Volleyball Committee Rankings
Similar to how we see the committees for women's basketball and men's basketball release their top rankings every so often leading up to the NCAA Selection Show, we saw the same with volleyball as the committee released their first top-10 of the season.
Texas (11-0) has been the unanimous #1 across multiple polls in this one is no different. Without a blemish on their record and four ranked wins, it's hard to argue that.
Louisville (13-1) comes in at #2. The Cards moved to 6-1 against ranked opponents with their win against Georgia Tech, a win total that's hard to top, but the loss to Ohio State prevents them from taking the top spot.
San Diego (13-1) is #3. This is probably the most surprising one to me when you compare it to their #25 preseason ranking. The only loss for the Toreros this season came to Louisville in the Cards' home opener. USD has looked quite impressive this year with three ranked wins already despite not being in a Power Five conference.
Nebraska (12-1) is #4. Last year's runner-up continues to be excellent year in and year out. They suffered a semi-surprising loss at home to Stanford, but has three ranked wins and has looked good in each of them.
Pitt (14-2) comes in at #5. The only other team in the ACC in the top-10 sits a bit high in my book. Their season opening loss to San Diego doesn't look so bad now. However, a 3-1 loss at home to an unranked Towson isn't good. To be fair, Towson is 16-0 on the year with a pair of Power Five wins, but nonetheless, a loss to an unranked team at home should knock you down further.
Ohio State (7-5) is #6. This has led to a bit of a debate across the volleyball world. The Buckeyes opened the season with back-to-back losses to Texas and followed it with a loss to San Diego. Their other losses are to Pitt and Nebraska, both ranked ahead of them. They do have ranked wins against Louisville, Georgia Tech, and BYU, all on the road or at neutral sites, which is quite impressive. But still, five losses is a lot to be a borderline top-four seed.
Oregon (10-2) is #7. The Ducks dropped back-to-back matches to ranked teams Minnesota and Penn State at Minnesota but bounced back by taking down Stanford shortly after. The toughest part of their schedule is over as the Pac-12 seems to be having a slightly down year so things should get easier for them.
Stanford (8-4) is #8. All of their losses are to ranked teams- Texas, Louisville, Oregon, and Penn State- but they also have wins against ranked Nebraska, Minnesota, Florida, and Washington. Their loss to Oregon seems to be the biggest reason their a spot behind the Ducks.
Purdue (13-1) is #9. Their sole loss came from Louisville. Their strength of schedule is a bit on the down side up to this point but did they did sweep Minnesota and have looked good in their non-conference matches. The Big Ten is always tough in volleyball so we'll get a better feel for the Boilermakers in a few weeks.
Minnesota (7-5) rounds at the top grouping at #10. Another team that causes some debate due to five losses, the Golden Gophers lost to ranked teams in Texas, Stanford, Pepperdine, and Purdue, but did lose at home to a receiving votes Northwestern team. Wins against Baylor, Florida, Oregon, Wisconsin, and receiving votes Washington State help build the resume back up. Still, five losses and one of them coming to an unranked team makes me feel they're ranked a tad high.
The committee seems to really emphasize matches against ranked opponents- even the losses- above everything else. Head-to-head records seem to make quite an impact as well.
Louisville still has three ranked matches remaining- two against Pitt and one against Georgia Tech- which appears to only help their resume further. Next on the schedule for Louisville is a trip to the northeast with matches against Boston College (13-5, 1-3 ACC) and Syracuse (8-6. 4-0 ACC).
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!