Week after week, I have contemplated my Power 10 rankings Sunday evening through Monday morning. The time has come for my very last Power 10 this season — next Monday I will instead fill out and share my 2022 volleyball bracket, all the way down to the national champion.
I must say, 2022 has been the most difficult of any season I have covered. That made it extremely difficult for me, but it is great for the sport. We have had so much parity and talent in this season, and we still have more to go. One week remains in the regular season — and this season saved some of the best for last.
The Big Ten especially has some huge matchups this weekend that will have major implications on rankings and most importantly, seeding for the tournament. Selections will be on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 pm. ET.
But before then, here are my latest, and last Power 10 rankings of the season:
1. Texas (1)
The Longhorns got past their very last ranked opponent this season with a 3-1 win over Baylor. The Longhorns (22-1, 14-1) won their sixth-consecutive Big 12 Championship with the win. Logan Eggleston and Madi Skinner led the offensive effort over Baylor, as they have in virtually every match this season. The Longhorns in my mind will finish as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation based on their resume and level of dominance this season. So excited to see them in the postseason.
2. Louisville (2)
The Cards stay at No. 2 after coming out on top of two huge tests to close out the season. Louisville took down Georgia Tech in a reverse sweep, then followed up its loss to Pitt earlier in the season with a dominating sweep. The Cards dominated all facets of the game and hit a strong .309 as a team in the win. After a few slow starts this season, the Cards finally came out on fire. This team is in a good place to be in as we approach tournament time. Claire Chaussee has been lights out offensively and Aiko Jones has been top-tier as well. Anna DeBeer is playing more and more each match as she returns from injury, and has even taken a few big swings. I am excited to see if she comes back to full strength and to watch this team come tournament time.
3. San Diego (3)
San Diego remains at No. 3 with a matchup against BYU looming this week. It is possible they win out and will await their fate in the 2022 tournament. The Toreros did everything they could — beating tough non-conference opponents and then handling their conference schedule with ease. They haven't played a ranked opponent in months, which could hurt them in the tournament. But for me, I didn't feel like I could justify moving them down after moving them up earlier based on their wins.
4. Wisconsin (4)
The Badgers remain at No. 4 with two HUGE matchups coming up this week — a rematch against Nebraska and their first battle against Ohio State. The last matchup against the Huskers was a dominating sweep, so the Huskers will be looking for redemption ahead of the tournament. OSU on the other hand just lost two unexpected matchups and will really need two wins this weekend for a favorable seeding in the tournament. The Badgers have won the last 16-straight matchups, including a five-set win over Penn State this past weekend. Typically when Sarah Franklin has a great game, the Badgers have a great game. But against PSU Devyn Robinson was a star — posting 17 kills and nine blocks followed by Danielle Hart's 13 kills and eight blocks.
5. Stanford (8)
Stanford cracks the top five in my last Power 10 as Ohio State falls out of the spot. The Cardinal have been rolling as well — they too won the last 16-straight matchups and own the No. 3 RPI in the nation. In light of these being my last rankings, I wanted to give the Cardinal a boost. This is a team I would pick to go really far in the NCAA tournament and I think they deserve a top-five spot based on their resume and level of play. They have some premiere talent with Kendall Kipp, Caitie Baird and Kami Miner at setter, and I gave them the edge over Nebraska since they have the head-to-head victory.
6. Nebraska (6)
That means the Huskers stay put at No. 6 this week, with a huge chance to receive a really favorable seeding in the tournament after their two matchups against Wisconsin and Minnesota coming up this weekend. The Huskers just pulled off a big sweep over Purdue this past weekend, led by Madi Kubik with 17 kills.
7. Pittsburgh (7)
Pittsburgh is at No. 7 following the loss to Louisville in straight sets last Friday. The Panthers have another test remaining with Georgia Tech before the regular season ends. The Jackets were close to beating Louisville, so you can expect a really great matchup as both teams look to impress before Selections.
8. Ohio State (5)
The Buckeyes take a big drop to No. 8 following two really unexpected losses this past weekend to Maryland and Indiana. OSU had just taken down Nebraska in a big win and surged into the top five just over a week ago. They had just four matchups remaining with the two tough ones against Wisconsin and Minnesota to close the season. Almost everyone would have expected that THOSE two would be the battles or possible losses. But, the Buckeyes very unexpectedly lost two in a row. Some might say they should drop lower, but I still think this is an incredible team. They do still own more wins than practically anyone, to name a few — Nebraska, Louisville, Pitt, GT, BYU, Minnesota and Purdue. I still think this is a championship-caliber team.
9. Minnesota (9)
The Gophers remain at nine following a four-set loss to Penn State this past week. Minnesota has two more huge matchups against Ohio State and Nebraska to close out the regular season.
10. Oregon (10)
The Ducks close out my Power 10 following a five-set reverse sweep over Southern California. Florida lost a match to Kentucky, Creighton lost to Marquette and Baylor lost to Texas, so the Ducks were a sure pick for my 10th and final team. I am so impressed by Oregon's star freshman Mimi Colyer — she posted 29 kills while hitting over .400 in the win over USC.
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