NCAA: Buckeyes rout Penn State, A&M’s Aiple retires, coaching update

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Texas A&M setter Stephanie Aiple says chronic back pain makes it impossible to continue playingTexas A&M photo

Ohio State just keeps on rolling.

The top-ranked Buckeyes steamrolled visiting Penn State on Tuesday night 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 to win their 30th match in a row, which includes the 2016 NCAA championship.

There was one other match on Tuesday as Mount Olive beat Belmont Abbey in the Conference Carolinas.

On the women’s side, Texas A&M setter Stephanie Aiple, a three-time AVCA honorable-mention All-American, has decided that her chronic back pain is too much and she’s going to retire before her senior year. And there are still a handful of schools that have not filled head-coaching openings.

First Wednesday’s men’s schedule.

There are two matches in the MPSF, where Cal Baptist (2-5, 1-3 MPSF) goes to No. 9 Pepperdine (2-2, 0-1) and No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (6-1, 3-1) plays at No. 2 UCLA (6-1, 4-0).

The MIVA has two matches as Lindenwood (0-5, 0-2 MIVA) goes to McKendree (2-6, 0-0) and Quincy (1-4) has an out-of-conference match against visiting Loras. Loras, called the Duhawks, is a liberal Catholic school located in Dubuque, Iowa, and is 2-0 after sweeping Mount Mercy and Illinois Tech on January 15.

Conference Carolinas has two league matches — with CC openers for three of the four teams — when Emmanuel (1-3) goes to Limestone (1-1, 1-0) and King (4-1, 0-0) plays at Lees-McRae (2-2, 0-0).

There are no matches Wednesday in the EIVA .

Ohio State sweeps Penn State: Not only are the MIVA’s Buckeyes riding that 30-match win streak, they’ve won 17 sets in a row.

Nicolas Szerszen had 17 kills and hit. 630, while Miles Johnson added 13 kills and five service aces. Gabriel Domecus had 11 digs and Blake Leeson added five blocks as their team improved to 7-0.

Ohio State is home for two non-conference matches later in the week when Barton of ConfCarolinas comes to town on Friday and Long Beach State of the MPSF visits on Saturday,

No. 14 Penn State of the EIVA dropped to 3-4. Lee Smith led with eight kills and Chris Nugent had six.

The Nittany Lions home Friday for Conference Carolinas’ Mount Olive and Saturday for independent Coker.

A&M’s Aiple retires: The 2015 SEC player of the year has had chronic back pain since she was in high school.

“Ever since I started having pain, doctors told me my back pain will always be with me,” Aiple said in a Texas A&M news release. “They said, ‘We’ll do whatever we can, but basically you are going to have to deal with this for the rest of your life,’ so that’s scary. I even debated with my parents on whether or not to play in college.

“I love playing volleyball, and I am so glad I decided to play for Texas A&M,” added Aiple, who is currently recovering from a recent surgery for a non-volleyball related hip injury suffered last summer that intensified throughout the past season.

“It was all worth it for me because I was so happy and loved what I was doing, but I was in so much pain and I just can’t put myself through another year of hurting so much. It was a really tough decision because volleyball has been a part of my family for so many years, but after long conversations we decided as a family that it was best for me and my body to not play anymore.”

Coaching carousel: A handful of schools have yet to name replacements for their respective women’s programs.

Stetson split the indoor and beach programs. Coach Kristina Hernandez went to the beach and has yet to be replaced indoors, although we’ve heard someone has been offered … We also hear that Texas-Arlington, from which Diane Seymour retired after 30 years, has someone in the fold …

Indiana State hasn’t hired anyone since it let Traci Dahl-Skinner  go after 12 seasons  … No word out of Virginia, which has an opening after Dennis Hohenshelt resigned after five seasons … Penn’s Kerry Major Carr resigned after 19 seasons and that opening remains … One that we missed was Tennessee State of the Ohio Valley hiring Donkia Sutton. She was a TSU assistant the past three years and is a former head coach at South Carolina State and played at Alcorn State … Manhattan’s job is still open … 

And, of course, everyone is waiting to see who emerges as the next coach at Stanford, where John Dunning retired not only after 16 seasons but after winning the NCAA title.

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