There were seven ranked matchups in the first official week of conference season for the Division I women’s volleyball season, including a matchups of undefeated teams. Along with those exciting matchups, it was a rough week for a blue-blood program.
Here are five takeaways from the new coaches poll.
Full AVCA coaches top 25 poll:
BYU, Illinois and Pittsburgh move up
As the only undefeated teams left, BYU, Illinois and Pittsburgh got a boost in the new rankings with the Illini and Panthers moving up a spot each and the Cougars gaining another first-place vote at the No. 1 spot for the third straight week. The Illini beat No. 16 Purdue, which was previously undefeated, on the road and the Panthers won two games against Virginia at home and at Virginia Tech.
Upset loss drops Nittany Lions
Russ Rose knew there would be learning curves ahead for a team with seven freshman on its roster and that class’ first dose of conference play might be the prime example of that development. The Nittany Lions lost in straight sets to a Minnesota Golden Gophers team that is very much a national title contender, then lost on Sunday in four sets at unranked Ohio State. The Nittany Lions fell five spots to No. 9, and it doesn’t get any easier with road games at No. 17 Michigan and Michigan State, which received top-25 votes despite two opening conference losses.
Nine Pac-12 teams
Colorado and Arizona jumped into this week’s AVCA top 25, giving the Pac-12 a conference-high nine teams. The next closest conference is the Big Ten with seven. However, the Pac-12 has just one team in the top 10 — No. 2 Stanford — while the Big Ten has five top-10 teams.
Baylor continues to fall
The Baylor Bears were once ranked as high as No. 12 this season and were poised to be in the top 10 with a win against Wisconsin. But the Bears were upset by UT-Rio Grande Valley in the next game and haven’t completely recovered, now down to No. 21 in the country after losing to unranked Kansas State. But Baylor still has one of the best duos of hitters in the country with Yossiana Pressley and Shelly Fanning and they have a big opportunity at No. 4 Texas on Wednesday.
Louisville on cusp of being ranked
The Louisville Cardinals received 40 more votes from last week following two road wins against NC State and North Carolina. With another perfect week at Georgia Tech and at Clemson, the Cardinals might have a number next to its name.
Other notable takeaways:
Utah dropped two spots after a loss to UCLA, and the Bruins dropped a spot following a loss to the USC Trojans, which jumped a spot into a tie with Washington. The Purdue Boilermakers didn’t move after a loss to Illinois, however. And Michigan and Marquette even rose a spot despite losses to Nebraska and Creighton, respectively.