Spots claimed by S. Dakota, Creighton, Illinois St. as NCAA volleyball world awaits bracket announcement

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After exactly three months of NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, everyone can take the day off.

Now we wait.

The NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced Sunday night, a day after South Dakota, Illinois State — with a reverse sweep — and Creighton won their respective tournaments and claimed automatic bids.

Also Saturday, Wisconsin won the Big Ten outright, Kentucky won the SEC, Washington wrapped up the PAC-12, teams might have secured their places in the bracket, and others might have played themselves out of the mix.

Nebraska took it to Purdue, Kentucky swept Florida again, and Kansas pulled off a reverse sweep in its important Big 12 match at Kansas State.

Now it’s all up to the committee, which will announce its 64-team decision at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. The first and second rounds will be Thursday and Friday at 16 sites, the regionals will be December 9 and 11 at four sites, and the final four teams will advance to Columbus, Ohio, for the national semifinals December 16 and the championship match December 18.

BIG TEN — No. 11 Nebraska (21-7, 15-4), coming off a tough loss Friday at Wisconsin, went into red-hot No. 6 Purdue (23-6. 15-5) and overwhelmed the Boilermakers 25-21, 25-10, 22-25, 25-15 to claim second place in the conference.

Nebraska, which has won nine of its last 10 over Purdue, got 16 kills from Madi Kubik, who added an ace, two blocks, and 10 digs. Kayla Caffrey had 13 kills with no errors in 20 attacks to hit .650 and had four blocks. Lauren Stivrins had 10 kills and five blocks. Nicklin Hames had a kill, 44 assists, an ace, two blocks, and 18 digs. Her team hit .206. Lexi Rodriguez had 28 digs and four assists. Purdue, which had won nine in a row and finished tied with Ohio State and Minnesota in third, hit .053. Caitlyn Newton led with 11 kills, three blocks, and 12 digs … 

Wisconsin (25-3, 17-3) hit .373 and dispatched visiting Indiana 25-14, 25-9, 25-15. Grace Loberg had 12 kills with no errors in 21 attacks and added five blocks and two digs. Anna Smrek had six kills, three blocks, and three digs, and Dana Rettke had five kills and eight blocks, one solo. IU (10-22, 4-16) hit minus .059 … 

No. 10 Minnesota (19-8, 15-5) won 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 at Maryland (19-13, 7-13). Jenna Wenaas led with 17 kills, an assist, three blocks, and 21 digs. Airi Miyabe had 16 kills, and Stephanie Samedy had 15 kills, two assists, an ace, 15 digs, and five blocks, one solo. Katie Myers had four kills and eight blocks. Melanie Shaffmaster had four kills, 49 assists, 14 digs and four blocks, one solo. Maryland’s Sam Csire had 14 kills, an assist, an ace, 11 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Rainelle Jones had six kills and 12 blocks, two solo … 

No. 15 Penn State (20-10, 13-7) bounced back with 25-22, 28-26, 25-19 sweep of visiting Iowa (6-24, 4-16). Penn State, which hit .312, got 16 kills from Kaitlyn Hord and 12 from Jonnie Parker. Hord had one error in 31 attacks to hit .484 and added six blocks, three solo. Parker had one error in 23 attacks, an ace, three blocks, and 11 digs. Allie Holland had eight kills in 10 errorless swings and three blocks, one solo. Iowa’s Courtney Buzzerio had 17 kills, hit .385 and added an ace, four digs, and three blocks … 

Northwestern (12-19, 7-13) won 16-25, 28-26, 26-24, 15-25, 15-13 at Michigan State (11-18, 4-16). Temi Thomas-Ailara had 18 kills for the Wildcats. Sarah Franklin had 22 kills with two errors in 43 attacks for the Spartans.

PAC-12 — No. 12 Washington (24-4, 17-3) made it back-to-back titles with its 25-22, 18-25, 25-18, 25-16 win over visiting No. 21 Washington State (19-11, 13-7). Washington State ended up in a three way tie for fourth with Oregon and Stanford. UCLA was second, and Utah was third.

