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 USC (20-7, 12-4) at #3 Stanford (22-3, 15-1) – 10 pm ET
Stanford needs just one win in their final four to clinch a share of the Pac-12, while two wins, two USC losses or a win and a USC loss would win it for them outright. They get a chance to kill two birds with one stone as a win over USC would push them straight from winning a shared Pac-12 title to taking it all by themselves. Beyond that, both teams have national aspirations as Stanford needs to keep winning for their best shot at a top four seed from the NCAA Tournament while USC is looking to solidify its position as a first/second round host and get a top eight seed as well.
These two sides met earlier in the season in Los Angeles, as Stanford came out on top in four sets. The Cardinal dominated the match in serving and had more blocks in addition to hitting .318. USC did a good job on Kathryn Plummer as she was held to a .073 mark, but the extra attention left Merete Lutz (15 kills, .609 for the match) more open. While Stanford looks for a stronger match from Plummer and continued success from Lutz, USC is looking for a bounceback performance from Khalia Lanier (team-leader in kills while hitting .239 on the season) after she hit just .068 vs. Stanford in that first go around.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
#10 Michigan State (19-6, 12-4) at Michigan (17-11, 7-9) – 7 pm ET
Anytime the two Michigan schools get together it should make for a fun night. The Spartans have emerged as a top 10 team and are looking to finish off the season and get a chance at a top eight seed while Michigan is on the right side of the bubble. A loss wouldn’t change that, but a win would go a long way as they have three ranked matches to go in their final four and could use a victory.
#13 Kansas (21-5, 10-3) at #4 Texas (21-2, 13-0) – 8 pm ET
This isn’t quite the match we thought it would be preseason, as it looked like this meeting in Austin could determine the Big 12 champ. Technically that’s still true though as a win for Texas earns them at least a share of the title, and boy would they like to do it against the team that took them down last year. Beyond that, Texas is gunning for a top four seed from the committee while Kansas could really use a pick-me up after struggling with Madison Rigdon injured.
BEST OF THE REST:
#2 Florida (22-1, 14-1) at Texas A&M (7-14, 4-10) – 7 pm ET
#21 Iowa State (18-6, 8-5) at Oklahoma (7-18, 4-8) – 8 pm ET
Auburn (14-9, 7-7) at LSU (18-7, 9-5) – 8 pm ET