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:
#11 Michigan State (20-7, 13-5) at #17 Purdue (21-9, 11-8) – 7 pm ET
Michigan State’s final two matches of the regular season come in the state of Indiana, beginning with their meeting in West Lafayette against a Purdue team that is peaking at the right time. The Boilermakers collected a handful of wins, including over Wisconsin and Minnesota a few weeks back. They’ve rolled through this final stretch of their schedule with the exception of one opponent: Michigan, who seems to be a bad matchup for them.
Both teams still have a chance at hosting in the first two rounds – although Purdue’s took a big hit in the loss to Michigan this week. The Spartans may be good in that regard no matter the result, but they could hand deliver their hosting bid with a win in this one. The outsides should make a heckuva individual matchup too as Autumn Bailey (3.48 kills per set, 3.24 digs per set) leads the Spartans on the road against Danielle Cuttino (4.03 kills per set, .329) and the Boilermakers.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
#1 Penn State (27-1, 17-1) at #18 Wisconsin (19-8, 10-8) – 8 pm ET
Both of these teams started the year and conference play in the top 10, but while Penn State has soared up to the top spot, Wisconsin has been inconsistent and sits slightly over .500 in Big Ten action. For Penn State, they will look to keep winning to keep a top four spot in the NCAA Tournament, while Wisconsin has the RPI to be a first/second round host, but a win in this would go a long way toward keeping that.
#22 Oregon (16-11, 9-10) at (RV) Oregon State (21-10, 11-8) – 10 pm ET
The Civil War takes place to finish off the regular season for both of these teams, as one is trending toward the positive (Oregon State) while the other (Oregon) has been in bad form of late. Still, both teams come off a loss on Wednesday, but a win over their rival in the regular season finale would be all the boost either team needs heading into the NCAA Tournament.
#16 Utah (21-9, 12-7) at #21 Colorado (22-8, 12-7) – 10 pm ET
Both of these teams are on the first/second round hosting bubble – although with RPIs of 13 (Utah) and 22 (Colorado), the Utes have a much better shot at doing so. Still, Colorado is coming off a win since then, while Utah was swept by Stanford on Wednesday night. If the Utes win this, they should still be in good shape, but a loss puts them in difficult terrain. For the Buffaloes, it may not be enough but it would surely give them a chance.
BEST OF THE REST:
(RV) Louisville (23-6, 17-2) at Syracuse (20-12, 12-7) – 1 pm ET
Villanova (18-11, 11-7) vs. #13 Creighton (23-6, 16-2) – 1:30 pm ET
Butler (23-7, 13-5) vs. (RV) Marquette (21-8, 15-3) – 3:30 pm ET
Indiana State (11-20, 8-10) vs. Missouri State (26-5, 18-0) – 5 pm ET
#6 Kentucky (25-3, 16-1) at Georgia (20-10, 10-7) – 5 pm ET
Washington State (17-14, 6-13) at #8 Washington (23-7, 13-6) – 11 pm ET