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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 24, 2022

Nebraska takes over the No. 1 spot in latest Power 10 college volleyball rankings

College volleyball rankings: Nebraska jumps to No. 1 spot

The top four have held strong for weeks upon weeks. It was in fact the only sure thing about college volleyball rankings in the midst of all of the crazy results of this season. Then came Week 9 — Texas was handed its very first loss of the season. The Longhorns were upset by Iowa State in the most unexpected fashion. And then to put the cherry on top, then-No. 2 Louisville was downed by ACC-rival Pittsburgh in five sets. 

So just like that, I took back everything I had ever stated about the top four, and shook it all up. Here is my full explanation of this week's Power 10 rankings:

1. Nebraska (3)

Nebraska Volleyball

Behold, the new No. 1 team in my Power 10 college volleyball rankings. The two teams above them fell, and the Huskers were the perfect choice to take the top spot. Nebraska still remains UNBEATEN in the Big Ten, with just one top-10 loss on the season. For those who might argue Texas should remain atop, since they ALSO just have one loss on the season — I choose to value a loss to Stanford over an unranked loss to Iowa State. AND I am valuing the most recent outcomes here. There have been times where Nebraska has looked a little sloppy this season, but you can't deny the 10-0 conference record and the non-conference outcomes. Now, keep in mind, the Huskers have a date with Wisconsin looming. That will be an AVCA top-five matchup and a REMATCH of the 2021 national title game. The Huskers move to No. 1, but it will all be challenged in a few days' time. 

2. Texas (1)

The top team in the nation was taken down after a 14-0 start to the season. The Longhorns were downed by Iowa State, an unranked team in a very unexpected outcome. The most bizarre part of it all — Texas outhit Iowa State .359 to .273, and out-blocked them 13-5, but STILL lost in the end.  Five Texas players posted double-digit kills ...  if you looked at the numbers alone, you would never believe they lost this match. How often do you see a No. 1 team in the NCAA hit over .350 and lose? Give the Cyclones credit for pulling out the win and getting it done in the clutch moments. This will likely go down as the upset of the year. I moved Texas down to No. 2 with the loss since it still have a terrific body of work and just now registered its first loss on the year. 

3. Louisville (2)

Next, the Louisville Cardinals moved down a spot to No. 3 following its five-set loss to Pittsburgh in a top-10, ACC battle. The Cards and Panthers will rematch in the regular season, so get excited for that. The loss was Louisville's second loss on the season, and both losses were to top-10 teams, so I am keeping them up at No. 3. The Cards started out the match extremely slow and uncharacteristically. Pitt smoked them in the first two sets before they finally got a wake-up call. Ultimately they were able to come back and force a fifth, but fell short. They did play the match without Anna DeBeer, which likely made a difference. And I still think this is a top-three national team. The order between Louisville, San Diego and Pittsburgh, though, was a huge toss-up. I will get to it in a second. 

4. San Diego (4)

So Louisville beat San Diego this season ... San Diego beat Pitt (but in the first game of the season) and Pitt now beat Louisville. Come on, right? It didn't make this easy. I decided to keep Louisville above San Diego because of the head-to-head result and full body of work. Some might have USD and No. 3, or some might even put Pitt above USD because of the Louisville win. But I feel pretty solid on this order. San Diego just easily took down BYU in the WCC last week, and wont face a ranked opponent again until the last week of the regular season. Keeping the Toreros at No. 4 this week!

5. Pittsburgh (7)

Pittsburgh VB

And finally, Pittsburgh moves into my top five after the big win over Louisville. The Panthers came out of the gates on fire against the Cards, taking the first two sets by a landslide. The win was their highest-ranked win in program history and the Panthers' program-record-breaking fourth consecutive top-10 win. Courtney Buzzerio has been lights out for Pitt — she had a season-best 22 kills on .302 hitting and has led Pitt in 14 consecutive matches. I have the Panthers right above OSU, which was a tough decision to make. I'll explain more in a second. 

6. Ohio State (5)

Okay, OSU comes in at No. 6 in the poll this week. I gave Pitt the nod over OSU after its win over Louisville. You might be saying that OSU has win over Louisville as well — they do. But, both Pitt and San Diego have the H2H victory over OSU, and I wanted to reward the recent outcomes. I think Ohio State is one of the strongest teams in the nation right now, and this one-spot drop does not reflect anything other than the fact that Pitt just beat its fourth top-10 opponent of the season. 

7. Stanford (6)

Stanford moves to No. 7 with Pitt's jump. The Cardinal just took down USC over the weekend — a team that has been on the rise led by Skylar Fields. And, they did it via sweep. They did it behind a crazy efficient offensive performance, hitting at an insane .661 clip. 

8. Wisconsin (8)

The Badgers remain at No. 8 this week with a huge growth opportunity coming up this week. They will face No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday for a rematch of the 2021 national championship, and then Minnesota on Saturday. Some might make calls for the Badgers to be higher — I hear you. They certainly will have their chance for that, but I stand by this slot for the Badgers with their resume of wins so far on the season. 

9. Minnesota (NR)

The Gophers are back in this week after the four-set win over Purdue this past weekend. This was a big bounce-back win for them after they were swept by the very same team earlier this season. Welcome back, Minnesota!

10. Georgia Tech (10)

Lastly, the Yellow Jackets remain in at No. 10 in my Power 10. This is the third team out of the ACC and they stay put after notching wins this past weekend. The Jackets will get another chance against both Louisville and Pitt before the end of the season. Exciting stuff. 

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