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NCAA volleyball: Penn St. men win; Illinois St., Seton Hall, Kent St. hire women’s coaches; AVCA polls

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We featured the third-ranked Penn State men Tuesday and then the Nittany Lions of the EIVA swept at No. 13 Ohio State of the MIVA in a matchup of the only Big Ten schools that play NCAA men’s volleyball. 

There were a handful of other men’s matches to report on and the recaps follow. There are eight matches on the Wednesday schedule, including No. 10 UC San Diego of the Big West at the MPSF’s Concordia and the EIVA’s George Mason at No. 6 USC of the MPSF. 

The NCAA women’s coaching carousel did some spinning this week. 

Illinois State hired Wright State coach Allie Waters, Seton Hall hired Canisius College coach Shannon Thompson, and Kent State hired former Texas great Haley Eckerman, who was a TCU assistant last season. Indiana State coach Lindsay Allman resigned “to pursue other professional opportunities.”

And we have the AVCA men’s and beach polls and national players of the week.

Ohio State’s Martin Lallemand hits against Penn State’s Brett Wildman/Jay LaPrete photo

PENN STATE SWEEPS — The Nittany Lions improved to 14-3 as they won for the 10th time in a row with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 sweep at Ohio State (9-7). Penn State hit .310 and had four aces and 18 serving errors. Ohio State hit .137 and had two aces and 14 errors.

Brett Wildman had 10 kills in 19 errorless attacks to hit .526 for Penn State with four blocks and three digs. Cal Fisher had nine kills, a block and nine digs. Toby Ezeonu had seven kills with one error in 12 attacks, two digs and five blocks, one solo. Cole Bogner had a kill, 28 assists, two aces, two blocks and five digs. Will Bantle had eight digs and an assist and Sam Marsh had three kills, two assists, two aces, a dig and four blocks, one solo.

Clark Samuel led Ohio State with 15 kills, an ace, three blocks and seven digs. Jacob Pasteur had nine kills but nine errors, an assist, a block and nine digs. Noah Platfoot had a kill, 30 assists, an ace, a block and six digs, and Parker Mikesch had nine digs and an assist.

AROUND THE NATION — All the action was out of conference. 

Sacred Heart (6-8) of the EIVA hit .471 swept visiting independent American International (2-12) 25-11, 25-13, 25-14 as five players had five or more kills … The EIVA’s St. Francis Brooklyn (8-6) had four players with 10 or more kills and beat visiting Edward Waters (3-13) of the SIAC. Andrea Lancianese led with 16 kills, hit .343 and had had a block and nine digs. Kaelen Ingram of EWU had 16 kills, hit .375 and had an ace and eight digs … Independent Maryville (17-10) swept the SIAC’s Morehouse (0-8) twice … Erskine (8-13) of Conference Carolinas hit .368 and swept the SIAC’s Benedict (1-8).

AVCA MEN’S POLL — Stanford, which was 14th, and BYU, which was 15th, dropped out. In their places are the MIVA’s McKendree, which moved back in at No. 14, and the EIVA’s NJIT, which was 15th in the preseason poll and is back in at No. 15.

UCLA and Long Beach State stayed 1-2, Penn State moved up to third, trading places with No. 4 Hawai’i. 

Click here for the AVCA Men’s Division I-II Coaches Poll.

AVCA MEN’S POW — The AVCA national player of the week is Carlos Pinto of Central State, which plays in the first-year league SIAC. In victories over Fort Valley State and Morehouse, Pinto, a freshman from Brazil, averaged 2.5 kills per set, hit .410, and averaged 1.8 digs and 1.1 assists. 

AVCA BEACH POLL — After beating USC, UCLA moved up a spot to No. 1 and USC dropped to No. 2. TCU moved up three spots to No. 3, Florida State fell a notch to No. 4, and LSU moved up a spot to No. 5. No one dropped out.

Click here for the AVCA Collegiate Beach Volleyball Poll.

AVCA TOP PAIR — The honor went to UCLA sophomore Lexy Denaburg and junior Abby Van Winkle after they went 4-0 with victories over USC, Long Beach State, Grand Canyon and Cal Poly. 

ILLINOIS STATE TABS MATTERS — Allie Matters, the head coach at Wright State for the past four years, takes over for Leah Johnson, now the head coach at Michigan State. Matters, who played at Seton Hall and then was an assistant coach there for seven years, had a four-year record of 79-30 at Wright State. 

Last season, Wright State went 23-8, 14-3 in the Horizon League. The Raiders lost in the Horizon tournament semifinals. In the spring 2021 season, Matters’ team won the Horizon tournament and knocked off Samford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Texas.

Matters inherits an Illinois State team that will have a very different look from the one that finished 19-14, 13-5 in the Missouri Valley, and lost to Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

ECKERMAN TO KENT STATE — Haley Eckerman, who won an NCAA title in 2012 as a star player at Texas and played professionally for four seasons in South Korea, Puerto Rico, Azerbaijan, Italy and Russia, takes over a Kent State program that finished 12-18 last season, 7-11 in the Mid-American Conference.

Eckerman was an assistant last season at TCU. She previously coached at Waterloo West High School in her hometown in Iowa, and then as an assistant at Lamar and Tarleton State. She replaces Don Gromala, who was the head coach for 10 seasons.

SETON HALL HIRES THOMPSON — Shannon Thompson will take over at Seton Hall of the Big East after two seasons as the head coach at Canisius College. Seton Hall finished 14-18 last season, 6-12 in the Big East. Canisius went 11-18 last season 10-8 in the MAAC. The Golden Griffins lost in five to Fairfield in the MAAC tournament semifinals. Thompson, who played at UMass Boston, played professionally in Austria. She previously was an assistant coach at William & Mary and Campbell.

Thompson replaces Allison Yaeger, who resigned after 15 years with the program, the last 10 as head coach. Seton Hall hasn’t had a winning season since 2016.

SYCAMORES LOSE ALLMAN — Indiana State coach Lindsay Allman resigned after five seasons, the school announced Tuesday. The Sycamores finished 18-13 last season, 9-9 in the Missouri Valley. It was the most victories in program history.