No upsets as ranked teams grind to wins, Missouri Valley and Big Sky tourneys begin

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South Carolina's Claire Edwards hits past the block of Texas A&M's Lauren Davis, left, and Makena Patterson/South Carolina photo

Ninth-ranked Washington had to come back from 0-2 to beat visiting Cal in five. 

No. 14 Kentucky lost the first set but then won in four at LSU.

No. 16 Purdue won the first two sets, but then won in five at No. 22 Michigan, taking the fifth set 20-18 after facing match point four times.

Khalia Lanier went off again, getting 33 kills for USC in a five-set win at Arizona State that may have all but knocked the Sun Devils out of NCAA Tournament consideration.

And Oklahoma won in four at TCU, 36-34 in the fourth set.

The recaps follow, but first a look at Thanksgiving Day volleyball as two NCAA Division I conferences begin their tournaments.

In the Missouri Valley Conference tournament at Northern Iowa, fourth-seeded Bradley plays No. 5 Valparaiso at 5 p.m. Central, followed by third-seeded Illinois State facing No. 6 Evansville. The Bradley-Valpo winner gets top-seeded UNI on Friday and the ISU-Evansville winner plays Loyola. The final is at 4 p.m. Sunday with an NCAA tourney automatic bid on the line. UNI is the only team that could get an at-large bid if it loses out.

The Big Sky Conference starts at 11 a.m. Seventh-seeded Southern Utah plays No. 2 Weber State, followed by No. 6 Idaho against No. 3 Northern Arizona, No. 8 Montana vs. top-seeded Northern Colorado, and No. 5 Sacramento State vs. No. 4 Montana State. The semifinals are Friday and final on Saturday, also with an NCAA berth on the line. Northern Colorado went went 17-1 in the regular season and won the conference by four games, but has an NCAA RPI of 85, so no team in the league will get an at-large bid.

The Big East tournament starts with semifinals on Friday.

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Pac-12: Washington (24-5, 15-4) clinched second place with its 22-25, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-6 victory over Cal (20-9, 10-9). 

Kara Bajema continued her tremendous season with 25 kills as she hit .311 and had an assist, an ace, nine digs and two blocks, one solo. Samantha Drechsel had 16 kills, two assists, four blocks and five digs. Claire Hoffman had 10 kills, six digs and three blocks, one solo, and Avie Niece had nine kills, hit .333, and had three blocks, two solo. Setter Ella May Powell had three kills, 54 assists, two blocks and 11 digs.

Washington, which rallied from an 18-11 deficit in the fourth set, has finished first or second in the Pac-12 12 of the past 16 years. The Huskies finish the regular season Saturday when Washington State visits Seattle.

“You don’t need to give a lot of motivation to this team,” Washington coach Keegan Cook said. “They want to win and they know what to do. I told them that we weren’t going to go on a long run against a team like Cal, they just side out too well, we had to chase them down. Winning close sets is what late-season volleyball is all about.”

Cal is living life on the NCAA edge. The Bears, who finish the regular season at Stanford on Friday, are ranked No. 45 in the NCAA RPI …

Lauren Forte led Cal with 16 kills as she hit .609 and had three blocks and two digs. Mima Mirkovic returned after missing four matches with an injury and had 15 kills, an assist, three aces, a solo block and 12 digs. Maddie Haynes had 14 kills, an ace and a a block. Bailee Huizenga and Savannah Rennie had nine kills each and Rennie had three blocks and four digs …

No. 17 Utah (21-9, 13-6) has third place all to itself after sweeping Oregon State. Berkeley Oblad led with 16 kills and hit .667 after having no errors in 24 swings in the 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 victory. She had four blocks and four digs. Dani Drews had 12 kills, a block and four digs, and Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres had 38 assists, three blocks and five digs. 

The Utes finish up Saturday at Colorado.

Maddie Goings had 18 kills and hit .333 for Oregon State (9-21, 3-16), which is alone in last place in the conference. Goings had an assist, an ace, two blocks and five digs. Montanna Gubrud had three kills in four errorless attempts, 20 assists, an ace and four digs …

No. 23 UCLA (17-11, 12-7) won 25-20, 27-25, 25-22 at Arizona (15-16, 5-14) as Mac May had 21 kills, hit .439, and had two blocks and eight digs. Savvy Simo had 10 kills, an ace and 14 digs. Paige Whipple had 21 kills for Arizona and added two assists, two blocks and six digs …

USC (17-12, 11-8) won 25-19, 28-30, 20-25, 25-19, 15-5 at Arizona State (16-14, 8-11) as Lanier had her 33 kills and hit .304. She had nine errors in 79 attacks. Lanier also had an assist, six aces, 10 digs and three blocks. Emilia Weske had eight kills, an assist, two aces, five digs and six blocks, one solo. Jasmine Gross also had eight kills and hit .400 after having no errors in 20 swings. She had a dig and eight blocks, two solo. Madison Horin had two kills and 11 blocks, four solo. And Raquel Lazaro had four kills in six attempts, 48 assists, an ace, 20 digs and three blocks. 

