Big Thursday out West in NCAA volleyball; Ole Miss news; conference updates

Big Sky-leading Portland State won its seventh in a row, Amber Igiede and Hawai’i rolled on in the Big West, UNLV stands alone atop the Mountain West, and there’s a tie at the top of the WAC.

Also, No. 3 San Diego and No. 17 BYU swept West Coast Conference matches, and Maryland won the only Big Ten match.

And Ole Miss finally said something Thursday about Coach Kayla Banwarth, announcing that the university and the coach “mutually agreed to part ways.”

That story and Thursday’s recaps and top performances follow, but first a look at Friday’s NCAA Division I schedule and an update on conference leaders.

The seven-match ACC schedule includes No. 4 Louisville home for Duke, No. 7 Pittsburgh at Wake Forest and No. 10 Georgia Tech at North Carolina. Also, Virginia is at Virginia Tech, Miami is at Boston College, Clemson is at NC State, and Florida State is at Syracuse.

In the Big 12, No. 2 Texas plays at Kansas State, and Iowa State, tied with idle Baylor and a game back, entertains third-place TCU.

The only Big Ten matches feature No. 12 Purdue at Northwestern and Rutgers at Indiana.

There’s a full slate in the Pac-12, where No. 8 Stanford holds a one-game lead over USC and No. 19 Washington is tied with No. 18 Oregon and Washington State, a game behind USC. Stanford is at Washington State, USC is at Utah, Washington is home for Cal (and the last meeting between sisters Marin Grote of Washington and Lydia of Cal), Oregon is at Arizona, UCLA is at Colorado, and Oregon State is at Arizona State.

The two ranked Big East teams also play, with No. 15 Creighton at Seton Hall and No. 16 Marquette at Butler.

In Conference USA, No. 21 Rice is at UTSA, and No. 22 Western Kentucky is home for UAB, and in the American Athletic, No. 23 Houston is home for Temple, and No. 25 UCF goes to Tulsa.

Georgia at Missouri and Texas A&M at South Carolina are the only SEC matches.

There are six ASUN teams bunched within one game of each other at the top. Kennesaw State (8-2) plays host to Stetston, Lipscomb (8-2) is at Queens, Liberty (8-2) is home for Austin Peay, and Jacksonville State (7-3) entertains FGSU (6-3). Central Arkansas (8-3) is off. 

Atlantic 10 newcomer Loyola Chicago goes for its 13th win in a row when it plays host to VCU. Davidson, a game behind, goes to George Washington.

Campbell, 10-0 in the Big South, holds a one-game lead over High Point. The Fighting Camels play third-place Winthrop, which is two games back, and High Point faces Charleston Southern.

In the Horizon League, Wright State (11-0) holds a two-game lead in the loss column over Green Bay (10-2) and Northern Kentucky (9-2). Wright State, tied for the nation’s second-longest winning streak at 14, goes to Green Bay, and UNK is at Milwaukee. 

And speaking of 14-match winning streaks, Yale (16-1, 8-0 Ivy League) holds a one-game lead over Princeton in a conference that has no tournament and gives its bid NCAA to the regular-season winner. Yale is home for Cornell, and Princeton is home for Harvard.

The two Mid-American leaders will meet, with the East’s Bowling Green, 9-2 and a game up on Ohio, home for the West’s Ball State, also 9-2 and two games up on three teams. This is the only regular-season meeting between BGSU and Ball State.

Coppin State and Howard are tied in the loss column atop the MEAC. Coppin goes to Norfolk State, and Howard is at Morgan State.

Northern Iowa, which holds a two-game lead over Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference, is home for Murray State, and Drake entertains Belmont.

NEC-leader Sacred Heart is at LIU, and America East leader UMBC is home for NJIT.

UT Martin is a game up on Tennessee Tech in the Ohio Valley and plays at SIUE. Tech is home for Little Rock.

