Every day at VolleyMob we will preview several of the most notable and interesting matches in NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball. We will offer an inside look at some of those top matchups each day as we carry along through the 2017 season.
*Note: The VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings are utilized for a team’s ranking
*The entire week’s schedule can be seen here.
THE BIG MATCH:
#12 Wisconsin (14-5, 5-5) at #1 Penn State (19-1, 8-1) – 7 pm ET
Another day, another Big Ten heavyweight matchup. This time, #1 Penn State plays host to #12 Wisconsin in University Park, Pennsylvania.
The Badgers have won three of four after starting 2-4 in Big Ten play, as they are still looking to find their footing a bit with a young team in a difficult Big Ten schedule. Their second half slate is a bit easier, although they have Penn State twice with this being the first. Some of the Badgers youth is slightly more experienced now, led by freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke, who leads the team in kills per set (3.37) and hitting percentage (.459) and will look to be on her best on the road.
Penn State may be the top team in the country, but it isn’t so simple in the Big Ten. They are tied with Nebraska atop the standings with the likes of Minnesota and Michigan State right on their heels. Henceforth, this and every match is huge toward the Big Ten title race for the Nittany Lions. The middle blocker matchup should be a dandy between Rettke from Wisconsin and Haleigh Washington of Penn State, who is second on the team in kills per set (2.97) and the Big Ten leader in efficiency (.515).
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
(RV) Illinois (16-5, 7-3) at #3 Minnesota (19-2, 8-2) – 9 pm ET
Minnesota is looking to stay just a match behind first and continue its seven match winning streak as they host an Illinois team that is quietly sitting in the top five of the Big Ten standings. Illinois is the top blocking team in the Big Ten while Minnesota is second and kills, making this an intriguing pairing.
#11 Utah (17-4, 8-2) at #16 Oregon (13-5, 6-4) – 10 pm ET
Utah is coming off a loss to USC as now all four of their defeats have come in five sets. One of those occurred several weeks ago as the Ducks downed the Utes in Salt Lake City. Oregon hit .300 in that match, as Utah overcame a 2-0 set deficit to force five but wasn’t able to overcome the Ducks.
BEST OF THE REST:
(RV) Louisville (14-6, 8-2) at (RV) Notre Dame (16-5, 6-4) – 7 pm ET
#18 Baylor (16-5, 6-2) at Texas Tech (13-8, 2-6) – 7 pm ET
Missouri (12-9, 5-3) at Ole Miss (14-9, 5-4) – 8 pm ET
Oklahoma (5-16, 2-6) at #9 Kansas (18-3, 7-1) – 8 pm ET
#23 Iowa State (14-4, 7-2) at Kansas State (9-12. 2-6) – 9 pm ET