ASU, which hit .127, is ranked No. 50 in the RPI and with one match left against Arizona is probably on the outside looking in. Ivana Jeremic led the Sun Devils with 16 kills, an ace, six digs and four blocks. Andrea Mitrovic had 15 kills, two assists and eight digs, and Jada Burse had 11 kills, assist, a dig and a solo block … 

Colorado (13-16, 5-14) swept visiting Oregon (8-19, 4-14) as Parker Sterling had 16 kills and hit .539 and Meegan Hart had 15 kills and hit .571 in the 30-28, 25-23, 25-22 victory. Ronika Stone led Oregon with nine kills, hit .3364, and had three digs and seven blocks.

Big Ten: Purdue (21-7,13-6) had to go the distance and more at Michigan (19-10, 12-7) in its 26-24, 25-17, 20-25, 20-25, 20-18 victory as Caitlyn Newton led with 23 kills, seven aces, five digs and eight blocks, three solo. Grace Cleveland had 17 kills, two aces, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Blake Mohler had nine kills, a dig and six blocks, two solo. Hayley Bush had four kills, 51 assists, a block and seven digs, and Marissa Hornung had 29 digs. 

Paige Jones led Michigan with 27 kills and had an assist, four blocks and nine digs. Sydney Wetterstrom and Jess Robinson had 12 kills each. Wetterstrom had three aces, a block and 11 digs, and Robinson had an assist, an ace, three blocks and two digs. Katarina Glavinic had seven kills and five blocks. Michigan was playing without injured May Pertofsky, who is third on the team in kills and leads in blocks and aces … 

No. 24 Illinois (16-12, 11-8) beat visiting Northwestern (13-18, 4-15) 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18.

Jacqueline Quade led the Illini with 20 kills and hit .357. She had two aces, a block and 11 digs. Ashlyn Fleming had 12 kills, hit .417 and had four digs and nine blocks, one solo. Megan Cooney also had 12 kills and had a block and three digs. Diana Brown had two kills in four errorless attempts, 52 assists, four blocks and nine digs.

Nia Robinson led Northwestern with 17 kills and had five digs and three blocks, one solo. Temi Thomas-Ailara had 12 kills. 

The same teams finish B1G play Saturday at Northwestern.

ACC: Second-ranked Pittsburgh (29-1, 18-0) ran the table with its 25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 25-12 win over visiting Louisville (19-9, 12-6). Pitt is the first team to go unbeaten in ACC play since 2004.

Kayla Lund led the Panthers with 15 kills and had an assist, 10 digs and four blocks. Stephanie Williams had 13 kills, an assist, a block and 14 digs. Layne Van Buskirk had 12 kills with no errors and hit .800 and had an assist and seven blocks, one solo. Chinaza Ndee had 10 kills and two blocks. Sabrina Starks had nine kills, hit .381, and had four blocks and a dig.

Claire Chausee led Louisville with 14 kills and added four blocks and 12 digs. Aiko Jones had 10 kills, six blocks and 10 digs. Amaya Tillman had 13 blocks to go with three kills …

Wake Forest (14-15, 4-14) ended its season a happy note with a 15-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 15-11 victory at North Carolina (15-12, 12-5). 

The Deacons, who won three of their last four matches, got 17 kills from Carolina Kuhn and 16 from Peyton Suess, who had three blocks and eight digs. Olivia Saunders had 13 kills with no errors in 20 attacks and hit .650 and had eight blocks and four digs. UNC, which finishes up at Virginia Tech on Friday, got 28 kills from Lauren Harrison, who hit .377 and had two blocks and three digs. Skylar Wine and Destiny Cox had 11 kills each. Cox hit .450 and had two blocks and two digs … 

Florida State (19-9, 12-6) ended its regular season with a 25-16, 25-11, 15-25, 25-14 victory at  Miami (10-5, 6-11). Payton Caffrey led with 17 kills and hit .410. She had two aces and 14 digs. Jasmyn Martin had 11 kills, five blocks and four digs. Morgan Chacon had seven kills, an ace, a block and 15 digs, and Emma Clothier had four kills and eight blocks. 

Elizaveta Lukianova led Miami with 11 kills and four digs and Janet Kalaniuvalu had 10 kills. Miami plays host to Georgia Tech on Friday …

Virginia (13-18, 5-13) swept Virginia Tech (10-20, 3-14) 25-17, 25-13, 25-22. Sarah Billiard had nine kills and four blocks for Virginia and Jelena Novakovic had nine kills, three blocks and two digs. Virginia Tech hit .000.

SEC: Both the league’s ranked teams, No. 14 Kentucky and No. 15 Florida, won, so they stayed tied for the lead.

Kentucky (24-4, 14-2) won 19-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-11 at LSU 15-12, 9-8). Alli Stumler led the Wildcats with 16 kills despite hitting .075. She had three aces and seven digs. Leah Edmond had 15 kills, an ace, 18 digs and a block. Madison Lilley had three kills in six errorless attempts and had 46 assists, two aces, a block and 11 digs. The Wildcats finish the regular season at home against Ole Miss on Saturday.

