NCAA: UW, UCLA sweep; Wisconsin escapes Minnesota; SEC leaders win; UCF clinches

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Oregon's Georgia Murphy goes all out at Washington as Daley McClellan looks on/Stephen Burns photo

Washington swept Oregon, UCLA did the same to Arizona, and the two remain tied atop the PAC-12 standings, now with a two-game lead over Utah and Washington State.

There was a little separation in the Big Ten. Wisconsin and Nebraska remain tied for the lead, a game up on Purdue. Ohio State and Minnesota are tied for fourth a game back. And Penn State is now three games off the lead.

The logjam remains in the SEC as all three top teams — Kentucky, which holds a one-game lead in the loss column, Florida and Mississippi State — won. 

UCF didn’t play, but the Knights claimed the regular-season American Athletic title when Houston lost at SMU.

Monday’s light schedule includes the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals — top-seeded Ball State plays fourth-seeded Western Michigan, and second-seeded Bowling Green plays third-seeded Ohio.

And then there’s Ivy League-winner Brown at USC in a match announced last Wednesday when USC was 11-14. The Trojans beat Arizona State on Sunday to improve to 12-14 and are holding on to an unlikely shot at an NCAA at-large bid but need to be .500 or better to get consideration. 

Brown (20-4 overall, 13-1 Ivy) hasn’t played since November 13 and would have not have played otherwise between then and the start of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears have won six in a row.

There were 11 NCAA bids awarded to conference-tournament winners on Sunday and you can read all about it here. 

PAC-12 — Samantha Drechsel had 15 kills with one error in 20 attacks as No. 12 Washington (22-4, 15-3) swept visiting No. 16 Oregon 25-12, 25-14, 25-21. Washington hit .397. Drechsel, who hit .700, had two assists, three aces, and four digs. Brooke Nuneviller led Oregon (20-8, 11-7) with 15 kills …

Mac May had a program-record-tying eight of her team’s 14 aces as No. 13 UCLA (22-4, 15-3) beat Arizona 25-22, 25-14, 26-24. May had 13 kills, hitting .417. The Bruins hit .296, Arizona (15-14, 7-11) hit .352. Jaelyn Hodge led with 14 kills … 

No. 19 Stanford (16-10, 11-7) won at No. 17 Utah 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 behind 19 kills apiece by Kendall Kipp and Caitie Baird. McKenna Vicini had five kills and eight blocks. Utah (19-8, 12-6) had four players with 10 or more kills, 19 by Dani Drews, who had 15 digs, and 18 by Madelyn Robinson, who had 13 digs … 

No. 22 Washington State (18-9, 12-5) swept visiting Oregon State (4-23, 2-15) as Penny Tusa led a balanced attack with 11 kills … USC (12-14, 8-9) hit .315 and beat visiting Arizona State (14-4, 7-10) in four. Brooke Botkin had 17 kills. ASU’s Marta Levinska had 16 kills and five blocks … Colorado (14-12, 5-12) swept visiting Cal (7-21, 0-17).

BIG TEN — No. 5 Wisconsin (23-3, 15-3) somehow persevered and came away with a 24-26, 25-19, 25-27, 28-26, 15-12 victory at No. 9 Minnesota (17-8, 13-5) despite an incredible performance by Stephanie Samedy, who had 31 kills and 20 digs. 

The Badgers led 14-8 and still led 16-11 in the first set before Minnesota rallied. They led 17-12 in the second, but Minnesota closed to 21-19 before Wisconsin scored the last four points. In the third set, Wisconsin led 9-1 but couldn’t hold on. Things changed in the fourth when Minnesota was up 17-10, but Wisconsin came back and fought off two set points.

Dana Rettke led Wisconsin with 21 kills as she hit .372 and had nine blocks, three solo. Jade Demps had 18 kills and 16 digs, and Lauren Barnes had 25 digs and seven assists. Sydney Hilley had two kills, 65 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 16 digs.

