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Adam Hermann | NCAA.com | September 27, 2017

Florida claims No. 1 for first time in seven years

  Undefeated Florida is the No. 1 volleyball team in the country for the first time since 2010.

We’ve enjoyed yet another week of volleyball in which the teams at or near the top of the mountain were challenged and knocked down, and now the dust settles with the latest AVCA Coaches Poll

How did No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Penn State losing in straight sets in the same weekend affect the national rankings? What about Michigan State’s huge weekend? Let’s dive in.

Your new No. 1 Florida is ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time since a six-week run in 2010. And it’s for good reason: Florida is the only team in the Top 25 still undefeated at 9-0. For the most part, the Gators haven’t faced much trouble; they’ve only dropped six sets in nine matches this season. 

Their match against Michigan State that was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma may have proved to be further tests of this Florida team, but it’s not as if the Gators haven’t faced solid competition. They knocked off two Top 5 squads (Texas and Nebraska) in the first week of the season. 

Florida’s next ranked match comes Oct. 15 at home vs. No. 10 Kentucky.

How about new teams? Northern Iowa, Wichita State, and Colorado all made appearances last Monday after being unranked the previous week. 

This time around, only No. 16 Michigan State is joining the ranks after receiving votes last week. The Spartans had the best week in volleyball, toppling No. 1 Minnesota in straight sets (on the road) two days after knocking off No. 5 Wisconsin. 

Autumn Bailey is firing on all cylinders for Michigan State right now, recording back-to-back double-doubles for the Spartans in those victories, including 14 kills and 13 digs in the win over Minnesota.

What about our biggest risers and fallers? Outside of Michigan State, Nebraska made headway with their win over former No. 2 Penn State, leaping from No. 14 to No. 8, a six-spot jump. Among the teams falling were Purdue, sliding from No. 13 to No. 19 after an untimely loss to unranked Ohio State, and Oregon, who dropped from No. 8 to No. 12 after a 3-1 loss to then-No. 11 UCLA.

Here are a few matchups to watch this week:

  • No. 11 Kansas vs. No. 18 Iowa State, Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET
  • No. 6 Washington vs. No. 13 UCLA, Friday, 10:00 PM ET
  • No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 15 Utah, Friday, 8:00 PM ET
  • No. 3 Minnesota vs. No. 8 Nebraska, Friday, 7:00 PM ET

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