That huge sigh of relief that you heard coming from Omaha on Thursday afternoon?

It was a bunch of Huskies exhaling. 

That’s because Washington almost became the first seeded team to get knocked out of the NCAA Tournament.


The sixth-seeded Huskies got all they could handle from upstart Dayton before prevailing 25-18, 25-23, 24-26, 21-25, 15-11 Thursday in the round of 32 in the CHI Health Center in Omaha.

The other three matches sweeps as Florida beat Morehead State, Nebraska beat Texas State, although Purdue had to pull off a big rally to win the first set of its 3-0 win over High Point.

Later Thursday, at 7 p.m. Eastern, the lineup as UNLV vs. Kentucky, Wright State vs. Texas, Georgia Tech vs. Minnesota, and Weber State vs. Wisconsin.

Then at 10:30 p.m. it’s UCLA vs. BYU, North Carolina A&T vs. Penn State, Western Kentucky vs. Washington State, and Pitt vs. Utah

All the matches are being streamed on ESPN3.

WASHINGTON SURVIVES — The Huskies pulled away in the fifth after the set was tied 10-10 as scrappy Dayton wouldn’t go away. 

Washington (18-3) won its seventh match in a row and moved into the round of 16 for the eighth time in nine years. The Huskies will play Louisville of the ACC, which earlier Thursday ousted San Diego in four. 

Madi Endlsey led with 20 kills as Washington hit .210. Endsley hit .368 and had two digs and two blocks. Claire Hoffman had 13 kills, two aces — including one that ended the match — and seven digs. Samantha Drechsel had 11 kills, four assists, two aces, 14 digs, and two blocks. Lauren Sanders had six kills, two digs, and three blocks. 

Shannon Crenshaw had 24 digs, five assists, and an ace and Emma Calle had 14 digs, two assists, and three aces. Ella May Powell had five kills with one error in 10 attempts to hit .400, and had 47 assists, an ace, eight digs, and a block. 

Dayton, which beat Towson on Wednesday, had won 14 in a row after losing their season opener. The Flyers’ season ended 14-2.

Jamie Peterson had 20 kills for Dayton as she hit .308 and had an assist, two aces, 13 digs, and four blocks. Lexie Almodovar had 12 kills, two assists, two aces, 10 digs, and two blocks. Amelia Moore had 12 kiills, hit .333, and had two digs and five blocks. 

Bridget Doherty had nine kills, hit .304, had 43 assists, and eight digs. Mahalia Swink and Alayna Yates had five kills and four blocks each, and Maura Collins had 24 digs, five assists, and two aces.

Atlantic 10-champion Dayton was up 25-24 at the end of the third set when Flyers coach Tim Horsmon challenged a call that went his way to win it.

Then in the fourth, Dayton scored the last three points, a kill by Doherty, an ace by Peterson, and a block by Swink and Yates to end it.

PURDUE SWEEPS HPU — Purdue hit .212, but High Point hit .126 in the Boilermakers’ 26-24, 25-18, 25-19 victory. 

Purdue, an at-large from the Big Ten, will play Oregon of the Pac-12 in Sunday’s round of 16. Oregon earlier Thursday beat Notre Dame. 

Caitlyn Newton led Purdue with 18 kills as she hit .314 and had an assist, three aces, three digs, and a block. Grace Cleveland had 10 kills, a dig, and six blocks. Emma Ellis had six kills, a dig, and a block, and Taylor Trammel ahd six kills and seven blocks. Hayley Bush had a kill, 40 assists, and 10 digs. Jena Otec had 17 digs and three assists.

In the first set, Purdue was up 18-17 before High Point built a 24-18 lead. Purde then scored eight points in a row, a run fueled by some big blocks. Cleveland had a block and then three kills in a row to end it.

Previously unbeaten High Point, which won the Big South and beat UCF on Wednesday, saw its season end at 17-1. Annie Sullivan led with nine kills and two blocks. Kaley Rammelsberg had seven kills and two blocks, and Maggie Salley had five kills, a dig, and two blocks. 

HUSKERS SWEEP TEXAS ST. — Nebraska hit .398 and rolled past Texas State 25-18, 25-17, 25-20.

Nebraska (15-2) of the Big Ten will play the Big 12’s Baylor in the round of 16 on Sunday. The Bears earlier Thursday beat Pepperdine.

Madi Kubik led the Huskers with 13 kills. She hit .407 after having two errors in 27 attacks and also had an ace, four digs, and two blocks. Lauren Stivrins had 10 kills with two errors in 14 attacks to hit .571 and had two digs and two blocks. Kayla Caffey had nine kills with one error in 12 swings and hit .667. She had five blocks. Jazz Sweet had eight kills in 20 errorless attacks and had two assists and three blocks. Lexi Sun had seven kills, an assist, eight digs, and two blocks. Nicklin Hames had a kill, 43 assists, and six digs. 

Texas State, which won the Sun Belt and had the most wins of any team in the nation, finished its season 31-9. The Bobcats, who beat Utah Valley on Wednesday, hit .185 against the Huskers. Tyeranee Scott, who had one error in 14 attacks, and Janell Fitzgerald led with eight kills each. Kenedi Rutherford had seven kills and hit .385. Emily DeWalt had 32 assists and four digs. Texas State was outblocked 7-1.

FLORIDA SWEEPS MOREHEAD — Florida (20-3), an at-large from the SEC, cruised past past Ohio Valley Conference-champion Morehead State 25-14, 25-19, 25-19.

The Gators will play ninth-seeded Ohio State, which advanced earlier Thursday by sweeping Missouri.

Florida, which hit .303, had four players with eight or more kills. Thayer Hall led with 10 kills, an assist, two aces, 11 digs, and two blocks. Lauren Forte had nine kills, hit .500 and had a dig and four blocks. Holly Carlton had nine kills, hit .467, and had three aces, a dig, and three blocks. T’Ara Ceasar had eight kills and eight digs. Lauren Dooley had four kills and four blocks. Marlie Monserez had a kill, 32 assists, four digs, and three blocks. Elli McKissock had 12 digs, four assists and an ace. 

Morehead State, which beat Creighton on Wednesday, ended its season 17-2. The Eagles hit .073. Olivia Lohmeier led with 14 kills, an ace, five digs, and one block. Her teammates combeined for 13 kills.


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