Minnesota topped the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll that came out Monday, a day after now-No. 4 Stanford swept Texas A&M and new No. 2 Florida did the same to North Carolina, which was ranked 16th but fell out of the ranking.
Minnesota (5-0) moved up a notch, as did Florida. Penn State moved up two spots to No. 3, while Stanford, which was No. 1 last week before losing to Penn State, is No. 4. Texas dropped one spot to No. 5.
Wichita State moved in at No. 23 and Colorado State took over the No. 25 spot. Western Kentucky also dropped out.
A reminder that the VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Poll presented by the NIVC comes out Tuesday and we also post our national players-of-the-week roundup.
Big match on Labor Day: There are eight matches on the NCAA scoreboard for Monday, highlighted by No. 13 Kentucky at No. 7 Kansas at 1 p.m. Central, streamed on ESPN3. It’s a match featuring some of the best players in the nation, including Kansas’ Kelsie Payen, Ainise Havili and Madison Rigdon and Kentucky’s Leah Edmond, Kaz Brown and Ashley Dusek.
Kansas of the Big 12 is 6-0 and ranked sixth in the nation at 15.75 kills per set. This is the home opener for the Jayhawks. Kentucky (5-1) is coming off victories Saturday over Northern Iowa and No. 19 USC.
Sunday’s slate was light but involved a handful of ranked teams.
Stanford’s Plummer unstoppable again: The Cardinal had Saturday off after losing to Penn State on Friday and came back strong by sweeping Texas A&M 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 as Kathryn Plummer had 22 of the Cardinal’s 40 kills.
The sophomore had four errors in 44 swings and hit .409 a match after getting 27 kills against Penn State.
“She’ll do that to just about every team she plays. She’s a future Olympian, no doubt,” said Texas A&M coach Laurie Corbelli, herself a former Olympian.
“She’s got the physicality, the smarts, the composure, the experience. She’s a beach champion as well. She’s one of the best college players I’ve ever seen. She was a big reason that they won, there’s no question, but I think we did not compete against them today. We did not come to compete hard and that’s the biggest disappointment.”
Sophomore setter Jenna Gray had a career-high six kills to go with four digs, three blocks and an ace. Freshman outside Meghan McClure had five kills, 10 digs and three blocks and sophomore Michaela Keefe had four kills and four blocks.
Stanford (4-1) outhit the Aggies (2-2) .272 to .089. Hollan Hans led A&M — which took Penn State to five on Saturday — with 12 kills but hit .057. Camille Conner had seven kills and hit .500 and Kiara McGee had six kills.
Gators riding high at 4-0: And not just any 4-0, considering that they beat Texas when the Longhorns were No. 1, Nebraska when the Huskers were No. 5 and then North Carolina on Sunday when the Tar Heels were No. 16.
Florida beat UNC 25-17, 25-17, 25-23.
“A great learning opportunity,” Florida coach Mary Wise said of the trip to Puerto Rico where the Gators also beat NC State on Saturday. “The good news: I think we’ll have the players’ attention in practice next week. We’ll have some growing pains.”
Perhaps, but the Gators showed a lot of balance Sunday. Senior outside Carli Snyder led with 11 kills to go with nine digs. Big sophomore middle Rachael Kramer had 10 kills, hit .571 and had two blocks. Right side Shainah Joseph had eight kills and hit .538. Senior middle Rhamat Alhassan had five kills and nine blocks, one solo.
UNC, which hit .109, got eight kills and 11 digs from Taylor Leath, six kills from Beth Nordhorn and five kills from Holly Carlton.
Just the opposite of Florida, UNC is 0-4, but its other losses have to come then-No. 4 Minnesota, then-No. 7 Wisconsin and Auburn.
“Although the results don’t always show it, I feel we’ve made progress,” UNC coach Joe Sagula said. “This team is maturing, and it’s given everybody some great hope for what we can do throughout the rest of the season.”
Also in Puerto Rico, Auburn improved to 5-1 with a 14-25, 25-22, 15-25, 26-24, 15-9 over NC State. Gwyn Jones led with 14 kills, Shaina White had 12 and Brenna McIlroy had 11 kills and 10 digs.
“Tonight’s match showed that this team has a lot of maturity,” Auburn coach Rick Nold said. “They found themselves in tough situations and found ways to fight their way out. This was a big tournament for us against great competition. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves on this trip.”
Utah beats Hawai’i, FSU bounces back, CU is 6-0: No. 18 Utah improved to 5-1 — its only loss was at Kentucky — with a 20-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-23 at Hawai’i, its first victory ever over the Rainbow Wahine.
Utah’s Adora Anae continues to lead the Utes. She had 19 kills and 16 digs. Dani Barton added 10 kills and 11 blocks, while Berkeley Oblad and Lauga Gauta had eight kills each. Tawnee Luafalemana added six kills and 12 blocks, two solo.
McKenna Granato led Hawai’i with 24 kills and she had seven digs. Casey Castillo added eight kills and 10 digs and Emily Raglio had seven kills and eight blocks, one solo, as the Rainbow Wahine fell to 2-4.
Florida State, coming off a tough home loss to Colorado State, dealt one to TCU 25-16, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21. Natasha Calkins led with 17 kills and hit .350. Christina Ambrose had 12 kills, as did Milica Kubura, who left the match with an injury in the second set. She hit .632. Taryn Knuth added 11 kills.
Florida State, which dropped five spots in the AVCA poll to No. 20, is 5-1, while TCU fell to 4-2.
“I was really proud of this team today. Yesterday was extremely disappointing for all of us and the girls knew they did not perform well,” FSU coach Chris Poole said. “It would have been easy to let down today as well, but the girls came out and played great the first set to get us started.
“When Mili had to leave the match in the second set we could have completely folded as a team. Instead we saw some great performances from them, and really everyone contributed to the win.”
TCU’s Ashleigh Martin had 15 kills and hit .429. Lexi Maclean had 13 kills and nine digs and Allye Beth Deaton had 11 kills.
“This was a hard-fought match on both sides of the net. I really liked the way our team fought when we were down two sets,” TCU’s Jill Kramer said. “We hadn’t been in that situation before and there was still a lot of fight in them. It just comes down to us doing some things more consistently.
“On our side as a coaching staff, this is probably the most detailed scout we have given them and we started planning out some new things that none of them have done before. We had worked on it in practice a little bit, but we changed up some things we did defensively. We will learn those because we are going to have to do those at some point during match play. We are going to learn from those things and get better. It was really promising though and I saw a lot of really promising things in this match.”
Colorado is 6-0 after sweeping Abilene Christian 25-19, 25-20, 25-20. It’s the best start for the Buffs since 2008. Stephanie Shadley led with 11 kills, 14 digs and two blocks in her first start of the season. Naghede Abu had eight kills with no errors in 13 attempts and had five blocks. Justine Spann had nine kills and 11 digs to go with two blocks.
“We played both Justine and Steph. They played great. It’s tough because we have a lot of talented kids on our roster. The left side position is really deep on our team and I don’t think there’s a let up when these two are on the floor,” coach Jesse Mahoney said. “It was good to give them an opportunity. I’m sure they enjoyed playing and they both played very well.”
Also, Davidson is 5-1 after beating William & Mary in four, while Bucknell improved to 4-2 by beating Stetson in four.