Dec. 17, 2011
Illinois Falls to UCLA, 3-1, in NCAA Championship Final
Illinois dropped a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 24-26, 16-25) decision to UCLA in the final match of the NCAA Championship on Saturday night. Michelle Bartsch led the Fighting Illini with 22 kills and 14 digs in the loss. Illinois closes the season with a 32-5 overall record.
No. 3 Illinois Advances to First NCAA Championship Final
Illinois defeated USC, 3-2 (25-27, 25-18, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10), to advance to its first NCAA Championship final. The third-seeded Illini battled back after a first-set loss to move on to the national championship, where they will face No. 9 UCLA on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Colleen Ward led Illinois with 27 kills and 22 digs, while Michelle Bartsch posted 22 kills and 22 digs in the five-set win.
Illinois to Compete in NCAA Championship Semifinal Tonight
Third-seeded Illinois takes on No. 7 USC in the NCAA Championship semifinals tonight at 8 p.m. CT at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Illini (31-4) and Trojans (29-4) square off for a spot in the national title match, with the winner meeting either No. 9 UCLA or No. 12 Florida State. Tonight's semifinal can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Illinois Earns Final Four Berth After Defeating Florida, 3-1
Third-seeded Illinois earned its first trip to the NCAA Championship Final Four since 1988 after defeating Florida, 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-14, 25-20) to win the Gainesville Regional on Saturday night. Colleen Ward posted a season-high 23 kills to lead the Illini, who are the highest-seeded team and the lone Big Ten squad remaining in the tournament. Illinois will take on the winner of No. 7 USC and No. 15 Pepperdine in the national semifinals next Thursday, Dec. 15.
No. 13 Minnesota Falls to No. 4 Iowa State, 3-1
Fourth-seeded Iowa State eliminated No. 13 Minnesota, 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-15, 31-29), in the Minneapolis Regional semifinals on Friday. Hailey Cowles and Catherine Harms notched double-doubles to lead Minnesota, which closes the season with a 20-12 record overall.
Michigan Eliminated by Florida, 3-0
Michigan fell to regional host Florida, 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 27-25), on Friday night to knock the Wolverines out of the NCAA Championship in the regional semifinals. Alex Hunt posted 13 kills to lead Michigan, which closes the season at 22-13 overall.
No. 8 Penn State Drops Match to No. 9 UCLA
Eighth-seeded Penn State fell to No. 9 UCLA in three sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) on Friday night, ending the Nittany Lions' season in the regional semifinals. Aiyana Whitney led Penn State with 12 kills in the loss. The Nittany Lions close 2011 with a 25-8 overall record.
No. 5 Purdue Falls to No. 12 Florida State, 3-1
Fifth-seeded Purdue dropped a four-set (26-23, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19) decision to No. 12 Florida State on Friday night, eliminating the Boilermakers from contention. Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Turner led Purdue with 16 kills and 20 digs, while Blair Bashen matched Turner with 20 digs. Purdue closes the season at 29-5 overall.
Illinois Defeats Ohio State, 3-1
In the first Big Ten NCAA match since 2007, No. 3 Illinois topped conference foe Ohio State in four sets (23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-19) to advance to the Gainesville Regional final on Friday night. Michelle Bartsch led the Fighting Illini with 18 kills, while Jennifer Beltran posted 26 digs in the win. Emily Danks posted 20 kills to lead the Buckeyes, who close the season at 21-15 overall. Illinois advances to play regional host Florida at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Big Ten Squads Compete in NCAA Regional Semifinals Tonight
Five Big Ten teams resume NCAA Championship play tonight seeking spots in the finals of their respective regionals. Three conference teams look to advance to the Gainesville Regional final, with No. 3 Illinois taking on Ohio State at 5 p.m. ET and Michigan squaring off against host Florida at 7 p.m. Eighth-seeded Penn State battles No. 9 UCLA in the Lexington Regional semifinals at 5 p.m. Fifth-seeded Purdue plays No. 12 Florida State in the Minneapolis Regional at 6 p.m., while No. 13 seed and host Minnesota faces No. 4 Iowa State at 8 p.m. All five matches can be seen on ESPN3.com.
