UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eighth-ranked Penn State (17-5, 10-2 Big Ten) upset No. 1 Nebraska (18-2, 11-1 Big Ten) on Saturday night 3-1 (25-17, 25-15, 17-25, 25-17) in front of a packed house at Rec Hall. It was Penn State’s second win against a top-five team this year.
Sophomore Deja McClendon led all players with 18 kills, while sophomore Ariel Scott was second on the team with 12. Freshman setter Micha Hancock dished out 35 assists and had a match-high six aces. Sophomore libero Ali Longohad a match-high 17 digs and freshman Dominique Gonzalez was second on the squad with 11. Sophomore Katie Slay was a wall at the net with eight total blocks, while freshman Nia Grant posted five and McClendon added four of her own.
Penn State registered a .194 attack percentage and finished the match with 49 kills, nine aces, 64 digs and 14 total team blocks. The Huskers hit .116 and had 42 kills, one ace, 56 digs and 8 team blocks.
Gina Mancuso led Nebraska with 14 kills, while Morgan Broekhuis contributed 11. Hannah Werth guided the Cornhuskers defensively with 16 digs as Lara Dykstra had 13 of her own. Lauren Cook had 32 assists on the night, but the Huskers only hit .116 for the evening in their first conference loss of the season.
No. 4 USC 3, No. 2 Cal 0
BERKELEY, Calif. — Senior All-America outside hitter Alex Jupiter recorded 15 kills and a season-high 18 digs Saturday as No. 4 USC earned a Pac-12 Conference sweep at the No. 2 California 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-22). USC finished the third set with a 16-5 run after trailing by a 17-9 score.
USC (18-4, 13-2) hit .319 on the evening as freshman Alexis Olgard made her first start of the season. Olgard finished with season highs in kills (eight) and blocks (five) while hitting .368 (8-1-19). Senior setter Kendall Bateman had 40 assists, 11 digs and four blocks while Katie Fuller and Sara Shaw had 10 kills apiece.
Shannon Hawari led Cal (21-4, 11-4) with 14 kills while hitting .435 for the Golden Bears. Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey was limited to nine kills on a .185 hitting performance.
No. 15 Minnesota 3, No. 3 Illinois 0
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — No. 15 Minnesota swept past third-ranked Illinois on Saturday night by scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-15. With the victory, the Golden Gophers defeated their highest-ranked opponent in program history.
Minnesota was propelled by a season-best seven aces. The Gophers also outblocked the Illini and held them to a .087 hitting percentage on the night.
Minnesota used a balanced attack to pull off the upset. Ashley Wittman had 10 kills and a match-high 10 digs, while Hailey Cowles had seven kills and nine digs, and Ariana Filho and Tori Dixon chipped in with six kills apiece. Dixon also led the team with four aces and Filho led all players with six block assists.
The Golden Gophers got off to a quick start as they took the first set against the Illini 25-19 by never trailing in the frame. Minnesota had four aces in the first set, including two from Dixon late to help the Gophers to the set win. Illinois closed the gap to 20-19, but Minnesota responded with five consecutive points to close out the first set.
Minnesota went up 2-0 when it took the second set 25-20 after rallying back from a 15-12 deficit. Minnesota took a timeout and rallied back to tie the set at 16-16 and went ahead for good when Cowles had an ace at 17-16. Minnesota jumped out to a three-point lead when the Golden Gophers received three consecutive kills from Wittman, Filho and Cowles to force the Illini to take a timeout.The Gophers finished the set with a kill from Cowles and an attack error from Illinois’ Michelle Bartsch to push their advantage to 2-0.
Minnesota closed the door on the Illini in the third set by rallying back from an early 9-5 deficit. The Golden Gophers went on an 11-2 run in the middle of the frame to close out the set 25-15 and clinch the sweep against the Illini.
No. 6 UCLA 3, No. 5 Stanford 0
STANFORD, Calif. — For the first time since 2000, the sixth-ranked Bruins completed a season sweep of No. 5 Stanford, defeating the Cardinal in three sets on Saturday at Maples Pavilion. Set scores were 26-24, 27-25, 25-10. Junior Rachael Kidder (16) and sophomore Mariana Aquino (10) were each in double figures in kills, while senior Lainey Gera added 18 digs.
The Bruins, who staved off three Stanford set points in both the first and second stanzas, improve to 20-3 overall and post their 13th consecutive, 20-win season. UCLA also moves to 13-2 in Pac-12 play, remaining in a tie for first in the conference following USC’s sweep at California. The Cardinal, which had not been swept at home by the Bruins since 2000, fall to 17-4 and 11-4 in league.
Aquino hit a career-best .444 with only two errors in 18 attempts. Junior Tabi Love posted eight kills, senior Lauren Van Orden added 39 assists and sophomore Kelly Reeves recorded 13 digs and five kills. Junior Bojana Todorovic notched eight digs and sophomore Meg Norton added five. The Bruins had eight aces for the second match in a row and hit .226 as a team.
No. 8 Hawaii 3, Nevada 0
RENO, Nev. — Hawai’i swept Nevada on Saturday (25-14, 25-21, 25-17). The Rainbow Wahine improve to 24-1 overall and 12-0 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Wolf Pack drop to 4-18 overall and 1-9 in conference.
Kanani Danielson and Jane Croson had 13 and 12 kills, respectively, with both adding seven digs. Brittany Hewitt posted four blocks and Elizabeth Blake added 11 digs.
Janelle Batista recorded 10 kills to lead Nevada.
Hawai’i raced away with a win in set one after leading by just one point midway through. Batista recorded a kill to bring the score to 18-14, but the ‘Bows closed the set with seven consecutive points.