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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 3, 2022

Oregon debuts and Ohio State is back in the college volleyball Power 10 rankings

College volleyball rankings: See the big changes at the bottom

After two absolutely insane weeks, the Power 10 is surprisingly not that different from last week. My top seven teams remain the same, but I have some big shakeups for the last three teams, as well as some new faces. 

The top seven teams all walked away with wins in Week 6. Purdue escaped Illinois in five sets, Stanford notched two wins over Washington and Washington State, etc. We did however see Wisconsin take down Penn State in a sweep, and Minnesota lose to Northwestern in a five-set thriller. 

Here is my top 10 after Week 6 in college volleyball, with last week's rankings in parentheses:

1. Texas (1)

Every week, I start off my Power 10 by saying Texas remains on top. I don't foresee that changing any time soon, especially now that the Longhorns made it through the non-conference schedule undefeated. They are the only undefeated team left in my Power 10, so even if they do drop a match, they would still be in consideration for the top spot. 

2. Louisville (2)

Louisville volleyball

The Cardinals stay at No. 2 especially after an impressive win over Georgia Tech over the weekend. That adds yet another ranked win to the Cardinals resume. Claire Chaussee led Louisville with 16 kills, and Aiko Jones posted 12 kills with seven blocks. Amaya Tillman added eight blocks and Elena Scott posted 26 digs. The win extended their unbeaten streak in the ACC play to 32 straight matches.

3. Nebraska (3)

The Huskers also remain at No. 3 after last week. They notched two wins over Rutgers and Maryland. Whitney Lauenstein led offensively in both wins. 

4. San Diego (4)

The Toreros are now 13-1 on the season after back-to-back sweeps over Gonzaga and Portland over the weekend. I expect that San Diego should cruise past the next few weeks before a matchup with BYU for the first time this season Oct. 21. 

5. Purdue (5)

EvaHudson

I am keeping Purdue at No. 5 though the Boilermakers did have a close call against Illinois. Illinois pushed both Purdue and Wisconsin to five sets over the weekend. Purdue came out on top behind a more-than-impressive performance again from the freshman Eva Hudson. Hudson continues to impress — she posted a career-high 24 kills to go along with 17 digs in the win. The Boilermakers are 13-1, with a highlight win over Minnesota and a top-three loss to Louisville. 

6. Stanford (6)

The Cardinal were my No. 6 team last week despite getting swept by Oregon. I still think this is the right spot for them. They just took down ranked Washington and Washington State over the weekend. They had a really balanced attack against Washington — Kendall Kipp posted 19 kills, and both Caitie Baird and Elia Rubin added 17 kills apiece. The Cardinal hit .338 as a team and registered 14.0 blocks and a season-best 67 digs — a really good sign for a team that struggled with a lot of errors in previous matches. 

7. Pittsburgh (7)

Pitt remains No. 7. The committee has this team ranked No. 5, but I have them two spots below. The Panthers notched three wins over the weekend, but when I take into consideration the wins over BYU and OSU (and an unranked loss to Towson) I didn't think that resume outranked the teams above them. In the most recent win over High Point, two players posted 20 kills — Courtney Buzzerio and Valeria Vazquez-Gomez. 

8. Ohio State (NR)

Welcome back, Ohio State. The Buckeyes are back in at No. 8 as they improved to 7-5 on the season. I have always valued ranked wins a ton in my rankings, and the Buckeyes certainly have those. But, before now, they were losing too many games and too close to .500 for me to justify putting them in. As they get more wins under their belt and as I've watched them play more, I am putting them back in. They have wins over Louisville, Georgia Tech and BYU, and all good losses to Nebraska, Pitt, Texas and San Diego. They have some tough matchups coming up, including dates with Penn State, Northwestern and Minnesota. 

9. Oregon (NR)

Oregon Volleyball

We have a new team in the Power 10 for the first time this season. Hello, Oregon! I had a hard time making the decision on Oregon when taking into consideration strength of schedule. But, this team is now 10-2, and they have a huge sweep over my No. 6 team, Stanford, and just two losses to highly ranked teams in Minnesota and Penn State. This felt fairly similar to a few other teams that I have justified in my Power 10 — like Purdue for one, who has just one big sweep over Minnesota to go off of and a ranked loss to Louisville. 

10. Minnesota (8)

No. 10 was THE most difficult ranking this week, as I was absolutely torn between Wisconsin and Minnesota. I was close to flipping a coin and calling it a day. The Gophers have the head-to-head win, which was a sweep over Wisconsin and they have more ranked wins than the Badgers. But they also have been losing more than Wisconsin lately. The Badgers just swept Penn State over the weekend whereas Minnesota was upset by Northwestern in five. I mean who do you go for? 

I am going with Minnesota for now. I know they have been inconsistent, but Northwestern is a really good team as well. Wisconsin is moving in the right direction for sure. They looked good against Penn State and very well could've been kept in. But when I am so torn like that, it made the most sense to go with the head to head here. I will be watching closely.

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