digs. Providence (6-25, 1-17) hit .109 …
Creighton won 25-19, 25-21, 25-27, 25-21 as Jaela Zimmerman had 17 kills and hit .360 to go with an ace, an assist, three blocks and five digs. Keeley Davis had 13 kills, two aces, a block and 11 digs. Brittany Maxwell had 17 kills for DePaul (14-16, 6-12). Maxwell had an assist, an ace, four blocks and four digs …
Villanova (22-8, 13-5) finished in third place as it beat visiting St. John’s (20-11, 12-6) in five. Mallory Potts had 17 kills, hit .326, and had three blocks and three digs. Allie Olsonoski had 11 kills, hit .407 after having no errors in 27 swings, and had 14 blocks.
Efrosini Alexakou led St. John’s with 24 kills and Klara Mikelova had 20. Alexakou hit .347 and had an assist, an ace, a block and 15 digs, while Mikelova had two assists, three blocks and 18 digs …
Seton Hall (8-24, 3-15) won in five at Georgetown (13-19, 3-15) in the season finale for both teams. Haylee Gasser led Seton Hall with 18 kills and 10 digs.
In Friiday’s conference tournament semifinals, Villanova plays Marquette and Creighton plays St. John’s.
UCF wins AAC: Jordan Thompson had 38 kills but McKenna Melville had 27 and ultimately her team, UCF (24-7), playing on its home floor, won the American Athletic Conference tournament title with a 21-25, 25-16, 26-24, 24-26, 15-10 victory over Cincinnati (24-6).
Melville hit .296 after having three errors in 81 attacks and had two assists, an ace, 12 digs and four blocks. Kristina Fisher had 12 kills and 13 digs and Anne-Marie Watson had 11 kills, hit .375, and had nine blocks as the Knights won back-to-back AAC titles.
Thompson hit .245 after having 14 errors in an incredible 98 attacks. She had an assist, two aces and 20 digs. Maria Mallon had 19 kills, an ace, a block and 22 digs. Cincinnati, 25th in the last NCAA RPI, will assuredly get an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
Dayton wins A10: The Flyers (22-8) made up for losing the regular-season finale to VCU (24-6) by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament title 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19.
Pia Sierra led a balanced attack with 15 kills, hitting .429, and had an assist, three digs and four blocks, one solo. Jamie Peterson had 13 kills, three assists, four blocks and 12 digs. Paula Neciporuka had 13 kills for VCU, which hit .163. VCU is 48th in the RPI and has to hope for the best.
Winthrop wins Big South: The Eagles are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006 as Winthrop (24-4) beat Campbell (17-13) 25-21, 25-23, 25-23. Nikkia Benitez led Winthrop with 12 kills and hit .500 go with 11 digs and two kills, one solo. Morgan Bossler had 10 kills and hit .360 and had four digs and three blocks, one solo. The Fighting Camels, who had their best season in four years, were led by Lailah Green, who had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, a block and 13 digs.
Towson tops in CAA: Towson (28-2) continued its incredible run by not only winning its 22nd match in a row, but the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 sweep of James Madison (20-8). Towson, which went 16-0 in the regular season, is the first CAA team to go unbeaten since 1996.
Olivia Finckel led Towson with 14 kills, hit .357, and she had four blocks and five digs. Emily Jarome had 12 kills, hit .300, and had an ace and six digs. Annie Ertz had seven kills, an ace, four blocks and eight digs. Setter Marissa Wonders had two kills in as many tries, 35 assists, two aces, and 13 digs.
Briley Brind’Amour and M’Kaela White had 11 kills each for JMU, which hit .139. Sophia Davis had four kills and eight blocks, one solo.
Northern Kentucky wins Horizon: NKU was the fourth seed, but the Norse (19-12) beat second-seeded Milwaukee 25-17, 25-20, 25-13 to become the unlikely winner of the Horizon League’s automatic bid. Northern Kentucky finished fourth in the standings and in the tournament knocked off top-seeded Wright State in the semifinals.
Anna Brinkmann led with 11 kills and hit .400 and had an assist, an ace, two blocks and 10 digs. Abby Kanakry had nine kills with no errors in 18 swings and hit .500 and had four blocks and four digs.
Milwaukee (26-6) hit .035. Carmen Hellemann led with eight kills.
Fairfield wins MAAC: The Stags (24-5) won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title for the fourth time in five seasons and 11th overall with a 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-18 win over Quinnipiac (14-16).
Luci Albertson was spectacular as she led Fairfield with 13 kills in 18 errorless swings to hit .722. She had a dig and 11 blocks, three solo. Mayda Garcia had 12 kills, two aces and 10 digs, and Joelle Battles had 10 kills, two blocks and two digs. Laura Seegar had 10 kills, five blocks and two digs. And setter Manuela Nicolini had a kill, 39 assists, an ace, 14 digs and 10 blocks.
Georgia Tselepi had 17 kills for Quinnipiac, hitting .300, and had three blocks and five digs.
Ball State takes the MAC: The fourth-seeded Cardinals (20-11) got hot at the right time as they won their ninth in a row and won the Mid-American tournament with a 21-25, 25-17, 25-18, 18-25, 15-5 victory over third-seeded Bowling Green (19-12).