Michigan Takes Down No. 11 Stanford, 3-1
Michigan defeated 11th-seeded Stanford in four sets (20-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-20) to claim a spot in the NCAA Championship regional semifinals. The Wolverines got 18 kills from Clare McElheny and a double-double from Alex Hunt on 17 kills and 13 digs en route to the win. Michigan will play Florida on Dec. 9.
Minnesota Wins Five-Set Thriller over Washington
After dropping the first two sets of the match, No. 13 Minnesota came back against Washington to take the next three to win the match in five. Katherine Harms blasted 29 kills, while Ashley Wittman posted 23 to lead the Gophers to the win. Minnesota will take on No. 4 Iowa State in the regional semifinals.
Michigan State Falls to No. 1 Texas, 3-0
Michigan State dropped a three-set loss (25-11, 25-18, 25-22) to top-seeded Texas on Saturday, eliminating the Spartans from contention. Michigan State finishes the 2011 season with a 22-12 overall record.
Illinois Sweeps Marquette to Earn Sweet 16 Spot
Third-seeded Illinois topped Marquette, 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-22) in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday. Colleen Ward led the Illini offensively with 10 kills, while Jennifer Beltran (13) and Michelle Bartsch (10) posted double-digit digs in the win. Illinois advances to the regional semifinals, where it will take on Big Ten rival Ohio State on Dec. 9.
Purdue Defeats Louisville, 3-1
Purdue took down Louisville, 3-1, in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday night. Ariel Turner notched 16 kills and eight digs to lead Purdue. The win pushes the fifth-seeded Boilermakers into the Sweet 16, where they will face No. 12 Florida State on Dec. 9.
Penn State Pounds Delaware, 3-0
Eighth-seeded Penn State swept Delaware (25-12, 25-9, 25-18) to move on to the NCAA Championship Sweet 16 on Saturday. The Nittany Lions got double-digit kills from Ariel Scott (12) and Deja McClendon (11) and 19 digs from Ali Longo en route to the three-set victory. Penn State will play either No. 9 UCLA or San Diego in the regional semifinals on Dec. 9.
Six Squads Compete for Sweet 16 Berths on Saturday
Six Big Ten teams continue NCAA Championship play on Saturday seeking spots in the Sweet 16. The action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET with No. 5 Purdue hosting Louisville, while No. 8 Penn State hosts Delaware at 7:30 p.m. Two matches follow at 8 p.m. as No. 3 Illinois welcomes Marquette and Michigan State takes on top-seeded Texas. Minnesota hosts Washington at 8:30 p.m. and Michigan battles No. 11 Stanford at 10 p.m. to round out the Big Ten slate of matches. The Illinois-Marquette match can be seen live on BTN, while the Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue matches can be seen on BTN2Go.
Nebraska Falls to Kansas State in Five-Set Heartbreaker
Second-seeded Nebraska dropped a five-set (25-22, 22-25, 31-29, 22-25, 11-15) thriller to Kansas State on Friday night, eliminating the Big Ten Champion from the NCAA Championship. Gina Mancuso had 25 kills and 17 digs to lead the Huskers, who close the season with a 25-5 overall record.
Ohio State Topples No. 14 Tennessee to Advance to Sweet 16
Ohio State picked up a 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12) win over No. 14 Tennessee to move on to the Sweet 16 on Friday. The Buckeyes got 22 kills from Mari Hole, while five Ohio State players reached double-digit digs in the win. The Buckeyes move on to take on the winner of No. 3 Illinois and Marquette on Dec. 9.
