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Nebraska, Minnesota Hold Steady in AVCA Poll After Weekend Split

February 22, 2021

No. 4 Nebraska suffered its first loss of the season over the weekend, but the Huskers bounced back to split the series with No. 5 Minnesota and the result was minimal movement in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.

The Huskers remained at No. 4 and Minnesota at No. 5 after the Golden Gophers beat the Huskers 3-1 on Friday and then the Huskers swept the Gophers on Sunday.

Nebraska’s next opponent, undefeated Wisconsin, remains atop the poll with 14-0 Texas (eight first-place votes) and 12-0 Kentucky (one first-place vote) right behind them. Wisconsin’s Lauren Barnes and Jade Demps were named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week, respectively, after the duo helped the Badgers beat Michigan State twice over the weekend.

Penn State (4-3) dropped from No. 8 to No. 10 after losing a five-set match to Ohio State mid-week then beating Indiana twice over the weekend. Purdue (6-4) held at No. 11.The Buckeyes were the only new team in the poll this week, debuting at No. 19 after a 9-0 start two the season including that win over the Nittany Lions. Michigan (2-3) is on the outside looking in at No. 27 with 26 points despite dropping a match to Maryland on Friday.

What stands out about this week’s poll is a notable absence, however. After a 1-3 start to the season that includes two losses to Arizona and one to California plus six canceled matches, reigning champion Stanford fell from No. 23 to first among others receiving votes with 101 points.

This is the first time since the poll’s creation in 1982 that the Cardinal are unranked. Nebraska is now the only program that has appeared in all 564 polls.

The Huskers will head to Madison on Friday to take on the Badgers at 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network. To make room on television for the Nebraska men’s basketball team’s game against Minnesota on Saturday, the second match between the Huskers and Badgers has been pushed back from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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