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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | November 2, 2022

Wisconsin surges and Texas reclaims its top spot in the Power 10 college volleyball rankings

College volleyball rankings: Texas returns to No. 1 in Power 10

The DI women’s volleyball committee released its second top 10 on Sunday. The AVCA released its latest top 25 rankings on Monday. I can guarantee you one thing — my Power 10 is different than both. 

Here is my latest Power 10 after Wisconsin took down both Nebraska (via sweep) and Minnesota last weekend in the most notable results of Week 10. 

1. Texas (2)

Texas Volleyball

The Longhorns are back on top after just one week out of the No. 1 slot. They had dropped to No. 2 after the out-of-nowhere loss to Iowa State. Nebraska then took over the one slot, but was just swept by Wisconsin and falls in the rankings. Texas re-enters with just one loss on the season.

2. Louisville (3)

The Cardinals are also back up at No. 2 — they notched two wins over the weekend in the ACC following their loss to Pitt two weeks ago. Don’t worry, we will see a rematch between the two ACC powerhouses Nov. 18 after the five-set thriller. I am super excited for that one. 

3. San Diego (4)

The Toreros are up to No. 3 for me and I think this one deserves a good explanation. San Diego has wins over Pitt, Ohio State, BYU and Pepperdine and just one loss on the season to Louisville. Many may argue that San Diego should be lower, especially given the fact that they haven't faced a really tough opponent since September. I certainly considered this as well. But, Texas is in a similar situation, with a weaker strength of schedule during conference play, and the Longhorns remain at No. 1 without question. I think this team has done everything it has needed to do, or everything it could possibly do with the schedule it has. I am going to keep them around here until I have significant reason to move them elsewhere. 

4. Wisconsin (8)

Wisconsin volleyball

Now here is the kicker. Wisconsin jumps to No. 4 following a huge week. They notched not only a win over then-No. 1 Nebraska, but a dominating sweep. The Badgers had full control of the match and made the win look easy. They extended their win streak over Nebraska to nine matches. It was the first time Wisconsin has taken down the top-ranked team in the nation since 1997, and the first time beating the No. 1 team in straight sets in program history. The offense looked like a well-oiled machine against possibly the best defense in the nation. If Sarah Franklin played like that every match, this team would be close to unstoppable. 

On top of that win, they followed it up with another win against Minnesota to avenge their loss to them earlier in the season. This team is just rolling right now at the right time, and has earned the No. 4 spot in my Power 10. It was a really tough decision on whether or not to put them ahead of Nebraska. The Huskers do have better (and fewer) losses. So I could have justified it that way. But, these are volatile rankings that can change in a week's time. It is not like the Huskers lost in five, it was in straight sets. Wisconsin is No. 4 for now. 

5. Nebraska (1)

Then there is Nebraska, right behind Wisconsin. Again, I could also justify putting the Huskers higher based on their season resume. I still think this is one of the toughest teams in the nation, so don't think too much into the drop here. The Huskers have OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota again. The toughest part of their conference schedule is the bottom half, so we have some really good matchups to look forward to. 

6. Pittsburgh (5)

Same thing with Pitt, here. They only dropped a spot due to Wisconsin's surge. The Panthers come in at No. 6 based on their resume with the big five-set win over Louisville. Their two losses are to San Diego and Towson, but they have wins over the Cardinals, Ohio State. Georgia Tech and BYU. OSU is the biggest win, in my opinion. That is why I have them above the Buckeyes, despite viewing the two teams pretty interchangeably. 

7. Ohio State (6)

Continuing my point above, Pitt and OSU were tough to order. The Buckeyes are on a big win streak and just pulled off the win over Penn State in five sets over the weekend. Every single loss is a good loss, in my opinion, against strong ranked teams. And they have strong wins. I kept Pitt above to favor the head-to-head and the more recent win over Louisville, since they both have beaten the Cardinals. 

8. Stanford (7)

It feels really strange lowering the Cardinal despite how strongly I feel about this team. I think this is a really impressive Stanford team and view them as a team that will be in contention for the national title. Rankings teams No. 4-8 is difficult because all have similar resumes. Stanford only has losses to strong, ranked teams, but less strength in the win column I would say than the teams above. 

9. Minnesota (9) 

I am keeping the Gophers at No. 9 despite another loss last week to Wisconsin, their seventh loss on the season. I still think their wins outweigh the teams in consideration below them. 

10. Florida (NR)

Florida volleyball

Lastly, I am going with Florida at No. 10 The committee has Oregon in this spot, and the AVCA has Georgia Tech. Oregon is all the way down at No. 16 in the AVCA poll, despite the high ranking by the committee. For me, I weighed Florida’s win over Wisconsin plus two recent wins over Arkansas this past weekend. Oregon has just that one big win over Stanford.

Other contenders are Penn State, which has two big wins over Stanford and Oregon, but just lost the last two in a row. Georgia Tech really only has that win over BYU, so I go Florida here. 

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