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NCAA volleyball: Pitt, BYU, GT, Tennessee, Penn St., A&M, Indiana, USC win

USC’s Tyrah Ariail, left, and London Wijay roof UCLA’s Iman Ndiaye/Andy J. Gordon photo

There were 23 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball matches Wednesday.

Just five of them did not end in sweeps, including Georgia Tech’s four-set, comeback ACC win at Clemson, USC’s five-set Pac-12 win at UCLA, and Indiana’s four-set Big Ten over Illinois.

Line of the night: NCAA kills leader Kayley Cassaday had 18 more with no errors in 37 attacks to go with two assists, an ace, eight digs and a block as Tulsa swept Temple.

The recaps and best performances from those 23 matches follow, but first a look at Thursday’s schedule.

The highest-ranked team in action is No. 7 Washington State (10-1), which entertains Washington (9-2) in the rivalry known as the Apple Cup. This is the first time since 2002 that WSU is the higher-ranked team in this rivarly that Washington leads 55-20. Also in the Pac-12, Arizona State (12-0) — the last team out of the AVCA top 25 — puts its unbeaten record up against visiting Arizona and Utah goes to Colorado.

The lone Big Ten match has No. 12 Minnesota at Iowa. 

There are three Big 12 matches, No. 25 Iowa State at West Virginia, USF at Cincinnati, and TCU at Kansas State. Both UCF and TCU are receiving votes in the AVCA poll.

The ACC and SEC are off, but the MAC gets going with four matches as NIU goes to Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan is at Toledo, Central Michigan is at Ball State, and Western Michigan, off to the program’s best start since 1985, goes to Miami.

The four Big Sky matches have Portland State at Idaho State, Eastern Washington at Northern Colorado, Montana State at Idaho and Northern Arizona at Sacramento State.

The Mountain West has five matches, including 11-0 Wyoming, unbeaten before conference play for the first time, at Utah State. Also, Air Force is at Fresno State, New Mexico is at Nevada, Colorado State is at Boise State, and San Jose State is at UNLV.

The Southland shows Southeastern Louisiana at UIW, Lamar at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State at New Orleans and Houston Christian at Nichols. 

In The Summit League, North Dakota is at Denver, Kansas City is at Omaha, South Dakota State is at St. Thomas and North Dakota State is at Oral Roberts.

The Sun Belt shows Old Dominion at Marshall, Louisiana-Monroe at Texas State, Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss at South Alabama.

The WAC opens with five matches, Seattle at Abilene Christian, Utah Valley at Tarleton State, California Baptist at Utah Tech, Grand Canyon at Southern Utah, and UTRGV at UT Arlington, at 11-2 off to its best start in years.

The West Coast Conference has Portand at Santa Clara, Gonzaga at San Francisco, Pacific at Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s at Loyola Marymount, which is receiving votes in the AVCA poll.

ETSU has a SoCon match at Western Carolina.

Want to watch? We have the conference-by-conference schedule with viewing links for any match that is being shown in our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.

Pitt, BYU, GT, Tennessee, Penn State win

No. 8 Pittsburgh (9-2) of the ACC hit .487 and swept visiting UMBC (6-5) of America East 25-11, 25-12, 25-21. Eight Panthers got a kill, nine each by Torrey Stafford and Olivia Babcock. Chiamaka Nwokolo had four kills in eight errorless attacks and seven blocks, one solo. UMBC hit .070 … 

No. 10 BYU (12-1) swept visiting No. 20 Houston (7-3) as both teams played their openers in their new league, the Big 12. Erin Livingston 12 of BYU’s 33 kills in the 26-24, 25-13, 25-18 victory. She had an ace, two digs and four blocks, one solo. Whitney McEwan-Llarenas had eight blocks, one solo, to go with six kills, an assist, an ace and five digs. Houston had 31 kills but 28 errors and hit .029 … 

No. 13 Georgia Tech (9-1) lost an exciting first set at Clemson (9-4) and then came away with 29-31, 25-13, 25-15, 25-16 victory in the ACC opener for both teams. Tamara Otene had 22 kills, hit .300, and added one of Georgia Tech’s nine aces, 15 digs and a block …

