Last week was pretty uneventful in college volleyball, but don't worry, the craziness is BACK. There were plenty of big matchups to choose from this week, so I obviously had to leave some out. One, in particular, is happening on Wednesday evening — a rematch between Texas and Iowa State. If you don't remember, Iowa State is the only team to have taken down Texas this season. It was a very unexpected upset, so you won't want to miss the rematch.
Aside from that, I have three matchups going down this weekend that you should keep your eyes on.
No. 21 Rice vs No. 22 Western Kentucky | Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. ET on C-USA Live stream or Facebook Live
So here are two teams you don't typically see on my games of the week, but this is certainly a must-watch game. Here is why: We are getting really close to selections.
Rice is 22-2 this season, with no bad losses. Their two losses on the season came to Oregon, who I just moved into my Power 10 rankings, and Baylor. They have wins over Houston, then-No. 17 Creighton, and LSU. Western Kentucky is ranked just one spot below them in the AVCA poll. They too have just two losses on the season to Louisville and Texas A&M. They have wins over Tennessee and Miami.
Either way, this matchup should have implications on selections. Rice, or maybe WKU, could be teams on the verge of hosting in the tournament. This outcome will likely have some big seeding implications for the tournament, especially now that the top 32 schools are seeded by the Selection Committee. Don't miss this one!
No. 5 Louisville vs No. 13 Georgia Tech | Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. ET on ACCNX
Our first must-watch matchup of the week features an ACC battle on Georgia Tech's home court. I will be live on-site — so if you can't watch the game, I will be live-blogging the match, right here on NCAA.com. Louisville ranks No. 5 in the AVCA, but they are the No. 2 team in the Selection Committee's latest top 10, right below Texas. There is a big difference between Texas and Louisville the rest of the way though — the Cards have two more big challenges on their schedule, and Texas has a fairly easy rest of the way. So that means Louisville could either move down, with losses, or in my eyes, take over the No. 1 spot and maybe even fight for the No. 1 seed in the tournament with some more big wins.
Georgia Tech is the first battle for them this Friday before they have another rematch with Pitt. The two teams have already faced once this season and Louisville came out on top in four sets. The crazy thing is, Georgia Tech's star hitter Julia Bergmann was limited in the match. Louisville's defense clearly had her number. The Yellow Jackets were led by Erin Moss instead, who had 11 kills hitting .409 and a block. Bergmann had 10 kills and six digs. 10 kills is still a lot, but were talking about a player that typically posts 20-plus per game, and just tied a program-record 38 kills in a match. She just became the first Yellow Jacket ever with four matches of 30 or more kills while moving to seventh in Tech history in career kills with 1,630 to date. If she can put up numbers like that against a tough Louisville defense, it could be a different story.
CONFERENCE CRAZINESS: Get ready for conference tournaments
No. 4 Nebraska vs No. 6 Ohio State | Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN
This one is the biggest matchup of the week. Nebraska and Ohio State are facing off for a top-10 battle, and a rematch of a five-set showdown. Last time they met this season, Nebraska narrowly pulled off the victory in a long five-set match. One little fact that I think is important to remind everyone of — this match had a lot of errors. By that, I mean Nebraska had 22 errors and Ohio State had 35. Both of these teams have not played like that in a long time — both have gotten better and cleaner as the season has progressed. So, I am excited to see the rematch.
Both teams could really use a win here. Nebraska was just swept by Wisconsin a few weeks ago and pushed to five by Northwestern. Ohio State notched a lot of their losses in the first half of the season during the non-conference schedule, but they have been cruising as of late. Either way though, those early season losses don't give them a ton of room for more. The Buckeyes have won the past 12 matches since their loss to Nebraska, so they are now facing the very last team they lost to from ALL the way back in September. You can't tell me that that is not incredibly exciting.
These are two spectacular Big Ten programs. You have Madi Kubik and Whitney Lauenstein, Kaitlyn Hord and Lexi Rodriguez for Nebraska, and then Mac Podraza leading an incredible Ohio State offense. Jenaisyia Moore has been lights out for OSU as well as Gabby Gonzales and Emily Londot, their leading scorer.
The Buckeyes will also play Purdue this week, so watch out for that one as well.