Northwestern gets biggest NCAA volleyball road win ever, Auburn stays unbeaten


Northwestern pulled off the biggest road victory in program history Wednesday night when the Wildcats won their Big Ten match in five at No. 7 Minnesota. The Wildcats had never. beaten a top-10 opponent on the road before.

Auburn had eight kills with no errors in 18 attacks in the fifth set and beat Mississippi State to remain one of the four unbeatens in NCAA Division I volleyball. Also in the SEC, No. 18 Kentucky won in four at Missouri, and Georgia beat South Carolina in five with a school-record 24 blocks, 15 by Sophie Fisher.

Recaps and top performances follow, but first a look at Thursday’s schedule.

The West Conference takes center stage with No. 4 San Diego at Gonzaga, No. 15 BYU at Portland and No. 20 Pepperdine at San Francisco as the only ranked teams in action. Also in the WCC, LMU is at Santa Clara.

In the Big 12, West Virginia is at TCU.

There’s MACtion when Central Michigan goes to Toledo.

There’s a full slate in the Mountain West, including Colorado State at Air Force, New Mexico home for Wyoming and UNLV home for Fresno State.

The Southland has five matches, including Southeastern Louisiana at New Orleans.

In the Summit League there are four matches, including North Dakota State home for Oral Roberts. 

There are three Sun Belt matches and five in the WAC, including Stephen F. Austin at Tarleton State and UTRGV home for Utah Tech.

The hurricane that hit Florida has caused at least one schedule change that we know of.

Unbeaten UCF (10-0, 2-0), located in Orlando, was to play host to Wichita State on Friday and Tulsa on Sunday in the American Athletic Conference. Now the Knights will play both those matches in Wichita this weekend, coach Todd Dagenais told us. USF, located in Tampa, was scheduled to play both those teams, too. It’s 176 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Wichita, Kansas.

Want to watch a match? We have the viewing links on the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings page.

BIG TEN: Northwestern (12-3, 1-2) won 25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13 at Minnesota (6-5, 1-2). Minnesota had won the last 13 matches between the programs and Northwestern hadn’t won in Minneapolis since 2005. Northwestern, which hit .167, got 17 kills from Temi Thomas-Ailara, who also had 14 errors and hit .056. She had six digs and a block. Kathryn Randorf had 13 kills, four blocks and three digs. Hanna Lesiak and Leilani Dodson had 11 kills each, but Dodson had no errors in 25 attacks, an ace, a dig and a career-high eight blocks, one solo. Lesiak had the match-winning kill. Desiree Becker had eight kills with one error in 17 attacks, a dig and four blocks, two solo. Alexa Rousseau had three kills in 14 errorless tries, 52 assists, a career-high four aces, three blocks and 13 digs. Megan Miller had 22 digs, eight assists and an ace. 

Minnesota, which hit .215, got 16 kills apiece from Taylor Landfair and Mckenna Wucherer. Landfair had an assist, an ace, three blocks and eight digs. Wucherer had a block and two digs. Jenna Wenaas had 12 kills, three assists, seven blocks and 18 digs. Carter Booth had nine kills, a dig and eight blocks. Melani Shaffmaster had three kills, 45 assists, four blocks and 16 digs, and CC McGraw had 16 digs and three assists …  

Gabby Gonzales had 22 kills and sixth-ranked Ohio State (6-5, 2-1) won 25-22, 25-18, 17-25, 25-21 at Michigan (11-2, 2-1), which had won five in a row. Gonzales had two aces and 12 digs. Rylee Rader had 12 kills, hit .310, and had an assist, an ace, six digs and six blocks, one solo. Mac Podraza had a kill, 48 assists, six blocks and eight digs. Michigan’s Jess Mruzik had 16 kills, two blocks and nine digs, and Jess Robinson had 14 kills with two errors in 21 attacks to hit .571 and had an assist, an ace, two digs and three blocks, one solo. Hannah Grant had 20 digs, four assists and an ace … 

Indiana (9-6, 2-1) swept visiting Iowa (6-8, 0-3) as the Hoosiers hit .308 in the 25-16, 25-10, 25-20 victory. Morgan Geddes had 12 kills, hit .391, and had four blocks, three solo. Iowa hit .078.

