After a Friday in which Auburn upset Creighton, TCU bounced Washington and Northern Iowa eliminated Florida State, the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament is down to 26 teams. 

The seeds held form Friday for the six moving on to next weekend’s round of 16, with 10 more spots up for grabs Saturday.

The six that moved on: 

Texas
San Diego
Nebaska
Baylor
Kentucky
Marquette

Winners from these Saturday matches will also advance:

Louisville vs. Purdue
Pittsburgh vs. BYU
Auburn vs. Houston
Florida vs. Iowa State
Ohio State vs. USC
Penn State vs. UCF
Wisconsin vs. TCU
Minnesota vs. Northern Iowa
Oregon vs. Arkansas
Stanford vs. LSU

Of note

The SEC, which had a tournament-best seven teams in the field of 64, has gone 7-2 with five teams left, Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, LSU and Arkansas

The Big 12 had five teams and is 7-1 with four left, Texas, Baylor, TCU and Iowa State.

The Pac-12 started with six, and Stanford, Oregon and USC remain.

The Big Ten started with six, and all are still alive — Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue.

The ACC, with five teams, is down to Louisville and Pitt.

The American Athletic Conference went 2-0 Friday as UCF and Houston advanced.

Conference USA went 0-2 Friday, with Rice and Western Kentucky eliminated.

Both teams from the Mountain West are out.

All the matches can be seen on ESPN+. We highly recommend the new ESPN The Fifth Set, a whiparound studio show that made its debut Thursday, also on ESPN+. With so many matches on tap and overlapping — the NCAA could have started earlier and spread things out — it’s an easier way to keep up with what’s going on. 

Want to watch a match? We have the viewing links on the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings page.

Six into the round of 16

TEXAS SWEEPS GEORGIA: The top-ranked Big 12-champion Longhorns (24-1) have been the team to beat all season, and they put a beatdown on the SEC’s Georgia (23-8), hitting .366 in a 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 victory. 

Logan Eggleston and Madisen Skinner had nine kills each, and Kayla Caffey and Molly Phillips, who had no errors in 13 attacks, had six each. Texas has won 10 in a row and is in the round of 16 for the 17th year in a row. Kacie Evans had 13 kills for Georgia, which hit .078 and finished its best season since 1995.

Texas will play Marquette.

SAN DIEGO TOPS WASHINGTON STATE: West Coast champion San Diego (29-1) won its 26th match in a row by beating Washington State (23-10) in four. 

Breana Edwards had 23 kills in the 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15 victory. Edwards, who had two errors in 47 attacks and hit .447, also had two blocks and a dig. Grace Frohling had 17 kills with two errors in 34 attacks, three assists, five blocks and 12 digs. Katie Lukes had 11 kills, an assist and 12 digs. Gabby Blossom had a kill, 49 assists, an ace, two blocks and 12 digs, San Diego hit .289 and outblocked WSU 12-5.

The Cougars of the Pac-12 got 21 kills from Pia Timmer, who added three assists and 15 digs. Katy Ryan had 13 kills, a block and a dig.

San Diego will play Kentucky.

Nebraska’s Madi Kubik tries to get past the Kansas block of London Davis/Scott Bruhn, Nebraska Athletics

NEBRASKA BEATS KANSAS: The Huskers (26-5) built a 2-0 lead but then had to hold off Kansas (19-11) for a 25-14, 25-18, 19-25, 26-24 victory. 

Lindsay Krause had seven of her 13 kills in the fourth set. She hit .357 and had two blocks, an assist and four digs. Madi Kubik had 10 kills, two assists, 16 digs and four blocks, one solo. Ally Batenhorst had 10 kills, two blocks and 10 digs, and Kaitlyn Hord had nine kills and seven blocks and hit .350. Nicklin Hames, back from concussion protocol, had 25 assists and six digs, and Annie Evans had 20 assists and eight digs. Nebraska hit .232.

Kansas of the Big 12 hit .152. Rhian Swanson had 14 kills and two blocks. Caroline Bien had 11 kills, an assist, two aces, two blocks and 11 digs, and Rachel Langs had seven kills, three digs and nine blocks, one solo.

