1. Nebraska (20-1 overall, 11-1 Big Ten)
The Huskers are on top of the AVCA Coaches Poll again this week after a weekend of sweeps against Illinois and Northwestern. NU took the top position this week in Big Ten standings, the AVCA Coaches Poll and NCAA Women’s Volleyball RPI. The team is riding an eight-game win streak heading into this weekend, when it will hit the road to take on Penn State and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions will prove to be a difficult opponent, as they have a 9-3 conference record so far this season. Rutgers is winless in the Big Ten, riding a 20-game losing streak that started early this season.
2. Wisconsin (18-3, 10-2)
Wisconsin is entering this week near the top of the Big Ten rankings and No. 2 in the RPI. The Badgers are riding a three-game win streak that includes sweeps of Iowa and Rutgers and a 3-1 defeat of then No. 10 Penn State. The Badgers will travel to take on Ohio State before returning home to take on Purdue. Wisconsin ranks near the top of the conference in hitting percentage with a .270, behind Penn State (.295) and Nebraska (.274). Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in assists with 13.65 per set and sits at No. 2 in kills with 14.30 per set.
3. Minnesota (17-4, 9-3)
Minnesota is coming off a two-game win streak after sweeping Rutgers and Penn State at home. The team sits at No. 2 in the nation in the AVCA Coaches Poll and No. 4 in this week’s RPI. As a team, the Gophers are hitting .270 so far this season while holding opponents to .180. Minnesota ranks second in the Big Ten in assists with 13.50 per set and No. 3 for kills (14.31) and blocks (2.88) per set. Minnesota will host Indiana Wednesday before traveling to Maryland Sunday.
4. Penn State (17-6, 9-3)
The Nittany Lions are No. 11 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week, down one spot from last week. Penn State is coming off a weekend of losses against Wisconsin and Minnesota. Those two matches and a 3-2 loss against Michigan Oct. 22 are the only three conference matches the team has dropped this season. Next on the calendar is a weekend at home, as the team hosts No. 1 Nebraska and Iowa.
5. Michigan (18-6, 7-5)
Michigan dropped four spots this week to a No. 17 national ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Wolverines had a tough weekend, falling in four sets to both Purdue and Indiana on the road. Michigan will host Illinois and Northwestern for Friday and Saturday matches. The Wolverines are ranked toward the bottom of the conference in hitting percentage, with a .226, while holding opponents to .208 so far this season. But the team ranks fourth in assists and kills, averaging 13.20 and 13.98 per set, respectively.
6. Michigan State (19-5, 8-4)
Michigan State also dropped in the rankings this week, moving down one space to No. 16. The team swept Indiana before defeating Purdue 3-1. The successful weekend comes after a 3-0 loss against Ohio State on the road. Michigan State returns home this weekend to kick off a four-game homestand that includes matches against Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue and Michigan.
7. Purdue (14-9, 4-8)
Purdue did not make it into the AVCA Coaches Poll this week but did receive votes on 50 ballots in this week’s ranking. The Boilermakers take the No. 17 spot in the RPI but rank toward the bottom of the Big Ten. The team was at home last weekend, splitting matches against Michigan (3-1 win) and Michigan State (3-1 loss). Purdue will host Maryland Wednesday before hitting the road to take on Wisconsin Saturday.
8. Ohio State (15-9, 5-7)
The Buckeyes had a strange weekend, facing Maryland twice in two days and splitting the matches against the unranked Terrapins. Ohio State first took on Maryland Oct. 26, dropping the match in five sets while on the road. Returning home Friday, the Buckeyes were able to sweep the Terrapins and tally another win. The team will split the remaining games between home and road matches, starting with a split set this week. Ohio State will face Wisconsin at home for the second time this season before traveling to take on Indiana Saturday night.
9. Illinois (14-9, 7-5)
The Illini are unranked this week but did receive votes on 37 of the AVCA Coaches Poll ballots. The team is coming off an unsuccessful weekend and a three-game losing streak after dropping games to No. 1 Nebraska and Iowa on the road. The team will complete a four-game road trip with matches against Michigan and Michigan State this weekend.
10. Iowa (17-7, 7-5)
The Hawkeyes had a successful set of matches last weekend with home wins against Northwestern and Illinois. Iowa ranks near the middle of the Big Ten with seven wins in conference play. The team is hitting .280 while holding opponents to .198. This weekend, the Hawkeyes will hit the road after a four-game home stand, traveling to take on Rutgers and Penn State.