The Division I women’s volleyball nonconference season is finished and the real season begins now for teams with NCAA tournament aspirations. There were a few top-10 matchups, but the week was fairly chalk across the country.
Here are five takeaways from the new coaches poll.
Stanford beats Texas twice, loses first-place votes
It’s clear BYU and Stanford are the top two teams in the country right now. And it appears BYU is seen as the clear top team. Even with two wins against No. 3 Texas at home and on the road, the Stanford Cardinal lost four first-place votes to BYU. The Cardinal are 54 points behind the Cougars and a total 123 points in front of new No. 3 Nebraska. These two teams look like the clear favorites to be two of the four teams in Minneapolis in December.
Texas stays in top 5
The Texas Longhorns are 5-3 entering conference play, but the sky isn’t falling in Austin. Sure, the Longhorns have already lost more games in the regular season than they had all last year, but their losses have come to No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 2 Stanford, which it dropped both games to this week. They’re certainly one of the top teams in the country and this week’s poll reflects that despite two straight losses.
Top 10 dominance
Through the first four weekends of the seasons, the top-10 teams are a collective 13-3 against teams ranked 11-25. No. 10 Creighton is nearly 200 points behind No. 9 Pittsburgh and is only 11 points ahead of No. 11 Florida. With conference play beginning now, the top championship contenders are already appearing at the top of the AVCA poll.
Big Ten have three of five teams at least 10-0
Anyone who watches volleyball knows the pedigree of Nebraska, Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin, but Illinois, Purdue and Michigan are the only teams in the conference that remain undefeated. The Wolverines have yet to play a ranked team, and Purdue has just one win against the current top 25, but Illinois has wins against No. 13 Washington and No. 10 Creighton. One of those team will fall with Purdue and Illinois playing Friday. Michigan travels to Nebraska the same day.
San Diego sticks around
The Toreros lost two of three this weekend to drop to 3-6 this season, but remain in the top 25 entering WCC play. San Diego is 0-4 against top 25 teams, so another strong WCC season might be needed to make the NCAA tournament. The Toreros first of two conference matchups against BYU is on Oct. 5.
Other notable takeaways:
The Big Ten and Pac 12 are tied for the most teams in the top 25 with seven. Michigan State received the most votes for teams outside the top 25. Since a season opening loss, the Spartans have rattled off 12 straight wins. A win at Nebraska on Sunday could put the Spartans back into the rankings.