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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 13, 2021

College volleyball rankings: Louisville and Utah crash the latest Power 10 after big wins

College volleyball rankings: Louisville, Utah break into Power 10

If you thought last week's Power 10 rankings had big changes, buckle up. Things are heating up in college volleyball. 

My Power 10 rankings are heavily based on ranked wins, games played and the eye test. It doesn't matter where you were ranked a week prior, as we are at the point in the season where it is not just incremental moves each week for teams. Games are played for a reason and the results should be reflected in rankings. 

Here are my latest Power 10 rankings following Week 3 of college volleyball: 

1. Texas (1)

Texas Volleyball

The Longhorns remain on top of my Power 10 rankings, just as they started out in the preseason rankings. This team earned its spot on top after making it to the title game last season, returning everyone, and starting out this year undefeated. In their latest win, Skylar Fields led with 18 kills followed by Logan Eggleston's 15 and Brionne Butler's 12. As always, a dangerous, experienced group. 

 2. Wisconsin (2)

The Badgers just took down their second top-10 opponent of the season with a four-set win over then-No. 8 Kentucky. Dana Rettke led with 16 kills and Devyn Robinson contributed 14. As a team, the Badgers hit .305 while holding Kentucky to a .133 hitting percentage. Rettke padded their numbers with a .583 hitting percentage. 

Texas and Wisconsin are on a pedestal right now. They will stay unless dethroned. 

3. Pittsburgh (4) 

Pitt VB

Pitt moved to 8-0 on the season and picked up yet another ranked win over then-No. 12 BYU.  They are playing ranked teams and beating them. In the win over BYU, Chinaza Ndee had a match-high 17 kills on .359 hitting and added two blocks, and Kayla Lund had 15 kills, two service aces and nine digs. This team is undefeated and has four ranked wins. That warrants the No. 3 spot. 

4. Ohio State (5)

The Buckeyes are also undefeated on the season, sporting an 8-0 record with one big win over Washington — a semifinal team from last season. They have played less ranked opponents than Pitt, but are undefeated nonetheless with a top-five win. As for their other opponents, they are sweeping them all. Emily Londot and Gabby Gonzales are leading this group offensively, and this young team is looking seasoned and playing well. 

5. Louisville (NR)

louisville

The Cardinals just took on its first ranked opponent this season, then No. 6 Purdue, and swept them. They have been knocking on the door for weeks and now deserve it. Anna DeBeer and Anna Stevenson led the Cards offensively in the win with 12 and 11 kills apiece. 

Like I said earlier, it doesn't matter where you were ranked last week. Games are played for a reason and the rankings should reflect it. Louisville is now 8-0 with a top-10 win — that warrants a place in the top 10. 

6. Washington (9) 

Washington is now 5-1 on the season, with just one loss to my No. 4 team, Ohio State. The Huskies played in a tournament last week and Ella May Powell had 40 assists and 16 digs and tied her career-high with five aces. This is a team that made it to the national semifinals last season and returns most of their core. This squad has been developing and getting better match after match, especially following the loss to Ohio State. 

7. Utah (NR) 

Utah volleyball

Utah enters my Power 10 at No. 7 after taking down then-No. 3 Nebraska in a five-set reverse sweep thriller at the Devaney Center. Playing big matches and winning them matters. It might have been a five-set win, but they did it on the road in a hostile environment. Dani Drews notched 27 kills and Zoe Weatherington had 17 in the win. This is now a 7-0 undefeated team with a top-three win. I don’t care if they were No. 20 last week, that resume deserves a top-10 spot, and they proved it on the court. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be above Nebraska with the head-to-head advantage, considering the Huskers' biggest win on the season so far is over then-No. 19 Creighton. 

8. Nebraska (3)

Nebraska falls to No. 8 with the loss to Utah. The Huskers are now 6-1 on the year. They are still playing without star player Lauren Stivrins, but I can’t rank a team based on the future and a possible Stivrins return. But don't worry, it was still a five-set loss and this is still an incredibly good team. The Huskers are a force to be reckoned with when everything is clicking with an incredibly dangerous offense. 

AVCA RANKINGS: Latest AVCA top 25 poll

9. Purdue (8)

Purdue VB

Purdue drops to No. 9 after getting swept by Louisville last week. They are now 5-1 on the season with one ranked win over then-No. 25 Washington State. The Louisville match was its first loss of the season and to a strong team. The Boilermakers struggled with the Cardinals block and recorded a season-high 18 errors on .124 hitting. But, I hope to see improvement with this team, and they have just one more week until Big Ten play begins. 

10. Stanford (10)

Stanford remains at No. 10 with a 4-2 record. They have two losses to Texas and Minnesota, tough teams, and now another ranked win over Penn State. I give huge kudos to Stanford, Baylor and Minnesota for playing such tough non-conference schedules. Baylor and Minnesota are 3-3 though — the Bears have losses to Tennessee, Pitt and Wisconsin but are on the rise after two wins over Florida. The Gophers have losses to Texas, Baylor and Florida but are also on the rise with wins over Oregon and Stanford. Look out for them. 

Florida drops out after back-to-back losses to Baylor. Kentucky also falls out after notching its second loss of the season without any top 10 wins. I shuffled in Utah and Louisville, undefeated teams with top 10 victories. 

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