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NCAA: Wisconsin survives at Arkansas; BYU, Utah State, S. Carolina, UNH win

While Nebraska was cruising against Omaha, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, top-ranked Wisconsin was getting all it could handle from No. 21 Arkansas and diminuitive Jillian Gillen.

Wisconsin rallied from a 24-19 deficit to win the third set, lost the fourth and eventually came away with a 21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 15-13 victory.

It was one of just 10 matches on Wednesday, a night that not only saw the No. 4 Huskers throttle Omaha but included Utah State knocking off Utah and No. 9 BYU beating Loyola Marymount.

There are 36 matches on Thursday’s NCAA Division I volleyball schedule, including Wisconsin back at Arkansas.

Sixth-ranked Oregon is at San Deigo State and No. 25 Purdue goes to Kansas.

Among the other matches, USC is at Hawai’i (the last team out of the AVCA top 25), BYU is home for McNeese, Tennessee is at San Diego, West Virginia plays North Carolina, UC Santa Barbara plays Pepperdine, Colorado plays Northern Colorado and Indiana plays Long Beach State.

We have the viewing links for any match that is being shown in our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.

WISCONSIN SURVIVES: Gillen, the 5-foot-7 senior outside, had 22 kills for Arkansas, even a block and 14 digs. And her 5-10 counterpart, Taylor Head, had 14 kills, two aces, also a block and 11 digs. But with the fifth set tied 13-13, Head was blocked by Wisconsin’s 6-9 Anna Smrek and 6-3 Caroline Crawford and then Sarah Franklin ended it with a kill.

“That’s a great road win,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “We spent most of the match behind in each set, just trying to grind it and fight. That’s a really, really good team, that’s a really well-coached team. 

“We got quite a few blocks but it was a real struggle with their speed, their size and their craftiness.”

Devyn Robinson led Wisconsin (3-0) of the Big Ten with 21 kills while hitting .354. She had nine blocks as the Badgers outblocked Arkansas (2-1) of the SEC 17-6.

Smrek had 13 kills, hit .346 and had five blocks and a dig. Carter Booth had 12 kills in 19 errorless attacks and nine blocks, and Franklin had 12 kills and six digs. 

Izzy Ashburn had 34 assists and her team hit .295. She had a kill in her only try, an ace and 15 digs. Julia Orzol had three kills but hit negative .045 but had 16 digs. Gülce Güctekin had 22 digs and nine assists.

Arkansas had a record crowd in Barnhill Arena/Arkansas photo

Arkansas set a volleyball attendance record in Barnhill Arena with a crowd of 4,299. The previous best was 3,015.

Gillen had 11 errors to go with her 22 kills. Head added two assists, four aces and 24 digs. Maggie Cartwright had 14 kills, an assist, two aces, a block and 11 digs and Sania Petties had 14 kills, an assist, a dig and four blocks. 

Hannah Hogue had two kills in as many attempts, 57 assists, two aces, three blocks and 11 digs. Her team hit .249. Courtney Jackson had 14 kills, five assists and an ace.

BYU’s Whitney Bowers sets as LMU’s Kari Geissberger defends/BYU photo

AROUND THE NATION: Utah State sold out the Wayne Estes Center for the first time since Utah State and Utah met eight years ago and Utah State (3-1) responded with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 sweep of the visiting Utes. Adna Mehmedovic led Utah State with 10 kills, three digs and six blocks, one solo. Utah State of the Mountain West hit just .157, but Utah (1-2) hit .072. Utah State had lost seven in a row to Utah of the Pac-12, a streak started in 2010 …

BYU and Loyola Marymount were longtime WCC rivals, but BYU has moved to the Big 12. The Cougars improved to 4-0 with a 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 win over visiting LMU (1-2). Erin Livingston had 12 kills, four aces, three blocks and three digs for BYU. Amethyst Harper had 11 kills for LMU … 

South Carolina of the SEC had 13 aces and beat visiting Clemson of the ACC in four. No stats were available … 

New Hampshire beat visiting Boston College 25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 27-25 as Hannah Serbousek had 14 kills. UNH is now 26-8 all time against BC. They hadn’t played since 2016 … Abby Harrell and Skylar Gerhardt had 11 kills each as Villanova swept UMES … 

Furman beat UNC Asheville in four, hitting .311. Mary Beth Headley had 12 kills, an assist, three aces, eight digs and two blocks … CSUN swept Fresno State as Taylor Dunlap had 10 kills with one error in 15 attacks to go with two digs and five blocks, three solo.