We are now in the midst of week seven in college volleyball and I've got my latest Power 10 rankings for you. The top four remain the same this week because of Covid-19 related postponements, but the Big 12 is back in the swing of things and we have some movement in the lower half of my top 10.
Here's the full breakdown of my Power 10, with last week's rankings in parentheses:
1. Wisconsin (1)
I am not sure anything could have been more disappointing than the postponement of the highly anticipated top-five matchup between Wisconsin and Nebraska. This was going to be the toughest battle yet for the No. 1 ranked Badgers and against a Big Ten foe. However, safety comes first and Wisconsin paused all activities for two weeks due to Covid-19 tracing — meaning this weekend's matches against Iowa are postponed as well. They still remain on top though, until they either lose their spot or someone else rightfully takes it from under them.
2. Texas (2)
The Longhorns are back. They walked away with two sweeps over Oklahoma this past weekend in non-conference play. Logan Eggleston led all hitters with 16 kills the first match and 15 the next. Melanie Parra was a new name at the top of the stat leaderboard, as if they needed any more weapons. Parra is a freshman on the roster, and she trailed right behind Eggleston in both of the matchups with 10 kills both games. Lucky for us all, Texas plays Baylor this Wednesday.
3. Nebraska (3)
The Huskers were also idle due to the postponement of the Wisconsin series this past weekend, so they remain in their No. 3 spot from last week. They will pick up play this weekend with a series against Illinois.
4. Minnesota (4)
Similar story here. The Gophers were also handed postponements last weekend. They will face Ohio State this weekend.
5. Kentucky (6)
The Wildcats have actually been idle for the past two weeks. However, they move up to the No. 5 spot. With Utah falling out of this place, I think that Kentucky is the most deserving of moving up, considering they are now 12-0. LSU and Ole Miss are up next for Kentucky before they face off against SEC foe and a fellow top-10 team Florida.
6. Baylor (7)
Baylor was back on the court this past weekend as well, its first match ended a clean sweep over North Texas and then the Bears endured a five-set thriller over Pepperdine in just the second match back after over three months off. If they would have beaten Pepperdine by a slightly larger margin, it most likely would have been reason to move them up to five. For now, they will stay here.
Pepperdine is a strong team though that had swept BYU once earlier in the same week, splitting the series with them. Pepperdine is now 25 in the latest AVCA poll. A win over this team was a good sign for the Bears, and they showed some great offensive balance. Yossiana Pressley led the charge of course with 17 kills, but Lauren Harrison and Marieke Van Der Mark each contributed 15 and 11 kills, respectively.
7. Washington (10)
The Huskies are the biggest mover in this week's Power 10, moving up three spots to No. 7. This is very well deserved, considering they took down a strong Utah team not once, but twice last weekend. With that, they took the lead of the Pac-12 and absolutely proved themselves. It really looks like this team is figuring this thing out, and at a great time in the season too. It is hard to beat a good team twice, but in the second match of the weekend, the Huskies had four players with double-digit kills: Claire Hoffman (16), Samantha Drechsel (13), Marin Grote (11) and Madi Endsley (11). A really big week and statement for the Huskies.
8. Florida (8)
Florida remains at No. 8 in this week's rankings after two clean and easy sweeps over Tennessee last weekend. They are looking more and more impressive each week.. T'ara Ceaser and Thayer Hall are still doubling up to be a scary duo on offense. Ceaser just seems to be a HUGE difference on the court from last year to this year. Her presence makes the team a much bigger threat, and much more balanced. I can't even wait for the Kentucky matchup.
9. Utah (5)
The Utes suffer the largest drop in the rankings this week after two big losses to Washington, a sweep in the first match and a 3-1 loss in the second. This was by far the toughest matchup of the season for Utah, now that it is out of the way I am interested to see how they bounce back and adjust.
10. Purdue (9)
The only reason Purdue has moved down a spot is because of Washington rightfully moving up. They finished last weekend with two sweeps, but hey, they’ve got a ranked Penn State this week. If you asked me who my No. 11 team is, it would be Penn State. So that's a No. 10 vs. 11 matchup. Caitlyn Newton and Grace Cleveland are still leading the Boilermakers offensively match after match, and Jael Johnson and Taylor Trammel are consistent contributors as well.