Nebraska of the Big Ten is in the round of 16 for a record 38th time and 11th in a row and will play the Oregon-Arkansas winner.

BAYLOR GETS PAST RICE: Baylor (25-6) got all it could handle from Rice (27-4) in a 16-25, 25-22, 25-23, 14-25, 15-11 victory. 

Baylor hit .243 and got 19 kills from Lauren Harrison, who had three errors in 48 swings and hit .333. She added a block and a dig. Elise McGhee had 13 kills, two blocks and a dig, and Kara McGhee had 12 kills and nine blocks, two solo. Averi Carson had 54 assists, an ace and 11 digs, and Lauren Briseno had 21 digs and four assists.

Rice, which hit .289, got 22 kils from Anota Adekunle, who hit .419 and had a block and a dig. Danyele Courtey had 15 kills, 12 digs and four blocks, one solo. Ellie Bichelmeyer had 14 kills, hit .393 and had a block and a dig. Sahara Maruska had 12 kills, an assist, an ace, a block and nine digs. 

Baylor will play the Louisville-Purdue winner.

KENTUCKY SWEEPS WKU: SEC co-champion Kentucky (22-7) hit .364 and rolled to a suprising 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 sweep of Conference USA’s Western Kentucky (29-4).

Azhani Tealer had 13 kills, hit .455 and had two aces, two blocks and a dig. Adanna Rollins had nine kills, two aces, a block and seven digs. Eleanor Beavin had 13 digs and two aces.

WKU, which hit .274, got 10 kills from Paige Briggs and nine from Lauren Matthews. 

Kentucky plays San Diego.

MARQUETTE OVERPOWERS GT: The Golden Eagles (29-3) hit on all cylinders in their 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 sweep of the ACC’s Georgia Tech (21-8).

Aubrey Hamilton had 17 kills, hit .382 and added an ace, seven digs and three blocks. Jenna Reitsma had 11 kills, an assist, seven digs and two blocks, one solo. Yadhira Anchante had a kill, 36 assists, an ace, 14 digs and four blocks. 

Georgia Tech, which hit .172, got 13 kills from Julia Bergmann, but she hit .195. Bergmann added an assist, nine digs and a block. She finished eighth in the NCAA in kills and third in kills per set. Bianca Bertolini had seven kills, an assist and 14 digs.

Marquette plays Texas.

Saturday’s showdowns

Louisville (27-2) vs. Purdue (21-10): Louisville, the ACC co-champion made quick work of the SoCon’s Samford (19-13) as the Cardinals hit .522 in the 25-9, 25-13, 25-12 victory. Louisville had 44 kills with six errors in 74 attacks. Aiko Jones had 11 kills with one error in 17 attacks to go with an assist, two aces and two blocks. Samford hit .022 … 

Purdue of the Big Ten survived a 14-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 win over the SEC’s Tennessee (17-14). Freshman Eva Hudson led the Boilermakers with 23 kills and hit .400 after making only three errors in 50 attacks. She added an assist, a block and 14 digs. Tennessee’s Morgahn Fingall had 25 kills, hit .333 and had two blocks and seven digs.

Louisville swept Purdue on September 9.

Pittsburgh (28-3) vs. BYU (22-6): Pitt, the ACC co-champion, hit .381 and swept visiting Colgate (24-6) of the Patriot League 25-16, 25-14, 25-14. Valeria Vazquez Gomez had 13 kills with two errors in 24 attacks to go with an assist, an ace, a block and seven digs. Colgate’s Abby Shadwick had 11 kills, an ace, two blocks and three digs … BYU hit .373 and swept James Madison of the Sun Belt (24-5), hitting .373 in the 25-20, 25-10, 25-15 victory. Erin Livingston had 20 kills, hit .395 and added seven digs and two blocks, one solo. JMU hit .112.

Pitt beat BYU in four in Provo on September 3.

Auburn (22-8) vs. Houston (29-3): Upstart Auburn knocked out the No. 4 seed in the Stanford region, beating early-round host Creighton 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 15-11. It’s only the second postseason victory for Auburn; the first was in 2010.

Madison Scheer had 17 kills, hit .302 and had four blocks and four digs. Akasha Anderson had 15 kills, an assist, four blocks and 13 digs. Jackie Barrett had 44 assists, four blocks and 10 digs. Her team hit .231. Sarah Morton had 19 kills, seven assists and two aces.

