Five NCAA Tournament round-of-16 spots will be claimed Friday.
Thursday, Kansas pulled off a surprise sweep of Oregon, and Miami had to go a tough four sets to beat South Alabama. All five seeded teams — Texas, Baylor, Purdue, Creighton, and Florida — swept.
There will be a new coach at Eastern Washington, and the NIVC got underway.
For a look at Friday’s NCAA matches, click here for our preview story.
Second-seeded Texas (25-1) plays Rice (20-6) on Friday.
Texas overpowered visiting Sacred Heart (19-10) of the NEC 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 as the Big 12 champion won its seventh in a row and improved to 34-0 all-time in first-round matches.
Texas hit .443. Logan Eggleston led with 12 kills, hit .320, and had two aces, five digs, and six blocks, one solo. Skylar Field had 11 kills, hit .476, and had a block and a dig. Molly Phillips had nine kills with one error in 14 attacks and a block, Brionne Butler had seven kills and hit .556 with two blocks, and Asjia O’Neal had five kills, hit .400, and had two digs and six blocks, one solo.
Sacred Heart’s Jasmine Rogers had 12 kills, hit .500, and had two aces and five digs. Sacred Heart hit .125 and had no blocks …
Rice of Conference USA made quick work of San Diego (20-8) of the West Coast Conference as the Owls won their second NCAA match in program history. Rice hit .321 in the 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 victory. Nicole Lennon led with 15 kills as she hit .333 and had five digs and two blocks, one solo. Ellie Bichelmeyer had eight kills with one error in 14 attacks, two blocks, and two digs. Shaylee Shore had eight kills with one error in 13 swings, an assist, a block, and five digs. Carly Graham had two kills, 31 assists, an ace, two blocks, and nine digs.
San Diego’s Grace Frohling had 15 kills, three assists, a block and seven digs. Katie Lukes had nine kills, an assist, two aces, and five digs.
Sixth-seeded Purdue (24-6) will play Dayton (26-5) on Friday.
Purdue of the Big Ten hit .424 and overpowered Illinois State (19-14) of the Missouri Valley 25-21, 25-17, 25-11. Caitlyn Newton had 12 kills and hit .345 to go with two aces, a block, and four digs. Grace Cleveland had nine kills, hit .300, and had an ace, two blocks, and four digs. Raven Colvin had eight kills with one error in 10 attacks and three blocks, one solo. Hayley Bush had three kills in four errorless atttempts, 35 assists, three blocks, and five digs.
Illinois State, which hit .127, got nine kills from Aliyah Moore …
Dayton, the Atlantic 10 team that took Washington to five in the second round last spring, was too much for injury-depleted Marquette of the Big East (26-6) as freshman Lexie Almodovar had 21 kills. Almodovar hit .326 and had three assists, an ace, two blocks, and 15 digs. Alayna Yates had 13 kills with no errors in 17 attacks, two blocks, and a dig. Jamie Peterson had 12 kills, hit .306 and had a block and eight digs. Livie Sandt had two kills in five errorless tries, 50 assists, an ace, and seven digs. Her Flyers hit .326.
Savanah Rennie (featured here this week) ended her incredible career with 14 kills, an assist, two blocks, and three digs. Jenna Reitsma had 11 kills, an ace, two blocks, and seven digs, and Taylor Wolf had 10 kills, 20 assists, an ace, three blocks, and 15 digs. Carsen Murray had four kills in six errorless attacks and five blocks.
No. 14-seeded Creighton (31-3) will play Kansas (17-11) on Friday.
Creighton, the Big East champion, won its 14th match in a row as it knocked out the SEC’s Ole Miss (21-9). The Bluejays hit .368 in the 25-21, 25-15, 25-13 victory.
Norah Sis led with 16 kills as she had no errors in 36 attacks to hit .444. She had two blocks and 10 digs. Jaela Zimmerman had 10 kills before leaving with an apparent knee injury in the second set. Kendra Wait had four kills in five errorless tries, 31 assists, an ace, a block, and 14 digs. Abby Bottomley had 15 digs, eight assists and two aces.
