In total there are four matches with both teams in the top 15 this week, and two with both in the top 10. Additionally, another is close while several have implications on either the top or near it of league standings.
Live streaming and stat links are available here, on the VolleyMob TV schedule page.
#12 Florida (19-4, 10-1 SEC) at #17 Kentucky (16-4, 10-0 SEC) | Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. ET
- The Gatros tripped up for the first time in SEC play on Sunday Oct. 21 at home to Missouri, but outside of that have won out. Their only road loss this season was an upset in five sets at NAU on Sep. 7. They are 2-3 against teams currently ranked in the VM Top 25, but 1-0 in their only true road match of that number (at Nebraska).
- After starting 3-4, Kentucky has collected 13 consecutive victories – and 16 of 17 after an 0-3 beginning. That includes an unbeaten mark in the SEC which consists of six sweeps. In terms of teams currently ranked in the VolleyMob Top 25, Kentucky is 3-3, while they are 0-4 against teams ranked at the time of play.
- This will be the only time that these two play this season. Last year though, the teams met twice – once at home and once on the road. The road team was victorious in both.
#3 Minnesota (18-2, 12-0 B1G) at #5 Wisconsin (16-4, 9-3 B1G) | Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. ET
- The Golden Gophers have won 13 in a row overall, including their 12-0 start in the Big Ten. That’s good enough for the league lead and a three-win margin between them and a group for second. They are also 7-2 in matches against ranked opponents at the time of play.
- Part of that second-place group is Wisconsin, who is tied with Illinois and Penn State at 9-3. Any chance that Wisconsin has at coming back to reach Minnesota would likely require a win. In home matches against teams ranked at the time of play in the VM Top 25, they are 3-1 this season.
- In the earlier meeting in Minneapolis, the Golden Gophers won 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-15). They out-hit Wisconsin .386 to .232. Stephanie Samedy (14 kills, .545, 10 digs) and Alexis Hart (14 kills, .609) were unstoppable for Minnesota, while Dana Rettke (12 kills, .370) had hitting success for Wisconsin.
#6 Penn State (18-4, 9-3 B1G) at #8 Nebraska (16-6, 7-5 B1G) | Friday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. ET
- The Nittany Lions are coming off of a home loss to Purdue in five sets after they got up 2-0 in the match. Prior to that they had won nine in a row, including seven sweeps and three ranked victories. In matches against ranked opponents on the road, Penn State is 3-2 this season.
- While Penn State is part of the group tied for second, Nebraska has fallen a few matches back. With an RPI of 14 they’ll need to escape a slide where they’ve lost four of five if they want to host in the NCAA Tournament. In home matches against teams currently ranked in the VM Top 25, Nebraska is 2-3.
- This will be the second meeting among these two teams, with Penn State earning a five-set victory just a few weeks ago back in Pennsylvania. In that match, the Nittany Lions hit .172 and Nebraska hit .210. The Huskers also had more blocks (13-10) and aces (5-4) while Penn State collected more digs (89-87).
San Diego (13-9, 10-2 WCC) at #1 BYU (22-0, 12-0 WCC) | Friday, Nov. 2 at 9 p.m. ET
- The Toreros have earned six consecutive victories now and are 10-2 in the league after a rough non-conference slate. To this date, they are the only member of the West Coast Conference to even have taken a set off of BYU, as they did at home back on October 5. They’re 1-6 vs. teams currently ranked in the VM Top 25.
- Now that Pitt has lost, BYU is the only undefeated team left in the country. They are also 36-1 in sets in conference play this season. Of their 22 victories, 10 have come at home so far and they are 4-0 against teams ranked at the time of play in the VM Top 25 – though San Diego is outside of that position.
- This will be the second go-around between these two, with BYU taking the first 3-1. Last year, the two sides split the pair of matches and wound up tying for the WCC crown. The road team was the victor with BYU winning at San Diego (3-1) first before the Toreros won in Provo later in 2017 (3-1).
#11 USC (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12) at #13 Oregon (15-7, 8-4 Pac-12) | Friday, Nov. 2 at 11 p.m. ET
- The Trojans have lost two of three after a 7-2 start in the Pac-12 and are now 5-3 on the road this season. They have an 8-6 record against teams ranked at the time of play in the VM Top 25 – tied for second in ranked wins. They’re also part of a three-team group for second in the league.
- Oregon is also a member of that group, with the winner knocking off the other – Washington State is the third team. They’ve also gone 6-2 since a two-loss week to the Arizona schools back in late September. The Ducks are 7-4 against teams ranked in the VM Top 25 at the time of play.
- These two schools met earlier in Los Angeles back on October 7. That one went Oregon’s way 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-20). The Ducks hit .296 and held the Trojans to a .200 clip behind a 9-3 block advantage. Ronika Stone (10 kills, .450, 5 digs, 3 blocks) and Taylor Borup (10 kills, .313, 11 digs) led the victory for Oregon.
#15 Michigan (18-5, 7-5 B1G) at #5 Wisconsin (16-4, 9-3 B1G) | Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. ET
- The Wolverines have lost three of four, but before that had won six of seven. They’re 6-2 on the road this season, but 0-2 against ranked opponents. They’re also 1-5 against teams currently ranked in the VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings.
- The Badgers will either be looking to bounce back from playing Minnesota or looking to avoid a let-down after a big win. They’re currently ranked sixth in the latest RPI, so if they were to beat the Golden Gophers and follow it up with a win here, they’d be looking great in their search for a top four seed.
- This will be the second match of the week for both teams, with Michigan playing at Indiana and Wisconsin (above) hosting Minnesota. The two met a few days ago on Oct. 26 when Wisconsin won 3-2 behind Dana Rettke (21 kills, .571, 9 blocks) while Carly Skjodt (27 kills, .268, 16 digs) went off for Michigan.