Samantha Drechsel led Washington with 17 kills, four blocks, and eight digs. Claire Hoffman had 14 kills, two assists, four aces, two blocks, and 11 digs. Marin Grote had 12 kills with no errors in 19 attacks and five blocks. Lauren Sanders had four kills and eight blocks, one solo, and Ella May Powell had two kills in five errorless tries, 47 assists, five digs, and four blocks, one solo. Katy Ryan led Washington State with 15 kills … 

Dani Drews had 28 kills as No. 17 Utah (21-8, 14-6) beat visiting Colorado 25-19, 19-25, 25-12, 25-22. Drews hit .377 and had four aces, two blocks, and seven digs. Stef Jankiewicz had a kill, 50 assists, four blocks, and 17 digs. Jahara Campbell had 18 kills, two blocks, and four digs for Colorado (15-14, 6-14), and Jill Schneggenburger had 10 kills, an assist, five blocks, and 10 digs … 

No. 18 Stanford (18-10, 13-7) won 25-12, 25-16, 25-17 at Cal (7-24, 0-20). Caitie Baird had 14 kills and hit .364 with an ace, a solo block, and seven digs. Kendall Kipp had 12 kills, hit .357, and had an ace, three blocks, and four digs … 

Arizona (16-5, 8-12) swept visiting Arizona State (14-17, 7-13). Puk Stubbe had 13 kills and hit .407 with three blocks and five digs in the 25-11, 25-16, 27-25 victory. 

SEC — No. 8 Kentucky , which swept No. 20 Florida for second straight day, will be a top-16 seed. Florida is definitely in the tournament, and so are Mississippi State and Tennessee. But will the SEC get more teams in? South Carolina, Arkansas, and Ole Miss will be spending Sunday on edge.

Kentucky (24-4, 17-1) won its eighth match in a row, a 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 sweep of visiting Florida, which finished alone in third place.  Allie Stumler led the Wildcats with 11 kills, and Reagan Rutherford had 10 and five blocks, three solo. Florida (20-8, 14-4) had five players with six or more kills, including nine by Sofia Victoria … 

Ole Miss (21-8, 10-8) won 25-16, 25-16, 25-11 at Alabama (10-20, 2-16). The Rebels hit .350 and had four players with six or more kills, including nine by Lauren Thompson, who had three blocks and six digs … Georgia (12-17, 8-10) beat visiting LSU (13-14, 9-9) in five despite 29 kills from the Tigers’ Taylor Bannister, who hit .511 and had two aces, two blocks, and 10 digs. Amber Stivrins led Georgia with 17 kills, two blocks, and six digs … Texas A&M (14-14, 7-11) swept visiting Missouri (5-26, 2-16). 

BIG 12 — Texas (24-1, 15-1, 4 RPI) swept Texas Tech (17-12, 7-9, 40 RPI), Kansas (16-11, 8-8, 39 RPI) won in five at Kansas State (15-12, 6-10, 35 RPI), and West Virginia (19-9, 8-8, 41 RPI) swept at TCU (8-18, 2-14).

Texas is an obvious top-four seed. Where and if Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and West Virginia end up remains to be seen. 

Texas clinched the title outright over second-place and idle Baylor with its 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 win at Texas Tech. Texas has won 14 Big 12 titles and has won or shared 10 of the last 11 and 13 of the last 15.

Three Longhorns had nine kills each, Melanie Parra, Skylar Fields, and Logan Eggleston. Parra had one error in 17 attacks, an assist, an ace, three blocks, and six digs … 

Kansas won 21-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 15-12. Caroline Bien had 17 kills, two assists, four aces, 12 digs, and two blocks, one solo. Caroline Crawford had 15 kills, an assist, six blocks, and four digs. London Davis had 13 kills, hit .417, and had an assist, a dig, and five blocks. Camryn Turner had eight kills in 15 errorless attempts, 59 assists, two blocks, and 20 digs. K-State’s Aliyah Carter had 18 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and 15 digs. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had three kills in seven errorless tries, 48 assists, four blocks, and 112 digs …

West Virginia won 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-19 as TCU ended with its ninth loss in a row. Adrian Ell led with 20 kills, hit .313, and had an ace, two blocks, and 10 digs.

