NCAA volleyball: Ohio State and Rutgers fire coaches; latest AVCA, RPI; more POYs, POWs

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NCAA volleyball 12/3/2019-CJ Werneke
CJ Werneke is out after 12 seasons at Rutgers

Two 12th-year Big Ten coaches were fired Tuesday.

There are also openings at Auburn and Utah State.

Ohio State will not renew the contract of Geoff Carlston, whose team finished 15-17 overall and 8-12 in the Big Ten, failing to make the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.

“We want to thank Geoff for his leadership of the women’s volleyball program over the last 12 years,” Ohio State deputy director of athletics Janine Oman said in a news release. “He has provided special memories and experiences for the many student-athletes during his time”. 

“I have been extremely fortunate to coach so many amazing young women over my 12 years at Ohio State,” Carlston said. “I am grateful to Gene, Janine and the entire Buckeye Nation for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible journey.”

Carlston was 235-170 during his time in Columbus and went to the NCAA Tournament seven times, including five trips to the round of 16 …

Werneke, whose uphill battle at Rutgers was well documented after the school joined the Big Ten, actually had his best season in 2019 as the Scarlet Knights finished 8-23, 2-18 in the B1G. Rutgers beat Northwestern and Iowa this season and the victory over Northwestern snapped an 80-match conference losing streak.

“We would like to thank CJ for his time and service at Rutgers and his dedication to our student-athletes, including navigating the program through conference realignment to join the nation’s best volleyball conference,” Rutgers director of athletics Pat Hobbs said in a news release. “After evaluating the program, I felt a change in leadership was appropriate at this time.” ­­­

Auburn waited until the last match of the season to win its first SEC match, but two days after finishing 7-22, 1-17 in the conference, coach Rick Nold and the school have “mutually agreed to part ways,” according to a university news release.

Nold coached there for nine years …

Utah State coach Grayson DuBose will not have his contract renewed after 14 seasons. Utah State finished 2-28 this season, 2-16 in the Mountain West.

Grayson was a two-time Mountain West coach of the year …

Bucknell’s Anna Allison has resigned after 15 seasons, the last seven as head coach. Bucknell finished 14-14 this season, 3-13 in the Patriot League …

Rhode Island announced that it will not renew the contract of third-year coach Steve Santonastaso. He was an assistant at URI for 12 years before taking over. The Rams were 8-18 this season, 3-11 in the Atlantic 10 …

Last week we reported other NCAA Division I volleyball openings at Eastern Illinois, Gardner-Webb, Lamar, McNeese, Missouri State, Portland and South Dakota State.

AVCA, NCAA RPI: Of course, now that the bracket is out and seedings have been awarded, the AVCA Poll and NCAA RPI are just window dressing.

But …

The final regular-season AVCA Division Coaches Poll came out Monday and the top six — Baylor, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Texas, Wisconsin and Nebraska — stayed the same, meaning the coaches who vote were not in line with the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

There was no major movement, but Kentucky at No. 11 and Florida at No. 12 both moved up three spots. Creighton dropped five notches to 15th. Illinois dropped out and Texas A&M is in at No. 25.

Click here for the complete AVCA Poll.

 The NCAA RPI was used by the selection committee but not released to the public until after the NCAA announcement Sunday night.

The NCAA RPI looks quite different from the AVCA Poll, and, for that matter, what ended up on the NCAA bracket.

That included Pittsburgh at No. 4 and Wisconsin at No. 5, but it was Wisconsin that got the No. 4 tourney seed. Also, Marquette at 13 and Rice at 14 did not get top-16 bids.

Click here for the complete NCAA RPI.

Northwestern’s Temi Thomas-Ailara is the B1G freshman of the week/Northwestern photo

POYs and POWs: Pitt junior outside hitter Kayla Lund is the ACC player of the year as the league announced its postseason honors.

The defensive player of the year is Florida State junior middle blocker Taryn Knuth. Georgia Tech got the other three awards as Matti McKissock was named top setter, outside Julia Bergmann was the freshman of the year, and Michelle Collier was the coach of the year.

Click here for the complete ACC list.

The West Coast Conference player of the year is BYU senior outside McKenna Miller, while junior teammate Mary Lake is the top libero for the third year in a row. San Diego senior Anna Newsome is the top setter and teammate Grace Frohling is the freshman honoree. San Diego’s Jennifer Petrie is the coach of the year.

Click here for the complete WCC list.

The Pac-12 has yet to announce its players of the year, but it’s players of the week were UCLA’s Mac May on offense, Stanford’s Morgan Hentz on defense, and Oregon’s Karson Bacon as the top freshman. It was the second time this season for both May and Hentz and the first for Bacon … 

The Big Ten also had another round of weekly honors as the POW was Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy, the defensive player Purdue’s Marissa Hornung, the setter Minnesota’s Kylie Miller, and the top freshman is Northwestern’s Temi Thomas-Ailara.

The Big 12 POWs saw Texas senior Micaya White win the offensive honor for the third time this season. Loren Hinckle of Kansas State won her first defensive POW, while Kansas outside Morgan Christon was the top freshman for the first time … 

The SEC players of the week saw Kentucky’s Leah Edmond take the offensive honor and Florida’s Allie Gregory and Kentucky’s Gabby Curry share the defensive award. Missouri’s Andrea Fuentes is the top setter, and the freshman of the week is Texas A&M’s Treyaunna Rush … 

Howard’s Farrell donates stem cells: Jurnee Farrell, a senior libero from Englewood, Colorado, sat out the Bison’s victories while winning the MEAC tournament as she recovered from donating lifesaving blood stem cell donation to a stranger.

Multiple TV outlets reported the story, including Good Morning America.

 

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