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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | February 16, 2021

College volleyball rankings: Minnesota rises and Purdue enters latest Power 10

College volleyball rankings: Minnesota moves up to No. 4 in latest Power 10

Week 4 in college volleyball saw some top-10 matchups that were a long time coming — finally! So of course, with that, comes a few changes to my Power 10 rankings ahead of Week 5. 

Here is the full breakdown of my latest Power 10 rankings for college volleyball (my previous rankings in parentheses):

1. Wisconsin (1)

Devyn Robinson

The Badgers have moved to 8-0. Their two biggest wins are still over Purdue in the opening weekend, but they haven't dropped one set in the last two weeks. I have been most impressed by the contributions of Devyn Robinson, a freshman middle blocker. As if Dana Rettke, Grace Loberg and Molly Haggerty weren't enough, now you see Robinson's name heading the stat lines match after match. 

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. 

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3. Nebraska (3) 

My top three teams remain the same and the Huskers keep their No. 3 spot after moving to 6-0 this past weekend. I am loving the balance on this team with Lauren Stivrins, Lexi Sun, Madi Kubik, Jazz Sweet, Riley Zuhn and Nicklin Hames at setter. All of them can put points on the board. They will face the first big test this weekend against Minnesota. 

4. Minnesota (5) 

Regan Pittman

The Gophers move up one spot in the Power 10. They have the most quality wins out of any team on this list: two over Purdue, and now they just powered through No. 8 Penn State twice. Once in four sets and once in five. I mention Stephanie Samedy week after week, but rightfully so. On Saturday, she had a third straight outing of 20-plus kills with 23. On Sunday, she put up 19 kills, right behind freshman phenom Taylor Landfair's career high 22 kills. CC McGraw has continued to be a consistent strength in the back court and this team looks really good. Nebraska this week means a No. 3 vs. No. 4 matchup in my books. 

5. Utah (4)

The Utes move down a spot but only because Minnesota needed to move up. I still think this Dani Drews led crew is a top contender this season. They were pushed to five sets this past weekend by USC, but still came out with two wins on the weekend and moved to 8-0.

6. Kentucky (6)

Kentucky VB

Kentucky stays at No. 6 in my Power 10. The Wildcats have been perfect since November... they have swept every opponent. That is impressive no matter what, but I do wish I could see them out of conference. Alli Stumler and Avery Skinner have been leading Kentucky offensively. 

7. Baylor (7)

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

8. Penn State (8)

The Nittany Lions just dropped back-to-back matches to Minnesota, but that is my No. 4 team and a strong one at that. They still pushed the Gophers to five sets on Sunday behind 21 kills from Jonni Parker. They remain my No. 8 team. 

9. Florida (9)

Florida remains at nine in the Power 10 after two wins over LSU, and again, strong performances from T'ara Ceaser. She led the Gators with 20 kills in their last match and Thayer Hall was right up there with her with 19 kills — a little two-headed monster over at Florida. What I am super excited for is the Florida vs. Kentucky matchup. There's still a long ways to go until then though.

10. Purdue (NR)

Grace Cleveland

Lastly, a curveball. I am putting Purdue into my top 10. Yes, a 4-4 team. Why? Well they pulled off two wins over ranked Michigan last week, and I think they deserve more credit for pushing Minnesota to five sets twice. That is more than Penn State was able to do against Minnesota last weekend and they are up at No. 8. Their other two losses were to No. 1 Wisconsin, a powerhouse team, in opening weekend and without Grace Cleveland, who notched 19 kills on .587 hitting on Sunday. I think they deserve the No. 10 spot. 

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