The first of the 16 seeds fell on opening day as FGCU upset No. 13 UCF at home. Three teams won in sweeps – Texas, Wisconsin and Florida – while three matches went the distance, with FGCU, Pepperdine and Baylor advancing.
Four players with double-figure kills and five players with double-figure digs propelled the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team to a 3-2 win in the NCAA first round against higher-seeded Northern Iowa, putting the Waves into the second round for the first time since 2011.
UNI claimed the school’s 17th tourney title and first since 2011 with a 3-1 win over second seed Illinois State Saturday in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Co-champion UNI middle blocker Piper Thomas took home the MVC’s Player of the Year honors, while Bradley’s Hannah Thompson earned the conference’s Freshman of the Year award. Illinois State’s Courtney Pence earned the league’s Libero of the Year honor, while her Redbird teammate Stef Jankiewicz was tabbed Setter of the Year.
TCU’s élan McCall averaged 5.43 kills and 4.29 digs per set, while hitting .516 and converting 97 percent of her serve reception chances (33 of 34) en route to VolleyMob Player of the Week honors.
This week’s Missouri Valley Conference Players of the Week are UNI’s Karlie Taylor, Valparaiso’s Allison Ketcham and Evansville’s Alondra Vazquez.
Illinois State (14-1 MVC), UNI (13-1 MVC) and Bradley (10-5 MVC) have already punched their tickets to the MVC Volleyball Championship, while Valparaiso (9-5 MVC), Missouri State (8-6 MVC) and Loyola (7-7 MVC) currently occupy the final three spots.
The UNI Panthers (12-0 MVC) are slated for a big week of Missouri Valley Conference play, taking on the league’s #2 and #3 teams in Illinois State and Bradley.
Marquette outdid Northern Iowa in every facet of the game, snapping the Panthers’ 10-match win streak with a four-set comeback win.
Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson averaged 7.89 kills, 3.00 digs and 0.56 blocks per set, while hitting .400 in wins over Tulsa and Wichita State in a record-setting weekend en route to her second VolleyMob Player of the Week honor.