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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 12, 2022

Penn State and Stanford enter the Power 10 college volleyball rankings

College volleyball rankings: Penn State and Stanford join Power 10

Well, these are not getting any easier. We had another great weekend of college volleyball and my Power 10 rankings are looking a lot different this week to reflect it.

Nebraska took down Creighton in front of a record 15,797 in five sets, Louisville pulled off a sweep over Purdue, Wisconsin swept Kentucky, and then Stanford went to Minneapolis and took down the then-third ranked Gophers in four. A few more... Ohio State pulled off its third top-10 win over Georgia Tech and Penn State notched two ranked wins over the weekend. 

When ranking teams, I place a lot of value in head-to-head competition and ranked wins. Sometimes that isn't a perfect science, so the rest is typically the eye-test and prior rankings. 

Here is my latest Power 10: 

1. Texas

Texas is and should be the No. 1 undisputed team. They have taken down highly ranked teams and have yet to be pushed to five sets this season. In fact, most wins have been sweeps. 

2. Nebraska

The Huskers remain in the No. 2 spot after Week 3. They came out on top of a five-set battle against Creighton in front of a HUGE crowd in Omaha (this year's national championship location). Whitney Lauenstein and Lindsay Krause both had career days, with Lauenstein posting a career-high 25 kills in the win to lead the Huskers. The Huskers do have two huge matchups next week, with a date against another perennial powerhouse program in Stanford, and another recent national champion, Kentucky. So stay tuned for those!

3. Louisville

The Cards are back up to the No. 3 spot in the rankings following a Minnesota loss and a big win in straight sets over Purdue last week.  Middle blocker Amaya Tillman and outside hitter Anna DeBeer each had 10 kills in the win, followed by Claire Chaussee and Aiko Jones. Setter Raquel Lazaro, who is filling pretty large shoes after Tori Dilfer last season, had a match-high 34 assists, with an ace and two blocks.

4. Wisconsin

Wisconsin also moved up following Week 3 after taking down Kentucky in straight sets. The Badgers came out on top of a battle between the two most recent national champions. Devyn Robinson led the offense with 13 kills and six blocks, followed by Sarah Franklin. Danielle Hart's name made the leader board for the first time as she and Caroline Crawford had seven blocks apiece. I am hoping to see more of Hart as the season progresses. The Badgers also continue to look good with their 6-2 offense — Izzy Ashburn put up 20 assists while junior MJ Hammill added nine assists over Kentucky. 

5. Minnesota

The Gophers drop two spots to No. 5 following the loss over the weekend to Stanford. They still have three big wins over Florida, Baylor and Oregon, and my gut tells me this is a great team. I try to stick to head-to-head matchups, etc. But keeping Minnesota in the middle of the rankings has much more to do with the eye test and prior ranking. Ultimately, I didn't think a loss to a top-10 team in Stanford should cause them to drop that much in the rankings, and I believe this team is really talented. 

6. San Diego

San Diego is up at No. 6 this week. They didn't have any notable wins over the weekend, but two teams that were ahead of them last week, Georgia Tech and Purdue, dropped matches. The Torreros have a win over Ohio State, Utah and Pitt and just one loss to Louisville so far this season.  Grace Frohling has been super impressive as she leads this team. 

7. Ohio State

Let's hear it for Ohio State!! Following high expectations entering the season, the Buckeyes dropped the first three consecutive matches — two to Texas, and one to San Diego. But what a response. They answered those with three consecutive top-10 wins over BYU, Louisville and now most recently, Georgia Tech. Gabby Gonzales had a huge match, recording season-highs in digs (12) and kills (16) to earn her first double-double of the season. Mac Podraza posted a double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs, and Emily Londot posted 10 kills to along with 12 digs. The Buckeyes move up to No. 7 following the feat, ahead of Georgia Tech to honor the head-to-head win. Plus, this team now has more top-10 wins than anyone, despite the three losses. This team has the most difficult non-conference schedule of anyone. So I am really impressed by the Buckeyes.

8. Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech drops to No. 8 with the loss to OSU. Like I just mentioned, I wanted to honor the head-to-head matchup considering the Yellow Jackets only have one other top-10 win over BYU and a ranked win over Illinois. Julia Bergmann notched 21 kills in the loss.

9. Penn State

Alright, now for the really good stuff. I have two new teams entering my Power 10 this week. Penn State enters with a bang at No. 9 in the rankings after an 8-0 start to the season and two ranked wins this past weekend over Stanford and Oregon. They pulled off both the wins in five sets, putting their grit on full display. It is time to give this team some credit. Katie Schumaker-Cawley took over this program and put together almost an entirely new team. Most expected it to be a rebuilding year, but what a start to the season. Kashauna Williams is leading the scoring effort for the Nittany Lions so far followed by Anjelina Starck. Zoe Weatherington, the transfer from Utah, has been a big-time contributor and Taylor Trammell is leading the team in blocks. Really excited to see this team continue to grow this season. 

10. Stanford

Welcome back, Stanford! What a journey back to the top of college volleyball that Stanford has been on since its last title in 2019. But I think the Cardinal are a top-10 team, yet again. The Cardinal suffered a five-set loss to Penn State over the weekend, but then followed that up with a huge win over then-No. 3 Minnesota. I gave PSU credit for the head-to-head win in the No. 9 spot. In the win over Minnesota, Kendall Kipp led the team with 17 kills, six digs, three blocks and an ace. Freshman outside hitter Elia Rubin posted her first collegiate double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs to go with three blocks and an ace. And Caitie Baird also had 12 kills and added nine digs.

I have Penn State and Stanford in the rankings over Pitt and Purdue, who are my first two teams out. Pitt fell out of my top 10 following the loss to un-ranked Towson, and Purdue fell out after getting swept by Louisville. I would say Purdue is right on the verge of re-entering. I am still really impressed by the group, but wanted to get Stanford and PSU in since they have more ranked wins. 

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