Colgate is a game up in the Patriot League on Army West Point, which is a game ahead of Navy. Colgate is home for Lafayette, Army is home for Lehigh, and Navy is at American.

In the Southern Conference, ETSU is a game up on Samford, which is a game ahead of Western Carolina. ETSU is home for Mercer, Samford is at Chattanooga, and WCU is home for Wofford.

Things could look different in a hurry in the Sun Belt, where James Madison leads the East and Texas State, South Alabama and Troy are tied atop the West. JMU goes to Georgia Southern, which is a game back in the loss column in the East. Texas State is home for Arkansas State, and South Alabama is at Troy.

Want to watch a match? We have the viewing links on the TV & Streaming Listings page.

MYSTERIOUS MISSISSIPPI — Ole Miss (10-10, 6-4 SEC) has won three in a row since Bre Henry took over as interim head coach, and officials finally released this story Thursday on the school’s website under the headline “Ole Miss Launches Search for New Volleyball Coach.” 

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss and head volleyball coach Kayla Banwarth have mutually agreed to part ways, as announced Thursday by Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter.

Rebel assistant coach Bre Henry will serve as acting head coach for the remainder of the 2022 season.

“With the accomplishments we experienced during her tenure, Coach Banwarth leaves this program well equipped for future success,” Carter said. “We wish her the best as she moves forward.”

“I thank Keith Carter and Lynnette Johnson for the opportunity to coach at Ole Miss,” Banwarth said. “I am grateful to the student-athletes for allowing me to be a part of their volleyball careers. Coaching volleyball is my greatest passion. I will continue to pursue that passion when the right opportunity arises. I am excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me and my family.”

Banwarth amassed a 29-38 overall record in her two-plus seasons at OIe Miss. The Rebels posted a 7-10 mark under her direction this year.Banwarth’s best season came in year two when she guided Ole Miss to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years and its first 20-win regular season since 2013. The 21-9 campaign marked the best turnaround in Division I Volleyball after the Rebels registered a 1-19 record in Banwarth’s first season in 2020-21.

Henry was a standout indoors and in beach at Long Beach State. You can read her Ole Miss bio here.

WEST COAST: San Diego (19-1, 10-1) won its nation-leading 16th in a row, beating visiting Portland (9-13, 2-9). Katie Lukes had 15 kills and hit .400, and Breana Edwards had 14 kills … BYU (15-5, 8-2) swept visiting Gonzaga (5-17, 1-10) as the Cougars hit .416, and Erin Livingston had 22 kills with four errors in 35 attacks to hit .514. She added an assist, an ace, five digs and three blocks … Loyola Marymount (12-7, 8-3) fell off the pace by losing in four at San Francisco (12-10, 5-6) as the Dons hit .322. Claire Crijins had 13 kills, hit .321 and had 10 digs and five blocks … And Pepperdine’s Vanessa Polk had 12 kills with one error in 17 attacks and  six blocks, one solo, as the Waves swept visiting Santa Clara. 

In the only WCC match Friday, Pacific plays at Saint Mary’s.

BIG SKY: Portland State (14-7, 9-1) won its seventh in a row, sweeping visiting Northern Arizona (3-14, 2-8) as Parker Webb had 14 kills and Makayla Lewis 13. The Vikings scored the last 11 points of the match … Second-place Weber State (13-7, 7-2) was off … Northern Colorado (13-8, 7-3) won in four at Sacramento State (10-12, 6-4) to break their tie for third. Kailey Jo Ince had 16 kills in the win, and Makenzie Harris added 14 kills and 19 digs … Paige Clark had 21 kills as Montana won in four at Eastern Washington, and Montana State swept at Idaho.

