Wisconsin receives ranking for first time since 2008, but Southern Cal takes No. 1
MADISON, Wis. -- For the first time since 2008, Wisconsin is ranked in the top 25 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches poll. The Badgers receive 142 points to enter the poll at No. 25, the AVCA announced Monday.
“We don’t focus a whole lot on the rankings,” first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “We want to focus on how we play and getting better from week to week. It we do that, then we’re going to win our share of matches and the rankings will come. We have a long ways to go this season and a lot of matches to be played. We have to get a whole lot better and that’s where our energies are right now.”
The last time Wisconsin was ranked among the top-25 teams in the country was Oct. 27, 2008, when the team was 25th. The Badgers entered the 2008 season ranked 13th but dropped out of the poll by the end of the year.
Southern California moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 for the first time since Nov. 21, 2011 and is the 39th time the Trojans have occupied the top spot. Both of last week's top two teams, No. 1 Penn State and No. 2 Stanford, lost this past weekend and slid down the poll.
The Big Ten Conference dominates the poll with nine teams in the top 25. Penn State (3-1) drops to third after spending last week at No. 1. Minnesota (7-0) and Michigan (5-0) remain at fourth and seventh, respectively, for the second consecutive week. Nebraska (4-1) moves up one spot to 12th while Ohio State (6-0) takes a 10-position jump to 13th. Illinois (3-2) jumps up four spots to 18th while Purdue (3-2) stays at No. 22.
“Nine teams ranked in the top 25, that’s crazy,” Sheffield said. “That shows how strong this conference is in a snapshot. It’s a long season and it would be nice if nine teams are ranked in the top 25 at the end of the season.”