No previous NCAA college volleyball experience required: Top-ranked Minnesota stayed unbeaten as the 8-0 Gophers beat No. 5 Texas on Friday night as freshmen led their respective teams in kills.
It’s not all about the kids. No. 4 Stanford got its lone senior back and Merete Lutz led the Cardinal past Illinois.
Third-ranked Penn State beat Colorado and No. 6 Kansas improved to 9-0 with victories over Belmont and No. 17 Purdue on Friday, setting up Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. match against No. 9 Creighton. The Bluejays, however, lost to Purdue and beat Belmont.
Washington, ranked No. 8, won twice and is 7-1 after its fifth consecutive victory.
Tenth-ranked BYU keeps on winning and is 8-0.
Utah, ranked 18th, got past No. 15 San Diego in five, while No. 25 Colorado State swept No. 16 Michigan.
And in Lincoln, No. 12 Nebraska swept visiting No. 11 UCLA. The same teams will play again Saturday.
“I feel like it’s halftime,” Nebraska coach John Cook said.
Perhaps, but it’s only the third weekend of the season with another 219 matches on tap for Saturday. Click here for the complete NCAA schedule.
Gophers win at Texas: Minnesota freshman Stephanie Samedy had 22 kills in 52 swings and hit .308 to go with nine digs and two blocks as her team came away with a 25-21, 25-27, 26-24, 25-19 victory before 4,353 fans in Austin.
Sophomore Alexis Hart added 14 kills, freshman Jasmyn Martin had 11 kills, eight digs and three blocks, and Molly Lohman had eight kills, three aces, four digs and six blocks, one solo.
“I was just proud of the way our athletes competed,” Minnesota coach Hugh McCutcheon said. (Texas) is a very good team, obviously, and it’s a parochial crowd and all that good stuff and they were just really composed and they went about playing with a lot of heart and a lot of discipline and were able to execute a good game plan.
“I thought they played really good volleyball, so I’m really happy with it.”
McCutcheon was glad the Texas fans filled Gregory Gym.
“That’s exactly what we were hoping for, getting into a tough space and having to deal with that and deal with the energy.”
Texas freshman Lexi Sun led the Longhorns with 19 kills on 50 swings. She also had 13 digs and three blocks, one solo. Sophomore Micaya White added 16 kills and junior Morgan Johnson had 11 kills and hit .529.
“I think they played very well. They were very disciplined with their scouting report,” Texas coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I think we could take better swings. I think we could have more of a purpose behind our swings. I think we could have a different aggression towards our swings.
“It’s a couple of points here and a couple of points there in game three, and we’ve got a game five. We’ve just got to be able to perform better. Our serving was poor tonight. It was very easy and didn’t put enough pressure on them. We just let them run their offense. That’s very challenging.”
Stanford, Penn State win in Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge: The 6-foot-8 Lutz, who missed Stanford’s first five matches with an injury, had 12 kills in her team’s 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 at Illinois.
Stanford (5-1) gets a rematch with Penn State — the Nittany Lions won in four at Texas A&M a week ago — at 5 p.m. Central in a match that will be streamed by Illinois Athletics.
Lutz hit .381 and had two blocks. Sophomore Kathryn Plummer, who had gone to the right side to fill in for Lutz but moved back to outside, had 14 kills and hit .440. She also had four digs, three blocks and an ace. Sophomore middle Audrianna Fitzmorris had eight kills, hit .636 and had four blocks.
Ali Bastianelli led Illinois with 15 kills. She hit .619 and had six blocks. Sophomore Beth Prince had 13 kills and hit .440. Jacqueline Quade added 11 kills and hit .400.
“It was a tough one tonight,” Illinois coach Chris Tamas said. “I think if we look back on film that we are going to see that we could have made a few plays here and there. But, it is also a good learning moment for us to play in this environment and have a couple freshman step in and returners played really well.
Penn State beat previously unbeaten Colorado 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 to improve to 6-0. Ali Frantti led with 17 kills and hit .469. Simone Lee had 11 kills and Abby Detering 10. Colorado (6-1) got 11 kills from Alexa Smith and 10 from Frankie Shebby, who led with 12 digs. Colorado plays Illinois at 2:30 p.m Central.
