Sweeps for Wisconsin, UK, Minnesota, Purdue; Mississippi St. moves into second in the SEC

No gripping dramas, no five-setters, no comebacks from 0-2.

No, just sweeps Wednesday in matches involving ranked teams.

That included the two big showdowns, as No. 3 Wisconsin went to Lincoln and blanked No. 6 Nebraska in the Big Ten, and No. 5 Kentucky did the same at No. 21 Tennessee in the SEC.

Also in the Big Ten, No. 11 Minnesota swept at Indiana, and No 12 Purdue swept visiting Northwestern.

The recaps follow, but first a look at Thursday’s NCAA Division I women’s volleyball schedule that includes two of three ranked teams in the West Coast Conference. 

Seventh-ranked BYU, with its highest place in the AVCA Poll since 2018 and riding a 12-match win streak, is home for San Francisco, and No. 20 San Diego is home for Santa Clara. Pepperdine, No. 25, plays at Loyola Marymount on Friday.

Western Kentucky, ranked No. 18, has a Conference USA match against visiting Old Dominion and will try to extend its winning streak to 14.

In the Big 12, Texas Tech is back at Kansas State after losing there in five Wednesday. 

The four-match slate in the Big Sky includes league-leading Weber State at Sacramento State, and second-place Portland State, two games back, trying to keep pace as Idaho State visits. 

Horizon League-leader Milwaukee, 12-0 in conference play, goes to Northern Kentucky.

There are four matches in the Mountain West, including league-leading Colorado State at Air Force, and Utah State, a game back, at San Diego State.

Ohio Valley-leader Austin Peay, a game up on Morehead State in the loss column, goes to third-place Southeast Missouri State.

There are four matches in the Summit League, but first-place Omaha and second-place Denver are off. Oral Roberts, tied with South Dakota for third a game back in the loss column, goes to South Dakota State, and South Dakota is home for Kansas City.

And there are six matches in the WAC. Southwest Division-leader Sam Houston leads UT Rio Grande Valley by a game in the win column, but something will give as those two meet. Three teams are tied for the lead in the West Division. Grand Canyon, one of them, goes to Seattle, and the other two, NM State and California Baptist, play at CBU. Chicago State, a game back in the win column, goes to Dixie State.

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.

Nebraska’s Kayla Caffrey is all over this attempt by Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

BIG TEN — There’s a tie atop the standings after Wisconsin (18-1, 10-1) swept at Nebraska (16-4, 10-1) in the highly anticipated match, winning 26-24, 25-19, 25-23.

Wisconsin, which hit .229, got a career-high 12 kills from freshman Anna Smrek, who had one error in 17 attacks, hit .647 and added four blocks. Dana Rettke had 11 kills, hit .308, and had four blocks, two solo. Sydney Hilley had three kills in four tries, 37 assists, a block, and 16 digs. Lauren Barnes had 20 digs and three assists.

“It was fun. It was hard to score out there,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “These are two really good defensive teams. We talked about finding that balance between knowing when to be aggressive and patient. I thought we were excellent at that balance.”

Nebraska, which led 12-8 in the third set and was still up 15-12, hit .148. The Huskers got nine kills apiece from Lauren Stivrins, Madi Kubik, and Lindsay Krause. Kayla Caffey had eight kills, hit .375, and had four blocks. Nicklin Hames had a kill, 32 assists, a block, and 14 digs … 

Wisconsin has won the last six meetings between the teams. Nebraska last won on September 30, 2017, in five in Lincoln. Nebraska leads the series 19-9-1 and is 10-3 at home. They hadn’t met since the 2019 NCAA regional final …

Minnesota (13-6, 8-3) swept 25-20, 25-14, 25-16 at Indiana (9-14, 3-8) as the Gophers hit .304. Stephanie Samedy had 18 kills, hit .441 and had an ace, two blocks, and 15 digs. Katie Myers and Shea Rubright had five blocks each, and Melani Shaffmaster had two kills in three errorless tries, 36 assists, an ace, a block, and 10 digs. Indiana hit .073 …

Purdue (15-5, 7-4) hit .352 and rolled 25-16, 25-19, 25-17 over visiting Northwestern (9-13, 4-7). Caitlyn Newton led with 16 kills, hit .406 and had an ace, seven digs, and two blocks, one solo. Raven Colvin had eight kills with one error in 12 attacks and seven blocks, two solo. Temi Thomas-Ailara had 15 kills for Northwestern to go with an assist, an ace, eight digs, and two blocks, one solo.

