NCAA volleyball bids up for grabs Saturday in ASUN, America East, Big Sky, CAA, NEC, OVC, WAC

0
530
Bella Zeman of Wofford hit against the WCU block of Brooklyn Poling, left, and Johnna Robinson in the SoCon quarterfinals/SoCon photo

Brown, which won the Ivy League, has been in for awhile. Now the Bears will get company in the 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket because bids will be captured Saturday in the ASUN, America East, Big Sky, CAA, NEC, Ohio Valley, and WAC.

There are also conference-tournament semifinals Saturday and 10 more NCAA bids will be secured on Sunday.

It all comes on the heels of a Friday that saw plenty of surprises, especially in the SoCon and WAC.

And some big-time numbers, like 29 kills by UMBC’s Mia Bilusic, 12 bocks, two solo, by Sacred Heart’s Rehan Palanchi; 27 kills by UIC’s Paola Santiago; Rider’s Morgan Romano had 26 kills for the third match in a row; and The Citadels’ Sharlissa de Jesus had 26 kills as her team pulled off a stunning upset.

Here’s a conference-by-conference breakdown of leagues having tournaments. Our report on the other conferences will post later Saturday on VolleyballMag.com.

Every match this weekend is being show in some form. Go to our VolleyballMag.com TV and Streaming Listings to get the viewing links.

Saturday’s conference finals

ASUN — FGCU (24-7) is back in the championship match for the sixth consecutive year and will play Jacksonville State (25-6), which is in the final for the first time. They won their respective ASUN divisions this season.

FGCU swept North Florida (24-7) as Erin Shomaker and Cortney VanLiew had 13 kills each. UNF hit .037 … 

JSU beat Kennesaw State (20-9) in five as three players — Addie Halverson, Katie Montgomery, and Lena Kindermann — had 14 kills apiece in the 23-25, 25-14, 28-26, 20-25, 15-13 victory. 

FGCU swept its only meeting with JSU this season.

AMERICA EAST — UAlbany (14-8), the second-seed will play in the AE final for the fourth season in a row against top-seeded UMBC (18-11), which won the title last spring.

UMBC, playing on its home floor, faced match point before rallying to get past fourth-seeded Stony Brook (13-14) 22-25, 27-25, 25-27, 25-19, 17-15. Mia Bilusic had 29 kills, four assists, two blocks, and 16 digs. Aysia Miller had 17 kills, an assist, a block, and 24 digs. Andjelija Draskovic had four kills, 54 assists, an ace, a block and 17 digs, and Loren Teter had 31 digs and eight assists. Stony Brook had four players with 13 or more kills, 17 by Leoni Kunz, who had a block and 13 digs. Kiana Kerstetter had 33 digs, five assists,  and an ace, and Torri Henry had 57 assists, three aces, two blocks, and 12 digs … 

UAlbany swept third-seeded New Hampshire (16-12) 25-21, 25-13, 25-17 as Oren Abutbul had 13 kills and three blocks. Danielle Tedesco and Grace Cozad had 10 kills each.

UMBC won both its regular-season matches with UAlbany.

Montana State’s Kira Thomsen hits into the Weber State block of Ashlyn Power, left, and Sam Scheiss/Robert Casey photo

BIG SKY — The Big Sky has been quite a multi-team battle all season, but in the end the top two seeds will play for the bid as No. 1 Weber State faces second-seeded Northern Colorado.

Weber State (20-8) had to go five to get past Montana State (15-14) as Rylin Adams had 25 kills, hit .367, and had an ace, 15 digs, and two blocks. Sam Scheiss had 12 kills with one error in 25 attacks and seven blocks, three solo. Baylee Bodily had eight kills, hit .467, and had eight blocks. Makayla Sorenson had 25 digs, five assists, and an ace … 

Northern Colorado beat Portland State in four as Makenzie Harris had 16 kills, hit .382, and had 10 digs and two blocks. Portland State hit .063.

Weber State beat UNC twice this season.

CAA — Towson plays Elon for the title. Towson (25-4) is back in the championship match for the third season in a row after its sweep of Delaware (15-3) and Elon (17-10) knocked out Hofstra (15-14) in four. 

Six Towson players had kills, seven by Nina Cajic. Delaware hit minus .026 … Elon’s Leah Daniel had 15 kills, five blocks, and five digs. Natalie Cummins had eight kills and nine blocks, one solo. 

Elon and Towson split their regular-season meetings.

Have it noted that James Madison, which finished third in the conference, was not allowed into the tournament because it was kicked out of postseason play by the CAA after JMU announced it was leaving after this year for the Sun Belt. 

