CVT Women’s Rankings
CVT Women’s Top 25 (11.21.11)
1) Nebraska - Responding to the Purdue loss well, the Huskers took care of Wisconsin and Minnesota at home last weekend to maintain their hold on the #1 spot. They will likely remain there and go into the postseason as my favorite to win it all.
2) USC – The Women of Troy have been able to establish themselves as the premier team in the Pac 12, barely. They are still not a complete team, but they are making up for their areas of weakness with great team play as of late.
3) Penn State – Russ’ Roses showed the volleyball world last weekend, with a comfortable win over Purdue in State College, that they have not checked themselves out of the hunt for their fifth consecutive National Championship. Just as they usually do, the Nittany Lions are starting to play their best ball at the right time – right now.
4) Purdue - Playing at Rec Hall is not the easiest of tasks for any team but a lot of people expected a bit more from Purdue last weekend than what they put out against Penn State. That being said, the Boilers were able to sweep a quality Ohio State squad in Columbus, and have won 10 of their last 11 in the Big Ten.
5) Hawaii – Fortunately for Hawaii, and unfortunately for the rest of the country, it is very tough to determine just how good the Wahine are by playing Idaho and New Mexico State every 5 weeks and having luaus in the spaces between. However, they have won 21 matches in a row, and the folks in Honolulu really think they have something special – we’ll take their word for it.
6) Texas - After a rocky start, it is good to see Elliot’s ‘Horns startoing to play like the team most people thought they would see by this time in the season. There may not be a team in America that can match up with this team in terms of athleticism and physicality, but it will be interesting to see what playing a relatvely weak Big 12 schedule will do to prepare them for the postseason.
7) Illinois - Loss to Michigan State or not, the Illini are still a team with all the pieces to make a run deep in the NCAA tournament. They appear to be playing like a typical Hambly Illini team and are starting to fade last in the brutal Big Ten season, but not too much to fear for the Illiniwek faithful – they still like to put on good showings when it counts, in the the tourney.
8) UCLA - This team, along with several others in the PAC 12, are good at only playing to their potential about every other weekend. When the Bruins do play at their highest level though, they are a very good team.
9) Stanford -Again, the Cardinal might just be here in an effort to save face down the road, because it would not surprise me a bit if this team made a Final Four
10) Michigan State - After the landmark win Sparty has been looking for for the past few seasons, MSU finally finds themselves in the CVT Top Ten. As athletically talented as any team in this poll, it has always been a case of will they put it all together – right now, they are starting to do just that.
11) Northern Iowa
18) Iowa State
21) Florida State
23) Ohio State
24) Western Kentucky
Louisville, Northern IL, Dayton, Morehead State, Michigan
CVT Women’s Volleyball Rankings (11.7.11)
1) Nebraska - The Huskers took a big hit last week losing Lauren Cook while she sorts out her legal matters and many thought this would be a weekend to bring them back to the pack in the Big Ten. Behind backup setter, Brigette Root, UNL was able to sweep the weekend and stay at 2 losses on the year and one in conference play. Possibly the best defensive team in the country and one of the best offensive teams in the nation, it is pick your poison with the #1 Huskers.
2) UCLA - A team we are still not sold on, but they have performed very well in the last few weeks. After getting tagged with the kiss of death, the AVCA #1 ranking, some thought the Bruins would trip up with the Washingtons, but they didn’t even come close. 6-0 in sets on the weekend.
3) Illinois – A loss at Purdue is hardly something to mock. Especially when they gave the Boilermakers an identical treatment in Champaign a month ago. Ward is looking like the NPOY candidate people saw in her at Florida, and the ball control and defense is picking up for the Illini.
4) Purdue - The Boilermakers could be playing the best volleyball of anyone in the country right now. They have won seven in a row in the Big Ten and have climbed up to a tie for 2nd in the conference. We will get a great test of the fight and tenacious defense we hear about from the Boilers on Saturday night in West Lafayette when #1 Nebraska comes into town.
