DIVISION I (All times ET)

Oct. 21 -- 10 p.m.: No. 2 Cal Golden Bears at Arizona State Sun Devils


Oct. 21 -- 10 p.m.: No. 7 Washington Huskies at Oregon State Beavers


Oct. 22 -- 7 p.m.: No. 22 Michigan Wolverines at No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions


Oct. 22 -- 8 p.m.: No. 1 Illinois Fighting Illini at No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers


Colleen Ward
Outside Hitter

Key Notes: Ward, a transfer from Florida, had 22 kills and hit .538 as the top-ranked Illini survived a five-set battle with Michigan State on Saturday night. "Colleen was unstoppable," Illinois head coach Kevin Hambly said. "The thing I was happiest about was that a lot of those kills were out of the system. She made some great decisions and just went for it. She only had one error and that was on a block. That's pretty outstanding."

Other Players to Watch this Weekend:  Illinois' Erin Johnson (Junior, Middle Blocker), UCLA's Lainey Gera (Senior, Libero), Washington's Krista Vansant (Freshman, Outside Hitter), Penn State's Deja McClendon (Sophomore, Outside Hitter), USC's Katie Fuller (Junior, Outside Hitter), Stanford's Karissa Cook (Junior, Setter).


• The first RPI of the season came out earlier this week. While Illinois at No. 1 was hardly a surprise, the cluster of Big Ten schools in the top 20 may have been. In all, the Big Ten has three of the top four schools (Nebraska is No. 2 and Minnesota is No. 4) and six schools in all in the top 20 (Michigan is No. 14, Purdue is at 15 and Penn State sit at 19). By comparision, the Pac 12 and the SEC each have three in the top 20.

• The matchup of the week pits top-ranked Illinois against fourth-ranked Nebraska on Saturday night. Before that, however, both teams are in action Wednesday night. The Illini travel to Northwestern and Nebraska plays host to Iowa.

• Freshman Christina Higgins continues to be a major factor on the California offense. Last weekend, she averaged 2.71 kills per set in wins against Washington and Washington State, earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.