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.
Following a packed Friday that featured five matches between ranked or on the cusp teams, Saturday continues the weekend slate of action with even more high-level teams in action. In total, 24 teams who are either ranked or on the cusp continue their season as week six comes toward its close.
*Note: VolleyMob Power Rankings Top 25 is utilized for a team’s ranking
*The entire week’s schedule can be seen here.
THE BIG MATCH:
#7 Wisconsin (11-1, 2-1) at #10 Nebraska (10-3, 3-0) – 8 pm ET
For the second straight day, Nebraska plays host to a top-10 opponent as the gauntlet known as the Big Ten schedule continues for both of these sides.
The visiting team, Wisconsin has won all six sets of action since opening Big Ten play with a five-set loss to Michigan State. That includes a sweep of Iowa last night as 6’8″ freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke dominated with 12 kills on 20 swings (and no errors) to go with four blocks. She hasn’t been fazed as a youngster thus far, but will have a new challenge playing in front of a raucous arena in Lincoln.
No team has impressed more in conference play than Nebraska, as over these last two weeks they’ve won all nine sets they have appeared in. That includes a sweep at Penn State and last night a 3-0 win against Minnesota. The middle blocker matchup should be intriguing as Briana Holman has 24 kills on 34 swings with just three errors in those two matches and hit .400 with six blocks last year in a sweep of the Badgers.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
#8 BYU (14-1, 3-0) at #25 San Diego (10-3, 3-0) – 3 pm ET
Although this meeting of Top 25 West Coast Conference foes comes in just the second week of the conference season, it is one of the most important matches that the conference will see. These two sides appear to be the class of the WCC and BYU could gain a real edge by going on the road and winning at San Diego. The Toreros need to hold home court advantage to avoid needing a win in Provo.
(RV) Washington State (12-2, 1-1) at #16 USC (10-3, 2-0) – 4 pm ET
This tussle continues what is essentially a Los Angeles vs. state of Washington series as both Washington and Washington State are in Los Angeles and will switch opponents. Washington State’s first opponent is USC, who are undefeated at home. The good news for the Cougars though is they are 7-0 on the road. Something’s gotta give in this meeting.
(RV) Ohio State (9-5, 2-1) at #18 Michigan State (10-2, 3-0) – 8 pm ET
Two teams who started the year ranked, then bounced out in the final non-conference week and now are re-emerging in the Big Ten meet in East Lansing to add to a strong Big Ten start. The Spartans earned a pair of top five wins last week and tacked on a sweep of Maryland to their slate last night while the Buckeyes look to bounce back after their first Big Ten loss coming to Michigan.
#12 Oregon (9-2, 2-1) at #22 Colorado (11-3, 1-2) – 9 pm ET
The Big Ten is talked about for being such a difficult road, but the Pac-12 can be similarly tough. Oregon is on the road for their second ranked match of the week after a thrilling five-set win at Utah last night. However, after going up 2-0, the Utes forced a fifth that went all the way to 21-19. Just a day later, fatigue could play a factor – especially in altitude. That said, Colorado had a five-setter of their own as they just scathed by Oregon State at home.
BEST OF THE REST:
TCU (8-5, 0-2) at #9 Kansas (13-2, 2-0) – 1 pm ET
Northwestern (11-4, 1-2) at #2 Penn State (12-1, 2-1) – 7 pm ET
#19 Purdue (12-2, 2-1) at Indiana (11-4, 0-3) – 7 pm ET
Maryland (12-3, 1-2) at (RV) Michigan (11-4, 1-2) – 7 pm ET
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#4 Minnesota (12-2, 1-2) at Iowa (12-4, 1-2) – 8 pm ET