We have quite a bit of parity in college volleyball this season. The last two weeks were nearly impossible to narrow down to just three top matchups. This week was a tad easier, but we still have some great matches you won't want to miss.
Here are 3 of the top college volleyball matchups in Week 6:
No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Penn State | 9 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 30 on BTN
I did say this week was easier to choose, but would you look at this matchup. This will be a huge meeting for both teams, with each looking for a big-time win. Wisconsin is hanging on to a spot in the top 10 in both the AVCA poll and my Power 10 rankings after getting swept by Minnesota last weekend. With the loss, they now only have a few good wins over Kentucky, Baylor and Marquette to show for, but no top-10 or top-15 wins. Another bad loss could push them out of the top 10, for sure.
Penn State will be looking for a big win as well. The Nittany Lions dropped in the rankings to No. 12 after getting swept by Michigan last week. They do however have great wins over Stanford and Oregon.
The Badgers have struggled to get their offense in rhythm lately. Sarah Franklin leads the Badgers in kills per set but hasn't been extremely efficient. Wisconsin will likely need to find a way to get their really strong middles in the mix offensively — names like Danielle Hart, Anna Smrek and Caroline Crawford. For Penn State, watch out for Kashauna Williams, who leads the team with 2.93 kills per set. The Nittany Lions struggled with efficiency as well against Michigan, though, hitting just .105 in the loss.
No. 9 Stanford vs. No. 17 Washington | 8:30 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 30 on Pac-12 Networks
We have another matchup over on the west coast on Friday evening, this time between the Stanford Cardinal and Washington Huskies. Stanford is a major team to watch right now. The perennial powerhouse program has made their way back to the top 10 in college volleyball after falling off in the past few years. They came out and made a statement in non-conference play, with perhaps the most top-10 wins out of anyone. They do however have four losses — most recently a loss to Oregon in three quick sets to open Pac-12 play. They were playing in their second match without middle blocker Sami Francis, and posted a season-low four blocks while allowing the Ducks to hit .327 on the match.
The Huskies were in the national semifinals just a few championships ago and with a lot of the same faces on the court as this season. But they had a bad start to the season with an opening weekend loss to Arkansas and just recently dropped a match to Pepperdine — hence the No. 17 ranking. But you cannot count the Huskies out. This team is led by veteran players in Ella May Powell, Claire Hoffman and Marin Grote. In the most recent win over UCLA, they hit .365 as a team. I am excited for the matchup against Stanford. A win like that for the Huskies would be huge.
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 2 on ESPN
Last but not least, we have a battle over in the ACC. Louisville surged to to the No. 2 spot in the rankings this season. The Cards currently have just one loss to Ohio State and have really strong wins over San Diego, Stanford, Kentucky and Purdue. Now as they enter ACC play, Georgia Tech and Pitt will be their toughest opponents. Louisville is incredibly balanced offensively and have weapons from all over. They have incredible middles with Amaya Tillman and Aiko Jones, then Claire Chaussee and Anna Debeer on the pins and Elena Scott in the backcourt.
They will have the incredible task of Julia Bergmann, though — one of the best hitters in the country. She puts up astronomical numbers, but doesn't have a ton of help. Georgia Tech started out the season pretty high in the rankings, but fell to No. 11 after dropping matches to Ohio State and Arkansas, with not a ton of big wins to show for. They do have wins over BYU and Illinois, but not over any current top-10 teams. Louisville will be its chance to do so.