Week 3 of the 2018 NCAA season is always a big separation week, where many teams are hit with their first hard lessons of the season in the form of losses. Last season, 29 dropped to 11 in week 3 of play, and this season, the shift has been even more drastic.
Last week, there remained 28 teams without a loss. Now, there are just 9 remaining. The Big Ten still leads the way with 3 undefeated teams (Michigan, Purdue, and Illinois), while the ACC (Pitt and Boston College) and WCC (Portland and BYU) also put multiple teams on the list. No team that is undefeated through 3 weeks this season was also undefeated through 3 weeks last season, though BYU and Michigan were undefeated through 3 weeks in 2016.
The Eagles of BC are the most surprising team on this list – their 9 wins so far, including 7 in 3-0 sweeps, are already more than they had in the entire 2017 or 2018 seasons. This is already BC’s best season start – by a longshot. Their previous record for most wins to start a season? 4, done in both 2015. Since the program launched in 1990, the team has had just 3 prior winning seasons (18-11 in 2001, 17-12 in 2003, 20-12 in 2004). Barring qualification for the NCAA tournament, they’d only need 7 more wins in their next 21 matches this season to have a winning record for 2018. It also matches Boston College’s best-ever win streak at any point, which they achieved in both 2004 and 2009.
BYU continues to march along on this list. They are spending their 2nd-straight week as the #1 team in the week 3 VolleyMob Power Rankings, while the AVCA pole caught up with the Cougars earning 54 of 64 1st place votes this week.
That may not sound surprising, but given the chaotic start to this season – it’s a little bit interesting: the next-highest ranked undefeated team in the AVCA poll is Illinois at #8, while the Illini hold the same honor in the VolleyMob Power Rankings.
Boston College is the only team that isn’t mentioned in either ranking, while Alabama checked in at #25, which makes for the first AVCA National Coaches’ Poll placement in program history.
There have been only 5 undefeated seasons in NCAA Women’s Division I volleyball history, and none of those 5 teams are still undefeated this season.
2018 NCAA Women’s Division I Undefeated Teams, Through Week 3:
|Team||Conference||W||L||Pct.||VolleyMob Ranking||AVCA Ranking|
|Portland||WCC||9||0||1||On the Cusp||RV|
|Alabama||SEC||9||0||1||On the Cusp||15|