No. 3 Washington 3, No. 4 Southern California 1
LOS ANGELES -- No. 3 Washington headed into the Galen Center to take on fourth-ranked USC, and walked back out with one of its best victories in years, stopping USC in four sets to finish the first half of the Pac-12 season in first place. The Huskies got their first win at USC since 2008, two nights after their first win at UCLA since 2009, to improve to 17-1 on the year and 9-1 in Pac-12 play, and dropping the Trojans into second with an 8-2 conference mark.
It’s the first road win against a top-10 team for the Dawgs since beating then-No. 6 UCLA in 2009. Washington also completed its first weekend road sweep over the L.A. schools since 2008. The victory, by a count of 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, also snapped a 16-match home win streak for the Trojans.
Washington captured two sets in which it trailed by six point margins. In set one, the Huskies trailed 12-18, but ran off 13 of the final 18 points to grab it, 25-23. In the fourth set, UW was down 4-10 early, but then sophomore Melanie Wade served UW on a 10-point run to take the lead.
One player that did not go unnoticed in the box score was Wade’s middle blocker counterpart, Lianna Sybeldon, as the Folsom, Calif. native set a career-high with 15 kills, hitting .462, and leading with five blocks. Krista Vansant led all players with 22 kills, and Kaleigh Nelson added 13 more. Katy Beals and Jenni Nogueras even shared assists with 26 each, as the Huskies outhit the Trojans, .291 to .276 for the match.
Also hitting smart was senior Kylin Muñoz with nine kills and no errors for a .429 percentage. Cassie Strickland had a team-high 16 digs and senior Jenna Orlandini added 15. Beals also had 13 digs for her first double-double of the season, and added two aces, as UW won the battle of the top-two serving teams in conference with four aces to just two for USC.
No. 5 Florida 3, Tennessee 0
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The fifth-ranked Gators used a sweep of Tennessee on Sunday at the Stephen C. Connell Center (25-13, 25-21, 25-15) to continue their undefeated home streak and down the Lady Vols for the first time since 2010.
Sophomore Živa Recek had a hot hand for the Gators with a team-high 16 points, tallying 14 kills and three blocks in the Tennessee sweep. Recek notched a .857 hitting efficiency in the first set along with six of her 14 slams. Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette hit .444 and chipped in with nine kills and a solo stuff for 10 points. Freshman right side Alex Holston tied Mallette with nine kills, second most for the Gators Saturday in the sweep.
Florida has strung together a 16-match home win streak dating back to Nov. 16, 2012, including all 12 home matches thus far in 2013.
“Tennessee is a team that, historically, plays very well in the O’Dome as they did today," Florida head coach Mary Wise said. "They played very well and made us play better. I thought the second set was some pretty good volleyball and we got better from that.”
Florida is now 43-12 all-time against Tennessee, including 39-7 under Wise.
No. 7 Minnesota 3, Northwestern 1
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota earned a 3-1 win against Northwestern at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 19-4 this season, 7-3 in the Big Ten and undefeated at home. With the win, the Gophers hold sole possession of third place in the Big Ten Conference standings. Northwestern drops to 13-9 this year and 5-5 in league action.
The Golden Gophers outhit Northwestern, .291 to .140, had a 61-52 ratio in kills, added 17 blocks to the Wildcats' 11 and had 80 digs.
Minnesota had four with double-digit kills. Senior Ashley Wittman held a match-best 17 kills and a career-best 29 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. Adrianna Nora had her best performance as a Golden Gopher when she had 15 kills in 34 attempts to hit .324. Tori Dixon had 14 kills and hit .367, while Daly Santana had 12 kills and nine digs. Alexandra Palmer added a double-double when she had 41 assists and 12 digs. Lindsey Lawmaster and Morgan Bohl each had 12 digs.