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 loaded Wednesday of matches, we continue the week with a Thursday slate that features three ranked teams and 29 total matches. Most of those feature mid-majors as the West Coast Conference headlines the action with the match of the day.
*Note: VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings is utilized for a team’s ranking
*The entire week’s schedule can be seen here.
THE BIG MATCH:
Gonzaga (11-7, 6-0) at #24 San Diego (12-4, 5-1) – 10 pm ET
Two of the top three teams in the West Coast Conference meet at the Jenny Craig Pavillion in San Diego, California as the Toreros look to give the Bulldogs their first conference loss of the season.
One thing that could favor Gonzaga would be if things go to a fifth set, as the Bulldogs have been at their best in the decisive set with five of their six conference wins coming in five sets – all of which were their first five WCC matches. There isn’t one player that San Diego can key on as Gonzaga’s offense has been about balance with seven players averaging over a kill per set and four at two or more kills per set.
San Diego’s lone loss came to BYU a few weeks back as they’ve won every other match in WCC play. Now they get an opportunity to knock off a team ahead of them in the standings as they try to stay on BYU’s tail. Senior setter Kristen Gengenbacher leads the conference with 11.16 assists per set and is the reigning WCC Player of the Week as she will look for an encore performance against Gonzaga.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
San Jose State (12-5, 4-2) at #21 Colorado State (16-2, 6-0) – 9 pm ET
Colorado State has yet to trip up in Mountain West Conference play, but face one of their tougher tests with San Jose State coming to town. The Spartans have dropped a couple of conference matches but sit in a tie for second as they look to maintain their pace with the Rams. For Colorado State, their chances of hosting an NCAA Tournament first/second round likely relies on them going undefeated in conference play.
BEST OF THE REST:
Alabama (13-6) at Alabama State (16-7) – 8 pm ET
Portland (13-5, 4-2) at #7 BYU (17-1, 6-0) – 9 pm ET
Santa Clara (8-10, 1-5) at Loyola Marymount (10-7, 3-3) – 11 pm ET