No. 7 Mizzou sweeps No. 5 Florida in top-10 showdown for SEC power
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Seventh-ranked Missouri did something that had never been done before as it swept No. 5 Florida 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) on Friday night. The win improves Mizzou to 30-0 and 14-0 in SEC play as it now holds a two-game lead in the SEC championship hunt. It was also the first time that Florida has been swept at home in SEC play and just their sixth home SEC loss under head coach Mary Wise. It is Mizzou's first 30-win season since 1978 and the first in the NCAA tournament era.
The Tigers remain as one of two unbeaten teams nationally. Senior two-time All-American Lisa Henning led the way for Mizzou with 17 kills on .500 hitting in the win as she became Mizzou's all-time career-points leader with a match-high 18.5.
Henning was set up by senior setter Molly Kreklow all night as she finished with 32 assists, seven kills on .600 hitting with 10 digs in the win. She guided Mizzou to .337 hitting against a team that had held teams to .154 hitting coming into the match. Mizzou has now hit better than .300 in 25 of 30 matches, including both matches with Florida, due in large part to the setting of Kreklow. Junior Emily Wilson added eight kills on .294 hitting while Emily Thater added seven kills on seven swings without an error in the win. Freshman Carly Kan struggled on the attack but was huge in the back row with 12 digs while going perfect in serve receive.
No. 2 Penn State 3, No. 14 Wisconsin 0
MADISON, Wis. -- Sophomore Megan Courtney led No. 2 Penn State (23-2, 14-1) to a consecutive set victory (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) against No. 14 Wisconsin (19-8, 8-7) on Friday evening. The Nittany Lion triumph extends the current PSU winning streak to 14 consecutive matches.
Courtney logged her fourth double-double of the season against the Badgers, registering a team-high 14 kills, adding 11 digs and two blocks. Junior Micha Hancock also notched a double-double, dishing out 32 assists and 12 digs, tallying two aces. Senior Deja McClendon joined the pair with double-digit digs, posting 12, while also adding eight kills. Senior Katie Slay led the blocking unit with eight blocks.
No. 3 Washington 3, No. 4 Southern California
SEATTLE -- Southern California (22-4, 12-3 Pac-12) dropped a four-set decision (25-15, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17) to No. 3 Washington (23-1, 15-1). The Huskies snapped the Trojans' four-match winning streak and maintained a perfect 11-0 mark in home matches, this season. UW won its 13th consecutive match despite a double-double performance from sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio who had a season-high 21 kills (7e, 42att, .333) and 15 digs.
Washington's win puts it in the driver's seat for the Pac-12 title with just four matches remaining on the regular-season schedule.
Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu added 14 kills (5e, 25att) on a .360 hitting night to score 15.5 points and senior outside Sara Shaw put up nine kills and 13 digs. Setters Hayley Crone (25 assists) and Alice Pizzasegola (26 assists) had the Trojans hitting .196 on the night (58k, 29e, 148att) but couldn't connect with their middle blockers who were held in check with eight kills between them tonight.
Senior libero Natalie Hagglund rallied the Trojans and led all players with 18 digs, but the Huskies rarely hit to her and did most of their damage on the defensive side of the net as they out-blocked USC, 19-7, in the match.
No. 9 Nebraska 3, No. 16 Michigan State 0
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska (20-4, 13-2) swept the No. 16 Michigan State Spartans 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-22) in front of 8,041 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night. With the victory, the Huskers recorded their seventh consecutive win.
Nebraska posted its best attacking performance of the year with a season-high team hitting percentage of .402. Four different Huskers hit .400 or better, as Kadie Rolfzen led the way with a .455 hitting clip. Kelsey Robinson guided NU offensively with 14 kills on 28 swings for a .428 hitting percentage, while Kadie Rolfzen notched 11 kills on 22 swings. Amber Rolfzen tallied 10 kills on 17 swings for a .412 hitting percentage, while Meghan Haggerty had five kills on nine attacks for a .444 hitting clip.
Mary Pollmiller and Robinson also notched double-doubles on the night. Pollmiller handed out 33 assists and notched 11 digs, while Robinson tallied 11 digs to go along with her 14 kills.
Nebraska out-blocked the Spartans 7-5 and out-dug MSU 35-29. Michigan State hit .225 for the match.
No. 10 Colorado State 3, Air Force 0
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State (25-0, 16-0 MW) found itself in the record books on Friday night with a sweep (25-21, 25-20, 25-21) against in-state rival Air Force (5-21, 2-12 MW).
With their 25th consecutive win of the year, the Rams not only tied a Mountain West record for the conference's longest win streak ever, set by Utah in 2006, but they also clinched a share of the Mountain West championship. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Colorado State has won the Mountain West regular-season title, and the 11th time in 14 years.
With the win, Colorado State improved to 38-0 all-time against its rivals to the south under Hilbert, and have won 41-consecutive meetings against the Falcons which is believed to be the third-longest active series win streak in the country.