Ohio State tops Nebraska in latest college volleyball Power 10 rankings

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We’re heading down the stretch, and things are about to get crazy in college volleyball. After Week 12, we only have two weeks left before the selections. Last week we had two big matchups with major implications on postseason and top-10 picks right now. Louisville defeated Georgia Tech in a huge comeback victory in five after falling behind two sets to nil in a hostile GT environment. And then Ohio State and Nebraska got even after the Huskers beat the Buckeyes in five sets in their last loss this season, 13 games ago. Ohio State dominated this time with a four set win over Nebraska.

So those are the results, and here are the rankings:

1. Tiles (1)

The Longhorns had an easy ride last week and added two sweeps to the resume. But they do have that matchup with Baylor on November 19. They already beat them in four sets in Waco earlier this season, but it’s the Longhorns’ toughest remaining matchup coming into the tournament.

2. Louisville (2)

I got to watch the game between Louisville and Georgia Tech first hand last Friday. And wow, I was in for an amazing matchup. It seemed really risky for the Cards early on as Julia Bergmann and the Yellow Jackets battled their way to a 2-0 lead in the game. It reminded me of when the Cardinals went flat against Pitt before going to five sets. Once again, the Cardinals came out in the third looking like a completely different team: Claire Chaussee went from a slow start to one of her best outings all season. She posted 27 kills while hitting over .300. Amaya Tillman also quietly had a great night with Aiko Jones. Another big thing I noticed in this matchup: Anna DeBeer has been very limited since her return, she only plays from the back line and really only contributes defensively. But on Friday night we saw her take some punches from the back row, and she also had three kills against UNC in the next game. She is slowly but surely coming back, and she will make a world of difference when she comes back in full force.

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I would like to see this team attack first, instead of having to get back into the game. In Dani Busboom-Kelly’s post-game speech (after all the positive comments about the terrific comeback), he made sure to mention that it had to be his turn to dominate and start strong…they can. Do not continue climbing from behind. This spot feels a bit high for the Cardinals right now, but I’ll keep them there until there’s a reason to move them. And remember, the rematch against Pitt is THIS week. The Cardinals won’t hold this spot for long unless they come out on top against the Panthers.

CITY OF RETURN: No. 5 Louisville women’s volleyball pulls off incredible comeback to defeat No. 13 Georgia Tech in five

3. San Diego (3)

I have the same explanation for San Diego as last week. This place also feels a bit high end, and I don’t think Toreros is a top four choice for me right now. But do they deserve a top four spot before the tournament? I think so — they’ve really gone all out with the schedule they have and they’ve won some tough non-conference battles this season. Their ONLY loss is to the Cardinals above them, and remember: Ohio State continues to rise week after week, a team that San Diego swept this season.

4. Wisconsin (4)

The Badgers remain at No. 4 by extending their winning streak to 14 straight games and advanced to 14-0 in their home games this season. The Badgers, like Ohio State, seem to be rolling at the right time of the year. Get this though: They have Penn State, Nebraska and Ohio State to close out the season. You have to love the Big Ten.

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5. Ohio State (6)

Ohio State Volleyball

Now for the Buckeyes! Ohio State moves past Nebraska in this week’s standings after defeating the Huskers in a rather dominant four-set victory on Sunday. The win avenged their last loss this season to the Huskers, a five-set thriller that took place 13 matches ago. They did so behind a season-high game from Emily Londot, who posted 23 kills while hitting .353, and added 21 digs and four blocks. Gabby Gonzales chipped in with 18 kills of her own with 20 digs, and Jenaisya Moore added 12 kills. Mac Podraza had a fantastic game with 55 assists and 11 digs and the defense was stellar, getting the better of one of the best defenses in the nation in Nebraska. The Buckeyes are absolutely on the ball right now, and in my opinion, this team is capable of a national title.

PRESS REWIND: That is how No. 6 Ohio State defeated No. 4 Nebraska volleyball in four sets

6.Nebraska (5)

I didn’t mug the Huskers too much, just flipped them with OSU after the loss. Ally Batenhorst has looked great since he returned to the lineup and we can still see this team against Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin again — three chances to add top-tier wins to his resume before picks. However, based on their wins at the moment, I think number 6 is a good spot for them. Like I said before, you have to love the Big Ten.

7. Pittsburgh (7)

Pitt remains at No. 7, though No. 7 feels bad for them considering they have the big win over Louisville and Ohio State, but also have a loss to Towson. However, this is going to be a big week for the Panthers as they have a rematch against Louisville. Another win would be monumental for the tournament standings.

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8.Stanford (8)

The Cardinals remain at No. 8 this week after posting a similar result to Louisville. They were able to pull off a five-set win over Southern Cal last week behind a career-high 24 kills from Kendall Kipp. They rallied from an 0-2 deficit as Kipp hit .413 on the night and recorded three aces, four digs and matched his season high with six blocks. I think the Trojans are a really strong team so this comeback was a gutsy performance for the Cardinals and a test they probably needed for the tournament.

9.Minnesota (9)

The Gophers have pretty much sat at No. 9 for the past few weeks. They have won the last four meetings, but haven’t played a ranked opponent since their loss to Wisconsin. That’s because they still have Penn State, Ohio State and Nebraska left on the schedule in the final two weeks of play. I think this team has a lot to prove for the tournament and they will get their chance for that soon.

10. Oregon (10)

Lastly, I will keep Oregon at No. 10 after moving them last week after the win over Washington. The Huskies just lost a bad game to Arizona, which doesn’t help Oregon’s case, but I’ll keep them just above Florida, which is right on the cusp for me. The Gators have a big matchup against Kentucky this week, so the bottom of my ranking could change a week from now.

We have so much good volleyball in the last two weeks. Buckle up, it’s going to be good.

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