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:
#6 Minnesota (25-3, 14-3) at (RV) Illinois (18-10, 9-8) – 8 pm ET
If the first meeting is any indication how this one will go it should be a doozy as Minnesota squaked one out over Illinois in five sets. Both teams were solid, not perfect, on offense while Minnesota boasted a strong serve to combat Illinois’ tough block. Both teams will look to exercise those strengths once more while covering up some of the deficiencies from that match.
For Minnesota, they likely need to win out to still have a shot at a top four seed for the NCAA Tournament, making this one obviously quite important. For Illinois, they look good to go for the NCAA Tournament but it wouldn’t hurt to add another big victory. Watch out for Alexis Hart for Minnesota after she notched 28 kills (.303) in the first go around while Ali Bastianelli (eight blocks last meeting) for Illinois will look to quiet her.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES:
(RV) Northern Iowa (24-7, 13-3) at Drake (23-8, 12-5) – 6 pm ET
With the Missouri Valley Conference tournament just a week away, these two teams are playing for potential seeding and more. A win for Northern Iowa clinches the two seed, while a loss for Drake drops them from the three to the four. Beyond that, although Northern Iowa has some huge wins and passes the eye test, their RPI of 50 entering the week does them no favors, meaning they need to win as much as possible for the NCAA Tournament committee’s approval.
#18 Purdue (21-7, 11-6) at Michigan (18-11, 8-9) – 7 pm ET
Both of these teams are coming off huge victories, as Purdue just downed Minnesota and Wisconsin last week (before defeating Rutgers this week) while Michigan is fresh off an upset of Michigan State. That win was pivotal for the Wolverines, who looked good for the NCAA Tournament regardless but now might be a lock. They can expand that with a win in this one, while Purdue can continue their late push for a first/second round hosting bid.
BEST OF THE REST:
#5 Nebraska (23-4, 16-1) at Maryland (17-12, 6-11) – 7 pm ET
#21 Iowa State (19-6, 9-5) at TCU (11-15, 3-11) – 8 pm ET
- How to follow: Fox Sports Southwest/Game Tracker
#25 Missouri State (25-5, 17-0) at Loyola (5-23, 4-13) – 8 pm ET
Arizona (10-16, 4-13) at #17 Utah (20-8, 11-6) – 9 pm ET