Ole Miss, which hit .148, got 10 kills from Anna Bair …
An upset? Perhaps, but Kansas sweeping was certainly a surprise. Oregon (22-9) of the PAC-12 was No. 23 in the most recent RPI and ranked 19th in the AVCA Poll, while Kansas was 34 in the RPI.
Kansas, which won its fifth match in a row, hit .243 in its 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 victory. Caroline Bien led with 13 kills, an assist and nine digs. Caroline Crawford had 12 kills, hit .400, and had two assist, three aces, two digs, and four blocks, one solo. Jenny Mosser had 10 kills, two blocks and eight digs. Kennedy Farris had 17 digs, six assists, and three aces.
Oregon, which hit .190, got 17 kills from Brooke Nuneviller, who had an assist, a block, and 11 digs. Taylor Borup had 10 kills with no errors in 27 attacks, a block, and nine digs.
Fifth-seeded Baylor (21-5) will play Washington State (20-11).
Baylor of the Big 12 dispatched Southland Conference-champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (19-10) 25-22, 25-12, 26-24. Baylor hit .320 and 16 kills from Yossiana Pressley, who had two blocks and five digs. Avery Skinner had 11 kills, an assist, two aces, 14 digs, and three blocks, two solo. Lauren Harrison had 11 kills and two blocks, and Marieka van der Mark had seven kills in 12 errorless swings and three blocks.
The Islanders, who hit .168, got 12 kills from Kyndal Payne, who had an assist, an ace, two blocks, and nine digs …
Washington State of the PAC-12 won 25-17, 25-15, 25-20 over Big Sky-champion Northern Colorado (24-7). The Cougars, who hit .325, got 11 kills from Kalyah Williams, who had one error in 23 attacks, three blocks, and two digs. Argentina Ung had nine kills with one error in 24 attacks, an assist, a block, and six digs. Hanna Pukis had seven kills, hit .333, and had 33 assists, an ace, a block, and eight digs. Karly Basham had 20 digs and four assists.
Northern Colorado hit .145. Kailey Jo Ince led with nine kills, an ace, a solo block, and eight digs.
No. 16 Florida (21-8) will play Miami (25-4).
Florida of the SEC swept Florida A&M (25-7), the SWAC champion, 25-11, 25-14, 25-8 as the Gators hit .388. Sofia Victoria took advantage of starting by leading with 13 kills as she hit .333 and two solo blocks and seven digs. Thayer Hall ahd 11 kills with one error in 18 attacks to go with an assist, two aces, and three blocks.
FAMU hit minus .026 …
Miami won its sixth match in a row, a 23-25, 25-20, 29-27, 25-19 victory over Sun Belt-champion South Alabama (25-7).
Miami had 13-5 blocks advantage and hit .258. The Hurricanes of the ACC got 19 kills from Angela Grieve, who hit .300 and had four blocks and four digs. Payman Yardimici had 13 kills, three blocks, and seven digs. Janie Leao had 12 kills, an assist, and seven blocks, two solo. Janet Kalaniuvalu had 10 kills, two blocks, and eight digs. Savannah Vach had a kill, 49 assists, two aces, two blocks, and seven digs.
South Alabama, which hit .163, got 15 kills from Maddie Soboleski, who had four aces, two blocks, and 13 digs. Carissa Bradford had 14 kills. Kailey Keeble had two kills, 46 assists, two blocks, and 13 digs.
COACHING CAROUSEL — Eastern Washington coach Leslie Flores-Cloud has resigned after four seasons. EWU finished 11-14 this season, 7-9 in the Big Sky.
NIVC — There were five first-round winners Thursday:
Toledo beat Indiana State in five, Evansville swept Sam Houston, UTEP beat Tulsa in four, Valparaiso swept Butler, and Bradley beat Chicago State.
UNC Greensboro had positive COVID tests and had to withdraw from Friday’s match, so North Florida moved into the second round.
There are nine matches Friday. Click here for the NIVC website.