A full day of volleyball action saw eight teams continue their season and become ‘Elite’ while another eight saw their season – and for some players their collegiate careers – come to a close. In case you missed any of the day’s high-level matches, VolleyMob has you covered with recaps of each one below:
#4 KENTUCKY DEF. #13 BYU 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 15-9)
Recap: Edmond Paces Kentucky to First Elite Eight Berth, 5-Set Win Over BYU
In the first match of the day, Kentucky overcame a 2-1 set deficit and a BYU lead in the fifth to earn the five-set victory. It’s the second time Kentucky has won with a spirited comeback now, while the Cougars fall short in the fifth of the Regional Semifinal for the second straight after having their host on the ropes.
#5 NEBRASKA DEF. COLORADO 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-21)
Recap: #5 Nebraska sweeps Former Big 12 Foe Colorado to Reach 6th Straight Regional Final
In a match featuring former Big 12 foes, Nebraska added to their series lead with a three-set sweep of Colorado. It’s now the sixth consecutive Regional Final for the Cornhuskers, who can enter their third straight Final Four with one more victory.
Up Next: #5 NEBRASKA AT #4 KENTUCKY – 4 p.m. ET
UNIVERSITY PARK REGIONAL
#1 PENN STATE DEF. MISSOURI 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-19)
Recap: Penn State Rolls to Elite Eight Behind .432 Hitting Effort
The Nittany Lions had their most impressive effort of the NCAA Tournament thus far, as they earned their first sweep of the event against a solid Missouri squad. While Penn State won’t have to face a national seed to make a Final Four, Missouri was ranked 22 in the VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings this week with Michigan State at #11.
MICHIGAN STATE DEF. ILLINOIS 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-17, 29-27)
Recap: Michigan State Advances to First Volleyball Elite 8 Since 1996
In a Big Ten heavy regional, Michigan State and Illinois battled to prove which unseeded team would get a crack at #1 Penn State. The Spartans were tested more than their previous sweep of Illinois on the year, but edged things out in the fourth to reach their first Regional Final in over 20 years.
Up Next: MICHIGAN STATE AT #1 PENN STATE – 8 p.m. ET
#2 FLORIDA DEF. #15 UCLA 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-17)
Recap: Florida Dominates the Final Three Sets to Reach Elite Eight
The antithesis of Penn State’s regional was Florida’s, as it featured all four seeded teams. That challenge gave the Gators trouble early, but it didn’t last too long as Florida would win the next three by strong eight point margins in each to reach the third Regional Final in their senior classes’ career.
#10 USC DEF. #7 MINNESOTA 3-0 (25-23, 28-26, 25-16)
Recap: Khalia Lanier, Strong Serve Lead #10 USC to Sweep of #7 Minnesota & Spot in Elite 8
The Trojans pulled off a mild upset with a sweep of Minnesota as they make their second Regional Final in the last three seasons. It ends Minnesota’s run of two straight Final Four appearances, as USC notched a 10-point difference with the serve in the match.
Up Next: #10 USC AT #2 FLORIDA – 6 p.m. ET
#6 TEXAS DEF. #11 UTAH 3-2 (25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 25-21, 16-14)
Recap: Bedart-Ghani Hits .462 (12 Kills) Off the Bench as Texas Rallies in 5
This may have been the match of the day – although Kentucky-BYU has a great case as well. In total, Texas scored just one more point than Utah over the course of five sets, as a late sub of Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani made the difference in the Longhorns reaching their 12th consecutive Regional Final.
#3 STANFORD DEF. WISCONSIN 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19)
Recap: Plummer Pushes Stanford to Elite Eight & Title Rematch With Texas
Fresh after the Texas-Utah match, Wisconsin came out of the gates firing by hitting just under .600 in the first set to take a lead on Stanford on the road. The Badgers never could reach that pinnacle of offense again though, as the Stanford defense clamped down while the offense did its thing with the Cardinal moving on to the Elite Eight.
Up Next: #6 TEXAS AT #3 STANFORD – 10 p.m. ET