Top 10 Roundup
No. 8 Minnesota battles back against Northwestern
No. 1 Washington 3, Utah 0
SALT LAKE CITY -- Junior Kaleigh Nelson provided a big lift for the Husky offense, as Washington shook off its first loss of the season to knock off Utah in three sets at the Huntsman Center. Traveling from Colorado to Utah early Saturday morning, the road-weary Huskies fought hard for the 25-23, 25-15, 30-28 victory, led by Nelson’s 13 kills.
The No. 1-ranked Huskies are likely to lose the top billing which they earned last week after falling in four sets Friday night at Colorado. But more importantly, the Huskies made the adjustments necessary to earn another key road win, improving to 11-1 on the year and 3-1 in Pac-12 play.
“I think we played well in spurts,” head coach Jim McLaughlin said. “Game 2 was a complete game, start to finish. We had a rough start in Game 3, just missed easy plays, and that’s a concern. So I told the team it’s a good win, any win is good in the Pac-12, especially on the road and after [Friday] night. But we’ve got to get back to Seattle and fix some stuff and really get to work on a higher level.”
The Huskies won despite being outhit in the first and third sets, but overall for the match the Dawgs led in attack percentage .255 to .174. Washington had 44 kills to 41 for Utah, and six service aces helped the cause compared to two for the Utes. Nelson hit .385 for the night and during the past two sets she had 10 kills and no errors on 15 swings for a .667 mark. Krista Vansant added 10 kills and sophomore Melanie Wade had five kills on 10 swings without a miss and sophomore Cassie Strickland had a team-best 14 digs plus five kills.
No. 4 Texas 3, LSU 0
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Longhorns downed the Tigers 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17) on Saturday afternoon at the Maravich Center behind a match-high 15 kills by junior All-American Haley Eckerman, 38 assists from freshman setter Chloe Collins and 21 digs by senior libero Sarah Palmer. Eckerman picked up her team-best fourth double-double of the season as she also collected 16 digs in the sweep.
The win marks the Longhorns' third sweep in the last four matches, including 3-0 victories against Big 12 Conference opponents TCU and Oklahoma.
Despite allowing the Tigers (10-3, 0-1 SEC) a three-point lead to open game one, the Longhorns (10-2, 3-0 Big 12) bounced back with four consecutive points to take a 5-4 lead. From there, Texas only allowed its opponent one more lead in the set and used a 10-3 run to force LSU to call a timeout at the 15-9 mark. The Longhorns increased their lead to 18-10 before the Tigers used their second and final timeout, and the Longhorns cruised to a 25-12 game one victory by scoring the final six points of the set.
No. 5 Penn State 3, No. 24 Purdue 2
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Penn State (12-2, 3-1) battled to a 3-2 victory on the road at No. 24 Purdue (10-5, 1-3), marking the third consecutive conference victory for the Nittany Lions.
Junior Micha Hancock earned her first double-double of the season distributing 45 kills and registering digs. McClendon also notched a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs, adding two blocks.
Seniors, Katie Slay and Ariel Scott also recorded double figure kills, led by Scott, who tallied a team-high 15, adding six blocks. Slay tallied 11 kills, matching a season-high mark with a team-best eight blocks. Defensively, Dominique Gonzalez combined for 14 digs.
No. 6 Hawaii 3, UC Irvine 1
HONOLULU -- Emily Hartong had a match-high 25 kills to go along with 11 digs and No. 6 Hawaii closed its two-match road trip with a four-set win against UC Irvine on Saturday night at Crawford Court. Set scores were 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-15.
Hartong also added five blocks for the 'Bows who improved to 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big West Conference. Nikki Taylor recorded 10 kills and Mita Uiato added 11 digs to equal match-high honors with Hartong.
Cassidy Pickrell, Aly Squires, and Arielle Manz all had 11 kills to pace the Anteaters who fell to 9-8 and 0-3 in conference
No. 8 Minnesota 3, Northwestern 2
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Minnesota battled back from a 2-0 deficit to come back and win the next three sets to defeat Iowa 3-2. Minnesota (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) won the match by scores of 20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-11.
Tori Dixon set a career-high 23 kills in 41 attempts to hit .488. Ashley Wittman had 15 kills and hit .326, while Hannah Tapp had six kills in nine swings. Tapp also led the Gophers with seven block assists, which tied a career high. Sarah Wilhite led the Gopher defense with a career-high 16 digs. Katie Schau and Alexandra Palmer each played as the Gopher setter.
Schau had 18 assists, while Palmer had 30 in three sets played. After hitting .162 in the first set and .111 in the second, the Gophers came out in the third and hit .409 and .444 to force a fifth set. The Gophers, who are now 1-1 in five-set matches, hit .261 in the fifth. Iowa’s Alex Lovell led the team with 18 kills in a match-high 56 swings.
No. 9 Michigan State 3, Iowa 0
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State extended its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches with a 3-0 victory against Northwestern on Saturday night at Jenison Field House. No. 9 MSU, now 15-1 (4-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start since the 1996 season, when the Spartans won their first 12 Big Ten matches. Northwestern is now 9-7, 1-3 in the Big Ten.
Lauren Wicinski and Chloe Reinig were again MSU's top offensive weapons, as Wicinski posted a 19-kill, four-ace, six-dig performance along with three blocks; she hit .452 in the match, while Reinig (11-2-16) hit .562. Reinig had four blocks to go along with her 11 kills. Alexis Mathews tied her season best with nine blocks, while also contributing six kills.
On the weekend, the freshman-senior duo of Reinig and Wicinski made it difficult on the Illinois and Northwestern defenses. Reinig hit .571 in the two games, (23-3-35), and adding five blocks; Wicinski's line of 37-8-60 (.483) was impressive, but she also contributed four aces, 11 digs, and six blocks. Mathews clogged the middle with 14 block assists, (2.33 per set), and also contributing 13 kills and hitting .524.
No. 10 Nebraska 3, No. 23 Wisconsin 2
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska (11-2, 4-0) took down the No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers 3-2 (25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 30-32, 15-6) in front of 8,277 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday night. With the victory, the Huskers remain undefeated in Big Ten play.
Kelsey Robinson produced a dominating performance to lead the Huskers, recording a career-high 29 kills on 56 swings for a .393 hitting clip. She also recorded a team-high 22 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. Meghan Haggerty notched a season-high 13 kills on 23 swings for a hitting percentage of .391. Amber Rolfzen guided the Huskers at the net with eight blocks, including seven block assists. Mary Pollmiller dished out 54 assists on the night.
Nebraska hit .236 in the match, while Wisconsin hit at a clip of. 195. The Huskers boasted a season-high 17.5 team blocks, while the Badgers had 13. NU out-dug Wisconsin 84-76.