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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | March 25, 2021

3 big matchups ahead in week 10 of college volleyball

Must-see: These are the women's volleyball plays of the week

Two more weeks. You heard that right — only two more weeks of play in the regular season before the tournament field is chosen. I know this season is shorter, but it sure feels like we just started. 

The big matchups aren't all behind us. We still have some good stuff to look forward to. Here are the three must-watch series in college volleyball this week. 

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 6 Baylor | Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN+

Baylor Volleyball

Baylor-Texas — round four. These Big 12 foes have already played three times this season. Every single time, Texas came out victorious. The first two were in the fall season, and the Longhorns won in five sets. The last time was in the spring, and this time they called game in four sets. 

Could the fourth time be the charm for the Bears? Here is what makes it super interesting this week: both of these teams just played Rice last week. Baylor won in five sets. Texas lost in five sets. 

The loss marked the Longhorns' first loss of the season, moving them to 20-1 on the season. Logan Eggleston had 21 kills in the loss and Melanie Parra notched four service aces. Baylor came out on the opposite side of a five-setter with Rice. Yossiana Pressley notched 26 kills, a usual outing for the reigning National Player of the Year, and Lauren Harrison added 19 kills. The addition of Harrison as a threat offensively has been a really good sign for the Bears lately.  

Here's something else: the last three times the Longhorns and Bears played was in Austin; this time, the Bears will be at home in Waco. 

No. 9 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Purdue | Friday, March 26 at 2 p.m. Eastern on BTN+ and Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU

Purdue Volleyball

Welcome to another edition of "let's see what Ohio State is made of." As if they haven't already done that with two wins over Penn State and splitting the series with Nebraska. Most recently, the Buckeyes had two wins over Michigan and moved to 15-1 on the season — an impressive feat for a Big Ten team. 

Emily Londot extended her season-long streak of double-digit kills with 16 while hitting .448 in the Buckeyes' most recent sweep. Vanja Bukilić added 14 kills and Rylee Rader notched eight kills. 

Purdue also finished with two wins over Rutgers last week. Emma Ellis was a new leading scorer with 10 kills and Jael Johnson recorded a season-high .727 hitting mark with her nine kills. 

Given their No. 9 and 10 rankings, these two matches could be close. 

No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 11 Penn State | CANCELED

Wisconsin

The No. 1 team in the country was FINALLY back in action last weekend after a long three weeks off. We were almost left disappointed again when the Badgers' first matchup against the Minnesota Gophers last Thursday was postponed. But, we received a shimmer of light when we got just one matchup of the series on Sunday. It was the Badgers' first test of the season, and they passed. 

The Badgers took down the Gophers in four sets, with Dana Rettke and Grace Loberg each posting 17 kills in the win. We missed out on a lot of good matchups for the Badgers this season, and this will be their toughest remaining series. 

Penn State has swept its last four matches. But, they have an extremely tough last two weeks of the regular season: the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 5 Nebraska Huskers. In the Nittany Lions' latest win, points were spread out across the board. Freshman Annie Cate Fitzpatrick led with eight kills, Serena Gray notched seven kills, Kaitlyn Hord and Anastasiya Kudryashova tallied six. 

Note: This week's Penn State-Wisconsin volleyball matches have been canceled per a university release.

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