NCAA roundup: Stanford opens with sweep of American, UCLA, WSU, Arkansas get wins

Top-ranked Stanford started a couple of days later than everyone else, but the Cardinal came out hitting on all cylinders Sunday with a sweep at American University, the first of two matches for them in Washington, D.C.

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Monday, Stanford goes to Howard, the first time a ranked team will play at the HBCU (historically black college) school.

Howard won the MEAC last year and lost to Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, taking a set off the Nittany Lions. Earlier this summer, coach Shaun Kupferberg and his Bison became the first HBCU volleyball team to take an international  tour when they went to Africa.

Before getting to Sunday’s recaps, a look at Monday’s short Division I NCAA volleyball match list.

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Wichita State of the American Athletic Conference, which opened its season with a win at James Madison in Virginia on Friday and beat Howard on Sunday, stays in the general area when it plays at VCU of the Atlantic 10.

Saint Peters of the Metro Atlantic plays twice against Patriot League teams Monday at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., first against Lehigh University and then the home team.

Pac-12: Stanford helped American set a school attendance record as 2,837 packed American University’s Bender Arena. But the Cardinal overpowered the defending Patriot League champions 25-14, 25-16, 25-19.

Kathryn Plummer and Meghan McClure led Stanford with 13 kills apiece. Plummer had nine digs and three blocks, while McClure, who had no errors in 23 swings and hit .565, had two digs and two blocks. Audriana Fitzmorris had 10 kills with one error in 14 swings and hit .643 to go with a dig and six blocks, one solo. Holly Campbell added five blocks and setter Jenna Gray had two aces, five digs and two blocks to go with her 36 assists. Stanford hit .359.

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Last year’s Patriot League player of the year,  Aleksandra Kazala, led the Eagles with 11 kills, seven digs and four blocks, one solo. American (2-1) hit .096.

Eleventh-ranked UCLA is 2-0 after beating Gonzaga of the West Coast Conference for the second time in two days. Sunday’s 25-19, 25-27, 26-24, 25-18 victory saw Jenny Mosser lead with career highs of 19 kills, 14 digs and six blocks. Mac May added 17 kills and hit .349 to go with two aces, eight digs and a block.

Gonzaga, which like UCLA was scheduled to play in Hawai’i but didn’t go because of hurricane Lane, got 16 kills from Chapin Gray, who had five digs and three blocks. Sarah Penner had 12 kills, nine digs and a block.

“We were not stubborn enough,” said Gonzaga coach Diane Nelson, whose team hit .104 and had 29 hitting errors. “Against solid teams, we have to keep our composure better and stick with what we know. It’s early in the season, and we have got to learn from this.”

See the ACC roundup for the Washington State victory at NC State.

ACC: The only team in action was NC State and the Wolfpack fell to visiting Washington State of the Pac-12. 25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 25-8. WSU (2-0) got 15 kills kills from Taylor Mims, who had two aces, 10 digs and four blocks, one solo.

McKenna Woodford also had 15 kills and added six digs and two blocks. NC State hit just .035 as it dropped to 1-1. Teni Sopitan led with 10 kills and Melissa Evans had nine.

“We knew we were challenging ourselves by scheduling Washington State and there were some good things and some definite improvements that need to be made,” NC State coach Linda Hampton-Keith said. “When it was good it was really good, and we saw some really bright spots in our play, but when it wasn’t good we weren’t taking care of the things that we can control.

”Hopefully it was a lesson learned and we can take it and move on, but we have to make sure that we learn from this match.”

Big 12: TCU improved to 4-0 after a busy opening weekend with a 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17 victory over visiting North Dakota, which won the Big Sky last season and is now in the Summit League.

elan McCall led with 21 kills on 62 swings to go with three aces,14 digs and four blocks. Anna Walsh had 14 kills and hit .429. She had three blocks. And Sarah Swanson had 11 kills, hit .318, and had three blocks and two digs.

“North Dakota was a great team for us to play in maybe a little bit more of a fatigue state. They are a solid team that will do great in the Summit League and it was some great competition for us to finish up the weekend on before heading to Colorado State,” TCU coach Jill Kramer said. “We had to work through some things and fight through some fatigue or as my team was saying, grind it out. They stepped up and we got to see some new things that we had to slow down and stop and figure out. We did a good job with that.”

North Dakota dropped to 1-3 as Kayla Williams and Jordan Vail had 15 kills each. Vail had four blocks, one solo and Williams had 20 digs and a block.

Earlier Sunday, North Dakota beat Green Bay of the Horizon League 25-23, 25-21, 25-20.

Williams had 14 kills, two aces and 11 digs, while Ashley Brueggeman had 13 kills, two blocks and two digs.

“Five new starters playing against some higher level competition is not a recipe for short term success; only November matters,” UND coach Mark Pryor said. “We played better and better each match.  We started to see the team at times embrace the identity of what UND volleyball is.”

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The Jayhawk’s Patricia Montero scores one of her 19 kills against Arkansas/KU photo

Kansas lost its home opener to Arkansas of the Southeastern Conference 13-25, 24-26, 25-21, 27-25 two days after beating the Razorbacks in five in Fayetteville. This was KU’s first home-opening loss since 2013 and the second in 25 seasons.