Creighton (27-5) played without setter Kendra Wait and hit an uncharacteristically low .166. 

Norah Sis led Creighton with 30 kills, the most by anyone in the first two days in the tournament. She hit .273 and had two assists, an ace and 13 digs. Ava Martin had 14 kills. 

According to our incredible NCAA in-match Tweeter Ed Strong, the win by Auburn over Creighton is the first time a host has lost in the round of 64 since 2018, when FGCU won at 13th-seeded UCF. Two full tournaments went by without one (’19, fall ’21), and the spring ’21 tournament had only 48 teams and the top 16 had first-round byes.

Houston survived 25-14, 25-19, 18-25, 23-25, 15-11 against Summit League-champion South Dakota (29-4). Kennedy Warren had a career-high 21 kills and hit .354 to go with two assists, an ace, 11 digs and four blocks, one solo. Kortlyn Henderson had 14 kills, hit .480 and had an assist and three blocks. Abbie Jackson had 11 kills but hit .085 to go with four aces and 14 digs. Houston hit .282, and South Dakota .200.

South Dakota did a remarkable job of not only maintaining composure when the Coyotes lost NCAA kills leader Elizabeth Juhnke while trailing 15-11 in the fourth set. Juhnke, hurt while attacking, left with a leg injury and did not return, but South Dakota rallied to win the set. Evelyn Diederich replaced her and had three kills in eight errorless attacks. Juhnke had 17 kills and hit .341 to go with an assist, an ace, 11 digs and three blocks. Madison Harms had 12 kills, hit .417 and added three digs and six blocks, one solo.

Florida (24-5) vs. Iowa State (20-11): Florida, the SEC co-champion, rolled to a 25-15, 25-15, 25-9 victory over Florida A&M (21-13), the SWAC winner. Five Gators had six or more kills. Florida hit .395; FAMU hit .049 …

Iowa State of the Big 12 survived 25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 15-12 against the ASUN’s Florida Gulf Coast (26-7). 

Eleanor Holthaus had 19 kills and hit .395 to go with an assist, an ace, three blocks and 10 digs. Maya Duckworth had 13 kills, two assists, two aces, two blocks and eight digs. Morgan Brandt had two kills in three errorless tries, 29 assists and four digs, and Jaden Newsome had 24 assists and seven digs. The Cyclones hit .273. Brooke Stonestreet had 20 digs, two assists and two aces.

FGCU’s Erin Shomaker had 14 kills, an assist, two aces, three blocks and four digs. Lily Felts had 13 kills, and Juliana Lentz had 12 kills and five blocks, two solo.

Ohio State (20-9) vs. USC (22-10): The Big Ten Buckeyes entered the tournament on a four-match losing streak but routed visiting Tennessee State of the MEAC (19-16). Ohio State hit .426 in the 25-10, 25-14, 25-15 victory. Gabby Gonzalez, Jenaisya Moore and Rylee Rader had 11 kills each and Emily Londot 10 … 

USC of the Pac-12 hit .394 in a 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 win over High Point of the Big South (23-10). Skylar Fields had 14 kills, two aces, a block and 13 digs. Jordan Wilson had 13 kills, an assist and two digs. Setter Mia Tuaniga sat out and in her place Adona Faumuina had 40 assists, two blocks and five digs.

Penn State (25-7) vs. UCF (28-1): The Nittany Lions cruised to a 25-14, 25-17, 25-12 win over the America East’s UMBC (17-9). Penn State, which hit .333, had five players with five or more kills, including Zoe Weatherington with nine. Weatherington hit .438 and added four blocks and two digs. UMBC hit .000 …

UCF won its 16th in a row, a 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 win over the Ivy League’s Yale (23-2). McKenna Melville had 14 kills, hit .306 and added an assist, four blocks and 15 digs. Amber Olson had three kills in six errorless tries, 34 assists, two blocks and six digs.

