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Wisconsin athletics: rankings and award updates for 1/26/21

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How are the men’s hockey, women’s hockey and volleyball teams ranked this week?

As all of the relevant polls have now been released for this week let’s take a quick whip-around the Wisconsin Badgers athletic department and see where the two hockey teams and the volleyball team are ranked.

Men’s Hockey

After splitting a series at Penn State on Thursday and Friday the Badgers (9-7-0 overall) moved down one spot to No. 13 in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today rankings.

The Big Ten has a pair of other ranked teams including the Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 4 in both polls and the Michigan Wolverines at No. 7 in both polls. Notre Dame is receiving votes in both polls and Penn State is receiving votes in the USCHO poll.

The Badgers welcome Michigan State to Madison this coming weekend and will be looking for the sweep to try and boost their ranking and their NCAA Tournament chances.

Women’s Hockey

After sweeping St. Cloud State the Badgers remain No. 1 in both polls, however they are only the unanimous No. 1 in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll. SMH at whoever voted for Minnesota in the USCHO.com poll.

There are two other WCHA teams in the rankings as the Gophers are ranked No. 2 in both polls and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 in both. Wisconsin has a bye this weekend before traveling to the Twin Cities to take on Minnesota in a potential 1 vs. 2 showdown.

Daryl Watts posted an NCAA-best eight points over the weekend en route to being named the WCHA Forward of the Week. She recorded a career-high six points in Friday’s 10-0 shutout, including her first hat trick as a Badger. This is her second consecutive week being named WCHA Forward of the Week. Watts is currently on a six-game goal streak and a 10-game point streak.

Lacy Eden earns WCHA Rookie of the Week after scoring a goal late in the final frame of Saturday’s game to give the Badgers a lead over the Huskies. She also scored a goal and had two points in Friday’s shutout. Her two goals over the weekend tied for most by NCAA freshmen. After joining the Badgers a few weeks ago, Eden has recorded three goals and one assist in just four games with the team.

Volleyball

The Badgers (2-0 Big Ten) swept a two-match series with Purdue in straight sets last weekend and remained in the No. 1 spot in the newest AVCA poll, this is the third time ever that UW has been ranked in the top spot. The Badgers earned 49 out of a possible 60 first place votes with Texas grabbing eight first place votes and sitting at No. 2.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are at No. 5, Minnesota is No. 7, Penn State is No. 9, Purdue is No. 13 and Michigan is at No. 21 which rounds out all of the Big Ten teams in the rankings. Illinois and Ohio State were receiving votes.

Wrestling

After a big upset, 22-14, over the previously No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday, the Badgers (1-2 Big Ten) moved up to No. 18 from a tie for No. 22 in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll. UW’s Eric Barnett’s fall, video below, over second-ranked Devin Schroder at 125 pounds was the catalyst for the Badgers upset.

The Big Ten, per usual, has teams littered throughout the top-25 featuring the No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes, No. 2 Michigan Wolverines, No. 4 Penn State Nittany Lions, No. 7 Nebraska Cornhuskers, No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini, No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes, No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Purdue, No. 20 Rutgers Scarlet Knights and No. 23 Michigan State Spartans. The Northwestern Wildcats dropped out of the top-25, but still sit at No. 26.

The Badgers are back in action on Sunday against the Cornhuskers for another ranked battle.