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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 18, 2019

College volleyball: Previewing Friday's 3 big matches

Here are the top 3 college volleyball matches to watch in Week 8

There are a few different teams in the mix this week for the top college volleyball matchups on Friday. Below are three that you can't miss.

1. San Diego vs. No. 9 BYU | Friday, Oct. 18 at 9 p.m. ET, BYUtv

This San Diego team is knocking on the door of the top 25 and received multiple votes in Monday's latest AVCA poll. The Toreros pushed Nebraska to five sets this season and beat USC, who was ranked at the time. They are also currently on a 12-game winning streak. In a match against Nebraska, San Diego led 2-1, and even led in the fourth frame before Nebraska, then the No. 2 team in the nation, sparked a comeback. Katie Lukes, Thana Fayad and Megan Jacobsen are a triple threat offensively. Lukes racked up 17 kills in a strong showing against Nebraska. San Diego made it to the third round in last year's NCAA tournament.

BYU has two losses this season, but both were to ranked teams. The Cougars beat Stanford this year after beating them in the 2018 regular season and losing to the Cardinal in the postseason. McKenna Miller leads the Cougars offensively. She had 18 kills and two aces in the upset over Stanford. Mary Lake leads the back court defense, with 3.54 digs per set.

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2. No. 17 Illinois vs. No. 6 Wisconsin | Friday, Oct. 18 at 9 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Illinois started out the season shaky at 2-4, but then picked up a win over Marquette and pushed Nebraska to five sets. The Illini do have a tough stretch coming up, with consecutive matches against Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, is on a hot streak. The Badgers just pulled off wins over Penn State, Nebraska and Minnesota. They have been clicking offensively and defensively, with multiple weapons including Dana Rettke, Grace Loberg, Molly Haggerty and Danielle Hart. This match, if anything, will be interesting to see Wisconsin in its prime right now.

3. No. 18 Utah vs. No. 15 California | Friday, Oct. 18 at 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

These teams are both 5-1 in the Pac-12, and Cal just earned its fourth straight Pac-12 sweep this past weekend. Utah rounded out its weekend with a win over USC.

Mima Mirkovic typically leads Cal's offense with 3.35 kills per set, but in the Golden Bears' last match, their offense was a little off, and its defense made up for it. Utah played the opposite in its last match, with a strong offensive showing. Kenzie Koerber had 18 kills and hit .432 in the USC win and Dani Drews had 17 kills. This should be a good, even matchup.

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