Kansas wins twice: The Jayhawks rolled over Belmont 25-18, 25-20, 25-18 as Kelsie Payne had 15 kills and hit .385. Then KU beat Purdue 25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19 behind 19 more kills from Payne, who hit .366. Madison Rigdon added 15 kills and 10 digs.
“There are times tonight where we just fought harder and won our share of the in-between rallies,” Kansas coach Ray Bechard said. “We got the building excited because we were playing hard and I think our fans sense that and our players sense that. When we get that going and make some good volleyball plays otherwise, it creates a little momentum and we rode that momentum tonight.”
Previously unbeaten Purdue was excited to have knocked off Creighton in the morning 25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 27-25, but was held to its lowest hitting percentage of the season by Kansas, .218. Against Creighton, Sherridan Atkinson and Danielle Cuttino led with 21 kills each. Cuttino hit .576. Against Kansas, they led again, but the numbers were quite different as Cuttino had 11 kills and Atkinson 10.
Creighton is 6-2 after coming back to beat Belmont 25-10, 25-10, 25-19. Taryn Kloth led with 11 kills and hit .733 as her team hit .446.
The KU-Creighton match will be shown on the Watch ESPN app.
No. 8 Huskies keep rolling: Washington won twice, beating Missouri State 25-20, 21-25, 25-12, 25-23 and then host Pepperdine 25-23, 25-18, 25-20. Against Missouri State, Carly DeHoog had a career-high 17 kills. Tia Scambray had a career-high 23 digs. Courtney Schwan had 10 kills and 17 digs.
Lily Johnson led Missouri State (4-3) with 15 kills on 65 swings and had 18 digs.
Against Pepperdine, Marion Hazelwood led with 11 kills and hit .491. Pepperdine (5-3) got nine kills from Nikki Lyons.
“I think we’re a good team, I think we need to aspire to be a great team,” Washington coach Keegan Cook. “Winning certainly has value, but there’s another level in this group and we’re still searching for it. We’re finding pieces each night. I think defensively we’re a little better than we were last week in terms of floor defense and opponent hitting percentage, but we’re still not clicking offensively.”
Unbeaten BYU: The Cougars rolled over Nevada 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 in Hawai’i. Senior middle Cosy Burnett led with 14 kills and five blocks. Veronica Perry-Jones also had 14 kills.
“I like how focused we came out from the very beginning of the match,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “Cosy did a great job of being decisive up high and had a great offensive match. We passed well and can build on that for tomorrow.”
That will be against Baylor at 3 p.m. Hawai’i time.
Huskers win first of two against UCLA: The 25-15, 25-21, 25-20 outcome presents a challenge for the previously unbeaten Bruins (5-1) to bounce back in a hurry. They play at 7 p.m. before what is expected to be another sold-out crowd in the Devaney Center. It will be streamed on BTN2GO.com.
Mikaela Foecke led Nebraska (4-2) with 13 kills and 13 digs. Annika Albrecht had 12 kills, hit .400, and had 15 digs. UCLA, which hit just .097, got nine kills from Mac May.
Oregon, Utah, Colorado State win battles of ranked teams: No. 14 Oregon (6-1) swept visiting Wichita State 25-16, 25-19, 25-12, as the Ducks hit .394.
Willow Johnson, who hit .409, and Lindsey Vander Weide led with 11 kills each and Ronika Stone and Taylor Agost and nine kills apiece. Stone hit .692, Agost .750.
“I’m really proud of us,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said. “I’ve been preaching to them that this was a national match tonight. The volleyball nation is going to see this match and I wanted them to show everyone how good we are.
“This was the first time I thought we started strong; we’ve been starting very poorly. I am just really proud of us because this is a match we had to win. Wichita State is an excellent team, but that’s just how good we were tonight.”
Wichita State, which hit .059, got seven kills from Tabitha Brown.
Utah (6-1) had all it could handle against San Diego in a 25-22, 17-25, 25-19, 22-25, 16-14 victory. It was Utah’s first win over a top-15 team in almost three years. Adora Anae led with 19 kills and eight digs. Carly Trueman had 16 kills and hit .414. Dani Barton added 15 kills.
San Diego (4-3) got career highs from Jayden Kennedy (20 kills) and Roxie Wilbin (17 kills).
