NCAA roundup: Towson gets to 11-0, UK, Michigan, ND, CSU all win

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Ohio State's Brooke Bailey hits into the block of Notre Dame's Sam Fry (3) and Jemma Yeadon (12)/Notre Dame photo

Towson is off to the school’s best start ever after winning twice Sunday to get to 11-0.

No. 13 Kentucky won again, No. 21 Michigan won, Notre Dame turned the table on No. 24 Ohio State, No. 25 Colorado State kept on rolling and LSU finally lost.

No matches are the NCAA Division I slate for Monday, but there’s an unusually busy Tuesday with 43 matches scheduled.

Three Big 12 teams are in action when No. 22 Iowa State entertains Northern Iowa, Kansas State plays host to UMKC and West Virginia goes to Marshall.

Two SEC teams are on the court, as Ole Miss goes to Northern Colorado and Alabama plays at Samford.

No. 20 Florida State of the ACC was scheduled to be at No. 2 Florida of the SEC, but that match was postponed to a week later because of Hurricane Irma.

There are no Big Ten or Pac-12 teams in action Tuesday.

Towson keeps rolling: The Maryland school from the Colonial Athletic Association beat Eastern Michigan 25-23, 28-30, 25-16, 30-28 and then Lafayette 25-13, 25-17, 25-17.

Against EMU, Annie Ertz led with 12 kills and 15 digs, while Jocelyn Kuilan and Julymar Otero had 11 kills each. Libero Anna Holehouse had seven assists and 21 digs.

Against Lafayette, which hit minus .009, Kulian had 13 kills and hit .321, Ertz had 10 and hit .310 and Holehouse had five more assists and 19 digs.

Otero is a senior right side from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Kulian is a junior right side from the same town, Ertz is a sophomore outside from Elm Grove, Wisc., and Holehouse is a junior from nearby Joppa, Md. Holehouse’s older sisters both played: Roberta won two NCAA titles at Penn State, while Rachel had tremendous success at Palm Beach Atlantic. Another key cog is Carola Biver, a junior outside from San Juan.

“We really rely heavily on our three Puerto Ricans. Fifty-percent of starting lineup is probably 75 percent of our offense,” said fifth-year Towson coach Don Metil.

“Any time we can get our right sides going it allows us to get one-on-one opportunities elsewhere. Marissa Wonders (sophomore from Mount Joy, Pa.) is setting a pretty good ball right now … and Anna Holehouse is anchoring the defense. It’s a pretty strong defense.”

Important as well is that the homes and families of the Puerto Rican players came out OK after Irma.

“Everything stayed north of them, but it was a pretty stressful time two or three days out prior to making its way over the island,” Metil said. “But everyone stayed healthy and safe.”

Ranked teams all win: Kentucky is 7-2 after winning at Marquette 25-23, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23. The Wildcats had 81 kills, the most in a four-set match in program history, en route to hitting .481.

Leah Edmond led with 26 kills on 51 swings. She had just three errors and hit .451 and had 13 digs. Avery Skinner added 17 kills, hit .310 and had two blocks. Kaz Brown had 14 kills, hit .600 and had three blocks. And Emily Franklin had 12 kills, hit .611 and had six blocks.

“It was a very impressive performance offensively today,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “The balance and distribution was great and (setter) Madison (Lilley) did a really good job of keeping the rhythm with her attackers. It was great to see Kaz and Emily have such an impact as well.”

Allie Barber led Marquette (4-4) with 21 kills as she hit .488.

Michigan is 7-2 after beating Ball State at Colorado State 17-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-18 as three players — Adeja Lambert, Carly Skjodt and Sydney Wetterstrom — led with 13 kills each. Wetterstrom hit .435.

A day after sustaining its first loss of the season at Ohio State, Notre Dame took advantage of being home and beat the Buckeyes 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 25-17.

Notre Dame is 7-1 after beating a ranked opponent for the first time since 2012, while Ohio State is 5-3.

Jemma Yeadon led Notre Dame with 19 kills and 19 digs and also had three blocks, one solo. Sydney Kuhn had 16 kills and 13 digs and she also had three blocks, one solo.

“Our presence was better and we trusted in our game a little bit more,” ND coach Jim McLaughlin said. “I think our players have to make a journal entry on how they prepared for this game versus Friday’s and then learn from it. I think the biggest thing is you get what you earn and we have been working hard. Things happen because you make it happen and we made a step in the right direction today.”

Ohio State freshman libero Hannah Gruensfelder had 38 digs, a program best in a four-set match.

Ashley Wenz led the Buckeyes with 16 kills and Madison Smeathers and Luisa Schirmer had 12 each.

Colorado State improved to 8-1 with its eighth win in a row by beating Idaho State 25-17, 25-20, 25-18. Breanna Runnels led the Rams with 13 kills, hit .370 and had seven blocks. Sanja Cizmic, who hit .421, and Jasmine Hanna, who hit .300, had 10 kills each. Paula Hougaard-Jensen had nine kills, hit .750 and had seven blocks.

Chloe Hirst had 12 kills for ISU (3-7).

UNC beats LSU: Once-ranked North Carolina, which started 0-4, won its second match of the season by getting past previously unbeaten LSU 23-25, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25.

“This win means a lot because we have a lot of respect for LSU,” UNC coach Joe Sagula. “They were 8-0, playing well, playing with confidence, so we’re playing a team who we expect to get a great battle from with some good players. They’re a well-coached team. They went through some growing pains last year and they’ve kind of put it together. So, for us to beat a team that’s on a roll I think is great. 

“I told the team ‘It’s going to be a lot better to continue learning with a win than learning from the losses. There were still some glaring things we need to get better at and hopefully we will. Definitely very satisfying to see some of the people making such progress.”

Taylor Leath had a career-high 27 kills to go with 12 digs, while hitting .404. It was the most kills for a Tar Heel since 2005 and just the fourth time in rally-scoring history that a Tar Heel registered more than 25 kills in a four-set match.

Beth Nordhorn had a career-high 15 kills and hit .545.

LSU (8-1) got 18 kills from 6-foot-5 freshman Taylor Bannister, who also had four blocks and four digs, 16 kills from Toni Rodriguez and 11 kills from Gina Tillis, who added 14 digs.

“This was a great match,” LSU coach Fran Flory said. “The other matches could have gone either way and I think this match we finally backed ourselves into a corner and couldn’t get it done. I liked our fight and I liked our resiliency. But you have to credit for making the plays at the end and unfortunately we left too many plays out on the court for the taking. When you do that against a balanced team, you are going to pay the price and we did that.”

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