Top four NCAA tourney seeds sweep as Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas win

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NCAA volleyball round 3 4/15/2021-Molly Phillips-Asjia O'Neal-Texas volleyball
Molly Phillips, left, and Asjia O'Neal of Texas block Wright State's Mallory Ladd/Mark Kuhlmann/NCAA Photos

Thursday’s third batch of NCAA Tournament second-round matches all went quickly as the top four seeds — Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Texas — all swept. 

The recaps follow.

One more batch of four matches remain for the day and they all could be outstanding. 

At 10:30 p.m Eastern. it’s UCLA vs. BYU, North Carolina A&T vs. Penn State, Western Kentucky vs. Washington State, and Pitt vs. Utah. All can be seen on ESPN3.

Earlier Thursday in the first set of four matches, Baylor beat Pepperdine, Louisville beat San Diego, Ohio State beat Missouri, and Oregon beat Notre Dame.

Then in the second session, Purdue beat High Point, Nebraska beat Texas State, Florida beat Morehead State, and Washington beat Dayton.

WISCONSIN DUMPS WEBER STATE — Top-seeded Wisconsin hit .408 and improved to 16-0 with its 25-17, 25-19, 25-15 sweep of Weber State.

The Badgers, who won the Big Ten, will play the winner of the later match between BYU and UCLA.

Wisconsin middles Dana Rettke and Danielle Hart had nine kills each. Rettke had one error in 16 attacks and a block. Hart had one error in 15 swings and nine blocks. Grace Loberg had nine kills in 23 errorless attacks, an assist, and five digs. Molly Haggerty had eight kills, a dig, and three blocks, and Devyn Robinson had seven kills in 11 errorless attacks and five blocks. 

Sydney Hilley had two kills, 37 assists, an ace, nine digs, and two blocks. Lauren Barnes had 19 digs, five assists, and two aces.

Weber State, which won the Big Sky, ended its season 19-2. 

Rylin Adams led the Wildcats with 13 kills, nine digs, and two blocks. Dani Nay had eight kills and eight digs. Ashlyn Power had a kill, 33 assists, and 10 digs. Her team hit .175.

KENTUCKY SWEEPS UNLV — Five players had eight or more kills as SEC-champion Kentucky hit .468 and rolled past previously unbeaten UNLV 25-16, 25-19, 25-18.

Second-seeded Kentucky (20-1) plays the winner of the later match between Western Kentucky and Washington State.

Sisters Madi Skinner and Avery Skinner had 11 kills each. Madi hit .533 and had four blocks. Avery hit .333 and had four digs and a block.

Alli Stumler had 10 kills, hit .471, and had eight digs. Azhani Tealer had nine kills, hit .636, and had a dig and four blocks. Elise Goetzinger had eight kills and hit .545. Madison Lilley had a kill, 44 assists, two aces, and five digs.

UNLV, which won the Mountain West and beat Illinois State on Wednesday, ended its season 13-1. Mariena Hayden capped her tremendous season with 19 kills as she hit .479 and had six digs and two blocks. Her teammates combined for 11 kills as the Rebels hit .240.

MINNESOTA SWEEPS GA. TECH — The Gophers hit .359 as they overpowered Georgia Tech 25-19, 25-21, 25-18.

Minnesota, an at-large from the Big Ten, awaits the winner of Utah-Pitt.

The third-seeded Gophers got 13 kills each from Stephanie Samedy and Adanna Rollins. Samedy hit .357 and had three assists, an ace, nine digs, and two blocks. Rollins hit .345 and had an assist, eight digs, and two blocks. Taylor Landfair had 11 kills, an ace, a dig, and a block. Regan Pittman had five kills, hit .308, and had an assist, two digs, and six blocks. 

Melani Shaffmaster had three kills in six errorless tries, 32 assists, an ace, 16 digs, and three blocks. Rachel Kilkelly had eight digs and eight assists.

Georgia Tech’s Mariana Brambilla had 16 kills, two aces, five digs, and three blocks. Julia Bergmann, who had 31 kills on Wednesday when the Yellow Jackets beat Lipscomb, had 11 kills, an assist, and nine digs. Mikaila Dowd had seven kills, an assist, 10 digs, and a block.

Matti McKissock had a kill, 35 assists, and six digs.

TEXAS ROUTS WRIGHT STATE — The fourth-seeded Longhorns, who won the Big 12, hit .386 and improved to 24-1 with their 25-12, 25-16, 25-16 sweep of Wright State.

Texas will move into a Sunday round-of-16 match against the North Carolina A&T-Penn State winner.

Logan Eggleston led with 11 kills as she hit .310 and had two assists, an ace, four digs, and three blocks. Brionne Butler had eight kills in nine errorless swings to hit .889 and she had six blocks. Molly Phillips had seven kills with one error in 14 attacks to hit .429 and had a dig and six blocks. Asjia O’Neal had four kills, an ace, two digs, and nine blocks.

Jhenna Gabriel had 34 assists, an ace, five digs, and two blocks. Morgan O’Brien had 14 digs.

Wright State, which won the Horizon League, saw its season end at 17-2. The Raiders won their Wednesday match over Samford.

The Raiders hit .056. Mallory Ladd led with eight kills and Nyssa Baker and Celia Powers had seven each. Lainey Stephenson had two kills in six errorless tries, 22 assists, and 10 digs.

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