Samedy got her 31 kills with seven errors in 77 attacks. She had an assist, four blocks, and 20 digs. Jenna Wenaas had 20 kills, four blocks, two assists, and 15 digs. Melani Shaffmaster had three kills, 58 assists, three blocks, and 17 digs, and CC McGraw had 23 digs, four assists, and an ace … 

No. 6 Purdue (22-5, 14-4) won in four at Northwestern (11-18, 6-12) as the Boilermakers hit .379. Caitlyn Newton led with 21 kills as she hit .364 and had three aces, two blocks, and five digs. Hayley Bush had five kills in as many tries, 43 assists, three blocks, and 12 digs … 

No. 10 Ohio State (23-5, 13-5) beat visiting No. 15 Penn State (19-9, 12-6) in four as Emily Londot had 22 kills, hit .378, and had three blocks, an assist, and 12 digs. Gabby Gonzales and Rylee Rader, who had six blocks, had 15 kills each. Penn State’s Jonni Parker had 17 kills … 

No. 24 Illinois (19-10, 11-7) hit .327 and swept visiting Maryland (19-11, 7-11) … Michigan (16-11, 9-9) won in four at Michigan State (11-16, 4-14) behind 16 kills from Paige Jones … Indiana (10-20, 4-14) swept visiting Iowa (5-23, 3-15) 

SEC — No. 8 Kentucky (22-4, 15-1) hit .506 and swept at Auburn (13-14, 5-12) as the Wildcats had 49 kills and five errors in 87 attacks. Madi Skinner led with 17 kills as she had one error in 26 attacks to go with four digs and four blocks, one solo … 

No. 20 Florida (20-6, 14-2) swept South Carolina (14-13, 6-11) for the second straight day. The Gators, who hit .333, got 14 kills from T’Ara Ceasar, who had three assists, a block, and 17 digs … 

Mississippi State (24-5, 15-2) won its school-record 12th in a row, a four-set victory at Arkansas (18-10, 9-8). Gabby Waden had 12 kills, hit .323, and had five blocks and six digs. Deja Robinson had four kills and nine blocks, one solo. 

Will State finally get ranked this week? Coach Julie Darty Dennis will join our weekly panel with Salima Rockwell, Jenny Hazelwood and Emily Ehman later Monday …

And LSU (12-13, 8-8) won 25-9, 25-20, 13-25, 32-34, 15-12 over visiting Texas A&M (12-14, 5-11) and most likely knocked the Aggies out of at-large contention. Kylie Deberg led LSU with 15 kills, seven aces, two blocks, and four digs.

ACC — Top-ranked and unbeaten Louisville was off, but No. 3 Pittsburgh (25-2, 14-2) swept at Clemson (12-15, 3-12). The Panthers hit .417, and Chinaza Ndee and Leketor Member-Meneh had 10 kills each …

Third-place Miami (23-4, 14-3) won in four at North Carolina (20-8, 9-8) as Angela Grieve had 20 kills, hit .372, and had two blocks and three digs. Payman Yardimici had 11 kills and nine blocks. UNC’s Mabry Shaffmaster had 20 kills … 

Notre Dame (12-14, 9-7) swept Virginia Tech (11-18, 2-15) … Duke (16-12, 7-10) won in four at Syracuse (16-13, 5-12) … Wake Forest (15-12 6-10) swept visiting Boston College (15-16, 5-12).

AND — Houston lost in four at SMU, dropping the Cougars to 24-6, 14-4 in the American Athletic. That left idle UCF (24-6, 17-1) as the regular-season winner with two matches left. Look for a story about UCF star McKenna Melville later this week at VolleyballMag.com … 

Also in the AAC on Sunday, Cincinnati beat Tulsa in five. Tulsa’s Kayley Cassaday had 26 kills and hit .453 after having two errors in 53 attacks. Maria Mallon had 23 kills for Cincinnati to go with 19 digs and two blocks … 

Creighton (28-3, 16-2) swept visiting St. John’s and ended in a tie with idle Marquette for the Big East regular-season title. The Big East Tournament starts Friday at Marquette when Creighton plays DePaul and Marquette plays Connecticut.

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Northwestern’s Charlotte Cronister goes for the pancake against Purdue/Michael Gomez photo

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