No. 2 Penn State 3, Illinois 2
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Head coach Russ Rose earned his 1,106th career victory Friday evening as No. 4 Penn State rallied to a close 3-2 victory (19 -25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-15, 15-12) at Illinois. With the triumph, Rose is now tied for second on the NCAA Division I all-time wins list with former UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski.
Senior Deja McClendon led the offense with 14 kills adding 10 digs for a double-double, while seniors Katie Slay and Ariel Scott added 12 kills each. Junior Nia Grant also registered double-digit kills, notching 10 kills and a team-high six blocks. Junior Dominique Gonzalez anchored the defense with a squad-best 13 digs.
Penn State and Illinois fought point-for-point throughout the first half of the fifth frame, until an Illini serving error gave PSU a one-point edge, 12-11. An Illinois net violation and a huge block from Grant and Courtney brought Penn State ahead by three, 14-11. From there, the Illini couldn't get back on top as Scott pounded a kill to seal the 15-12 win in the set and the match.
No. 3 Florida 3, Arkansas 1
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Florida downed Arkansas 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-16) Friday at Barnhill Arena to remain perfect in Southeastern Conference play.
The Orange and Blue used double-digit kills from four different players to defeat Arkansas while sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi notched a team-high 16.5 points to go with a squad-best .478 hitting efficiency to grind out the victory at Arkansas before the Gators head to undefeated Missouri on Sunday.
Four Gators in Živa Recek (13), Chloe Mann (13), Simone Antwi (12) and Gabby Mallette (10) all notched double-digit kills for the Orange and Blue Friday against Arkansas, the sixth time this season three or more players have done so.
No. 4 Southern California 3, Arizona State 0
TEMPE, Ariz. -- On the shoulders of junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer's 10 kills and .769 hitting performance, No. 1-ranked USC (17-1, 7-0 Pac-12) won its 11th consecutive match in a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-20, 25-15) of No. 22 Arizona State (13-6, 2-5) at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday. The Women of Troy are off to their best start since the 2006 squad went 17-1 through 18 matches and are 7-0 through seven league matches for the first time since the 2003 team went undefeated (18-0) to win the Pac-10 en route to an NCAA title.
Schraer posted a new season high with 12.0 points and was flawless on offense with 10 kills on 13 swings without an error. She also had four blocks on the night.
Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio was unconscionable as she served five service aces to go with 10 kills (2e, 21att) and a .381 hitting rate for 15.0 points. It was the eighth time this season that Bricio has served three or more aces in a single match. With 49 aces, Bricio moved into sixth place in USC's single-season record books and surpassed April Ross's mark of 46 set in 2002. Bricio is now 10 aces from matching Ross's USC record of 59 in a single season (2003) and is five aces from moving into the Trojans' career top 10.
No. 5 Stanford 3, Washington State 0
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Stanford swept Washington State 25-17, 25-15, 25-21 on Friday. The Cardinal moves to 13-3 on the season and 6-1 in the Pac-12, while the Cougars fall to 15-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
Stanford posted its 11th 3-0 win of the season, finishing with 12.0 blocks and a .282 team hitting percentage. Washington State tallied 3.0 blocks and hit .115.
Sophomore middle blocker Inky Ajanaku led Stanford with 10 kills and eight blocks. Sophomore Jordan Burgess added nine kills on a .474 attack percentage and tied her season-high with three blocks. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat finished with seven kills and now has 999 for her career.
Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams notched seven kills and eight digs, while sophomore Brittany Howard posted seven kills, eight digs and three blocks, including the 100th of her career.
No. 6 Nebraska 3, Indiana 0
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska (13-3, 6-1) swept the Indiana Hoosiers 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-16) on Friday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. With the victory, Nebraska head coach John Cook earned his 400th win at Nebraska.
Kadie Rolfzen and Kelsey Robinson led the way for the Huskers, each recording 11 kills. Rolfzen posted a hitting percentage of .364, while Robinson hit at a clip of .333. Cecilia Hall tallied a career-high-tying eight kills on 15 swings for a hitting percentage of .467. She also led Nebraska at the net with five blocks. Mary Pollmiller handed out 34 assists and Justine Wong-Orantes notched 15 digs.
Nebraska hit .360 for the match and held Indiana to a .072 hitting clip. The Huskers out-blocked the Hoosiers 9-5 and both teams tallied 41 team digs.
No. 7 Creighton 3, Xavier 2
OMAHA, Neb. -- Head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth's 200th victory at Creighton was one she'll remember for a long time, as her team won a five-set thriller against Xavier to move into first place in the Big East standings for the first time.
Scores of CU's win were 19-25, 26-24, 25-21, 14-25, 15-13.
The win vaulted Creighton (13-4, 4-1 Big East) past Xavier (12-8, 4-2 Big East) into first place of the league standings, one-half game ahead of idle Marquette (11-5, 3-1 Big East).
Creighton was paced by 14 kills each from Kelli Browning and Leah McNary, with Browning hitting a match-high .458 in 24 swings. Kate Elman led CU's defense with 20 digs, while Lauren Smith had three of her match-best seven blocks in the fifth frame. Creighton finished with 52 kills, 78 digs and 14 blocks while hitting .135.