SEC — Kentucky (16-3, 9-0) stands atop the standings, but Mississippi State (17-5, 8-2) moved into sole possession of second, passing idle Florida (13-6, 7-2). 

Kentucky, which hit .407, went to Tennessee (16-5, 8-3) and knocked the Vols into fourth place with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-19 victory. Kentucky, which won its 10th in a row, got 15 kills from Alli Stumler, who hit .371 and had an assist, a block, and seven digs. Freshman Erin Lamb, making the start, had 12 kills with one error in 20 attacks to go with a block and two digs. She was playing in place of Madi Skinner, the team’s leading attacker. A match story on the Kentucky website said that Skinner “was injured against Arkansas at the end of last week.”

Azhani Tealer had 11 kills, hit .429, and had two blocks and two digs. Emma Grome had two kills, 45 assists, a block, and five digs. Tennessee, which hit .208, got 12 kills from Breana Runnels and 11 from Morgahn Fingall, who had an assist, two blocks, and six digs   

Mississippi State grinded to a 24-26, 25-22, 26-24, 24-26, 15-12 victory at Georgia (6-14, 2-7) for its fifth SEC win a row, a program best. State, which hit .143, got 20 kills from Gabby Waden, who hit .333 and had five blocks and three digs. Lauren Myrick had 10 kills, three blocks, and 15 digs. Kacie Evans had 14 kills for Georgia, which hit .135. She added two assists, five blocks, and 18 digs … Arkansas (15-6, 6-4) swept visiting Missouri (4-19, 1-9). Maggie Cartwright had 11 kills with one error in 20 attacks, four aces, three blocks, and five digs. Jillian Gillen had 10 kills, two blocks, and four digs. Missouri hit .110.

AROUND THE NATION — Kansas State (13-7, 4-5) beat visiting Texas Tech (13-9, 3-6) as Holly Bonde and Aliyah Carter had 21 kills apiece in a 25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 18-25, 15-12 Big 12 victory. And the outcome could have huge NCAA at-large implications for both teams. Texas Tech is No. 38 in the most recent NCAA RPI, and K-State is 46th.

Carter had an ace, four blocks, and 10 digs. Haley Warner and Kadye Fernholz had 10 kills each, with Fernholz adding six blocks and five digs. Teana Adams-Kaonhoi had a kill, 61 assists, two blocks, and 17 digs. Caitlin Dugan and Kenna Sauer had 13 kills each for Texas Tech, and Reagan Cooper had 12 and four blocks. Alex Kirby had three kills, 39 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 19 digs. KJ Adams had 30 digs, seven assists, an ace, and a kill …

Morehead State (14-9, 10-2) beat visiting Tennessee Tech (11-12, 6-6) in four in the Ohio Valley Conference to keep pace with idle Austin Peay (17-7, 10-1). Morehead State, which won its 10th in a row, got 16 kills from Olivia Lohmeier, who had three aces, four digs, and three blocks, one solo. Irene Wogenstahl had 12 kills, four digs, and four blocks, one solo. And Olivia Montelisciani had 19 digs, three assists, and four of her team’s 10 aces. Morehead State won despite hitting .132 … 

Houston (18-5, 8-3) held off visiting Tulane (13-10, 6-5) as Abbie Jackson had 19 kills in an American Athletic match. Jackson hit .360 and had an assist, a block, and 11 digs. Tulane had four players with 10 or kills, including 15 by Lexie Douglas, who hit .324 and added 15 digs and two blocks, one solo … 

In the Southern Conference, Wofford beat The Citadel in four despite 25 kills from The Citadel’s Sharlissa de Jesus, who had three assists, two aces, a solo block, and 16 digs. Her teammate, Kenzie Kellerman, had 24 digs and two assists. Wofford’s Kennedy Smith led with 16 kills, two aces, and 16 digs. Sarah Barham had 16 kills, hit .519, and had a dig and seven blocks, four solo. Sarah MacLean had 14 kills, hit .429, and had four blocks, one solo …

Manhattan beat visiting Saint Peter’s in four, leaving Manhattan 2-14 overall, 2-10 in the Metro Atlantic and Saint Peter’s (1-23, 0-12) still looking for that first conference win. Erin Hoener led Manhattan with 17 kills, a dig, and six blocks. 

Tennessee’s Morgahn Fingall left, and Danielle Mahaffey block against Kentucky/Andrew Ferguson, Tennessee Athletics

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