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.
As week three continues, the schedule hits a high point today, Friday September 8. In total, eight top-25 matchups occur as two more ranked teams face teams receiving votes in the latest VolleyMob Top 25. In fact, there are even two top-12 matchups and one team, Purdue, will see two top-10 opponents on the same day.
*Note: VolleyMob’s Top 25 is utilized for a team’s ranking
THE BIG MATCH:
#3 Minnesota at #4 Texas – 9 pm ET (Longhorn Network/Live Stats)
Two top-five teams meet in possibly the match of the week as Minnesota (ranked third in VolleyMob’s poll) is actually the top-ranked team in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. They could be on upset alert (based on rankings) as Texas isn’t far behind and is playing at home.
Texas has gotten things rolling since an early setback against Florida (now the top-ranked team in the country) in a four-set loss in Gainesville. The Longhorns have reeled off six in a row, including a ranked win over San Diego last week. Freshman Lexi Sun has continually gotten better and the Longhorns are slowly creeping back up as they look to ascend back to the top of the poll.
If Minnesota was to lose, it would be the third straight week (meaning every week thus far) that the top ranked team in the AVCA Poll would lose. They’ll be looking to avoid that and stay undefeated as a win in Austin may serve as the best resume win of any team to this point in the season. It won’t be easy, as although talented, Minnesota has plenty of fresh faces without a plethora of experience. Still, with Samantha Seliger-Swenson and company, they haven’t skipped a beat regardless of that so far.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
#19 Purdue vs. #7 Creighton – 11 am ET (Live Stats)
Lawrence, Kansas is taking host to the weekend’s best overall tournament that features three top-20 teams and a strong mid-major in Belmont. The tournament gets kicked off with a stellar start as Purdue gets their strongest early test to their undefeated mark while Creighton looks to add to its already lengthy resume.
#19 Purdue at #9 Kansas – 8 pm ET (ESPN3/Live Stats)
As we mentioned in the prelude, Purdue faces two top-10 teams. Host-Kansas is the second as the Jayhawks look to get revenge on the Boilermakers after Purdue took down Kansas in four sets in West Lafayette, Indiana back in 2016. It could also be a chance for another huge win for Purdue or redemption depending on their earlier result, while Kansas can add another resume win after defeating #14 Kentucky on Monday as they feature the top kills per set team in the country.
#5 Stanford at #25 Illinois – 8 pm ET (BTN2Go/Audio/Live Stats)
After falling from #1 to #5 this past week, Stanford can get redemption – literally tomorrow as they face the team that beat them in Penn State. They can’t get ahead of themselves though as they’re on the road with another tough Big Ten opponent in an upstart Illinois team that features the nation’s leader in blocks, Ali Bastianelli.
#11 UCLA at #12 Nebraska – 9 pm ET (BTN2Go/Audio/Live Stats)
This is actually the first of a two-match set, as the teams meet tomorrow in the same place for another match. Nebraska hasn’t faced a ranked opponent since Kelly Hunter has returned to the lineup as now we get a good look of how strong this Huskers team is against the undefeated Bruins.
BEST OF THE REST:
#23 Missouri State vs. #8 Washington – 1 pm ET (Game Tracker)
Arkansas vs. #16 USC – 3:30 pm ET (BigWest.TV/Live Stats)
#17 Michigan at #20 Colorado State – 8 pm ET (MW Network/Live Stats)
#22 San Diego at #15 Utah – 9 pm ET (Live Stats)
RV(#30) Wichita State at #10 Oregon – 11 pm ET (Pac-12 Oregon/Audio/Live Stats)