With the Big Ten being the best conference for volleyball in the nation and the Wisconsin Badgers coincidentally being part of that, we are going to do a weekly wrap of all the important Big Ten action — along with the occasional recap of the big games across the country.
Without further ado, the Bucky’s Fifth Quarter Big Ten Volleyball Roundup:
- The Minnesota Golden Gophers have one of the best players in the country, and last year’s Big Ten Player of the Year, in opposite hitter Stephanie Samedy. Yet those Golden Gophers also have a 1-3 record — partly because they have played from what I imagine is the toughest non-conference schedule in the country.
Minnesota lost 3-1 to the No. 1 Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, and then traveled down to the No. 5 Florida Gators and lost another match 3-1. That’s despite Samedy having 31 KILLS AGAINST THE GATORS. 31!!!
Currently the issue is who else can do it besides Samedy, as the next closest Gopher had six kills. And The Gophers’ slide might continue, considering they play No. 21 Stanford and No. 14 Oregon this weekend in Eugene in the Pac-12/Big 10 Challenge
- No. 5 Ohio State — the biggest mover in the polls last week after their upset against the Washington Huskies — stayed unbeaten after three games down in Lubbock, Texas. The Buckeyes swept the Rhode Island Rams and the Texas Tech Red Raiders pretty handily, while they beat the Texas State Bobcats (side note, I got their team name right without having to google it, which I think shows how obsessed I am with college sports) 3-1 and had a bit tougher road there.
The Buckeyes will spend their weekend with three games in Virginia before a tough test against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who currently sit just outside the top-25.
- The No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers played a really weird match against in-state rival(?) Omaha. The game went to five sets — and the Huskers pulled it out, as well as sweeping their other matches against Georgia and Arizona State to go 5-0 on the year — but it was like the teams just decided to swap off dominating the match.
Omaha won the first set 25-16. Then Nebraska won 25-14. Then Omaha won 25-16. Then Nebraska won 25-13, before closing out the fifth and final set 15-7. What does it mean? Who knows. Maybe it was just performance art. Either way, as said previously, the Huskers had no issues in their other games, and they’ll play Creighton Wednesday.
- Penn State bounced back from an upset against Georgia Tech to sweep their three matches this weekend to go to 5-1 on the year. They’ll also be heading out to Eugene to take on Stanford and Oregon in what should be some real good volleyball matches.
- Purdue kept chugging along (get it, because they’re a train?) to go to 4-0 on the year. They beat UNLV and also swept the No. 25 Washington State Cougars, who are likely to fall out of the top-25 now #analytics.
- Speaking of falling out of the polls, after recently climbing into them, the No. 23 Michigan Wolverines might soon be out after they were swept by West Virginia 3-0. They bounced back to beat Navy 3-1, but the might be on the outside looking in later today.