The 2020-21 volleyball season is picking up some steam. Here are the top volleyball series to watch out for week 3.
No. 6 Minnesota vs. No. 13 Purdue | Friday, Feb. 5th at 7 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network and Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network Plus
Let's start over in the Big Ten with our first ranked matchup to watch this weekend. Minnesota has a tough stretch of ranked matchups coming up, including this weekend against No. 13 Purdue, then the Gophers face No. 9 Penn State and No. 4 Nebraska. We are here for it. They lost a few key players from last season, but they have been looking oh so good. They have yet to drop a set this season and have displayed some really good, new talent. Taylor Landfair, freshman outside hitter, was the ranked as the No. 1 recruit by Prep Volleyball and Volleyball Magazine in 2020. In the Gophers' last win, she led the team with 11 kills on .500 hitting. Landfair was named Big Ten Freshman of the week as well.
Purdue started off the season with two losses to No. 1 Wisconsin, but finished last weekend with a pair of sweeps over Iowa. They have been playing without star outside hitter Grace Cleveland. But a few other players have been really stepping up. Junior Jael Johnson was named Big Ten Player of the Week after posting a .684 hitting percentage last Saturday. That is the best mark by a Big Ten player this season. Freshman Taylor Trammel also stood out last Friday with eight of the Boilermakers' 10 blocks. Who knows...maybe this team is getting into a groove.
No. 16 Missouri vs. No. 10 Florida | Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern on SEC Network and Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern on SEC Network Plus
Our next ranked matchup to watch this weekend is over in the SEC with Florida vs. Missouri. The Gators debuted a new offensive weapon this fall in T'ara Ceasar, who redshirted the 2019 season due to SEC transfer rules. She is leading the team this fall and spring with 132 kills and 4.53 points per set. In the Gators' first two matches this spring against Ole Miss last weekend, she led the team with 11 and 12 kills. Ceasar is a really nice addition to the Gators offense with Thayer Hall.
Missouri lost just two matches in the fall to No. 3 Kentucky, and the Tigers are coming off of two five-set wins last weekend over LSU. Kylie Deberg has been leading the group. She is coming off of a record-breaking 2019 season for Missouri and finished the year as an AVCA Second-team All-American. I think this Florida-Missouri matchup will be an offensive battle.
Don't miss out on those matches, and keep an eye out for the first Creighton-Marquette rivalry matchup in the Big East this weekend.