NCAA tourney first four matches: Notre Dame, Mizzou, San Diego, Pepperdine win

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NCAA volleyball First Round 4/14/2021-Army volleyball-Anna Ogilvie
Army libero Anna Oglivie looks on as teammate McKenzie Karnig digs against Notre Dame/Mark Kuhlmann, NCAA Photos

Notre Dame battled to a four-set win over Army in what was the toughest battle Wednesday of the first set of NCAA Tournament matches in Omaha.

The other three winners — Missouri, San Diego, and Pepperdine — won in sweeps.

In the second set of first-round matches, all played at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the CHI Health Center, the lineup has High Point vs. UCF, Utah Valley vs. Texas State, Towson vs. Dayton, and Morehead State vs. Creighton.

At 7 p.m. Eastern, the matches are Weber State vs. Bowling Green, Illinois State vs. UNLV, Lipscomb vs. Georgia Tech, and Samford vs. Wright State.

The 10:30 matches have Rider vs. UCLA, Jackson State vs. Western Kentucky, North Carolina A&T vs. Rice, and LIU vs. Pitt.

All the first- and second-round matches are being streamed on ESPN3.

NOTRE DAME TOPS ARMY — The Knights (6-3), champions of the Patriot League, won the first set, but after that it was all Notre Dame (15-3), an at-large team from the ACC.

Nore Dame won 23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-11 in absolute abysmal offensive performance by both teams. Notre Dame hit .134, salvaged a bit when the Irish hit .368 in the fourth set. Army West Point hit .006.

Notre Dame advances into a Thursday match against 10th-seeded Oregon, an at-large from the Pac-12. The two teams have met once when Oregon won in 1985.

Notre Dame’s Charley Niego had 12 kills, two assists, 15 digs, and two blocks. Caroline Meuth had 10 kills, two assists, three digs, and five blocks. 

Aubrey Hamilton had seven kills and four blocks, while Lauren Wenzel had four kills and eight blocks, and Hannah Thompson had three kills and eight blocks. Zoe Nunez had 30 assists, three aces, 12 digs, and three blocks.

Army got 15 kills from Allanah Cutler, who had an ace, a block, and seven digs. Four of her teammates had six kills each, including Hannah Presley, who had 31 assists, a block, and 18 digs.

MISSOURI SWEEPS S.D. — South Dakota was no match for the outsides attack of Mizzou’s Kylie Deberg and Anna Dixon as the Tigers won 25-21, 25-17, 25-15.

Missouri (16-7), an at-large team from the SEC, will play ninth-seeded Ohio State (15-3) of the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are in the tournament for the first time since 2016. The teams have met just once, when Ohio State won in 2018.

Missouri, which hit .347, got 16 kills from Deberg, who had three errors in 27 attacks to hit .481. She added two assists, two aces, 10 digs, and two blocks, one solo.

Dixon had 11 kills, hit .304, and had two blocks and three digs. They combined for 27 kills, one less than the entire South Dakota team.

Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana had seven kills, a block, and four digs. Andrea Fuentes had three kills in five errorless tries, 39 assists, an ace, a block, and five digs.

South Dakota, which won the Summit League, finished its season 15-7. The Coyotes hit .126 as Sami Slaughter and Elizabeth Juhnke had nine kills each. Madison Jurgens had a kills, 21 assists, an ace, and nine digs.

SAN DIEGO SWEEPS TAMUCC — Thana Fayad had 17 kills as San Diego (13-4) hit .427 and overpowered Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 25-13, 25-15, 25-18.

San Diego, an at-large entry from the West Coast Conference, will play 11th-seeded Louisville of the ACC (14-2), which has won 10 matches in a row. It doesn’t appear that the two schools have ever played each other. 

Fayad had two errors in 28 attacks and hit .536 to go with three aces, seven digs, and a block. Roxie Wiblin had 11 kills, hit .370, and had an assist, an ace, seven digs, and two blocks. Grace Frohling had 10 kills with two errors in 16 attacks to hit .500 and had two aces, a dig, and three blocks. Kylie Pries had five kills in seven errorless attacks, an assist, and three blocks. Isadora Tercariol had 35 assists and five digs.

Southland Conference-champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which saw its season end 14-5, hit .179. The Islanders got seven kills each from Julia Carter and Hannah Froeschl. Faith Panhans had five kills, 22 assists, an ace, and eight digs.

PEPPERDINE SWEEPS UMBC — Pepperdine (17-3) got a surprisingly tough battle from UMBC, the America East champion that saw its season end 11-4 after its first NCAA trip since 1998.

It sets up a rematch for the Waves with the Big 12‘s Baylor (19-6). Pepperdine made a trip to Waco this past February 28 and gave the Bears all they could handle before Baylor prevailed 25-22, 19-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-7. Pepperdine hit just .133 in that match.

The Waves, second in the West Coast Conference this spring, got 15 kills from Rachel Ahrens and 13 from Shannon Scully in the 25-7, 25-22, 26-24 victory. Ahrens had an ace, a block, and nine digs. Scully had one error in 37 attacks and hit .387 and had an ace and 13 digs. Meg Brown had nine kills with two errors in 14 attacks, three assists, three digs, and four blocks. Isabel Zelaya had 41 assists, an ace, four digs, and two blocks. Pepperdine hit .308.

UMBC, which hit .112, got kills from seven players, eight by Michela De Marzi. Darina Kumanova and Beste Ayhan had six each. Loren Teter had 17 digs and an assist.

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