NEC — Regular-season champion Bryant (21-10) swept Saint Francis (13-14) and second-seeded Sacred Heart (18-9) beat LIU (13-14) in four. Bryant got eight kills each from Emma McGovern and Riley James. Sacred Heart’s Olivia Fairchild had 21 kills, hit .385, and had three digs and five blocks. Reghan Palanchi had eight kills, hit .438, and hd 12 blocks, two solo. 

Bryant and Sacred Heart split their regular-season matches.

OHIO VALLEY — Top-seeded Southeast Missouri State (25-7) will play No. 2 Morehead State (20-11). Morehead State has a tough task: Just last week the OVC regular season ended with SEMO sweeping the Eagles on back-to-back days. 

Southeast Missouri beat fifth-seeded Murray State (18-12) 22-25, 25-18, 25-15, 26-24 as Laney Malloy had 22 kills, hit .465 after having two errors in 43 attacks, and she had two assists and 10 digs. Zoey Beasley had 17 kills, five digs, and three blocks. Murray State’s Jayla Holcombe had 22 kills, hit .500, and had a dig and two blocks … 

Morehead State ousted third-seeded Austin Peay (21-12) in five as Olivia Lohmeier had 22 kills in the 15-25, 32-32, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7 victory. Lohmeier hit .362 and had four blocks and 12 digs. Maycie Welborn and Abby Hulsman had 15 kills each. Briget Bessler had four kills, 51 assists, three aces, a block, and nine digs. Austin Peay’s Mikayla Powell had 18 kills, hit .432, and had four blocks and two digs, and Brooke Moore had 17 kills, an ace, a block, and 18 digs.

WAC — This has been a most unpredictable conference, especially after Friday when fifth-seeded Grand Canyon (19-6) swept top-seeded Sam Houston (18-9) and will play seventh-seeded Utah Valley (15-12), which swept sixth-seeded Stephen F. Austin (18-9).

GCU had four players with seven or more kills, eight each by Annabelle Kubinski and Ashley Lifgren. Kubinski hit .375 and had four blocks, one solo …

Utah Valley’s Kazna Tanuvasa had 13 kills, hit .348, and had a block and four digs. SFA’s Valeria Rosado had 12 kills. 

GCU beat Utah Valley in five in late September and then in four just more than two weeks ago.

Fordham’s Whitley Moody hits against the Saint Louis block of Delaney Rice/Fred Vuich, Atlantic 10

Saturday’s conference semifinals

ATLANTIC 10 — Top-seeded Dayton plays fifth-seeded Duquesne, which beat Davidson, and second-seeded VCU faces sixth-seeded Fordham, which upset No. 3 Saint Louis. 

Click here for the A10 Championship page.

BIG SOUTH — The top four teams face off as No. 1 seed High Point faces fourth-seeded North Carolina A&T and No. 2 Campbell plays third-seeded Winthrop. NC A&T beat USC Upstate in four and Winthrop did the same to Presbyterian. 

Click here for the Big South Championship page.

CONFERENCE USA — A possible Sunday showdown between No. 18 Western Kentucky and Rice looms large. First, however, are Saturday’s semifinals when WKU (25-1) plays UTEP (21-6) and Rice (18-5) plays Middle Tennessee (9-10).

WKU crushed UAB (11-14) as the Toppers hit .384. Paige Briggs had 15 kills and hit .481 and Lauren Matthews had 12 kills and four blocks, one solo … UTEP had to go five to get past FIU (9-13). Yasso Amin led UTEP with 19 kills and nine blocks, one solo …

Rice grinded to a four-set win over Charlotte (12-13). Nonetheless, the Owls hit .321 and Nicole Lennon led with 21 kills, three blocks, and 14 digs. Carly Graham had four kills in seven errorless tries, 50 assists, an ace, and five digs. Sydney Rowan had 21 kills for Charlotte to go with an assist, an ace, a block, and 10 digs … Middle Tennessee got its biggest win of the season when it swept North Texas. Samira Lawson Body led with 14 kills. Marley Banton had 25 digs, four assists, and two aces.

Click here for the Conference USA Championship page.

HORIZON — The top four seeds play as No. 1 Milwaukee (22-8) plays fourth-seeded UIC (17-11) and No. 2 Northern Kentucky (19-7) plays third-seeded Wright State (24-7).

Friday, Wright State swept Oakland (15-15) as it hit .322. Megan Alders led with 13 kills, hit .345, and had two blocks and four digs … UIC went five to beat Green Bay (15-16) as Paola Santiago had 27 kills with only seven errors in 70 swings. She had two assists, a block, and 24 digs. Martina Delucchi had 18 kills, hit .310, and had four blocks and 24 digs. Jaclyn Oblena had 22 digs, seven assists, and an ace. Green Bay’s Alexandra Zakutney had 19 kills, an ace, three blocks, and six digs.

