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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 10, 2022

Wisconsin re-enters Power 10 college volleyball rankings ahead of Week 8

College volleyball rankings: Wisconsin rejoins this week's Power 10

Week 7 is in the books and three matchups had the most implications on my Power 10. Ohio State defeated Penn State in a five-set thriller after almost taking them down in three, Wisconsin defeated Purdue and Pittsburgh took down a ranked Georgia Tech team. 

Here is the latest top 10 (with last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Texas (1)

The Longhorns have been my No. 1 team all season and just moved to 12-0. The toughest part of their schedule (non-conference) is behind them, but they do have a tough matchup coming up with Baylor this week when the two teams face off in Waco. Baylor has taken a dip in the rankings this season after losing most of its core from last year, but still has some serious potential. They did take down Wisconsin in five earlier this season, so watch out for this matchup. 

2. Louisville (2)

Same thing with Louisville — they have been locked in as my No. 2 team for a while. The Cardinals have a great matchup coming up against Pittsburgh on Oct. 21. 

3. Nebraska (3)

The Huskers are in the thick of their Big Ten schedule, so there will tough matchups all the time. I look forward the most to the matchup against Penn State this weekend and Purdue the following weekend. I have waited to see the Huskers face off against top-tier competition this season after watching the five-set battle with Ohio State.

4. San Diego (4)

The Toreros remain at No. 4 as well, and the matchup to watch out for will be against BYU on Oct. 21. I've been impressed by this team all season and I am excited to see another tough matchup for them. I just recently put the USD setter Gabby Blossom on my list for best players at every position — as she has helped transform and elevate this team into a top-five squad. 

5. Stanford (6)

The Cardinal are back up at No. 5 for me after Purdue dropped this week. Stanford is now 9-4, and the main ranked wins I look at are over Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington. That to me superseded the ones below, and I like how this team is looking at this point. The quality of their wins are the most impressive to me, and all of their losses are good. I value this over a team that has less losses but less ranked wins. 

6. Ohio State (8)

OSU volleyball

Same thing here with the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 9-5 now with the same amount of ranked wins as Stanford but one more loss. These are great wins over Louisville, BYU, Georgia Tech and Penn State... I am looking at the teams they beat the most when ranking these teams. The Buckeyes just took down Penn State in a five-set thriller — after it seemed like they were going to finish it off in three. I would have loved to have seen them finish it off strong after three, but Penn State sparked a huge comeback. I was incredibly impressed by Jenaisya Moore and Gabby Gonzales in the match. The offense was incredibly efficient — led by Mac Podraza — and Moore and Gonzales were lights out. Moore posted 21 kills on .500 hitting, and I think this team is headed in the right direction. 

7. Pittsburgh (7)

I almost put Pitt above Ohio State after its ranked win over Georgia Tech las week, but I am sticking with valuing ranked wins more. The Panthers are 16-2 now on the season with three ranked wins over BYU, Ohio State and Georgia Tech. They do have a not-so-great loss against Towson, so I gave Ohio State the edge here. Courtney Buzzerio has been looking good for this team — she led Pitt in kills for the 10th match in a row, finishing with 18 on .300 hitting.

8. Wisconsin (NR)

Julia Orzol Wisconsin volleyball

The Badgers are back in my Power 10 and in a BIG way after a huge win over Purdue last week. That was EXACTLY (apologies for using caps, again) what this team needed. The Badgers were lacking in ranked wins, and a win over Purdue, a top-10 team, changes the game. I give them the advantage over Purdue now with the head to head and more ranked wins. They are now 11-3 on the season with four total ranked wins but two really good ones over Penn State and Purdue. I also was excited to see some more players step up in the win over Purdue — Julia Orzol (pictured above) led offensively with 19 kills and three blocks. Sarah Franklin added 15, and both Devyn Robinson and Anna Smrek chipped in 10 kills apiece. This is the first time this season that the Badgers had four players record 10 or more kills in a match. That is a good sign as they have struggled to find an offensive rhythm a few matches this season. 

9. Purdue (5)

The Boilermakers dropped to No. 9 with the loss to Wisconsin. They are now 14-2 on the season — but they really only have one big win over Wisconsin. All the teams above have multiple ranked wins. The good sign though is that their only two losses are to Wisconsin and Louisville. 

10. Minnesota (10)

Lastly, Minnesota stays put at No. 10 in my Power 10. The Gophers are 9-5 on the season with some great ranked wins, but they also have losses to Pepperdine and Northwestern. They do have a big matchup against Ohio State coming up that I am really looking forward to. 

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