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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 11, 2022

Here are the top 3 college volleyball matchups to watch in Week 8

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

Who is ready for yet another week of incredible volleyball matchups? Last week, Wisconsin took down then-No. 5 Purdue and re-entered my Power 10 rankings, Ohio State downed Penn State in a five-set thriller — and much more happened. This week, I am featuring two Big Ten battles and a Big 12 rivalry with the No. 1 team in the nation. 

Here are my top 3 college volleyball matchups to watch this week: 

No. 6 Ohio State at No. 10 Minnesota | 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct. 12 on BTN

Ohio State volleyball

You won't have to wait long for our first big matchup of the week, and this one is our only top-10 battle on the list. Ohio State and Minnesota face off Wednesday, and I expect it to be a good. The Buckeyes are coming off of a huge five-set win over Penn State. This was a match that looked like it was going to be an easy sweep. OSU was up 17-11 in the third set before PSU sparked a HUGE comeback to win the third and fourth. The Buckeyes came out victorious in five, but they did let Penn State come firing back and could have lost the match. Some great signs from the match, though — Gabby Gonzales and Jenaisya Moore were fantastic, and very efficient, Mac Podraza ran an outstanding offense, and they served a really tough match. OSU isn't typically known for being a tough serving team — but they came out and got Penn State off the net with ease. They will need to continue all of this and more against Minnesota. 

The Gophers are really strong at the pins with Taylor Landfair and now McKenna Wucherer, but they are not bulletproof. They got some big time wins early in the season, then they had a few uncharacteristic losses. The Buckeyes and Gophers have similar records and wins, yes, but the Gophers have worse losses. These are two pretty similar teams, though, and I am so excited to see them head-to-head. 

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No. 14 Penn State at No. 3 Nebraska | 8:30 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 14 on BTN

Nebraska Volleyball

I am ready to see Nebraska in another tough battle. The last full-out battle of a match was against Ohio State on Sept. 24 and the Huskers came out on top. Since then, Michigan was the only ranked team they have faced (No. 24), and they pulled off a sweep. The Huskers have been sitting in the top three all season long, but they have the thick of the Big Ten coming up — and it starts with Penn State. The Nittany Lions did drop in the rankings to No. 14, but this team is no walk in the park. Take their last OSU matchup, for example. Down 17-11 in the third they battled back to force a fifth and could've won the whole thing. Kashauna Williams is a star for the Nittany Lions, and I am excited to see her go up against a strong defensive team in Nebraska. The Nittany Lions also ended up serving tough in that matchup, and had some big sparks from their freshman Alexa Markley. Allie Holland, their middle, made an appearance on my list of the best player at every position in college volleyball right now. So this is a good Penn State team.

Not to mention, these are two powerhouse college volleyball programs. Two of the most decorated programs of all time. That will only add more to this matchup; you can likely expect a good one. 

No. 1 Texas at No. 18 Baylor | 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 15 on ESPN+

Texas Volleyball

At last, a Texas volleyball match is back in my top matchups of the week! It feels like we haven't seen the Longhorns in here in a minute. And it's true, Texas moved past the toughest part of its schedule when it finished up its non-conference slate. After taking down Ohio State twice, Minnesota and Stanford all right in a row, it was looking like Texas was going to be the really special team this year. And it is certainly true. The Longhorns were pushed by Kansas to a five-set battle, and now they have Baylor. 

Typically the Bears are the one team that give the Longhorns a run for their money in the Big 12. This was especially so in the past few years when Yossiana Pressley was putting up AVCA Player of the Year numbers for the Bears. This season, Baylor lost a lot of that talent, but it still can be really dangerous. Kara McGhee has insane numbers out of the middle, and I would not rule out this team. Baylor took down Wisconsin this year in a five-setter, and aside from a loss to Minnesota, we haven't gotten to see them against a ton of top teams. They do have a not-so-great loss to Iowa State and another to Pepperdine. But anything is possible. We see upsets in sports all the time. 

The Longhorns will be a really tall task. This has got to be the most well-rounded, talented team there is. With Logan Eggleston leading the offense and Zoe Fleck leading the defense, this is a tough group to crack. But either way, get ready to watch the No. 1 team in the nation play some tough competition again.

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