5) USC - The Women of Troy gave the state of Washington the same treatment as UCLA. It has been a rollercoaster of a season fro Haley’s squad, but they are starting to look like a team that could advance to a Final Four.
6) Penn State - 10 sets in a weekend proved to be too much for the Nittany Lions as they dropped a 5-set math at unranked Wisconsin on Sunday. However, they have still proven how good of a team they are becoming. It was just a matter of time before so much young talent began to fuse together.
7) Hawaii – Long story short: they haven’t lost in a really long time.
8) Texas – A big win over Iowa State was followed by a close battle with 2-10 (Big 12), Kansas. They still show they have the ability to be a great team, this ranking is based upon what they are shaping into rather than what they have been for parts of the team.
9) Stanford - To be completely honest, this a default. Stanford is good, and is probably a top ten team, but if they played 17th ranked Florida right now, they might lose. It is tough to tell with them whether they are a Final Four team or a Thrifty 32 team.
10) California - After a few bad stretches, the Bears have calmed down a bit. Playing Colorado and Utah helps, but they are certainly a top ten team going by talent and coaching.
12) Northern Iowa
13) Michigan State
18) Iowa State
21) Florida State
24) Ohio State
25) Western Kentucky
Oklahoma, Northern IL, Dayton, San Diego, Michigan
CVT Women’s Volleyball Rankings (9.27.11)
1) Illinois – Another 5-set win for the Illini keeps them undefeated. This time it was over then-3rd ranked Minnesota. For as wide open as this season is, calling a team #1 is tough, but to this point, they have earned it.
2) USC - A big jump from 13, but you beat the #1 and #4 team in the nation in one weekend you have some backing. The Women of Troy started the year as a top 5 team in my book, but a lot of drama and some inconsistency left them a little wounded, but this ranking system is based largely on how good teams are which is indicitave of how they are playing right now. USC is playing really well right now.
3) Oregon – Since the sole loss of the season the first weekend of play, the Ducks have dropped just one set – including a weekend sweep of the Pac 12 newbies (Colorado and Utah) Playing Washington, Cal, Stanford, USC, and UCLA in their next 6 matches will likely give them at least a loss or two, but at this point, they have given us no reason to put them anywhere outside of the top 5.
4) Purdue - One weekend into Big Ten play and the Boilermakers are still unbeaten. Good wins over then-7th ranked Michigan and 20th ranked Michigan State over the weekend propel the 13-0 Boilers to the top 5.
5) Nebraska – It took them all five sets, but the Huskers put Penn State away Wednesday night and looked pretty good doing it. Another “Welcome to the Big Ten” weekend awaits them as they travel to Michigan and Michigan State.
6) California - A rough winless weekend for the Golden Bears drops them five spots to six. This team still has the full capacity to be very good, but they have to win to remain where they are in these rankings.
7) Minnesota – The Golden Gophers suffered the heartbraking 5-set loss at home to the top-ranked Illini. Wittman and crew are still a very talented ballclub and have a great opportunity to bounce back with talented teams like Penn State and Ohio State on the travel log this weekend.
8) Michigan - Rosen’s crew is no longer unbeaten after a 3-0 sweep in West Lafayette at the hands of 4th ranked Purdue, but they are still a very quality and balanced team. With #5 Nebraska coming to Ann Arbor this weekend, the Wolverines have a great chance to get back on track with a big win over the Huskers.
9) UCLA - Still a little unsure of the Bruins ability. They play well at times and don’t at times. Usually that would not warrant a top ten ranking, but in the times they’ve played well, they’ve beaten Stanford, Cal, and Hawaii.
10) Stanford - We are in limbo with the Cardinal. Early season, they looked like a 10-15 team, but the Nike Four changed our mind a bit, this past weekend regressed that thought.
11) Penn State
17) Northern Iowa
18) Iowa State
20) Michigan State
24) Ohio State
25) Miami (FL)
Oklahoma, Northern IL, Dayton, San Diego, Cincinnati
CVT Women’s Top 25 (9.19.11)
1) California – We’ll bite. They’re unbeaten. That means they’ve played people and beaten all of them – including Stanford. Rich’s Lady Fellers start the CVT year off on top.
