Sunday, 3 December 2023

International Volleyball

Nebraska, Stanford, Dayton, WKU among 13 teams clinching NCAA bids; FSU takes over ACC lead

Nebraska, Stanford, Dayton, WKU among 13 teams clinching NCAA bids; FSU takes over ACC lead

USC’s Tyrah Ariail steals a serve reception from Megan Verbies/Jim Wolf photo

From the foregone conclusions department, Nebraska clinched the Big Ten title and Stanford won the Pac-12 on Sunday.

Florida State took over sole possession of first in the ACC, but not before the Seminoles had to pull off a reverse sweep at North Carolina. 

The SEC race stayed tight as all three leaders won.

Eleven teams won conference tournaments and the automatic NCAA Tournament bids that go with them, including Wofford, which won the SoCon and gave the school its first women’s tournament title in any sport.

Action continues Monday with the MAC Championship match between top-seeded Western Michigan, which has won 19 in a row, against sixth-seed Bowling Greeen; The Summit League semifinals; two Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinals; and four Ohio Valley Conference quarterfinals. 

And in a rare but high-level late-season non-conference match, West Coast Conference winner Pepperdine plays at American Athletic Conference winner SMU.

For the complete schedule with viewing links to every match, go to the TV & Streaming Listings.

Conference play

BIG TEN: Nebraska (27-0, 18-0) won 25-21, 25-21, 25-15 at Iowa (8-22, 0-18) to clinch the conference title for the first time since 2017. The Huskers have a three-game lead with two to play, at Wisconsin on Friday and at Minnesota on Saturday. Against Iowa, Merritt Beason led with 12 kills and Ally Batenhorst and Bekka Allick, who had one error in 14 attacks, had nine each. Iowa, playing before a sold-out home crowd of 4,535, got nine kills from Caitlan Buettner. The Hawkeyes have two more chances to avoid finishing winless in the conference, at Northwestern on Friday and at Wisconsin on Saturday …

Nebraska wins the 2023 Big Ten title

Wisconsin (24-3, 15-3), which had lost two in a row, swept at Indiana (19-12, 9-9), which couldn’t take advantage of its last chance to get back into the NCAA tourney at-large mix. Wisconsin was buoyed by the return of 6-foot-9 Anna Smrek, who sat out those two defeats, in the 25-19, 26-24, 25-14 victory. She had 10 kills with two errors in 12 attacks to hit .667 and had five blocks. Sarah Franklin had 11 kills, hit .243, and had three blocks and 13 digs. Candela Alonso-Corcelles had 15 kills for Indiana to go with an assist, an ace and 11 digs.

Stanford wins the 2023 Pac-12 title/Jim Wolf photo

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