Taylor Bannister led LSU with 20 kills and had an assist, 14 digs and four blocks. Whitney Foreman had 11 kills, an assist, eight digs and four blocks, three solo. Allee Morris had four kills and six blocks, and setter Karli Rose had five kills, 33 assists, 14 digs and three blocks, one solo …

Florida (24-4, 15-2) beat visiting Arkansas (11-18, 5-12) 25-17, 25-21, 25-16. The Gators, who hit .320, got 10 kills from Rachael Kramer, who hit .643 and had an assist, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Paige Hammons had seven kills with no errors in 11 attacks and hit .636 to go with two assists, three aces, five digs and four blocks, two solo. Marlie Monserez had three kills in six errorless tries and had 28 assists, an ace, four digs and three blocks, one solo.

Jillian Gillen had 14 kills for Arkansas, which hit .094 …

Texas A&M (21-6, 13-4) won in four at South Carolina (18-11, 10-7) as Hollann Hans had 20 kills and hit .375 in the 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16 victory.

Hans had three assists, two aces, a block and five digs. Camille Conner had 10 kills in 18 errorless swings and hit .556 and had 334 assists, a block and eight digs. Treyaunna Rush had nine kills, an assist, two blocks and three digs.

Mikayla Shields had 15 kills and hit .313 for South Carolina and had an ace, a block and 10 digs. Claire Edwards had 12 kills, hit .381, and had an ace, and three blocks. South Carolina, which is on the NCAA edge with an RPI of 41, plays host to Arkansas on Friday … 

Georgia (20-9, 12-6) won 25-21, 25-17, 26-24 at Alabama (12-16, 4-13). Kacie Evans led with 19 kills, hit .326, and had an ace, seven digs and two blocks, one solo. Rachel Ritchie had 16 kills and four digs. Alyiah Wells had 10 kills and hit .318 for Georgia and had an ace, five blocks and three digs … 

Four players had 15 kills each as Missouri (20-7, 12-5) extended the losing streak that Ole Miss (14-14, 6-11) is mired in to 11 matches with a 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 win in Oxford. 

Leketor Member-Meneh, Tyanna Omazic, Kylie Deberg and Dariana Hollingsworth had 15 kills apiece. Member-Meneh had two assists, three aces and nine digs. Omazic had an ace, four blocks and 11 digs. Deberg had two blocks and 11 digs and Hollingsworth had two blocks and four digs. Andrea Fuentes had two kills, 56 assists, an ace, a block and six digs. 

Emily Stroup led Ole Miss with 14 kills and had three assists and seven digs. Leah Mulkey had 10 kills and two blocks, and Aubrey Sultemeier had nine kills, hit .353, and had four blocks, one solo …

Tennessee (14-13, 8-9)  kept visiting Auburn (6-22, 0-17) winless in the league as the Vols came away with a 25-18, 25-18, 23-25, 25-15 victory.

Lily Felts and Tessa Grubbs had 14 kills each. Felts had 14 digs and two blocks, one solo. Grubbs hit .371 and had two solo blocks. Addisyn Rowe had 10 kills and hit .348 and had two blocks and one dig.

Tatum Shipes had 18 kills for Auburn to go with an ace and 18 digs. Shaina White and Lily Thompson had nine kills each.

Big 12: Oklahoma won in four at TCU, while Kansas knocked off visiting Iowa State in five.

Oklahoma (19-8, 11-5)  won 24-26, 25-23, 25-17, 36-34. There were 17 ties and 11 lead changes in the fourth set. The Sooners had match point four previous times before closing it out.

Ashlynn Dunbar led with 26 kills and had a block and four digs. Paige Anderson had 12 kills, hit .526, and had three blocks. Sarah Sanders had seven kills and five blocks, and Brianna Kadiku had six kills, hit .417, and had three aces, two digs and seven blocks, one solo. Kylee McLaughlin had four kills in six attempts, 50 assists, an ace, two blocks and seven digs.

TCU (9-16, 4-11) got 16 kills apiece from elan McCall and Katie Clark and 14 from Julia Adams. McCall had three assists, two blocks and 17 digs. Clark hit .538 and had an ace, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Adams hit .345 and had two blocks and three digs. Setter McKenzie Nicholls had five kills, 49 assists, a block and nine digs …

Kansas (9-16, 5-10) beat visiting Iowa State (17-10, 8-7) 14-25, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-12.

Ashley Smith led the Jayhawks with 20 kills and hit .311. Morgan Christon had 19 kills, five digs and three blocks, one solo. Camryn Ennis had 11 kills, 10 assists, two aces, 12 digs and a block.

Iowa State, probably OK with an RPI of 37, got 18 kills from Candelaria Herrera, who hit .395 and had an assist, two aces, a dig and six blocks, one solo. Michal Schuler had 16 kills, two aces, eight digs and a block, and Annie Hatch and Josie Herbst had 11 kills each.

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