When and where you play an opponent matters so much, whether it’s the NFL or NCAA women’s volleyball. And you can never remind yourself enough that it’s simply tough to play on the road. Such was the case Friday night, where previously unbeaten and No. 1 USC was no match for either No. 5 Washington or its home-court advantage. The resulting Huskies sweep was only surprising because of the score of the last set in a match where USC couldn’t, as we say in the sport, pass gas. Life was also tough at the top of the ACC on Friday night when Pitt beat No. 15 Florida State and North Carolina beat No. 23 Louisville. Both the losers were on the road and both sustained their first league losses. Pitt’s not getting any AVCA poll love but might now. Washington (19-2 overall and 9-2 in the Pac-12, which includes a four-set defeat at USC and a 3-2 loss at Stanford) won in futon of 4,951 fans, 26-24, 25-21, 25-15. USC is 22-1, 10-1. For the Washington recap, click here. There’s video, too. USC was held to a season-low .147 hitting percentage. The USC recap also has video. Terry Woods covered the match for the Seattle Times. Read the account here.
Pitt is now 18-5 overall, 8-3 in the ACC and 10-0 at home.
The 25-14, 25-23, 28-26 sweep was the Panthers’ first victory over a top-15 team in 10 years and it ended FSU’s 14-match ACC win streak. FSU is 17-5 overall, 10-1 in the ACC but 6-5 on the road. Here’s the Pitt recap, which has video interviews. UNC is one inconsistent team, but Friday dealt visiting Louisville an 18-25, 25-11, 25-22, 25-22 defeat to drop the Cardinals to 16-5, 10-1, while the Tar Heels improved to 12-8, 9-2, and made sure the league race stayed up for grabs. Here is the UNC recap. The Louisville recap is here. There was a big match in the West Coast Conference where No. 16 BYU swept visiting No. 24 San Diego, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20. BYU has 18 blocks. Here’s the BYU recap. For the San Diego side of things, click here. No quick look at things in the NCAA would be complete without a Big Ten mention, where No, 12 Wisconsin held off visiting No. 17 Purdue in four. It’s also worth noting the Maryland won at Iowa in four for only its second Big Ten victory of the year, quite an accomplishment for a team being held together with scotch tape and glue right now. Also, No. 3 Penn State bette No. 11 Ohio State in four, its second win over the Buckeyes in just a few days.