The 2018 season is finally here and the action kicks off today. Things start out with a bang too, as there are seven matchups that feature two top 25 opponents. Additionally, four more have ranked teams against those who are on the cusp.
Top 25 versus Top 25 Matches:
#8 Kentucky vs. #18 Creighton – 1:30 p.m. ET
- Taking place in Los Angeles, this is one of their other most loaded tournaments of the weekend to go with the VERT Challenge. The BlueJays actually won last year’s matchup in straight sets – although it came in Omaha.
#6 Texas vs. #13 Oregon – 4:30 p.m. ET
- To open up the VERT Challenge, Texas and Oregon meet in a Big 12-Pac-12 matchup. The Longhorns will sport a couple of new front-line players and a libero to what should be an elite offense, while Oregon has all kinds of talent in different classes commencing on this season.
#7 Florida at #3 Nebraska – 7 p.m. ET
- We’ve got a National Championship rematch on night one played in Lincoln, Nebraska – couldn’t ask for anything better. Both teams lose nationally awarded seniors who also were noted for their leadership, but the young talent will be off the charts in this match.
#25 Cal Poly at #17 Pittsburgh – 7 p.m. ET
- The Mustangs have a chance to grab an early win that they might need if they want a chance at hosting down the end of the season. For Pittsburgh it’s a chance to carry the ACC banner as all their starters return to a team with high hopes in 2018.
#20 Northern Iowa vs. #18 Creighton – 8 p.m. ET
- The second match for Creighton of the day features a pair of mid-major darlings. Both teams lost their awarded setters, so it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on that position for both teams.
#21 San Diego at #14 Washington – 10 p.m. ET
- These teams will actually meet again tomorrow as well. It’s an opportunity for the Torreros to emerge again as a mid-major while Washington can show if their new crop of potential stars is ready to go right away in 2018.
#8 Kentucky at #10 USC – 10:30 p.m. ET
- Not only do the Wildcats have to face a top-20 opponent, but they get two matches in the same day with the second on the road against #10 USC. This will be a good barometer for both teams who have National Player of the Year candidates in Leah Edmond (UK) and Khalia Lanier (USC) on the pin.
Ranked versus On the Cusp:
RV(#33) North Carolina vs. #4 Wisconsin – 5:30 p.m. ET
RV(#30) Florida State at #2 Minnesota – 8 p.m. ET
RV(#32) LSU at #16 Baylor – 8 p.m. ET
#11 Illinois at RV(#34) Colorado State – 9 p.m. ET