The wild 2022 college volleyball season continues.
To clue you in to the madness that took place in Week 4 — Purdue took down Minnesota in straight sets on Friday night, but Minnesota followed it up with a sweep of their own over Wisconsin on Sunday night. Stanford was downed in straight sets by Oregon. Penn State notched its first loss of the season to Michigan... again in straight sets. Florida lost to South Carolina, and a few top teams had some really close calls. Texas was down 2-0 to Kansas before securing the reverse sweep, and San Diego won a five-setter over Loyola Marymount.
Those results equaled some shakeups in the Power 10 rankings:
The Longhorns remain on top, despite a really close call against Kansas this past week. Texas trailed 2-0 before the Longhorns pulled off the reverse sweep. Logan Eggleston posted 29 kills with three blocks and an ace in the five-setter, followed by Madi Skinner with 19 kills. The 29 kills was a career high for Eggleston.
The Cards pulled off two sweeps over the weekend and remain the No. 2 team in the nation.
The Huskers stay No. 3 following a huge five-set win over Ohio State. If you watched that match, you know what I am talking about when I say it was not very pretty. Nebraska had 22 attacking errors to OSU's 25, and the Huskers notched 15 service errors to OSU's 20. Either way, though, a win is a win, and the Huskers got it done in whatever way they needed to over a top-10 team. Madi Kubik has been a consistent force and leader for Nebraska and she was again in the win over OSU. I think once this team is able to clean up those errors and find a little but more connection and rhythm offensively in the 6-2, they will be lethal. Check out the emotion in the photo above ⬆️ Quite the match.
4. San Diego
The Torreros move up after Stanford lost and fell out of the No. 4 spot this week. San Diego was looking really good earlier in the week when it took down Pepperdine in four sets. But then they too had a really close call against Loyola Marymount. The Torreros actually won the first two sets before dropping the third and fourth set and winning it in five. Grace Frohling and Katie Lukes had 15 kills apiece in the five-setter.
A huge jump for the Boilermakers. Purdue is back in the Power 10 and all the way up at No. 5 following a statement sweep over Minnesota this past weekend. My biggest concern with Purdue in the past was its strength of schedule early on. They still don't have as many ranked wins, but now that so many other top 10 teams have lost, I can't justify anyone else in the fifth spot. On paper, Purdue only has one loss now to No. 2 Louisville, and a big ranked sweep over Minnesota. Eva Hudson had a crazy match — posting 21 kills and two blocks. Hannah Clayton emerged as well as a big contributor with eight kills and four blocks, and Raven Colvin added eight as well with three blocks. I am super excited to see Purdue as Big Ten play continues.
The Cardinal drop to No. 6 with the loss to Oregon. They were my No. 4 team last week, but fell unexpectedly in three sets to the Ducks. You might be thinking that they should drop lower after getting swept. However, I think Oregon is a really good team — one that can go toe-to-toe with anyone when at its best. And, Stanford still has the most ranked wins out of anyone, something I value highly. So I kept them at six for now, without anyone that I believe deserves to go above them. Pitt is at No. 7, but the Panthers have a bad loss to Towson and less ranked wins, so the Cardinal got the edge for me.
So here is Pitt at No. 7. Like I said, the Panthers do have a loss to Towson and San Diego. Their ranked wins are over BYU and Ohio State, with OSU as the only top-10 contender in my eyes. So I have them right below Stanford at No. 7 for now. They picked up two wins over the weekend, four-set victories over UNC and NC State.
Cheers to the Gophers — the most confusing team of the week! Minnesota was on a downward trend for sure. They had lost three out of their last four matches before Sunday, with a loss to Pepperdine, Stanford and then a three-set loss to Purdue on Friday night. It was looking like they might leave my Power 10 entirely. But then, they pulled out a sweep over Wisconsin on Sunday night, and looked like an entirely different team. The offense was incredibly efficient. Taylor Landfair had a standout night with 17 kills on .394 hitting and McKenna Wucherer followed with nine kills on .333 hitting. The combo of Landfair and Wucherer at the pins looked like one of the most dangerous outside duos in the nation. Melani Shaffmaster had a masterful night at setter as well — she posted 39 assists but also SIX kills, including a full out cross-court rip on game-point to seal the sweep. So the Gophers stay at No. 8 following the split week.
The Badgers fall to No. 9 following the loss to Minnesota, but they remain in the Power 10 by just a little. I see potential in this team, but they just don't have enough wins to be any higher. With the loss to Minnesota now on top of the Florida loss, the only ranked wins they have are over Baylor, Marquette and Kentucky.
10. Penn State
I struggled with whether or not to keep Penn State in after the Nittany Lions were swept by Michigan for their first loss of the season, but decided to keep them at No. 10 for now. They still have good wins over Stanford and Oregon, which I valued more than a team like Georgia Tech who only has BYU, or a few others right outside the top 10. PSU obviously will have some big ones coming up in the Big Ten, so stay tuned.