Friday was a day of redemption for Top-15 teams that had bad weekends last week.
The big tournaments for this weekend are the Monterrey Invitational in California, the Zuma Invitational in California, the Stetson Invitational in Florida, and the big one – the Outrigger Invitational in Hawaii, that features 4 of the top 5 teams in the country (USC, UCLA, Florida State, and Hawaii).
Defending NCAA runners-up Florida St. snapped a 3-match losing streak with wins against #7 Arizona, #5 Hawaii, and unranked Utah in Honolulu. That comes after losing 3-2 nail-biters to the current top 3 teams in the AVCA poll last weekend. Their win over the home team Sandbows was Hawaii’s first loss of the season.
“There were a lot of great matches played today,” Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said. “We were really tested by some great teams today and once again it could have gone either way. In every match we had different players step it up and I am proud of them for that. Overall I am proud of our team and how they competed today.”
Georgia State and Stetson, both playing at Stetson’s tournament, both got some confidence-boosting wins as well, albeit against much lesser competition. Georgia State, losers of 4 straight, beat Jacksonville State, New Mexico, and Morehead State on Friday to bring their season record back north of .500 (6-4). Stetson was in even more dire straits after losing 5 straight and 8 of their first 10 – but they too beat Jacksonville State and Morehead State in sweeps.
“Today is a great day to be a Panther,” Georgia State head coach Beth Van Fleet said. “We focused on our side of the net and achieved our goals for each set. Playing three duals in a day is always a challenge both mentally and physically. We are recovering now and are looking forward to getting back into the sand tomorrow.”
Those two teams will meet in Saturday morning in the key matchup of that tournament.
Elsewhere in the top 10, #3 UCLA beat San Jose State and Portland with ease before going to the bullpen for their win against San Francisco. UCLA rested the McNamara twins, which bumped each of the UCLA teams up a rung on the ladder. The result was the same though – a 5-0 sweep.
#1 USC remained perfect on the season and won their 37th and 38th straight dual matchups in a row. That included their first-ever win against Pac-12 opponents Utah, who launched their new program this season.
While the Trojans’ #1 lineup of Kelly Clases/Sarah Hughes are rock solid at the top, having won their first 8 matches of the season, USC is still experimenting with the middle part of their lineup. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin was the lone game lost to Utah, which leaves them at just 3-3 this season at the 3 line – though they’re 2-0 at #2. USC’s two 5-0 wins over Nebraska are their only two sweeps of the season.
Nebraska, meanwhile, is still trying to find its groove. They tried several different combinations at the 4 and 5 lines, including a round-robin of pairings among Tiani Reeves, Brooke Smith, and Sydney Townsend. All three combinations were swept, however.
|Winning Team||Losing Team||Score||Winning Team Recap||Losing Team Recap|
|#3 UCLA||San Jose State||5-0||Link||Link|
|#3 UCLA||San Francisco||5-0||Link||Link|
|#4 Florida State||#5 Hawaii||3-2||Link||Link|
|#4 Florida State||#7 Arizona||3-2||Link||Link|
|#4 Florida State||Utah||4-1||Link||Link|
|#8 Georgia State||Jacksonville State||5-0||Link||Link|
|#8 Georgia State||Morehead State||5-0||Link||Link|
|#8 Georgia State||New Mexico||3-2||Link||Link|
|#10 Arizona State||CSU Bakersfield||5-0||Link||Link|
|#12 Stetson||Morehead State||5-0||Link||Link|
|#12 Stetson||Jacksonville State||5-0||Link||Link|
|Florida Atlantic||New Mexico||3-2||Link||Link|
|Florida Atlantic||Jacksonville State||5-0||Link||Link|
|San Jose State||Portland||5-0||Link||Link|
|San Jose State||San Francisco||5-0||Link||Link|
|New Mexico||Morehead State||5-0||Link||Link|