Sunday, 10 December 2023

International Volleyball

NCAA volleyball: Wisconsin routs Illini; WKU, WMU win conference titles

NCAA volleyball: Wisconsin routs Illini; WKU, WMU win conference titles

Wisconsin’s Anna Smrek attacks against Illinois/Zach Schuster photo

Every ranked team in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball action Saturday swept, except for AVCA No. 22 Houston, which beat UCF in four in the Big 12.

That included second-ranked Wisconsin, which pummeled Illinois in the Big Ten. 

Some regular-season conference titles were locked up — including by Western Kentucky and Western Michigan — and a couple of others got close.

Lines of the day: Denver’s Cassie Davis had 29 kills in a loss to Kansas City and McNeese State’s McKenzie Moore had 28 in a win at Northwestern State, but they got those in a five-set matches. Purdue Fort Wayne’s Panna Ratka, incredibly, had 24 kills in a sweep at Youngstown State and also had five aces.

The recaps and top performances follow, but first a look Sunday’s schedule. 

In the Big Ten, top-ranked and unbeaten Nebraska goes to Rutgers, while the team on which it pulled the reverse sweep on Friday, AVCA No. 16 Penn State, goes to AVCA No. 19 Purdue. Minnesota goes to Northwestern and Maryland is at Michigan.

There are seven matches in the ACC, but none involving two ranked teams. Third-ranked Louisville, coming off that lost to No. 11 Georgia Tech, is at Clemson, while GT is home for Notre Dame. Seventh-ranked Pittsburgh, coming off its loss at Florida State, goes to Miami, while FSU is home for Virginia. Wake Forest is at North Carolina, Virginia Tech is at Duke and Syracuse is at NC State.

SEC-leading No. 12 Kentucky is at AVCA No. 20 Florida, while No. 8 Arkansas is home for Mississippi State. AVCA No. 24 Auburn is at Texas A&M, Georgia goes to Missouri, Ole Miss is at South Carolina and Alabama is at LSU. 

None of the ranked Pac-12 teams play each other. No. 4 Stanford is home for Washington, No. 6 Oregon is home for Colorado, No. 9 Washington State is at Cal and No. 13 Arizona State is at USC. Arizona is at UCLA and Utah is at Oregon State.

The Big 12 is off Sunday.

There’s a big match in the Big East when Marquette plays host to AVCA No. 17 Creighton. Marquette leads Creighton and idle St. John’s by a game.

Hampton, 0-17 after losing in four to Campbell on Saturday in the CAA, is back at against the Fighting Camels. 

Saint Peter’s, 0-26 after getting swept at Niagara in the MAAC — where there were two 25-kill performances — on Saturday, gets another chance to break through when the Peacocks go to Canisius.

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