The ranked teams won — No. 5 San Diego, No. 6 Kansas, No. 16 BYU — but Colorado State lost a Mountain West road match for the first time in almost two years when the Rams fell in five Thursday night at San Jose State.
It was a light night on the NCAA schedule, but not without some interesting results, including UNLV, New Mexico State and Texas A&M Corpus Christi rolling on but Northeastern getting knocked off.
All that in a bit, but first a look at Friday’s very busy Division I schedule.
As it does every day the nation’s best conference is in action, it starts with the Big Ten, where there is a showcase match when No. 4 Wisconsin goes to top-ranked Nebraska. No. 3 Minnesota goes to Iowa, No. 22 Illinois is at home for Indiana, and No. 24 Purdue goes to Northwestern.
This is the only meeting this season between Wisconsin and Nebraska, which gets no down time, because Minnesota visits on Sunday. Friday, Nebraska is honoring former players from its 1986 (NCAA finalists), 1996 (NCAA semifinalists) and 2006 (NCAA champions) teams.
Saturday in the Big Ten, No. 9 Penn State goes to No. 16 Michigan, No. 11 Michigan State goes to slumping but No. 19 Ohio State, Purdue moves down state to Illinois in a critical battle for both teams, Wisconsin plays at Iowa, and in a fight to stay out of the cellar, Maryland goes to Rutgers. Both teams are 0-9. At the other end of the standings, Penn State leads at 9-0, Nebraska and Wisconsin are 7-1, and Minnesota and Illinois are 6-2.
In the Pac-12, the big one Friday is No. 14 Stanford at No. 15 UCLA. That’s the only match between ranked teams, but Oregon State is at Colorado, No. 18 Washington State is at Arizona, Cal goes to No. 25 USC, No. 23 Oregon plays at Utah and No. 7 Washington is at Arizona State.
The ACC’s top-ranked team, No. 8 North Carolina, plays host to Boston College, while No. 12 Florida State goes to Virginia. Also, Clemson plays at Duke, Georgia Tech goes to Wake Forest, Louisville goes to Virginia Tech, Syracuse plays at NC State and Notre Dame travels to Pittsburgh. UNC leads the league at 8-0, FSU is 8-1, and Duke and Notre Dame are tied at 7-1.
The Big 12’s only match on Friday has No. 2 Texas at Texas Tech. The last time Texas Tech beat Texas was in 2000.
The SEC has two ranked teams and they’re both in action Friday as No. 10 Florida entertains Mississippi State and No. 21 Kentucky is home for South Carolina. Also, Texas A&M is at Georgia and Alabama plays at Arkansas.
Among the other matches around the country Friday, Dayton comes home for the first time in October as the 20-1 Flyers, 7-0 in the Atlantic 10, play host to La Salle. Conference USA leader Western Kentucky, rocking a 20-2 record and 7-0 in C-USA, goes to UTEP.
Providence goes to Marquette, which is trying to keep pace with Creighton atop the Big East, while Creighton goes to DePaul on Friday and Marquette on Saturday with a chance to create some breathing room in the league.
Visting Missouri State, a game back, tries to catch Missouri Valley leader Wichita State; Cleveland State, the Horizon leader, goes to UIC; American, unbeaten in the Patriot League, goes to Lafayette; Big West leader Long Beach State goes to UC Santa Barbara; and in the MAC, where NIU and Miami are unbeaten atop the respective divisions, NIU goes to Ohio and Miami plays host to Toledo. North Dakota starts a five-match road schedule as it tries to stay atop the Big Sky North when it goes to Idaho State, while South leader Northern Arizona swept Montana State on Thursday night to build a two-game lead in the standings.
USD, BYU keep pace in WCC
The last time they played, at LMU, San Diego had to come back from 0-2 to win in five. This time, the Toreros won in four 25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 25-15. And the leader was senior opposite Lisa Kramer, who had 20 kills as her team improved to 18-2, 9-0 in the WCC. Kramer hit .516 and also had a block as USD won for the 17th time in a row. Teammate Lauren Schad had 13 kills and hit .444.
VolleyballMag.com’s Ed Chan visited with Kramer after the match.
USD coach Jennifer Petrie, whose team plays host to Pepperdine on Saturday, also visiting with VBM after the match.
