#2 Penn State Starts B1G Play with ’16 Conf. Champ #14 Nebraska; Sep. 22 Preview

  0 Derek Johnson | September 22nd, 2017 | ACC, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, Pac 12

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.

If you didn’t have enough reasons to be glad it’s Friday, now you’ve got more as 18 teams ranked or on the cusp in the latest VolleyMob Top 25 either continue or start up their conference season tonight. A big chunk of those come from Big Ten and Pac-12 matches, as four of the day’s matches feature two ranked teams with another between a ranked and on the cusp squad.

*Note: VolleyMob’s Top 25 is utilized for a team’s ranking

*The entire week’s schedule can be seen here.


#14 Nebraska (7-3) at #2 Penn State (10-0) – 8 pm ET (BTN2Go/PSU Radio/NU Radio/Game Tracker)

Penn State has been one of the top teams in the country and now will look to carry that over into conference play as they try to win the Big Ten for the first time since 2013. Sitting in front of them is Nebraska, the team that took home the Big Ten title last season and a squad who ousted Penn State in the Sweet 16.

The Nittany Lions fared well in their biggest tests of the non-conference in taking down Stanford twice, but now the Big Ten presents a brand new opportunity to conquer. With as many ranked opponents as the Nittany Lions will see, it’s important they hold serve at home against the Cornhuskers for their most premium chance at a conference title. Beyond that, they’ll look for revenge after Nebraska won all three matches with Penn State a season ago, although watch out for Ali Frantti who posted 21 kills, 15 digs and six solo blocks in the Sweet 16 match vs. Nebraska.

Nebraska will look to continue their latest success against Penn State, as they escaped two of the matches in five sets. The most recent came in the Sweet 16 as Nebraska fought off match point down 2-0 in sets to come back and win. Obviously the Rolfzen twins and Justine Wong-Orantes were vital in the comeback, but it was middle blocker Briana Holman leading the team with 17 kills and seven blocks while hitting .583. Her status is up in the air due to injury which could heavily impact the result.


#24 Michigan (10-2) at #3 Minnesota (11-0) – 8 pm ET (BTN2Go/Game Tracker)

Two top-25 Big Ten teams meet in Minneapolis looking to get off on the right foot as Michigan is still searching for a marquee win while Minnesota is looking to tack on another. If we were to diagnose the elite plateau of the Big Ten it would likely be the three teams in the top five (Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin); to keep up with those others, the Golden Gophers will be looking to hold home court advantage and score the win.

RV Michigan State (7-2) at #4 Wisconsin (9-0) – 8pm ET (BTN2Go/UW Radio/MSU Radio/Live Stats)

Speaking of needing to win home matches to keep up with the top tier in the Big Ten, Wisconsin will be looking to do the same as they face a Michigan State team that had been ranked all season until last week. The Spartans could really use a marquee win, which would clearly be the case in Madison.

#20 Colorado (10-1) at #16 Utah (9-2) – 9 pm ET (Pac-12 Networks/Live Stats)

Colorado emerged in the VolleyMob Top 25 for the first time behind a five set win on the road at Colorado State. They’ll try to rekindle the same road magic against a Utes squad that has only lost twice this year – both in five setters to current top-15 opponents.

#8 Oregon (8-1) at #15 UCLA (7-3) – 11 pm ET (Pac-12 Networks/UCLA Radio/Live Stats)

This will be the second Pac-12 match of the season for both sides, as Oregon got off to a 1-0 start by taking down rival Oregon State while UCLA fell at home to inner-city foe USC in five sets. Both of these teams will look to be dark horses in a deep conference, as this match should play big on those implications.


Virginia at #22 Florida State – 6:30 pm ET (ACC Network)

RV Notre Dame (10-1) at Louisville (6-4) – 7 pm ET (ESPN3)

RV Wichita State (8-3) at Temple (4-4) – 7 pm ET (Temple Video/Shocker Radio/Live Stats)

RV Western Kentucky (13-2) at Florida Atlantic (8-3) – 7 pm ET (C-USA TV/Game Tracker)

#17 Northern Iowa (10-4) at Valparaiso (7-5) – 8 pm ET (Valpo Radio/N. Iowa Radio/Live Stats)

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