MOUNTAIN WEST: UNLV (19-3, 10-1) swept at Boise State (14-9, 6-6) to take over first as San Jose State (15-6, 9-2) got swept at Air Force (10-13, 2-9). UNLV hit .385 and got 12 kills from Gabrielle Arretche-Ramos and 10 from Isabel Martin, who had no errors in 19 attacks, an ace, eight digs and two blocks, one solo … Air Force had six players with four or more kills, 10 from Brookelyn Messenger, who had an assist and three blocks … Colorado State (16-6, 9-2) is tied with SJSU. The Rams beat visiting San Diego State in four behind 17 kills by Annie Sullivan and 16 by Kennedy Stanford, who hit .389 and had an assist, an ace, nine digs and three blocks, one solo … New Mexico swept visiting Nevada, and Wyoming did the same to Fresno State.

SOUTHLAND: Houston Christian and McNeese are both 9-3 and hold a one-game lead over Southeastern Louisiana and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. HCU hit .333 and swept visiting Northwestern State as Anna Gadway had 10 kills with one error in 15 attacks to go with two assists, three digs and four blocks, one solo, and Audrey Pearce had nine kills, four digs and nine blocks, two solo. McNeese swept Nicholls. Southeastern swept New Orleans, which dropped the Privateers a game back into fifth, and TAMUCC swept Texas A&M-Commerce. UIW beat Lamar in four.

SUMMIT LEAGUE: South Dakota (20-2, 9-1), which was off Thursday and plays at South Dakota on Friday, is still a game up in the loss column on North Dakota State (16-7, 9-2). NDSU had to go five to win at Kansas City as four players had 10 more kills. Setter Kelley Johnson had five kills, 48 assists, 12 digs and four blocks … Third-place Omaha (14-8, 9-3) won in four at St. Thomas. Denver stayed a game back with four-set win at Western Illinois, and North Dakota won in five at Oral Roberts. 

WAC: There’s a tie at the top after Stephen F. Austin (20-3, 8-2) won in four at UTRGV (19-5, 8-1), and Utah Valley (14-7, 9-1) won its seventh in a row as it swept at Tarleton State (11-4, 3-7). SFA got 16 kills from Ielan Bradley, who hit .353 … Utah Valley had three players with nine kills each, including Avery Shewwell, who had one error in 14 attacks. Caleigh Vagana had four kills and six blocks, one solo … Abilene Christian swept Seattle U, Brooke Townsend had 17 kills and hit .464 as UT Arlington won in four at NM State, and California Baptist swept visiting Sam Houston. 

Maryland’s Sam Csire hits into the Iowa block of Lily Tessier, left, and Amiya Jones/Stephen Mally

AROUND THE NATION: In the only Big Ten match Thursday, Maryland (13-10, 4-7) won in four at Iowa (7-15 1-10) as the Terps hit .319 and got 10 kills each from Laila Ivey and Anastasia Russ, who had eight blocks, one solo. Setter Sydney Dowler had four kills in six errorless tries, 31 assists, 11 digs and six blocks … 

Maryland’s Sydney Dowler is stuffed by Iowa’s Amiya Jones, left, Michelle Urquhart/Stephen Mally

Big West-leading Hawai’i (13-6, 10-1) swept at UC Riverside (4-17, 2-10) as Amber Igiede had 11 kills with one error in 20 attacks, two digs and eight blocks, three solo. Braelyn Akana had 10 kills with one error in 13 attacks and three blocks … In the other Big West match, second-place UC Santa Barbara (13-8, 9-2) kept pace with a sweep of visiting UC Irvine (13-8, 6-5). Brianna McKnight had 15 kills, hit .417 and had eight digs and two blocks …

The lone Big South match saw Gardner-Webb sweep at UNC Asheville … In the only OVC match, Lindenwood beat visiting Southeast Missouri in five as Mackenzi Sifuentes had a school-record 24 kills, hit .476 and had three aces, three digs and four blocks … There was one SWAC match as Grambling won in five at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Jayden Jones had 20 kills, three assists, an ace, 14 digs and two blocks, one solo.

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Iowa libero Mari Hinkle goes all out against Maryland/Stephen Mally,

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