No. 14 Tennessee (10-1) got stronger as it went and swept Missouri (8-4) in the SEC opener for both teams 26-24, 25-19, 25-11. Morgahn Fingall led with 10 kills, hitting .333, and had four aces, two digs and three blocks. Caroline Kerr, who had three kills with one error in four tries, had 22 assists, four aces, five digs and three blocks, one solo. Missouri hit .080 … Also in an SEC opener, Texas A&M (9-2) rolled to a 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 sweep of visiting Mississippi State (7-4). Caroline Meuth had 12 kills, hit .421, and had an assist, three aces, a block and two digs. Logan Lednicky had 11 kills, hit .471, an dhad five blocks. Ifenna Cos-Okpalla had two kills in three errorless attempts, an ace and 10 blocks … 

No. 15 Penn State (7-3) swept visiting Rutgers (8-3) in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Jess Mruzik had 18 kills and Penn State hit .390 in the 25-17, 25-15, 25-17 victory. Mruzik had 18 kills with two errors in 30 attacks, an assisst, 10 digs and three blocks, one solo … Also in the Big Ten, Indiana (11-3) came away with a 25-13, 24-26, 25-17, 25-17 victory over visiting Illinois (5-6). Indiana’s Mady Saris and Candela Alonso-Corcelles had 11 kills each. Savannah Kjolheded had five kills in 15 errorless attacks, two aces, two digs and a career-high 12 blocks, two solo. Illinois hit .053. Raina Terry led with 19 kills.

USC’s London Wijay hits the pipe as UCLA’s Desiree Becker puts up the block/Andy J. Gordon photo

Around the nation

Visiting USC (7-4) beat crosstown Los Angeles rival UCLA (8-3) 23-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 17-15 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in the first of their final matches against each other before going to the Big Ten. Both teams are receiving AVCA votes. Freshman London Wijay had a career-high 23 kills and added an assist, two of her team’s nine aces, a blok and 10 digs. Skylar Fields had 18 kills an ace, a solo block and seven digs. Emily Fitzner had three kills in six errorless tries, 46 assist, three aces, 12 digs and two blocks, one solo. Her team hit .219. UCLA, which .244, got 16 kills from Iman Ndiaye, who had three errors in 42 attacks, an assist, four blocks and 12 digs. Desiree Becker had 12 kills in 18 errorless attacks, four digs and seven blocks, two solo. Anna Dodson also had seven blocks, two solo, to go with nine illks, an assist and two digs … 

Emma Clothier had 12 kills with no errors in 15 attacks as SMU opened a busy day of American Athletic play with a sweep of visiting Memphis. She had an assist, an ace and two blocks. SMU hit .396 … The aforementioned Kayley Cassaday and Tulsa swept Temple as the Golden Hurricane hit .382. Cassaday had 18 kills with no errors in 37 attacks, hitting .486, to go with two assists, an ace, a block and eight digs. Arianna Mongare had 11 kills with one error in 18 attacks, two aces and a dig … Wichita State swept East Carolina despite hitting .119. Natalie Foster had 12 kills, hit .348 and had five aces, three digs and two blocks … UTSA swept at Charlotte as six players had five or more kills … North Texas hit .385 in a sweep of Florida Atlantic. Sh’Diamond Holly had 12 kills with two errors in 19 swings to go with two digs and three blocks … South Florida beat Tulane in five. Maria Clara Andrade had 22 kills, an assist, two aces and four digs … Rice swept UAB as Danyele Courtley and Saraha Maruska had nine kills each … 

In the MAAC, UAlbany swept Siena, Marist swept Rider and NJIT of the America East hit .440 as it swept Manhattan. UAlbany’s Synelle Woroniuk had 10 kills with one error in 28 attacks, two blocks, four digs and six blocks. Marist’s Jordan Newblatt had 16 kills with two errors in 29 attacks, three assists, an ace, a block and nine digs. NJIT’s Adriana Goetz-Morales had 13 kills with three errors in 20 swings, an assist, two blocks and three digs …

Other results included: Wichita State swept East Carolina in their American Athletic opener … Xaver swept Butler to open Big East play … Eastern Kentucky hit .466 is 11-2 after winning its ASUN opener in a rout of Bellarmine. EKU, which has won 10 in a row, got 13 kills in 21 errorless attacks by Kambree Lucas, who had an assist, two aces and seven digs … Bryant swept MerrimackLindenwood swept Western Illinois as Addy McAleer had 15 kills, an assist, two aces, seven digs and a block … Weber State won in four at Montana in the Big Sky openerfor both teams. Baylee Bodily had 17 kills hit .364 and had two aces, two blocks and five digs, and Dani Richins had 16 kills, hit .324 and had an assist, two blocks and 18 digs.

Montana’s Paige Clark hits past the Weber State block/Tanner Ecker, UM Photo