SEC: Auburn (14-0, 3-0) lost the first set but came back and beat Mississippi State (8-4, 1-1) to lay claim, albeit early, to sole possession of first place in the standings. The 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 15-7 victory left Auburn as the only team in the SEC with a perfect conference record. Auburn is 3-0 in the SEC for the first time and 3-0 in five-set matches.

The Tigers, who hit .227, were led by freshman Akasha Anderson, who had a career-high 26 kills, two aces, 10 digs and two blocks, one solo. Madison Scheer had 13 kills and two blocks and Kendal Kemp had eight kills, hit .500, and had eight blocks. Jackie Barrett had two kills in six errorless tries, 47 assists, seven blocks and 12 digs. Sarah Morton had 25 digs and four assists.  State, which hit .139, got 15 kills from Gabby Waden, who had an assist, four digs and five blocks. Shania Cromartie had 14 kills, an assist, a block and 11 digs. Lilly Gunter had 16 digs, two assists and three aces, and Gabby Coulter had four kills in six errorless attempts, 34 assists, a block and 11 digs …

Kentucky (7-5, 2-1) won 25-12, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22 at Missouri (7-5, 0-2) behind 19 kills by Reagan Rutherford, who had four digs and six blocks. Bella Bell had 13 kills with one error in 19 attacks and had a dig and eight blocks, one solo. Elise Goetzinger had 11 kills in 25 errorless attacks, an ace, three digs and seven blocks, two solo. Emma Grome had three kills in seven errorless tries, 49 assists, four blocks and nine digs. Eleanor Bevin had 17 digs, four assists and two aces. The Wildcats hit .282. Missouri, which hit .104, got 17 kills from Anna Dixon, who had two blocks and a dig. Leandra Mangual-Duran had 23 digs, two assists and three aces … 

Georgia (10-3, 1-1) won 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 15-12 over visting South Carolina (7-6, 1-2). Kacie Evans had 19 kills, two assists, two aces, seven blocks and 11 digs. Mackenzie Norris had 12 kills, hit .450, and had nine blocks. Sophie Fisher had 10 kils, an ace, four digs and 15 blocks. Fisher broke Georgia’s individual record of 14 set by Desiree McCray in 2014. Bailey Cox added 21 digs,  three assists and an ace. South Carolina, which hit .061, got 15 kills from Riley Whitesides. McKenzie Moorman had 12 kills and eight blocks. The Gamecocks had 18 blocks. Jenna Hampton had 23 digs and three assists.

Virgina’s GG Carvacho goes up against Pitt setter Cam Ennis/UVA photo

ACC: Tenth-ranked Pittsburgh (12-2, 3-0) rallied for a 23-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-15 victory at Virgina (8-6, 3-0). The Panthers, who hit .212, got 15 kills from Courtney Buzzerio, who hit .300 and had a block and six digs. Serena Greay had 10 kills with one error in 15 attacks, two aces, a dig and seven blocks, three solo. Virginia hit .059. Grace Turner led with 16 of her team’s 36 kills and she had two aces, four digs and six blocks, one solo … Boston College (13-3) had to go five after winning the first two sets to beat the America East’s Bryant (10-7). Alayna Crabtree and Jenna Pollock had 11 kills each for the Eagles. 