Hailey Dirrigi went off for Arkansas, getting 25 kills in 62 swings as she hit .290, had seven digs and two blocks. Elizabeth Pamphile had 16 kills, hit .333, and had six blocks after getting nine on Friday. Reagan Robinson added nine kills, who had one error in 15 attacks and hit .533. She had two digs and a block.

Kansas’ Patricia Montero led the Jayhawks again, this time with 19 kills, two aces and five digs. Ashley Smith had 13 kills and hit .400 to go with two digs and four blocks, and Zoe Hill had 10 kills, hitting .643, and five blocks.

Kansas State made its trip to Hawai’i well worth it, sweeping the Rainbow Wahine on both Saturday and Sunday to open the season.

Saturday, the Wildcats won 25-21, 29-27, 25-20 as Kylee Zumach had 19 kills and hit .364. She had eight digs and two blocks. Alyssa Schultjeans had 11 kills. McKenna Granato led Hawai’i with 14 kills and 11 digs.

Sunday before 5,714 fans in the Stan Sheriff Center, it was Zumach again, this time with 18 kills, an ace, 12 digs and two blocks. Gloria Mutiri had 10 kills, hit .417 after having no errors in 24 swings, and had four digs and three blocks. Macy Flowers added seven kills and seven blocks.

“It was really great to come out and sweep Hawai’i twice,” Mutiri said. “It was a big deal, we didn’t have as much of an atmosphere (Saturday) but then to come in with a good home crowd and still come in and do the same work, it was really fun.”

Granato had 11 kills, 12 digs and two blocks and Norene Iosia had 10 kills, six digs and two blocks for Hawai’i, which was also scheduled to play UCLA and Gonzaga in the home tournament. But, while K-State arrived early, the other schools stayed away because of the hurricane.

Big Ten: Just one team was in action Sunday as Iowa won at Belmont of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The 25-15, 25-18, 25-15 victory in Nashville left Iowa 2-1, while Belmont dropped to 0-4.

Iowa hit .312 but had just 33 kills. Taylor Louis led with nine in 12 errorless swings to hit .750. She added two blocks. Hannah Clayton had seven kills without an error in 14 attacks and hit .500. She had three digs and five blocks.

“It was a great total team effort. That was important. Players like Taylor Louis anchored us with nine kills on 12 swings. That’s a pretty big number. I really loved seeing everybody in our program find a way to be significant.”

Maggie Mullins led Belmont with 12 kills, six digs and a block.

SEC: The league had two Sunday matches as Arkansas won at the Big 12’s Kansas, while Mississippi State got swept by visiting Cal Baptist to fall to 1-3.

Cal Baptist, which moved into the Western Athletic Conference this season, went 4-0 in the Starkvegas Classic with a 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 at State.

Megan Sester led CBU with 13 kills, hitting .303. Sydney Marks had 11 kills, hit .391, and had a digs and three blocks, one solo. Summer Avery had nine kills, 10 digs and two aces, and Tesa Oaks had nine kills, an ace and 17 digs.

“The team didn’t operate any differently with some of the new things going on, media timeouts, a cheer team in the house, home-court advantage and a video-review challenge that we won,” CBU coach Brandon Higa said. “I am really proud of the girls for operating the same way they’ve always operated. There wasn’t really a moment where we got outside of who we were, which is a really positive thing to see.

“Volleyball is about who can play their style the longest and we were able to do that all weekend, we controlled the action all weekend. It was about us and our style and other teams trying to adjust and compete against it. Our style won out.”

State hit just .027 with just 23 kills. AJ Koele led with six kills, three digs and a block.

“This weekend was tough, it was a reality check for all of us,” first-year State coach Julie Darty said. “Coming into this weekend we never thought that this was going to be a situation where we get one win at our home tournament. We are going through a lot of growing pains. We are a young group, not in age but we are in young in the meaning that we have not played together very much. New staff, new team, new systems, and I think we are just going to have to take some hard ones and learn some lessons from this experience.”

See more about Arkansas’ victory in the Big 12 recap.

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Iona’s Claire Archibald hits against the EIU block of Kylie Michael, left, and Maggie Runge/EIU photo

Also Sunday: Wichita State improved to 2-0 with its 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-20 victory at Howard. Tabitha Brown led the Shockers with 16 kills and Alex Koon had 10. Courtney Dalton led Howard (2-1) with 14 kills, while Jurnee Tipton had 12 …

Villanova beat Delaware in four to start the season 3-0 as freshman right side Sanaa Barnes led with 16 kills, two aces and eight digs.

“Road wins are really good to get and so winning here feels pretty good,” Villanova coach Josh Steinbach said. “We clearly have a lot to improve but I think this group plays really hard.”

Northern Arizona won at UC Davis in four.

Both teams are 3-1. Heaven Harris led with 19 kills. She had two errors in 49 swings and hit .347 and had four digs and a block. Four other teammates had eight or more kills.

“For the first time this year, we saw the team we see in practice,” NAU coach Ken Murphy said. “They played our style and kept their composure every point of the match. This was a pretty big step forward for us in terms of believing in ourselves and believing in the things we do really well.”

Duquesne is 1-1 after it swept Lafayette as Maria Mosbacher got 13 kills … Eastern Illinois is 2-2 after it beat Iona in four. Laurel Bailey led with 15 kills, three aces, seven digs and four blocks.

The post NCAA roundup: Stanford opens with sweep of American, UCLA, WSU, Arkansas get wins appeared first on Volleyballmag.com.

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