NCAA regular season: WSU tops Oregon; Texas, BYU sweep; Utah St. gets big MWC win

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Pepperdine's Lily Dyer makes the save against San Francisco/Sarah Otteman photo

Volleyball’s version of March Madness started Thursday with conference tournaments around the country, and we’ll look at every tournament in our corresponding report.

This recap is all about the regular-season matches Thursday in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, including No. 22 Washington State’s win over visiting Oregon in five in the PAC-12, No. 2 Texas’ sweep of Kansas State in the Big 12, and fourth-ranked BYU’s sweep of Pacific in the West Coast Conference for its 19th victory in a row. Also, Tennessee hit .469 in its SEC win over Alabama, and Utah State beat Colorado State for the first time since 1982 to force a tie atop the Mountain West.

Friday is busy, as tournaments continue, tournaments start, and the regular-season heads into the final two weeks.

Highlighting the Big Ten schedule is No. 15 Penn State at No. 11 Nebraska, a rivalry that rarely disappoints. But it does not include winless Rutgers at No. 9 Minnesota, because Rutgers has forfeited that match and Saturday’s match at Nebraska.

“The decision not to travel to Minnesota and Nebraska this weekend was supported by the Big Ten Conference and was made out of an abundance of caution surrounding the health and safety of the participants due to matters unrelated to COVID,” Rutgers said in a news release.

Minnesota and Nebraska will get credit for victories. Also in the B1G, No. 6 Purdue is home for Michigan, No. 5 Wisconsin is home for Michigan State, No. 12 Illinois is at Indiana, No. 10 Ohio State is home for Iowa, and Maryland is at Northwestern. 

The PAC-12 has No. 13 UCLA, which will play the rest of the season without star freshman Charitie Luper (out with an “undisclosed injury”), home for Arizona State, No. 12 Washington home for Oregon State, and Arizona at USC.

In the Big 12, Texas is home again for K-State, No. 7 Baylor is home for Iowa State, Texas Tech tries to win at West Virginia again, and TCU is at Kansas.

There are four ACC matches, including No. 3 Pittsburgh at No. 13 Georgia Tech. Top-ranked Louisville is home for Duke, and in a match with big NCAA Tournament at-large and seeding implications, Miami (No. 15 NCAA RPI) is at Florida State (11 RPI). Also Boston College goes to Virginia Tech.

In the Big East, No. 21 Creighton is home for Seton Hall. The Bluejays are tied for first with Marquette, which is home for Georgetown.

The SEC has Alabama back at Tennessee, and Georgia back at Ole Miss after the respective home teams won Thursday.

Want to watch a match? We have the links. Go to our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming listings to find any match that is being shown.

PAC-12 — Washington State (18-9, 12-5) and No. 17 Utah (19-7, 12-5) won to stayed tied for second, a game back of UCLA and Washington. 

Washington State, although injury-plagued, won 25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 15-12 over visiting Oregon (20-7, 11-6). Magda Jehlarova led with 15 kills, two aces, four blocks, and a dig. Katy Ryan had 12 kills with no errors in 24 attacks. Hannah Pukis had nine kills, hit .438, and had 45 assists, two aces, three blocks, and 14 digs. Oregon’s Brooke Nuneviller had 21 kills, hit .333, and had two blocks and 12 digs. Morgan Lewis had 14 kills, hit .407, and had two digs. Georgia Murphy had 24 digs, three assists, and two aces … 

Kendall Kipp had 19 kills and hit .500 as No. 19 Stanford (15-10, 10-7) won 25-23, 25-16, 24-26, 25-21 at Colorado (14-2, 5-12). Kipp had three kills in 32 attacks, an assist, two aces, six blocks, and 15 digs. Caitie Baird had 18 kills, two blocks, and seven digs. McKenna Vicini had six kills, hit .364, and had eight blocks. Kami Miner had a kill, 47 assists, and 19 digs. Her team hit .305. Colorado’s Maya Tabron had 18 kills, and Jenna Ewert had three kills, 48 assists, and 15 digs …

Utah (19-7, 12-5) won 25-14, 25-9, 25-13 at Cal (7-21, 0-17). The Utes, who hit .370, got 13 kills from Dani Drews, who had one error in 17 attacks and two aces. Zoe Weatherington had nine kills in 11 attempts with one error. Cal hit minus .054.

