NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament: Four Pac-12 teams advance to Saturday

Arizona Athletics

East Lansing, Michigan - First Round

Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats (19-14 overall, 10-10 Pac-12) dominated their first-round matchup, sweeping Cleveland State (25-14, 25-17, 25-13) to secure a spot in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship tournament's second round. Kalei Mau led the way with 16 kills and Penina Snuka paced the team with 15 digs and 35 assists. The 'Cats overpowered Cleveland State, compiling a .410 hitting percentage to their opponents' .163. Arizona will play Michigan State Saturday in the second round.

Coach David Rubio is feeling pretty good about his team's trajectory:

 

Seattle, Washington - First Round

Washington

The Pac-12 Champion Washington Huskies (27-4 overall, 16-4 Pac-12) dominated Texas A&M Corpus Christi on their home court, winning in a clean sweep (25-18, 25-14, 25-14). Washington pulled out a close first set and held the lead throughout the match, only falling behind once for the first point of the third set. Crissy Jones and Kara Bajema combined for 20 kills and Bailey Tanner led with 29 assists. Pac-12 Player of the Year Courtney Schwan tallied 10 digs and seven kills. The Huskies will play Kentucky on Saturday in the second round.

 

Stanford, California - First Round

Stanford

The Cardinal (21-7 overall, 15-5 Pac-12) gave its home crowd a lot to cheer for, defeating Denver in a clean sweep (3-0, 25-12, 25-22, 25-20) in a first-round match at Maples Pavilion. Inky Ajanaku led the way with 12 kills and a whopping .529 hitting percentage, pacing her team to a .361 average overall. Jenna Gray tallied 42 assists, including 11 digs. Stanford's 36th first-round win -- they've never lost in the first round -- advances them to face Boise State Saturday in round two.

Los Angeles, California - First Round

UCLA

Murray State gave the Bruins an early scare at Pauley Pavilion, taking the first set of their round-one matchup 25-21. But UCLA surged ahead, taking the next three sets handily for a 3-1 win (21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-9). Reily Buechler tallied 21 kills for a .373 hitting percentage. Ryann Chandler and Kylie Miller combined for 46 assists. The Bruins will take on Baylor in the second round Saturday.

Minneapolis, Minnesota - First Round

USC

The Trojans (18-13 overall, 10-10 Pac-12) rallied back from a two-set deficit only to fall to Hawai'i by two points in a five-set nail-biter (3-2, 22-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 13-15). USC struggled early, hitting .116 and .065 percent in the first two sets. They re-gained their stride just in time, posting .244 and .390 hitting percentages in their winning sets. The final set flip-flopped, but the Wahine pulled ahead from a 12-all tie to take the match. Elise Ruddins paced the Trojans, finishing the night with 13 kills on 21 total attempts. Classy tweet here from the Trojans:

Madison, Wisconsin - Second Round

Washington State

Washington State's storybook season came to an end Friday with a sweeping loss (18-25, 18-25, 17-25) to Wisconsin in Madison. The Cougars (22-11 overall, 11-9 Pac-12), fresh off its first NCAA round-one win since 2002 on Thursday, couldn't find their footing against the powerful Badgers. Errors dragged down the Cougs who finished the night with a team-wide .067 hitting percentage. Kyra Holt's 13 kills provided the team's biggest spark; Haley MacDonald and Nicole Rigoni combined for 25 assists.

Provo, Utah - First Round

Utah

Utah (20-11 overall, 11-9 Pac-12) looked poised for a comeback after a valiant third-set win, but UNLV pulled out the first-round 3-1 win (25-27, 21-25, 25-19, 20-25) in Provo. Adora Anae led the Utes with 21 kills and 13 digs and Bailey Choy recorded 29 assists. 

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Second Round

Oregon

The Ducks' (21-9 overall, 13-7 Pac-12) flight through the tournament came to a screeching halt with a second-round, 3-1 loss (25-22, 17-25, 23-25, 17-25) to the Michigan Wolverines. Oregon came out strong against 12th-ranked Michigan, riding Ronika Stone and Taylor Agost to a first-set 25-22 win. But Michigan came back swinging, taking set two easily. The teams dueled for a long third set that the Wolverines eventually captured, setting them up for a clean fourth set runaway. Agost and Stone led the way with a combined 27 kills and Maggie Scott offered up 23 assists.

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