2) Illinois – 3 five-set matches, but still the Illini record remains unblemished. Are there multiple teams in the country that could beat Illinois? Absolutely. But They have earned this spot about as much as anyone.
3) Minnesota – One win over Oregon and two sweeps of Texas highly overshadow an early season 5-set loss to USC and the recent 5 game slip-up at the hands of Kansas.
4) Stanford - A team we originally had pegged for 12-16 proved me wrong at the Nike Big Four beating both Penn State and Florida. There are certainly some flaws in the Cardinal game, but no one else can say any different.
5) Oregon- A win over Penn State to start the year, a loss to Minnesota the following night mid-hangover, and eight consecutive wins since give me no reason to have the Ducks any lower.
6) Penn State – Three losses in a season would be a bit much for the traditional Nittany Lion ballclub, but this is not your older brother’s PSU team – try 3 losses in the first 7 matches. This team is young and weak in certain areas, but still talented enough to beat anyone in the country.
7) Michigan - Quality wins over Florida State, Pepperdine, and Dayton highlight the Wolverines’ 12-0 start. A team that was supposed to be rebuilding is showing the volleyball world just how vital Lexi Zimmerman was to success – not.
8) Nebraska - The hiccup in Fort Collins looks worse and worse each day as Colorado State continues to spiral out of control, but this team is still very good. Good enough to compete for a B1G title (with the other 5 teams in this top 10)
9) Purdue - A very light schedule to start the year with wins over Baylor, Ball State, Louisville, and Cincinnati jumping off the Boilermakers’ page, but they are still 11-0 and still return great talent from a year ago and add that to a big-time freshmen class.
10) Florida - You might think the Gators are too low here, you could be right. After all, Tangerine and the gang return the vast majority of a team that was number one in America and the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament just last season. But for now, they stay where they are, ironically behind the team that knocked them out a year ago.
16) Northern Iowa
17) Iowa State
19) San Diego
23) Florida State
24) Colorado State
25) Bowling Green
Oklahoma, Ohio State, Miami (FL), Long Beach State
CVT Final Women’s Top 25 (12.20.10)
1) Penn State - The Rarest Roses took advantage of an easy track to the Final Four and nothing short of dominated when they got there. The Nittany Lions finished the season with only 3 losses, all to CVT Top 25 teams (Stanford, Purdue, Indiana), and all before Halloween. First-team All-Americans, Blair Brown and Arielle Wilson did their part to get to the tournament, but it was the future of the program (McClendon, Scott, Slay) that shined at the dance. The future looks very bright for the nation’s top team.
2) Texas – Taking out UCLA, Illinois, and Purdue en route to getting to the Final Four put this team at the top of “the rest”.
3) California - Easy, Feller. We know you think finishing National Runner-Up should put you at #2 automatically, but we here at CVT would rather see you get upset enough to start a brawl with Jerritt Elliot.
4) USC – A trip to the Final Four is good enough for a Top 4 ranking in our book.
5) Stanford – A season of ups and downs for the Cardinal ended up in an Elite Eight run and a tough 5-set loss to USC in the Regional Finals. Dunning’s squad proved their mettle as a top 5 team the whole year, including netting a victory over the eventual national champion.
6) Nebraska – An early exit is not enough to send the Huskers too far down the rankings as they still put on a very impressive display in the last 3/4 of the season after a few early season bumps.
7) Minnesota – After finally figuring out a setting situation that slightly plagued them, the Golden Gophers found a way to reel of 12 of 13 before eventually falling to National runner-up, California. In Mike Hebert’s last season, Minnesota and heir young guns were able to finish the season strong and find their way into the CVT top 10.
8) Florida – After spending half the season ranked number one in the country, the Gators showed a little of what many doubters believed was true in an 0-3 embarrassment at the hands of Purdue in the regional semi-finals. That being said, they did finish the season with a perfect conference record and only two losses, one being to the national champion, Nittany Lions.
