NCAA: URI tabs Santonastaso to coach women, USC sweeps in beach

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Rhode Island promoted Steve Santonastas/URI photo

Steve Santonastaso is the new women’s volleyball coach at Rhode Island, which competes in the Atlantic 10.

Santonastaso, on the Rams’ coaching staff for 12 seasons, becomes just the second head coach in Rhode Island history since women’s volleyball was recognized as a varsity sport by the NCAA in 1981.

He replaces Bob Schneck, who retired after 36 years and 618 victories. Last season Rhode Island was 17-10 overall, 12-2 in the A-10. Its season ended in five sets to Saint Louis in the A-10 tournament semifinals.

At least four Division I head-coaching jobs remain.

Illinois-Chicago (UIC) has yet to replace Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who left for Penn.

Clemson of the ACC announced it fired Hugh Hernseman on March 1. The Tigers finished 6-26 in 2016, 4-12 in the ACC.

Coppin State of the MEAC has not replaced Kyetta May. The team was 2-24 last season.

And St. Peters of the Metro Atlantic, 0-25 last year including 0-18 in the MAAC, still has an opening.

NCAA Division I-II men: Second-ranked Ohio State is back in MIVA action Thursday when the Buckeyes play host to Fort Wayne.

It’s one of four MIVA matches on the schedule as No. 11 Ball State goes to McKendree, while Grand Canyon steps out of the league to entertain Princeton of the EIVA and Quincy goes to Culver-Stockton.

Both the MPSF and Conference Carolinas have full slates on Friday, but no matches scheduled Thursday.

Elizabethtown to add men’s volleyball: Continuing the trend of smaller colleges adding the sport, the Division III school in Pennsylvania will add the sport for the 2018-19 school year. Click here for the Elizabethtown news release.

NCAA beach: Top-ranked USC swept Loyola Marymount on Wednesday but the LMU pair of Savannah Slattery and Sarah Sponcil took a set off Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, which, considering the latter’s 85-match winning streak, is significant. Ultimately Claes and Hughes won 18-21, 21-10, 15-3 as their team won its 42nd dual match in a row.

USC is 12-0, while LMU dropped to 6-7.

Thursday, No. 2 Pepperdine goes to Northridge to play CSUN and Colorado Mesa, and No. 11 Arizona State plays host to Nebraska.

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