BIG 12: Up-and-down Iowa State (9-6, 1-1) knocked off No. 13 Baylor (11-3, 1-1) to end the Bears’ 10-match winning streak. The 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 win was Iowa State’s first over Baylor since 2016 and the Cyclones’ first win over a ranked team since 2018. Iowa State, which hit .315, got 20 kills from Eleanor Holthaus, who hit .410 and had two assists, two aces, a block and 10 digs. Solei Thomas had 15 kills, hit .407, and had an assist, a dig and a solo block. Brooke Stonestreet had 20 kills and five assists … Baylor had four players with nine or more kills, 16 by Lauren Harrison. She had an assist, two blocks and nine digs. Mallory Talbert had 12 kills with one error in 15 attacks to hit .733 and had three digs and four blocks, one solo. Kara McGhee had 11 kills with one error in 16 swings, a dig and four blocks, one solo … 

Kansas (12-3, 2-1 Big 12) won easily at Oklahoma (10-4, 0-2) as the Jayhawks hit .385 in the 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 victory. Ayah Elnady led with 14 kills and hit .481 after having one error in 27 attacks to go with an assist, two ace, two solo blocks and seven digs. Megan Wilson had 16 kills for OU … Texas Tech (13-2, 2-0 Big 12) got 16 kills from Kenna Sauer in its 25-22, 25-23, 25-15 victory over visiting Kansas State (9-6. 0-2). Sauer, who hit .325, had 11 digs and three blocks, one solo. Brooke Kanas had eight kills, hit .400, and had six blocks … 

AROUND THE NATION: No. 21 Creighton (11-3, 2-0 Big East) crushed visiting Xavier (9-4, 2-1) as Ava Martin had 14 kills and Norah Sis 13 in the 25-9, 25-17, 25-16 win. Martin had one error in 19 attacks and Sis hit .344 and had an ace, two blocks and 10 digs. Keeley Davis had seven kills, three assists, five aces, a block and 14 digs. Xavier hit .059 … 

SMU (9-6, 2-1) won its American Athletic match in four over visiting Memphis (11-5, 1-2). Jamison Wheeler had 15 kills, hit .300, and had seven digs and two blocks, one solo. Marieke van der Mark had 14 kills, an assist, 10 digs and three blocks, one solo. Jadyn Bauss had 13 kills, two assists, three aces, three blocks and 18 digs. Celia Cullen had three kills in 10 errorless tries, 44 assists, two aces, a block and eight digs. Her team hit .223. Memphis, which hit .161, got 13 kills from Jasmyn Tate, who had an ace, two blocks and eight digs, and 12 kills from Kate Bass, who hit .429 and had a dig and six blocks, two solo. Bailey Houlihan had 28 digs and three assists … 

UMBC of America East had lost 12 matches in a row to American of the Patriot League, but this time the Retrievers (7-5) hit .319 and came away with a 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 25-14 victory. Mia Bilusic had 23 kills with one error in 44 attacks to hit .500 and she had an ace, a block and 16 digs. Kamani Conteh added 15 kills, an assist, an ace, two blocks and 10 digs. AU’s Zeynep Uzen had 17 kills, an assist, two aces, a solo block and eight digs … 

In the only MAC match, Buffalo (-6, 1-2) swept at Akron (3-11, 0-3) as the Bulls hit .376. Cali Assaley had 12 kills with one error in 23 attacks and Abby Leight had 10 kills with one error in 16 swings and eight blocks, one solo … In the only SoCon match, Wofford (9-6, 1-2) beat visiting Furman (4-10, 0-4) in five. Kennedy Smith had 16 kills, an assist, 13 digs and two blocks, one solo. Abby Richman had 14 digs, six assists and two aces. Furman’s Mary Beth Headley had 18 kills, an ace, a solo block and 15 digs … 

Hartford (1-15) of America East, playing at home for the first time this season, broke through with a five-set win over Stonehill (1-12), a new member of the NEC … Fairleigh Dickinson (8-10) of the MAAC swept Saint Peters (0-16) of the NEC … North Florida was slated to play at Florida A&M but that match was postponed.

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Virginia’s Ashley Le goes up for the one-hand set to Veresia Yon against Pittsburgh/UVA photo



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