Ball State, which beat Ohio and upset top-seeded Miami in the semifinals, got 12 kills each from Kia Holder, Natalie Risi and Natalie Mitchem. Holder hit .423 and had two blocks, one solo. Risi had two aces, a block and 15 digs. Marie Plitt had eight kills, three digs and four blocks, and the setters, Amber Seaman and Esther Grussing, combined for three kills, 51 assists, four aces and 18 digs.
Katelyn Meyer led Bowling Green with 19 kills, three blocks and five digs. Katie Kidwell had 14 kills, hit .343, and had an ace, two digs and seven blocks, one solo.
Howard wins the MEAC: The Bison (20-12) won the MEAC gain, but they had to go the distance to get their fifth title in a row with a — and yes, that second-set score is correct — 24-26, 37-35, 17-25, 25-23, 15-12 victory over Morgan State.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Howard coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “This was the best-played match I’ve seen in a long time. Obviously, there were some sloppy parts, but for the most part, players were hitting high and aggressive and hard time after time … every time you had a free ball, there was something coming back hard at you.”
Howard, which won the MEAC for the 12th time overall, was led by Jurnee Tipton, who had 19 kills and hit .333. She had an assist, two aces, a block and 16 digs. Kailyn Williams had 18 kills, hit .326, and had three blocks and four digs. Kira Porter had 15 kills, hit .463 and had two aces and eight blocks. Myca Mitchell and Marcell Butler had eight kills each and Butler had seven blocks and five digs.
Zoe McBride capped a great season with 24 kills, four blocks and 13 digs. Tylar Roberson had 21 kills, hit .318, and had an assist, 18 digs and three blocks, one solo. Roi Wallace had two kills, 67 assists, three aces, two blocks and six digs.
American wins the Patriot League: The Eagles (24-7) beat Army West Point 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16 for the program’s 16th conference crown since joining the Patriot in 2001.
Helena Elbaek led with 16 kills and hit .344 and she had three blocks. Zeynep Uzen had 11 kills, two assists, two aces, 11 digs, and four blocks, one solo. Onuchi Ndee had eight kills with no errors in 15 swings to go with four blocks.
Army (22-10) got 13 kills from Courtney Horace and 12 from Monica Eckford.
Alabama State wins SWAC: The Hornets (17-21) might have been the fifth seed, but they took it to second-seeded Prairie View 25-15, 25-20, 25-20 for their fourth SWAC title in a row.
Bayle’ Bennett led Alabama State with 16 kills and had two assists, a block and 11 digs. Taira Cottingham had nine kills and hit .333 and had an ace, three blocks and three digs. Krysta Medearis had eight kills, two assists, three digs and four blocks, two solo. And E’laisah Young had eight kills with no errors in 18 swings to hit .444 and had three aces, three blocks and three digs. Setter McKenzie Boland had three kills in five errorless tries, 42 assists, a block and five digs.
Prairie View hit .088.
SoCon to Samford: The Bulldogs (24-5) not only won their 12th match in a row, they beat ETSU (25-6) 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 15-8 to take the Southern Conference title for the second straight year.
Samford, which won the SoCon title for the fifth time since joining the league in 2008, got a career-high 26 kills from Kelsi Hobbs. She hit .426 and had an assist, a solo block and 12 digs. Lauren Deaton had 20 kills, hit .311, and had two solo blocks and 14 digs. Sierra Rayzor had 14 kills and hit .684 to go with two digs and two blocks, one solo. Corinne Meglic had 62 assists, an ace, two blocks and seven digs.
ETSU’s Kaela Massey had 18 kills with no errors in 30 attacks and hit .600. She had an assist, an ace, six blocks and three digs. Sara Esposito had 17 kills, hit .333, and had four digs and five blocks, one solo. Olivia Cunningham and Lauren Hatch had 11 kills each.
SFA captures Southland: The Ladyjacks are 31-1, have won 24 in a row, and are going back to the NCAA Tournament again after coming back strong after losing the first set against Sam Houston State 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17.
SFA hit .307. Corin Evans led with 14 kills, an assist, a block and 12 digs. Xariah Williams had 12 kills with no errors in 24 attacks and hit .500 and had three blocks and three digs.
Danae Daron had 11 kills, hit .417, and had two assists, five blocks and a dig. Ann Hollas had nine kills, hit .333, had 30 assists, five blocks and 12 digs. Taya Mitchell had six kills, hit .455, and had six blocks and a dig.
Sam Houston State (18-13) got 16 kills from Breanne Chausse, who hit .467. She had two blocks and seven digs. Ashley Lewis had 13 kills, two aces, two blocks and eight digs.
Denver wins Summit League: Denver (23-7) won its fifth conference title with a 25-21, 25-13, 22-25, 25-18 victory over Omaha (19-14).
Lydia Bartalo led second-seeded Denver with 16 kills and hit .400. She had an ace, a block and seven digs. Kalea Fobert had 13 kills, hit .462, and had three blocks. Amanda Green had nine kills, an assist, three aces, a block and two digs.
Sadie Limback led fourth-seeded Omaha with 16 kills, hitting .448, and she had two blocks and three digs. Anna Blaschko had 13 kills, a dig and three blocks, one solo, and Isabella Sade had 12 kills.
Top-seeded South Dakota, upset by Omaha in the semifinals, is ranked No. 38 in the RPI and has a strong chance of getting an at-large NCAA bid.