Click here for the Horizon Championship page.

MAAC — Sixth-seeded Quinnipiac (11-17) upset third-seeded Marist and plays second-seeded Rider (18-11), while No. 1 Fairfield (22-8) takes on fourth-seeded Canisius (11-17).

Fairfield swept Siena (7-23) as four players had 10 or more kills, 19 by KJ Johnson … Canisius beat Niagara (13-15) in four as Rachel Kinney had 21 kills and 17 digs for Canisius and Jaycie Roberts had 21 kills and 22 digs for Niagara …

Quinnipiac beat Marist (17-13) in five as five players had nine or more kills, 14 each by Nicole Legg — who had five blocks — and Lexi Morse — who had six blocks, three solo. Jordan Newblatt had 24 kills for Marist to go with three blocks, four assists, and 15 digs. Sasha Van der Merwe had 20 kills and Gabriella Heimbauer 19 … Morgan Romano had 26 kills, hit .407 and had 15 digs and a block as Rider beat Iona (10-18) in four.

Click here for the MAAC Championship page.

MEAC — Top-seeded Howard (16-12) plays fourth-seeded North Carolina Central (11-13) and second-seeded Delaware State (25-3) plays No. 3 Coppin State (16-11).

Howard swept South Carolina State, which finished the season winless at 0-25 … NC Central beat UMES (12-14) in four … Delaware State hit .333 and swept Morgan State (5-24) … Coppin State swept Norfolk State (7-17).

Click here for the MEAC Championship page.

PATRIOT — The quarterfinals were Tuesday. In the semis, top-seeded Colgate plays No. 6 Navy and fourth-seeded American plays second-seeded Lafayette.

Click here for the Patriot Championship page.

SOCON — This league turned out to be the surprise of the nation.

Fourth-seeded Wofford — which upset top-seeded Mercer — plays ninth-seeded Furman and No. 7 The Citadel — which knocked off second-seeded UNC Greensboro — takes on third-seeded Samford.

Furman (9-19) stunned Mercer (16-12) 25-20, 25-27, 25-21, 25-16, marking the first time since 1995 that the No. 1 seed has lost in its first tournament game and the first time in league history that the No. 9 seed has advanced to the semifinals. Furman, which lost twice to Mercer in the regular season, got 20 kills from Tolone Bella, who hit .405 and had two assists, a block, and 12 digs … 

The Citadel (12-11) shocked UNCG (23-7) 25-18, 16-25, 25-12, 22-15, 15-8 as Sharlissa de Jesus had 26 kills, an assist, two aces, a block, and 13 digs. Kenzie Kellerman had 23 digs, four assists, and two aces. Kayla White had 12 kills and 12 digs for UNCG … 

Wofford (16-13) beat fifth-seeded Western Carolina (11-17) in four. Emory Wyatt had 14 kills, hit .333, and had an assist, three blocks, and four digs …

Samford (11-17), the third seed, swept sixth-seeded ETSU (11-17) as Kenya McQuirter had 21 kills and hit .381 to go with a dig and two blocks, one solo. ETSU hit .021.

Click here for the SoCon Championship page.

SOUTHLAND — In one semi, top-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi plays UIW, which beat Southeastern Louisiana in four. In the other, second-seeded HBU plays McNeese, which beat Nicholls in four. 

Click here for the Southland Championship page.

SUN BELT — The top four teams from the regular season face off. Texas State, which won the West Division, plays Coastal Carolina, which was second in the East. South Alabama, which won the East, plays UT Arlington, second in the West.

Texas State (19-11) swept Troy (17-12) as the Bobcats hit .393. Janell Fitzgerald had 13 kills and hit .524 to go with an assist, two aces, five digs and seven blocks … Coastal Carolina (19-8) swept Louisiana (15-11) as the Chanticleers hit .382 and four players had seven or more kills. Ilsa Sinnige had seven kills with no errors and two blocks … South Alabama (23-6) swept Georgia State (8-20) as six players had four or more kills, eight each by Hannah Maddux, who had four blocks, and Carissa Bradford … UTA (12-14) won its sixth in a row the hard way, beating Georgia Southern (17-11) 28-26, 25-22, 18-25, 18-25, 15-12. Brooke Townsend led with 13 kills, an assist, a block, and nine digs. GSU’s Baylor Bumford had 19 kills, hit .361, and had an assist, two digs, and seven blocks.

Click here for the Sun Belt Championship page.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here