BIG 12 — Texas (21-1, 12-1) hit .398 and blasted visiting Kansas State 25-16, 25-16, 25-15. Skylar Fields had 13 kills with no errors in 29 attacks, and Logan Eggleston had 12 kills with two errors in 25 swings. K-State (15-9, 6-7) hit .099 … 

Texas Tech (16-10, 6-7) knocked off West Virginia (17-8, 6-7) on its home court 25-22, 18-25, 25-20, 26-24. West Virginia has an NCAA RPI of 32, and Texas Tech is at 48. Kenna Sauer had 16 kills for Texas Tech to go with two aces, nine digs, and three blocks, one solo. WVU’s Adrian Ell had 16 kills, an assist, nine digs, and four blocks, one solo.

SEC — Tennessee (18-8, 10-6), which had lost five of six, hit .469 and beat visiting Alabama (10-17, 2-13) 25-18, 25-19, 25-13. The Vols had 49 kills with four errors in 96 attacks. Breana Runnels led with 17 kills and had one error in 33 attacks to hit .485. She added an assist, four blocks, and 11 digs … 

Ole Miss (19-7, 8-7) beat visiting Georgia 25-20, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18. Lauren Thompson had 18 kills for Ole Miss to go with two assists, an ace, a block, and 13 digs. Kacie Evans had 15 kills for Georgia (10-16, 6-9).

WEST COAST — BYU (26-1, 16-0) clinched a share of the league title with its 25-20, 25-17, 29-27 win over visiting Pacific (12-15, 9-7). Kenzie Koerber led with 12 kills, six blocks, and eight digs. Four other Cougars had five or more kills. Whitney Bower had a kill, 31 assists, an ace, eights digs, and two blocks, one solo … 

Grace Frohling had 28 kills and hit .383 as No. 23 San Diego (20-5,14-2) won 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 at Saint Mary’s. Frohling had a block and two digs. Katie Lukes had 17 kills, an assist, a block, and six digs, and Annie Benbow had 31 digs, eight assists, and two aces. USD hit .341. Chandler Cowell and Hawley Harrer had 13 kills each for Saint Mary’s (14-11, 8-8) … 

No. 25 Pepperdine (20-5, 12-4) routed visiting San Francisco (0-23, 0-15) 25-7, 25-13, 25-15. Meg Brown led with 10 kills and had one error in 16 attacks, four blocks, and four digs. Rosie Ballor had eight kills with no errors in 13 attacks and seven blocks, one solo, and Emma Ammerman had seven kills and seven blocks … 

Santa Clara (11-14, 7-8) won 25-23, 28-26, 19-25, 26-24 at Loyola Marymount (15-11, 6-10) behind 19 kills by Julia Sangiacomo. She hit .455 and had two assists, a solo block, and five digs. LMU’s Audrey Klemp had 16 kills, seven digs, and four blocks, one solo. 

MOUNTAIN WEST — Utah State (21-8, 13-4) had an 18-8 advantage in blocks and beat visiting Colorado State (17-9, 13-4) 21-25, 27-25, 25-10, 25-22, Kristy Frank had a career-high 22 kills, hit .378 and added two assists, eight digs, and two blocks, one solo. Kylee Stokes had 11 kills, an assist, four digs, and eight blocks, one solo. Corinne Larsen also had eight blocks and had five kills, and Inka Mehtola had eight blocks, one solo, and two kills. CSU’s Annie Sullivan had 10 kills and Kennedy Stanford nine … 

San Jose State (18-9, 12-5) couldn’t take advantage and fell a game off the pace when it got swept at UNLV (20-8, 11-6). Shelby Capllonch had 13 kills for UNLV and hit .417 to go with two assists and 11 digs … 

Also in the MWC, Fresno swept Air Force, Boise State swept Wyoming, and San Diego State swept Nevada.

SUMMIT LEAGUE — Kansas City (20-9, 11-6) — which had never won a set against Denver — came away with a surprising 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 victory at Denver (22-5, 13-4) to move into a fourth-place tie with Oral Roberts. 

Kansas City had five players with eight or more kills, 15 by Melanie Brecka, who had four aces, a block, and six digs. Denver’s Lydia Bartalo had 15 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks, and 12 digs … 

First-place Omaha (19-8, 16-1) won its 10th in a row, a sweep at Oral Roberts (17-9, 11-6). Sadie Limback led with 14 kills as she had one error in 31 attacks, an assist, an ace, four blocks, and 13 digs …

Second-place South Dakota (17-9, 14-3) swept at North Dakota (1-28, 0-17), and South Dakota State (17-11, 9-8) won in four at North Dakota State (12-17, 6-11) as Crystal Burk had 20 kills, an ace, four blocks, and 12 digs.

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