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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 18, 2021

These are the top 3 college volleyball matchups to watch in Week 4

Must-watch matches in Week 4 of college volleyball

College volleyball has been upset galore as of late. Utah took down then-No. 3 Nebraska in four sets, but then was upset by Boise State shortly after. Louisville took down Purdue, Stanford took down Nebraska ... things have been crazy during non-conference play. 

This week, we've got more to look forward to. Conference play is looming, but you won't want to miss these matchups: 

No. 15 BYU sweeps No. 10 Utah

BYU came out swinging against No. 10 Utah Thursday night in Salt Lake City and did not look back. After taking the first two sets, edging the Utes 25-23 in sets one and two, the Cougars dominated the third winning 25-16. BYU was led by Kenzie Koeber who ended the match with 14 kills. Koerber had help from Kennedy Eschenberg who finished the match with 12 kills and a .478 hitting percentage. 

The Cougars are now 9-1 on the season and will take on Utah Valley next on Saturday, September 18. Utah is now 7-2 with a date against Washington coming up next on Wednesday, September 22. 

Preview

This might not be a top-10 matchup, but it is extremely interesting for more than one reason. Utah registered a huge upset over then-No.3 Nebraska, moving to 7-0 on the season, then lost to Boise State on Monday. BYU, on the other hand, has just one loss on the season, too — falling to highly ranked Pitt. 

On top of that, former Utah star Kenzie Koerber is suited up in BYU blue this year, and will be facing her former teammates for the very first time. Koerber is currently leading the scoring effort for the Cougars. 

Dani Drews, of course, leads the Utes offensively, as she has for years. So far this year she is averaging five kills per set. That is sixth in the nation. The Utes are coming off of a surprising loss, looking for redemption, and the Cougars are looking for their first ranked win of the season. BYU holds a 73-29 all-time record over Utah. However, when the teams most recently met in December 2019, Utah came out on top. 

VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS: Louisville, Utah climb in latest Power 10 

No. 5 Louisville sweeps No. 6 Nebraska

Michella Chester watched and tracked the match as it happened, as the Cardinals beat the Huskers in three sets on the road. Catch up here.

Preview

Louisville just burst on the scene with a top-10 sweep over Purdue last week, hence the top-5 ranking. Now the Cardinals have two huge tests this week with Kentucky and Nebraska. 

The Cardinals have a loaded non-conference schedule, especially this week, as they look to prove themselves as a national power. What better way to do it than facing the reigning national champs and a historically dominant volleyball team in Nebraska? In 2019, Louisville upset No. 2 Texas, knocking them out of the NCAA tournament. Ever since then, this program has been on the rise. Even still, it came as a surprise when a team outside the top-10 swept then-No. 6 Purdue last week. Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise anymore for this Cardinals team. 

The Huskers though, are coming off of back-to-back losses to Utah and Stanford. They went with a different starting lineup against the Cardinal and stuck with it, with four freshmen starting and Lindsay Krause and Ally Batenhorst at the pins. We saw less of Madi Kubik and Lexi Sun, and they are still missing Lauren Stivrins, so it is a big question mark for us all as to what players John Cook will go with on Saturday. 

A big game though for a now two-loss Husker team against a top-5 opponent in Louisville. My guess is as best as anyone else's, but I assume they won't want to give up another loss this season because they are shuffling around players. 

No. 16 Stanford vs. No. 8 Kentucky | 1 p.m. Sunday Sept. 19 on SEC Network

Stanford Volleyball

First of all, the Stanford Cardinal have been the No. 10 team in my Power 10 rankings for the past two weeks. I think they are a force to be reckoned with this season as they maneuver through their non conference loaded schedule. They have had the talent in the gym, but struggled last season with COVID-19 restrictions, cancellations, and little time to develop their new team following the loss of their core. Now, they just upset Nebraska in four sets and have Kentucky as the final test before conference play. 

Caitie Baird led with 21 kills and 2 aces in the win over Nebraska, and freshman Sami Francis, who was out for the first six matches, made her collegiate debut — Kevin Hambly was very excited for that — and she did not disappoint with 13 kills and three blocks. 

The Wildcats already have two losses to Creighton and Wisconsin, but a tough week with Louisville and Stanford in the same week. In their most recent win over Marquette, Madi Skinner led with 16 kills followed by Alli Stumler with 10. 

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