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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | November 5, 2019

Why Utah vs. UCLA is a must-watch this week in women's college volleyball

The biggest volleyball matches to watch in week 11

Another week in college volleyball means another week of crazy volleyball matches. Last week saw Nebraska taking down Penn State in a five-set thriller, and a few upsets. Let's see if this week can bring the same fire. 

Here are the top volleyball matchups in week 11: 

Utah vs UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 9 | 8 P.M. ET on Pac-12 plus

Both Utah and UCLA have pulled off notable upsets in recent weeks. Utah¬†downed¬†then No. 9 Washington two weeks ago. Dani Drews led the team with 20 kills on .405 hitting. They came back after dropping the first set to hit .444 in the second, .485 in the third and then¬†.591 in the third set. They fell to Washington State after that match but most recently took down Arizona State and Arizona. UCLA had a huge upset weekend as well, with wins over then-No. 15 California and then-No. 2 Stanford.¬† Junior Mac May tallied 12 kills and 10 digs in the win over Stanford, 21 kills in the California upset, and 20 kills in a win over Washington State. After that, they fell to Washington, and May¬†only tallied six kills on negative hitting in that matchup, which shows how vital her offensive performance is for this UCLA team. UCLA and Utah match up pretty evenly statistically. Both 8-4 in the Pac-12 ‚ÄĒ¬†so this should be a good matchup.¬†

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Purdue vs Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 9 | 7 P.M. ET on BTN +

Purdue joined the upset club too a few weeks back, taking down Nebraska in five sets. Penn State then faced Nebraska in a Big 10 rivalry matchup¬†and fell short to the Huskers in five. Now they will face each other.¬†Caitlyn Newton led Purdue with 17 kills, and Grace Cleveland added 23 against Nebraska. Penn State will be looking to redeem themselves this week.¬†The Nittany Lions¬†had somewhat of a slow start in the Nebraska match, but then amped it up in what ended up being a nail-biter down to the fifth set.¬†Jonni Parker¬†finished with a team high of 16 kills in the match. Tori Gorrell was consistent the whole match ‚ÄĒ¬†¬†she added 12 kills and was a part of a few vital Penn State runs.

Penn State is 10-2 in the strong Big Ten. Purdue is 7-5 and will be looking to add another upset notch to its belt. 

Here is one more matchup to keep on your radar: 

Western Kentucky vs Rice, Sunday, Nov. 10 | 2 P.M. ET on CUSAtv

This will be Rice's first top-25 matchup in program history. They have now won 12 straight matches and are undefeated in C-USA. They notched their 16th sweep of the season over UAB. Rice was catapulted into the spotlight when they beat then No. 3 Texas (now No. 1) in a five-set stunner this season. Nicole Lennon was a huge part of that win, with 23 kills and 13 digs. She has also been a huge part of their great season, and is leading the Owl offense. They have only dropped one set since their win over Texas.

Here is a photo from that historic win: 

Rice upset Texas in college volleyball

Western Kentucky is now No. 22 in the AVCA poll. They only have one loss and are 10-0 in their conference. Paige Briggs and Lauren Matthews notched double-digit kills in their latest win over UTEP. 

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