Nebraska remained at No. 3 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll after a 2-0 start to Big Ten play.
The Huskers swept Michigan State on Friday then beat another top-10 team in Ohio State in five sets on Saturday. The Huskers had to play without Nicklin Hames again as she has now missed three straight matches, leaving the setting duties to sophomore Kennedi Orr and junior Anni Evans.
“I don’t think we’re anywhere near close to what we can be,” Coach John Cook said after the Ohio State win. “A lot of that will come down to setting, that getting better and once we get that and our hitters can get more confidence and take big swings and use the block … Kennedi played great in game five, and so did Anni, so they’ve got to take a lot of confidence from this.
“Nicklin [Hames] has had 9000 sets in her career; both those guys last week had 400 each. So just look at the difference in experience right there. I think they’re trying to get comfortable with the 6-2. I think this was our fourth match we’ve done it with these two and it’s hard to stay in a rhythm when you’re coming in and out like that.”
Texas (10-0) is the unanimous No. 1 after receiving all 64 first-place votes. Louisville (11-1) remained at No. 2 while San Diego (11-1) stayed right behind Nebraska at No. 4.
Purdue (11-1, 2-0 Big Ten) vaulted six spots to No. 5 after sweeping Minnesota. The Boilermakers’ lone loss was at Louisville on Sept. 9.
The Buckeyes (5-5, 1-1) moved up one spot to No. 6 despite the loss at Nebraska. Minnesota 6-4, 1-1) bounced back from the loss to Purdue by sweeping Wisconsin, moving up one spot to No. 7. The Badgers (7-3, 1-1) swept Northwestern in their Big Ten opener and dropped two spots to No. 8.
Penn State (12-1, 1-1) dropped out of the top 10 after suffering its first loss of the season at home to Minnesota in three sets, falling to No. 12. The win boosted Michigan (11-1, 2-0) to the top of the others receiving votes group at No. 26, just 24 points behind No. 25 Western Kentucky.
A week after jumping into the top five, Stanford (6-4) dropped back down to No. 9 after losing to Oregon in a sweep, which allowed the Ducks to climb five spots to No. 16. Kentucky (6-5) dropped three spots to No. 18 after splitting a pair of matches against LSU. Pepperdine (9-5) dropped its first two conference matches in four sets, but both losses were to top-20 teams in San Diego and No. 15 BYU, so the Waves only dropped three spots to No. 20. Creighton (10-3) moved up one spot to No. 21 after opening Big East play with a pair of sweeps.
Nebraska will not face a ranked opponent this weekend for the first time since the first week of September, but the Huskers will hit the road for a pair of matches at Rutgers on Friday and at Maryland on Sunday. The Terrapins announced on Monday that their match against the Huskers is sold out at the XFINITY Center Pavilion.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.