Predictions are always fun, especially with the tournament quickly approaching. We're closing in on the Division I Women's Volleyball Committee's top 10 reveal on Oct. 31, and we're a little over a month away from Selections on Nov. 28.
So, let's take a look at some predictions for the rest of the 2021 college volleyball season:
1. Dana Rettke will finish the season leading the nation in hitting percentage
Wisconsin's Rettke has been leading the nation all season long in hitting percentage, until recently when she fell to No. 4 at .488. Lauren Matthews currently leads at Western Kentucky with a .493 hitting efficiency. I predict that Rettke will finish out the season on top.
2. At least one of the top-10 teams right now will not end up being seeded in the top 16 for the NCAA tournament
We've seen it happen before and we will see it happen again. It is very likely that the top 10-16 teams you expect to be seeded will not be the case come selections.
3. One team will remain undefeated at the end of the season
Currently, there are two — Texas and Louisville. The undefeated Longhorns have Baylor left on their schedule and the Cardinals still have to face No. 4 Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech. I predict there will be just one remaining undefeated team in the nation come the end of the season, and it will be because Louisville lost to Pitt or Texas lost to Baylor.
BEST OF THE BEST: We're tracking all remaining unbeaten women's college volleyball teams
4. Stanford will make a return to the NCAA tournament — and could be seeded
Last season was the first time in an insane amount of years that Stanford did not make an NCAA tournament appearance. I predict not only will they be back in this year, but they might be seeded as well.
5. An all-time NCAA stats record will be broken
Sounds crazy, but maybe not so much when you realize a lot of these players are utilizing an extra year of eligibility. Valparaiso's libero Rylee Cookerly is currently second all-time in career digs. There is still a lot of season left to play.
6. Tennessee will be a top-16 seed
7. Sydney Hilley (Wisconsin) and Mac Podraza (Ohio State) will be first-team All American setters
8. Dana Rettke, Logan Eggleston, Stephanie Samedy, Yossiana Pressley and Dani Drews will be repeat first-team All Americans
There is not going to be a ton of room for new first teamers this year.
9. 7 Big Ten teams will be given top-16 national seeds for the tournament
That is a big number and a bold prediction. I think the Big Ten's strength of schedule will give them a boost for the committee.
10. A team from the ACC will make it to the national semifinals
Both Pitt and Louisville make compelling cases to make deep runs for the ACC.
11. Washington State and Western Kentucky will be unseeded teams that make some big noise in the NCAA tournament
These two met just last season in the tournament. With WKU upsetting No. 15 Washington State in the second round. Both might be tough outs this season.
12. Nebraska's Lindsay Krause and Ally Batenhorst will be in contention for Big Ten Freshman of the Year
13. The ACC will have two first-team All Americans. They would be just the the second and third ACC player in history to be named to the first team. The last one was in 2003 (Kele Eveland – Georgia Tech)
There are a few names here I can rattle off, and most of them are on Louisville and Pitt, and maybe even Georgia Tech. Anna DeBeer, Amaya Tillman at Louisville.... Kayla Lund and Chinaza Ndee at Pitt and Julia Bergmann and Mariana Brambilla at Georgia Tech.