SUMMIT LEAGUE — South Dakota (20-9) is back in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year after its 25-23, 30-28, 25-18 sweep of top-seeded Omaha (20-10). 

Elizabeth Juhnke, a VolleyballMag.com third-team All-American last spring, led with 24 kills — nine in the first and 10 in the second — and hit .463 with two assists, a solo block, and seven digs. Sami Slaughter had 15 kills with no errors in 30 attacks, a solo block, and a dig. Madison Jurgens had two kills in five errorless tries, 46 assists, a block, and 14 digs. Her team hit .372. Lolo Weideman had 23 digs and four assists.

Omaha’s Sadie Limback had 13 kills, hit .333, and had an assist, an ace, a block, and seven digs. Sami Clarkson had two kills in four errorless attempts, 38 assists, two blocks, and four digs. Her team hit .195.

MISSOURI VALLEY — Illinois State (19-13) battled back to beat Loyola Chicago (22-10) 17-25, 28-30, 25-10, 26-24, 15-13 and won the title for the third consecutive year and clinched its fourth consecutive NCAA berth.

Kaitly Prondzinski led with 20 kills, three blocks, and two digs for the host Redbirds. Aliyah Moore had 16 kills, hit .483, and had five blocks. Sarah Kushner, who had 14 digs, and Tamara Otene, who had an ace, five blocks, and eight digs, had 15 kills each. Katy Weimerskirch had 29 digs and six assists.

Loyola’s Emily Banitt had 19 kills, hit .350, and had two blocks and 12 digs. Grace Hinchman had 26 digs, seven assists, and an ace.

The last time a Valley team went down 0-2 in the final was in 2015, when Wichita State rallied to beat Missouri State.

BIG EAST — No. 22 Creighton (30-3) won the Big East title for the seventh time in eight years, sweeping host Marquette 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 and strengthened its case for a top-16 seed.

Creighton, No. 12 in the RPI, has won 13 in a row, has the most wins in program history and lost only to Nebraska, St. John’s, and UConn this season. 

Norah Sis led Creighton with 13 kills, an assist, two blocks, and 11 digs. Jaela Zimmerman had 11 kills, four assists, two blocks, and 12 digs. Kendra Wait had four kills in nine errorless attacks, 24 assists, two aces, seven blocks, and 12 digs. Annika Welty had four kills and 10 blocks, one solo. 

Savannah Rennie, who will be featured at VolleyballMag.com this week, led Marquette (26-5) with 12 kills, a dig and two blocks, one solo. Jenna Reitsma had seven kills, hit negative, but had three digs and five blocks, two solo. Marquette, No. 16 in the RPI, will get an at-large NCAA bid.

AROUND THE NATION — Hawai’i (21-7, 18-2) had already won the Big West title, but it lost to UC Santa Barbara (21-11, 16-4) for the second time this season, falling in five at home. UCSB had five players with nine or more kills in the 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12 victory. Abrielle Ross led with 16 kills and hit .314. Michelle Ohwobete had 13 kills, three blocks, and 11 digs, and Rowan Ennis had 12 kills with no errors in 18 attacks and eight blocks (two solo), two assists and a dig. Deni Wilson had 11 kills and seven blocks, four solo. Brooke Van Sickle led UH with 21 kills, an ace, eight digs, and two blocks, one solo   

In the lone ACC match, NC State (16-13, 10-8) beat visiting Clemson (12-18, 3-15) in four. Melissa Evans led the Wolfpack with 15 kills, hit .464 and had three blocks and six digs. Jade Parchment had 15 kills, hit .333, and had an assist and 14 digs. Taylor Rowland had 14 kills, three assists, a solo block, and eight digs. Clemson’s Camryn Hannah had 17 kills, an assist, 11 digs, and four blocks, two solo … 

In the only American Athletic match, one player for each team had 28 kills as Temple (7-24, 3-17) beat visiting East Carolina (9-20, 5-15) in five. Miray Boukbasi led Temple with 28 kills, an assist, an ace, a block, and nine digs. ECU’s Natalie Tyson had 28 kills with only two errors in 58 attacks to hit .448 and added three assists and 13 digs.

Washington State’s Kalyah Williams powers the ball past Washington’s Lauren Sanders Stephen/Burns photo

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