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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | February 8, 2021

College volleyball Rankings: Wisconsin leads 1st regular-season Power 10

College volleyball rankings: Utah is a legit Pac-12 threat, Stanford falls from latest Power 10

There are now three weeks of college volleyball in the books and it is time for my first Power 10 rankings of the regular season. Again, these differ from the AVCA poll rankings, and will have changes based on my last preseason Power 10. Let's do it!

Here are my Power 10 women's college volleyball rankings (AVCA rankings in parentheses):

1. Wisconsin (1 in the AVCA)

The Badgers remain the top team in the country. You can't deny that they have been absolutely dominant so far this season, only dropping one set. They have a wealth of All-Americans, but their new players have been looking great as well. Devyn Robinson has been a consistent contributor offensively and Lauren Barnes has performed well in her new role as libero. 

2. Texas (2)

The Longhorns keep their No. 2 spot based on their undefeated fall season. The Big 12 has yet to resume play in the spring. 

TEXAS VOLLEYBALL: Jerritt Elliott builds his ultimate dream player

3. Nebraska (4) 

Nebraska stays as my No. 3 team and here is why. Similarly to what I said in my preseason rankings, they return everyone. But now, we got to see them play. I had hoped that last year's young group would be better seasoned this go-around, and they certainly are. We knew Lauren Stivrins and Lexi Sun were going to be big-time performers, and you might have even guessed that Madi Kubik would step up this year based on her freshman debut in 2019, but there are other names to take note of too. Riley Zuhn has been unbelievable lately. The sophomore set a new career-high in kills last week with 11. I am definitely excited to see this team against top-tier Big Ten teams. 

4. Utah (7) 

I still have Utah all the way up at four. Honestly, they could even be a three if you ask me. I think this team is a legitimate force to be reckoned with not only in the Pac-12, but in the entire country. Dani Drews put up impressive numbers again last weekend with 51 kills on .358 hitting. 

5. Minnesota (5)

The Gophers have moved up to five since my first preseason rankings. I had a feeling they might. They just capped off the weekend with two five-set wins over Purdue, a pretty strong team that had its star, Grace Cleveland, back on the court for the first time this season. Stephanie Samedy was phenomenal in the series. She posted 28 kills in the first match and then 20 again in the second and a double-double. She is also supported by a standout freshman in Taylor Landfair, who has proved to be premiere talent in college volleyball. Two big series are coming up against Penn State and Nebraska for the Gophers, so stay tuned for that.

6. Kentucky (3)

I think that Minnesota and Kentucky are interchangeable for the five and six spot. But, I gave the Gophers the edge based on their 2019 semifinal appearance and wins over a top-15 team. Kentucky, though, has also displayed some really good volleyball from both its upperclassman and freshmen. The Wildcats sport two Skinners, (or three if you count their non-related coach), senior Avery Skinner and freshman Madi Skinner. Both have been really great in the spring. Avery just posted 17 kills in the Wildcats' last win, pushing them to an impressive 10-0 record.

KENTUCKY: Coach Craig Skinner talks about his Wildcat team

7. Baylor (6)

The Bears are at No. 7 in my Power 10 rankings based on their fall season. The Big 12 has yet to resume play in the spring. 

8. Penn State (8)

Penn State does not move much in my Power 10 this week since the Nittany Lions have only played one series so far this year. They do have Minnesota coming up, though. 

9. Florida (9)

The Gators move into my Power 10. I was excited to see them against Missouri, but the series was postponed. I am still really liking the looks of this team though with T'ara Ceaser joining Thayer Hall offensively. 

10. Washington (10)

Washington remains my No. 10 team. I know they were swept by Arizona State in the first matchup of the season, a team that is now 1-5. But, they had a really balanced offensive performance last weekend, and there are not a lot of teams below them that I could justify placing above the Huskies. 

The reigning national champions, Stanford, dropped out of my Power 10 completely after two losses to Arizona last weekend. This is the Cardinal's first 0-2 start to a season since 1983. They did only have eight players eligible though, and there is still a whole lot of season left to go. 

 

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