PALO ALTO, Calif. — Facing its first top-10 team of the season, No. 3 Stanford topped four-time defending national champion Penn State on Friday in the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic at Maples Pavilion. Set scores were 23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-18 as the Cardinal improves to 5-0 overall and the second-ranked Nittany Lions drop to 4-2.
Sophomore Rachel Williams finished with her second double-double of the year, leading the team with 22 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat added 11 kills, eight digs and seven blocks, while junior Hayley Spelman and redshirt freshman Lydia Bai each recorded six kills in the win.
Junior setter Karissa Cook controlled the offense with 44 assists, while also tallying four kills, eight digs and four blocks. Freshman defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert led the squad with 14 digs. Stanford out hit Penn State .224 to .142.
Sophomore Deja McClendon led the Nittany Lions with 17 kills and seven digs, while setter Micha Hancock registered 45 assists and 11 digs.
No. 1 California 3, UT Arlington 0
No. 1 California 3, Nevada 0
BERKELEY, Calif. — After No. 1 California cruised to 25-14 and 25-9 wins in the first two sets against UT Arlington on Friday afternoon, the Mavericks and Golden Bears made things interesting in set three. With Cal losing, 23-22, three kills from Tarah Murrey and two UTA attacking errors proved costly for the Mavericks, earning the Bears a 26-24 victory in set three to take the match in three consecutive sets 25-14, 25-9, 26-24.
Elly Barrett had career high of 40 assists. Tarah Murrey paced Cal with 14 kills and Kat Brown made a team-high four block assists.
Defensively, the Bears spread things around with Robin Rostratter making a squad-best 10 digs while Erin Freeman had nine and Murrey and Barrett both had eight. The Bears hit a collective .331 with their best attacking performance coming in set two, when they hit .483.
With three Golden Bears collecting double-digit kills, California topped Nevada in three sets 26-24, 25-18, 25-12 on Friday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn Classic. After battling to a 26-24 victory in set one — the second set of the day to go past 25 points for the Bears — Cal shut down the Wolf Pack offense, keeping Nevada hitting to under .100 in sets two and three.
No. 4 Illinois 3, Middle Tennessee State 0
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — No. 4 Illinois continued its winning ways on Friday evening in Alumni Memorial Gym, sweeping Middle Tennessee State (2-4) and improving to 7-0 overall. The Illini hit a sizzling .392, the squad’s highest mark this season, and limited the Blue Raiders to a hitting percentage of .189. Senior Michelle Bartsch paced the balanced attack with 14 kills followed by fellow senior Colleen Ward with 12. Junior Erin Johnson chipped in nine kills while freshman Liz McMahon hit .800, connecting for eight kills in 10 attempts.
“It was a really well-rounded game,” head coach Kevin Hambly said. “We finally got some production out of our right side. Lizzie did a really nice job and helped spread things out. Annie did great getting it to the middles and keeping the defense honest and our outsides both hit over .300, so when you do all that, it’s going to be tough to beat.”
The Illini only trailed once the entire match, going down 1-0 at the start of the second set, before topping the Blue Raiders 25-21, 25-16 and 25-18. Illinois’ consecutive sets victory gave MTSU, a squad that has reached the last five NCAA Tournaments, its first home-sweep loss in two years. It was also the first loss for the Blue Raiders in the four-year history of the MTSU Invitational, as they had gone 3-0 at their own tournament each of the previous three seasons.
No. 5 Washington 3, Fresno State 0
SEATTLE — Fifth-ranked Washington completed its non-conference run tonight with a 3-0 victory against Fresno State on Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies take an 8-0 record into the first ever Pac-12 season.
Washington’s defense and serving proved too much for the Bulldogs (3-4), as the Huskies held Fresno State to a negative attack percentage of -.051 for the night, while UW hit at a .279 rate. Freshman Krista Vansant had 11 kills, nine in the final two sets, and hit .429 to lead the Dawgs, with freshman Summer Ross adding seven kills and tying for the team lead with seven digs. Washington had seven aces compared to two for Fresno State, and made just four service errors.
Head coach Jim McLaughlin thought the Huskies stepped up on their pass and serve game compared to Thursday night’s home opener. “I think we removed a lot of the clutter from being out in our first home match,” McLaughlin said. “We just played better volleyball, but we need to invest at a high level in this next week of training to get ready for the Pac-12. We are excited.”
No. 6 Minnesota 3, Saint Louis 0
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The No. 6 Golden Gophers earned their third-consecutive 3-0 victory when it defeated St. Louis, 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 to open the Clarion Inn-vitational on Friday evening. With the win Minnesota improved to 4-1 on the season. The Golden Gophers were led by middle blockers Ariana Filho and Tori Dixon, who each had over .400 hitting percentage.
Filho led the Gophers with a nearly perfect night. Attempting 10 kills during the three-set match, Filho held a .900 kill percentage, only missing one attempt. She also had a solo block and three block assists. Dixon held a hitting percentage of .421 when she had nine kills and one attack error in 19 attempts. She also had three block assists. Mia Tabberson had 33 assists and two kills, while Jessica Granquist had 17 digs.
On the night, Minnesota held a hitting percentage of .291, while holding SLU to .131. Minnesota had 18 kills in the first and 13 in the second and the third.
No. 7 Florida 3, Texas 2
No. 7 Florida defeated No. 10 Texas in the second match of the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. The Gators won in five sets, 25-22, 20-25, 25-13, 21-25, 15-12. Florida moves to 7-1 on the season while Texas falls to 2-3.
Senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel, playing in her 100th career match, led the Gators with a double-double of 15 kills and 17 digs against the Longhorns. Junior right-side Tangerine Wiggs followed up her career performance against No. 19 Iowa State with 13 kills and three blocks against Texas. Senior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy had her 64th career double-double with 12 kills and 30 assists, narrowly missing a triple-dip with nine digs. Senior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson had 11 kills, five digs and two blocks, while junior middle blocker Betsy Smith had a career-high eight blocks to lead the Gators.
No. 8 UCLA 3, No. 9 USC 0
LOS ANGELES — In a scant 82 minutes, the eighth-ranked Bruins won their Pac-12 Conference opener on Friday night, sweeping No. 9 USC at the Galen Center. UCLA won by scores of 25-19, 25-17, 25-17. Junior Rachael Kidder had 14 kills and no errors in 29 swings, hitting a career-best .483, while adding seven digs.
The Bruins improve to 7-1, sweeping their cross-town rivals on the road for the first time since Oct. 2, 1993. The Trojans fall to 5-3.
Senior Lainey Gera (18) and sophomore Kelly Reeves (11) were each in double figures in digs, with Reeves adding six kills. Senior Lauren Van Orden added 32 assists, six digs and four kills, freshman Zoë Nightingale had seven kills and junior Tabi Love and sophomore Mariana Aquino each had five kills. The Bruins hit a season-best .355.
Game information and photos compiled from athletic department websites.