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.
The weekend is here and Saturday is a strong encore after a late night of action-packed volleyball from Friday. The Big Ten and Pac-12 again highlights the day with plenty of other conferences sprinkled into the mix. In total, 14 ranked teams are in action on the day with a pair of top 20 teams as 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:
#4 Nebraska (13-4, 6-1) at #19 Purdue (15-3, 5-2) – 7 pm ET
With one loss the best you can do in the Big Ten right now, Nebraska and Purdue both look like conference title threats through the early portion of the season. Now, they meet in West Lafayette, Indiana for a top-20 matchup.
The visiting team, Nebraska, had an undefeated start to Big Ten play come to a halt earlier this week at the hands of Wisconsin in Madison. They can rebound on the road in another tough environment though as the difficult Big Ten slate never ends. Annika Albrecht has been a steady force on the outside as she leads the team with 3.15 kills per set and seems to not be bothered on the road as a senior.
Purdue came into the week with just one conference loss but against mostly lower half teams. They couldn’t win their first big test at Minnesota, but now they come back home in front of one of the better home court advantages in the country to take on their second top five opponent in the week. Danielle Cuttino will look to star in the match as she leads the Boilermakers with 4.28 kills per set and is hitting .363.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
(RV) Michigan (13-6, 3-4) at #2 Penn State (16-1, 5-1) – 7 pm ET
Both of these schools are coming off wins last night as Michigan downed Rutgers while Penn State earned a hard-fought win over #10 Michigan State. The Wolverines will look to steal one in University Park, Pennsylvania as the Nittany Lions look to continue rolling since their lone loss.
Missouri State (15-5, 7-0) at #17 Northern Iowa (17-4, 7-0) – 8 pm ET
Coming into the week, three teams were undefeated in MWC play – Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Drake. Just last night the Bears downed Drake on the road in five sets, but they don’t have much time to rest as they are still on the road against Northern Iowa. This features the top ranked team right now (Northern Iowa) against the incumbent champion and preseason pick to win the conference (Missouri State).
#22 Iowa State (12-3, 3-2) at #6 Texas (13-2, 5-0) – 8:15 pm ET
Texas is now back in Austin as they will look to avoid a let-down after riding a high in Lawrence to the tune of a five-set win. They’ll be on high alert with Iowa State coming to town though after the Cyclones were one of the Longhorns’ two losses last season. The Cyclones could use the win if they want to stick around the top of the standings after losses to Kansas and Baylor already.
BEST OF THE REST:
(RV) Marquette (13-5, 7-0) at Villanova (11-7, 4-3) – 2 pm ET
Gonzaga (11-8, 6-1) at #7 BYU (18-1, 7-0) – 3 pm ET
Maryland (14-5, 3-4) at (RV) Illinois (14-4, 5-2) – 8 pm ET
California (11-7, 2-5) at #18 UCLA (11-5, 4-3) – 9 pm ET