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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 23, 2021

Here are the must-watch matches in college volleyball for Week 5

Must-watch matches in Week 5 of college volleyball

Conference play is here after a really exciting start to the college volleyball season. Per usual, we took a look at the top matchups that you won't want to miss this week.

No. 3 Ohio State at No. 7 Purdue | Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on BTN

Ohio State vs Purdue

What a great ranked matchup for this week, Purdue has just one loss on the season — and it was to a top-5 team in Louisville and the Buckeyes are undefeated facing their second and third ranked teams this weekend. 

Ohio State has a really impressive team this year with Mac Podraza, Emily Londot, and Kylie Murr in the backcourt. Londot leads the Buckeyes offensively with 3.68 kills per set. They erupted last season as a young team with some big-time upsets and seem to be continuing the trend this year. But, Big Ten play is the biggest test of all.

With Purdue, there is Grace Cleveland and Caitlin Newton as the leading scorers and Jena Otec leading the backcourt defense. They have an experienced and well-rounded roster with veteran players. Don’t miss it. 

No. 3 Ohio State at No. 20 Penn State | Sunday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. ET on BTN

OSU vs Penn State

The No. 3 Buckeyes have two ranked matchups this week, and Penn State will be yet another challenge for this group. Purdue and Penn State are the toughest opponents this season besides its one win over Washington earlier in the season. The Nittany Lions do have three losses on the season, but to really strong teams: Georgia Tech, Oregon and Stanford.

This is a well-coached team under Russ Rose that is historically successful. They’ve got great players with Jonni Parker and Kaitlyn Hord, and can be extremely competitive for Ohio State. They pushed a strong Stanford team to five sets recently behind a 21 kill performance from Parker and balanced offense with Parker, Erica Pritchard, Hord and Adanna Rollins all in double digit kills. 

No. 6 Washington vs. No. 15 Utah | Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 11 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Washington vs Utah Volleyball

Utah defeated Washington in five-set thriller (22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18, 16-14) 

I am really looking forward to this matchup. Despite the difference in rankings, I think it could be a tight game. Utah pulled off a big upset over Nebraska two weeks ago, but now the Utes are coming off of back-to-back losses to Boise State and BYU. Washington has one loss on the season to Ohio State, but this will be its first big test since the loss to the Buckeyes. 

Claire Hoffman leads the Huskies with four kills per set, that will be on the other side of the net of Dani Drews who notches 4.79 kills per set, so two really efficient scorers. We will get to see the Huskies looking to get its first win over a highly ranked program this season, and Utah looking for redemption.

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