Minnesota Opens Tournament With Sweep Over North Dakota State
Minnesota earned a sweep (25-17, 25-21, 26-24) over North Dakota State to move on to the second round of the NCAA Championship on Friday. Hailey Cowles led the No. 13 Gophers with 13 kills, while Ashley Wittman added 12 kills and 10 digs in the win. Minnesota advances to play Washington on its home court on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Michigan Battles Back to Defeat Baylor, 3-1
Despite a first-set loss, Michigan rattled off three straight wins to move past Baylor in four (22-25, 25-11, 29-27, 25-17) on Friday night. Three players reached double-digit kills while three others notched double-doubles to lead the Wolverines to the win. Michigan takes on either No. 11 Stanford or Sacred Heart in the second round on Saturday.
Illinois Defeats Central Michigan in Three Sets
Illinois swept Central Michigan, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18, to move on to the second round of the NCAA Championship on Friday. Michelle Bartsch posted 11 kills on .455 hitting to lead the third-seeded Illini to the victory. With the win, Illinois advances to host Marquette on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Purdue Sweeps Past Morehead State
Fifth-seeded Purdue earned a three-set win (25-16, 25-15, 25-23) over Morehead State on Friday to move on to Round 2 of the NCAA Championship. Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Turner posted 13 kills, 12 digs and four blocks to lead the Boilermakers. Purdue hosts Louisville in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Penn State Blasts Liberty, 3-0
Eighth-seeded Penn State swept Liberty (25-16, 25-16, 25-16) to move past the first round of the NCAA Championship on Friday. Ariel Scott paced the Nittany Lions with 16 kills on .452 hitting, while three Penn State players notched double-digit digs in the match. The Nittany Lions will play Delaware in the second round on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Michigan State Downs Arizona, 3-1
Michigan State took a four-set victory against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Championship, coming back from a first-set loss to take the next three and the match. Kyndra Abron led the Spartans with 22 kills, while Kori Moster notched 18 digs in the win. The Spartans will take on top-seeded Texas on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Eight First- and Second-Round Matches Slated for Friday
All eight Big Ten teams participating in the NCAA Championship compete in first- or second-round matches on Friday. Six teams open tournament play with matches on Friday, while two others continue their run with second-round contests. Michigan State opens tonight's slate with its opening-round tilt against Arizona at 5:30 p.m. ET. Ohio State follows with its second-round contest against No. 14 Tennessee at 7 p.m., while Michigan-Baylor, No. 8 Penn State-Liberty and No. 5 Purdue-Morehead State are each set for 7:30 p.m. Third-seeded Illinois hosts Central Michigan in the first round and No. 2 Nebraska welcomes Kansas State in second-round action at 8 p.m., while No. 13 Minnesota hosts North Dakota State at 8:30 p.m. to close the day's action.
Nebraska Sweeps Jackson State to Advance to Round 2
Second-seeded Nebraska swept Jackson State (25-10, 25-16, 25-13) to cruise into the second round of the NCAA Championship. Brooke Delano and Gina Mancuso each tallied 10 kills to pace the Huskers. Nebraska will host Kansas State on Friday at 8 p.m. ET for a spot in the Round of 16.
Ohio State Defeats Middle Tennessee, 3-1
Ohio State downed Middle Tennessee in four sets (25-23, 25-27, 25-21, 25-18) in the first round of the NCAA Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., getting a double-double from All-Big Ten performer Mari Hole en route to victory. Hole notched 18 kills and 14 digs to lead the Buckeyes into the second round. Ohio State will take on No. 14 Tennessee at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.
NCAA Championship Begins Today
The first round of the NCAA Volleyball Championship gets underway today, with Nebraska and Ohio State compete in the tournament's opening round. The Buckeyes take on Middle Tennessee at 4:30 p.m. ET in Knoxville, Tenn., while the second-seeded Huskers host Jackson State at 7 p.m. CT. The other six competing Big Ten teams open tournament play on Friday.