LMU is 14-7, 5-4. Savannah Thompson and Sarah Sponcil had 12 kills apiece for the Lions.
Speaking of Pepperdine, second-place BYU cruised past the visiting Waves 25-14, 25-12, 25-20 to improve to 18-2, 7-2. Amy Boswell had seven blocks and McKenna Miller had nine kills to lead the Cougars.
Jayhawks dispatch West Virginia
Kansas made short work of the Mountaineers 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 as it improved to 18-2, 7-1 Big 12.
“We have built some good momentum in October,” Kansas coach Ray Bechard said.
Kelsie Payne led KU with 10 kills and hit .333. She also had seven digs and four blocks. Madison Rigdon had nine kills and 11 digs, while Jada Burse added eight kills.
Colorado State streak ends, UNLV in first
The Rams have basically owned the Mountain West for what seems like forever, but their 16-25, 14-25, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11 loss at San Jose State ended a 31-match league winning streak started in November 2014. It also allowed UNLV to move a half-game ahead at the top of the standings.
CSU is 13-6, 7-1 in the MW, while San Jose is 10-11, 3-6.
Considering the lopsided scores of the first two sets and that San Jose hadn’t beaten CSU since 1998, no wonder coach Jolene Shepardson was excited.
“I’m so proud of them because we finally persevered when the pressure was on,” Shepardson said. “We stepped up to the plate. We’ve been so close in so many sets and I’m just proud of the way they acted and the attitude that they brought, no matter what, and we’ve got to maintain that.”
Giulia Gavio led SJSU with 18 kills, while Summer Avery had 12. CSU was led by Jasmine Hanna with 18 kills and Sanja Cizmic added 13. CSU not only had a 13-6 lead in the third set, but also had match point at 24-23. And then the Rams hit .042 in the fifth set.
UNLV continues to stay hot. The Rebels, a surprising No. 17 in the RPI, won at Air Force 25-18, 25-21, 25-19 to improve to 19-2, 8-1 in the Mountain West.
Bree Hammel led with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Alyssa Wing had 11 kills and Ashley Owens had five blocks.
Boise State kept pace in the MW with its fifth consecutive sweep, this time of New Mexico, and at 16-6, 7-2 stayed in striking distance of the top. Sierra Nobley had 17 kills and hit .500 for the Lobos.
Islanders 9-0 in the SLC, NMSU is 8-0 in the WAC
One of the best teams you probably never heard of is now 14-7, 9-0 in the Southland, after Texas A&M Corpus Christi beat New Orleans 25-21, 24-26, 25-15, 25-17. The Islanders, No. 61 in the NCAA RPI, got 15 kills from Madi Fitzsimmons, who hit .462. Brittany Gilpin had 13 kills and 13 digs.
New Mexico State had to go five on the road, but the Aggies’ 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 26-28, 15-7 win at Utah Valley left them 18-5, 8-0 in the Western Athletic Conference and riding a 22-match league winning streak.
Tatyana Battle had a career high 26 kills, four aces and 13 digs. Jordan Abalos had 20 kills and 20 digs.
“I like the persistence of our team,” NM State coach Mike Jordan said. “We bounced back from our worst serving match with our best serving match of the year, and that was key. When our outside hitters start making good attack choices more often, stop hitting low into blocks and our block starts jumping bigger and stuffing balls to the floor, we are just those things away from being a great team. I’m proud of our effort, especially with three freshmen on the floor at times. I’m proud of the effort and happy we came out with the win.”
Northeastern has lost six times this season and five of them came when the Huskies lost the first two sets. It happened again Thursday at James Madison as the Colonial Athletic Conference leaders lost 25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 25-17. It ended a six-match win streak and dropped Northeastern to 17-6, 7-2 in the CAA.
JMU, 12-10, 4-5, got a monster effort from right side Janey Goodman, as the senior had 25 kills, hit .407 and had six blocks and six digs.
Northeastern, which still holds a half-game lead over Charleston, got 12 kills from Jamie Bredahl.
Also: Texas Southern beat Mississippi Valley to improve to 9-1 in the SWAC … Northern Arizona’s 29-27, 25-21, 25-20 victory was its 24th straight home win … Pacific swept Santa Clara … Fairfield is 11-0 in the Metro Atlantic and plays at Iona on Saturday. Look for our story about the Stags on this site later Friday.