Wisconsin (26-3) vs. TCU (17-10): Defending-champion Wisconsin of the Big Ten made short work of Quinnipiac of the MAAC (14-15), cruising 25-15, 25-9, 25-4. Wisconsin, which hit .314, got 11 kills from Devyn Robinson, who had one error in 15 attacks and added five blocks. Quinnipiac hit minus .144 …

TCU of the Big 12 continued its remarkable turnaround with a 25-18. 24-26, 25-20, 25-21 stunning victory over Washington of the Pac-12 (20-11). TCU got 25 kills from Audrey Nalls, who had an assist, an ace, a block and nine digs. Jalyn Gibson had 11 kills, hit .360 and had an assist, four blocks and four digs. Zoe Hall had six kills, three digs and nine blocks. Callie Williams had four kills, 44 assists, seven blocks and nine digs. Her team hit .279.

Washington, which hit .183, got 15 kills from Emoni Bush, who had two aces, five blocks and four digs. Claire Hoffman had 15 kills but hit .059 and had two aces and seven digs. Washington hit .183.

Minnesota’s Jenna Wenaas hits against Southeastern Louisiana/Kelly Hagenson photo

Minnesota (21-8) vs. Northern Iowa (27-7): Minnesota of the Big Ten rolled to a 25-21, 25-18, 25-14 sweep of the Southland Conference’s Southeastern Louisiana (25-8). Four Gophers had nine or more kills, 11 by Carter Booth, who had two errors in 17 attacks to go with a dig and three blocks, one solo …

UNI, the Missouri Valley champion, had a surprising 26-24, 25-19, 25-21 sweep of the ACC’s Florida State, the No. 8 seed in the Texas region. UNI, into the second round for the first time since 2017, got 13 kills from Olivia Tjernagel, who had one error in 19 attacks. Emily Holterhaus had 12 kills, and Kira Fallert had 10 to go with two aces and nine digs. Tayler Alden had four kills, 41 assists, a block and 11 digs. Her team hit .265. FSU, which hit .122, got eight kills each from Emily Ryan and Khori Louis.

Oregon (24-5) vs. Arkansas (21-8): Oregon of the Pac-12 swept Loyola Marymount of the WCC (18-10). The Ducks hit .351 in the 25-17, 25-22, 25-15 victory. The outsides, Brooke Nuneviller and Mimi Colyer, had 13 kills each. Phoebe Awoleye led LMU with 10 kills and hit .350 with four blocks …

Arkansas won its sixth in a row, a 25-19, 25-14, 25-15 sweep of the Mountain West’s Utah State (22-11). Arkansas hit .333 and got 15 kills from Taylor Head, who hit .314 and had an ace and seven digs. Jillian Gillen had nine kills, two assists, an ace, five digs and a block.

Stanford (25-4) vs. LSU (16-13): Stanford, the Pac-12 champion, got past the WCC’s Pepperdine (19-11), hitting .377 in the 25-11, 25-18, 18-25, 25-20 victory. Kendal Kipp had 21 kills, hit .419 and added an ace, four blocks and seven digs. Caitie Baird had 19 kills, hit .412 and had two aces, a block and seven digs. Meg Brown had 10 kills for Pepperdine …

LSU of the SEC knocked out Big West-champion Hawai’i (22-7) for its first NCAA win since 2014. Sanaa Dotson had 16 kills in the 21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 victory and added four blocks and 18 digs. Paige Flickinger had 11 kills, three blocks and 10 digs. LSU hit .215. Hawai’i, which hit .158, got 20 kills from Riley Wagoner, who had four assists and 17 digs. Amber Igiede had 16 kills, hit .314 and had two digs and four blocks, one solo.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Thoughts and Prayers for Juhnke’s recovery. I was very impressed with USD’s response (and win to force a 5th game) after that happened. Houston coach’s comments and players actions were very classy after their win (joining in a prayer circle for EJ). Love to see them all come together like that–in support of an injured star player of the opposing team!

  2. Can we finally get rid of the dispicable bias for some of these so called big conferences. If it’s not mainly B10, and B12, with a couple at most from these other Power 5 conferences it’s a BS tourney. The weakest schools in the B10 and B12 are better than most of the teams from all of the other conferences combined, yet you do your best to screw over the B10 every year. They are also your fan base, if you would do your research, with the pathetic TV Coverage of a Major Tournament. So try and get it right next year PLEASE!

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