Colorado State beat a ranked team for the second time in six days with its 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 sweep of visiting Michigan. The Rams (7-1) hit .396. Sanja Cizmic led with 13 kills while hitting .550. Breanna Runnels had 12 kills and Paulina Jensen-Houggard had 11 and hit .611 to go with four blocks, one solo.
“That was a fantastic job by my team,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “I think we played with really great maturity, very similar to how we played against (then No. 15) Florida State and I think these guys are stepping up in those situations.”
Michigan (6-2) got 12 kills from Claire Kieffer-Wright, who hit .421.
Around the top 25: No. 2 Florida, No. 20 Florida State and No. 21 Michigan State (which was to play at Florida) were hurricaned-out for the weekend, while No. 6 Wisconsin plays host to Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Central on BTN Plus … No. 13 Kentucky plays Loyola at Marquette and then the home team on Sunday … No. 19 USC is 6-2 after beating Arkansas in five and sweeping UC Santa Barbara. The Trojans play Yale on Saturday …
No. 22 Iowa State of the Big 12 improved to 6-0 as it went to Iowa and beat in-state rival Iowa of the Big Ten 25-19, 23-25, 26-24, 30-28. Jess Schaben, a junior outside hitter from Defiance, Iowa, had 17 kills, nine digs and two blocks, one solo.
And No. 24 Ohio State beat visiting and previously unbeaten Notre Dame — which was supposed to play at hurricane-affected Coastal Carolina — 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 on Friday before the teams head to South Bend for a rematch on Saturday. Luisa Schirmer led Ohio State (5-2) with 13 kills and 14 digs, while setter Taylor Hughes added eight kills in 12 swings without an error. Jemma Yeadon led Notre Dame (6-1) with 13 kills.
Also in the power fives: In the ACC, North Carolina, which has played a brutal schedule, finally got a victory when the Tar Heels (1-4) swept LU Brooklyn. Taylor Leath led with 16 kills … Duke is 5-2 after sweeping TCU … Wake Forest is also 5-2 after beating William & Mary … Georgia got a big five-set win over Kansas State … Louisville won twice, sweeping UC Irvine and then beating Weber State in four in Las Vegas … Miami has the weekend off after canceling its trip to Philadelphia.
In the Big 12, West Virginia got to 6-2 with sweeps of Tennessee Tech and Harvard … Texas Tech is 7-1 after sweeping visiting Lamar and UC Riverside … Baylor lost in five at Hawai’i 18-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-17, 16-14 despite 18 kills by Yossiana Pressley and 16 kills and 12 digs from Katie Staiger.
The Big Ten’s Indiana is 7-0 after sweeping host Evansville. Northwestern is 6-1 after sweeping Milwaukee.
In the Pac-12, Arizona swept CSU Bakersfield and beat Northern Arizona in four to get to 6-2 … Previously unbeaten Oregon State (6-1) lost top North Texas in four .. Cal is 7-1 with its sweep of Eastern Washington … Washington State is also 7-1 after sweeping two northeast schools, New Hampshire and host Fairfield …
And in the SEC, LSU is 7-0 following its 20-25, 28-26, 24-26, 25-21, 16-14 win over host High Point in North Carolina. The Tigers head to North Carolina on Saturday to play LIU Brooklyn and then UNC on Sunday … Alabama swept Tennessee State and Hofstra to get to 5-2 … Auburn swept South Alabama and is 6-1 .. Ole Miss is 7-3 after beating Mercer in five.
Around the nation: Providence is 8-0 after sweeping Rider as Addison Root had 14 kills and 14 digs and Jenae Alderson had 13 kills. Both hit .500. Then the Friars beat Holy Cross in four as Root had 19 more kills and Alderson 18 … Houston Baptist is 7-0 after beating UMass and UTSA, both in four … Towson is 8-0 as the Tigers swept Cal State Fullerton … North Dakota leads everyone in victories after sweeping George Washington and Appalachian State. The Fighting Hawks are 12-1 and play host to South Dakota State on Saturday …
Princeton swept host Villanova and Albany and is 5-1 … Stephen F. Austin swept Texas Southern and then got past Tulsa in five and is 9-1. Colgate swept Tulsa and beat Little Rock in four to get to 7-1 … SFA plays Colgate and Little Rock on Saturday … UC Irvine lost for the first time, getting swept by Louisville, but bounced back to beat UNLV in five to improve to 7-1.