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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 25, 2021

College volleyball rankings: Nebraska jumps to No. 5, Georgia Tech enters latest Power 10

College volleyball rankings: Nebraska jumps to No. 5, Georgia Tech enters latest Power 10

Week 9 was an incredible week in college volleyball. The number of ranked matchups to watch was insane — almost every single one was good and had a lot of poll implications. 

Nebraska took down Purdue for its 10th straight win, Ohio State lost to Minnesota in five, Louisville took down Pitt in five in a thriller, Michigan State shocked No. 7 Purdue, just to name a few. 

Purdue drops out of my Power 10 with two losses on the week, and two new teams enter. The last three teams in my Power 10 were really up in the air and hard to pick. These would be subjective for anyone to pick, but again, these change week after week. Here are my latest Power 10 rankings: 

1. Texas

The Longhorns stayed on top this week. I ALMOST pushed Louisville ahead of them after they took down No. 4 Pittsburgh, but I decided not to. Texas has been on top all season and I don't want to move them without reason, especially since we will get to see them soon against Baylor for a good test. 

PREDICTIONS: 13 fun predictions for the rest of the 2021 college volleyball season

2. Louisville

Louisville Volleyball

The Cards are absolutely unbelievable. This team put it all on display and took down Pitt in a five-set thriller. They remain undefeated on the season and moved to 20-0, which tied a program record set in 2005. Claire Chaussee led the Cards with 17 kills on .483 hitting, Anna DeBeer totaled 17 kills as well, Anna Stevenson posted 13 kills and Amaya Tillman added 12 kills and EIGHT total blocks on the match. Tori Dilfer posted 57 assists on the match — this was a total team effort for a well-rounded team.  

3. Wisconsin

The Badgers leapfrog the Panthers for the No. 3 spot after a great weekend. They took down both Ohio State and Penn State, two ranked opponents. Dana Rettke posted 24 kills in the win over Penn State with three blocks, and Julia Orzol had 19 kills with THREE aces. They were both the leading scorers against Ohio State as well. 

4. Pittsburgh

The Panthers fell to Louisville, but they don't drop much in my eyes. For one, that's how high I value the Cardinals as a team — pushing them to five is a good thing. They were just two swings away from winning that game, and they still proved to be a national championship-contending volleyball team on the court on Sunday. Pitt outhit Louisville on the match .338 to .258, and played some seriously high-caliber volleyball. Leketor Member-Meneh led with 18 kills on .389 hitting, Chinaza Ndee added 16 kills on .303 hitting and Kayla Lund posted 14 kills on .407 hitting. Despite the loss, the Panthers gave the Cards all they could handle. 

BRACKET: Bracket predictions before selections

5. Nebraska

Nebraska Volleyball

The Huskers jump up to No. 5 after another impressive win over Purdue and their 10th straight win this past weekend. Nicklin Hames surpassed 4,000 career assists in the match, Madi Kubik led with 15 kills, Kayla Caffey had a career-high 14 kills on .619 hitting with two blocks, and Lauren Stivrins had 14 more kills on .393 hitting with a team-leading five stops. This team is looking good, and with Kentucky getting pushed to five twice against ASU, I moved Nebraska into their spot. 

6. Kentucky

Like I mentioned, the Wildcats twice survived Arizona State in back-to-back nights in five sets. They even fended off a match point for the Razorbacks at 14-13 in the second game and rallied to win the final three points of the match to put the Wildcats on top for the second-straight night. Wins are wins, but I didn't expect them to be so challenged for two consecutive matches. 

7. BYU

BYU comes in at No. 7 after they pulled off a dominating sweep over No. 21 San Diego (25-17, 25-13, 25-13) on Friday night. They hit .373 on the night. Kenzie Koerber led BYU with 17 kills on a .593 clip. This was another ranked win for BYU and a good sign for the Cougars. 

8. Washington

The Huskies are moving on up! Washington just pulled off a big-time sweep over Stanford over the weekend for its eighth win in a row. They broke a first-place tie with Stanford and now are in a two-way tie with UCLA for the conference lead at the halfway point in the Pac-12 season. It was a well-balanced effort and great performance from start to finish, something the Huskies struggled with last season as a comeback group. They outhit Stanford .348 to .194. 

9. Georgia Tech

Welcome, Georgia Tech! You may have not been expecting this, but No. 9 and 10 were the most difficult to choose. I had the choice of OSU, Purdue, Baylor, Georgia Tech and UCLA. I went with Tech here, as they are 17-3 on the season and with some of the best wins out of the teams in consideration with victories Pitt and Penn State. Their three losses are to Louisville, Notre Dame, UCLA, all good teams. A win over Pitt is especially impressive. Plus, this team has a strong RPI and some really impressive players in Julia Bergmann and Mariana Brambilla. 

10. Baylor

For No. 10, I went with Baylor. It was a toss-up with Ohio State, but I decided to put the Bears back in. For one, they had a strong non-conference schedule, and they have been tested, they have a great RPI, they beat Minnesota and pushed Pittsburgh to five sets. Plus, this sets up a great top-10 matchup Nov. 5 and 6th between Texas and Baylor. That is one that I am always excited about. 

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