SOUTHERN MISS 3, ALABAMA STATE 1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18)
TROY, Ala. – Mia Wesley, who entered play Thursday ranked 10th in NCAA D-I with 512 kills, rang up 21 kills for Southern Miss in the first match of the 2022 NIVC to secure the program’s first-ever postseason victory.
The Golden Eagles (19-11), who had dropped three of their last five matches heading into the NIVC, hit .248 overall and will play UT Martin on Friday for a spot in the quarterfinals. Cailin Demps had 11 kills and Cara Atkinson added 10 kills in the comeback win. Kenzie Smith closed with 46 assists and 10 digs; Megan Harris added 16 digs.
The Hornets (20-15), who started the year 1-12 before going on a 19-1 run ahead of the postseason, got 12 kills from Kalysia Bates and 11 kills by Jada Rhodes. Madison Beasley added 29 assists and 14 digs; Temperance Chatman had 20 digs.
UT MARTIN 3, TROY 0 (25-21, 25-23, 27-25)
TROY, Ala. – UT Martin held firm while facing two big hitters for Troy, with the Skyhawks earning a sweep to advance into Round 2 of the 2022 NIVC.
The Skyhawks (23-11) will play Southern Miss on Friday for a spot in the quarterfinals. UT Martin was paced by the 12 kills from Karen Scanlon; Logan Wallick added 10 kills and Angel Baylark registered eight kills. Dylan Mott closed with 18 digs, and Haeleigh Paulino and Addy Vaughn both had 17 assists.
Tori Hester, who entered the day ranked No. 12 in all of NCAA D-I with 503 kills, closed with 19 kills and one hitting error for the Trojans (18-13). Amiah Butler closed with 17 kills – Amara Anderson had 43 assists and 13 digs.
XAVIER 3, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 0 (25-23, 25-18, 29-27)
ATHENS, Ohio – Xavier earned its first postseason win in program history Thursday, surviving a stress-packed third set to get past Central Michigan and into Round 2 of the 2022 NIVC, where they will face Ohio.
The Musketeers (20-11) got an outstanding effort from Anna Taylor, who had 12 kills and no hitting errors. Brooklyn Cink came through with 12 kills and 24 digs, and Maryann O’Toole added 10 kills. Carrigan O’Reilly closed with 38 assists as the team hit .267 overall.
The Chippewas (20-12) got 10 kills apiece from Elly Medendorp and Anna Erickson. Mallory Hernandez added nine kills; Claire Ammeraal closed with 33 assists and 13 digs, and Aly Gurtiza added 16 digs.
OHIO 3, VALPARAISO 0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-17)
ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio hit a solid .247 in a sweep of Valparaiso, holding the Beacons to a .031 hitting percentage and advancing to Round 2 of the 2022 NIVC.
The Bobcats (20-11) will take on Xavier on Friday for a spot in the quarterfinals. Ohio spread the offense out, getting eight kills from Anna Kharchynska and seven from Caroline Clippard. Tria McLean came through with 18 assists and Sam Steele added 14 digs.
The Beacons (22-11), who reached the championship match of the 2021 NIVC, got seven kills from Maddy Boyer and six kills from Jillie Grant. Emma Hickey closed with 13 digs.