9) Purdue – Purdue finished its season winning 8 of 9 before losing to Texas in Austin in the Elite Eight. Dealing with a tremendous amount of adversity throughout the year, the Boilermakers were able to take down 3 top 10 teams including wins over then-No. 1, Florida, and national champion, Penn State.
10) Washington – Johnny Mac’s Huskies struggled a bit before the tournament, but once the tourney committee gifted them with a few weeks at home in Seattle, they went to town. Wins over Michigan, Hawaii, and Nebraska brought them back to the top ten as they bailed out in the top ten.
16) Ohio State
17) San Diego
20) Northern Iowa
22) Colorado State
CVT Women’s Top 25 (11.22.10)
1) Penn State – The Nittany Lions have not lost since their fateful trip to the Hoosier state almost two months ago. They are becoming very dominant and have all but locked up their next Big Ten Championship. A big matchup in Minnesota highlights this weekend in conference.
2) Florida – Yes, those Wise enough to realize it, the Gators got skipped over for PSU. Penn State already beat Florida, at Florida and they have been playing very well lately, Florida has not been.
3) California – Easy, Feller.. Cal closed out their season sweep of Stanford this weekend.
4) Hawaii – Long time no lose.
5) Nebraska – They are still Cooking in Lincoln.
6) Stanford – The loss to Cal for the second time shows us this team is not quite to the level they should be; especially this late in the season.
7) Texas – Their 13th consecutive win moves the Longhorns up a spot to 7.
8) USC – A big matchup with Sealy’s Bruins should give us n idea of how good of ball these teams are playing when it matters.
9) Northern Iowa - 23 in a row.
10) Dayton - The Flyers have put themselves in a really good position heading into the dance and I look for them to be hard to beat in the Dayton regional.
16) San Diego
20) Ohio State
21) Iowa State
22) Colorado State
Tennessee, Cal St Fullerton, Oklahoma, Duke, St. Mary’s (CA), Louisville
CVT Women’s Top 25 (11.15.10)
1) Stanford – The Cardinal are a better team than Florida. They have more experience at a high level and all Florida has done in the last months is hold off weak opponents. Stanford has defeated Washington, USC, and UCLA in their current win streak.
2) Florida – Don’t worry too much Gator fans. You are still right there. A 19-match win streak is nothing short of great, but don’t go 5 with Auburn or 4 with Mississippi State if you want to stay on top.
3) Penn State - The Nittany Lions reaffirmed their KS ranking this weekend by sweeping both Wisconsin and Illinois to move into a tie for first in the Big Ten. The Creamery is hopping in Happy Valley.
4) USC – A weekend of Arizonas annihilation keeps the Women of Troy in the four spot this weekend.
5) Nebraska – Cook’s bunch had another good weekend taking out Kansas State and Colorado in convincing fashion.
6) Hawaii – The Wahine have made the WAC their own personal stuffed pig. Winning 56 consecutive sets keeps Shoji’s crew at 6. Well, that and the fact that Kanani Danielson is averaging 4.5 kills per set at a .300 clip.
7) California – Rich’s Lady Fellers proved they are a top ten caliber team again this weekend by disposing of the state of Washington.
8) Texas – Heading into a big match against Missouri on Wednesday, the Longhorns have been playing at a very high level and starting to look like a Final Four caliber team again just in time.
9) Northern Iowa - 21 in a row. They lost the first weekend of September, so did a lot of teams. They just haven’t lost since then. Their best test in a long time comes this week as they hit the road and play Wichita State and Missouri State.
10) Illinois - The Illini started the weekend off well with a 3-1 victory at Ohio State, but ended it with a screeching crash in University Park, PA. PSU is a top 3 team though, and that is somewhat expected of a top 3 team, so Illinois stays in the top ten.
17) San Diego
19) Ohio State
22) Iowa State
23) Colorado State
Ball State, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Duke, Missouri
CVT Women’s Top 25 (11.8.10)
1) Florida – They’ve done it. The Gators have finally reached to pinnacle of the KS ranking. I guess I will stop the Wise cracks for now…. (See what I did there?)
2) Stanford – The Cardinal are back in the top 3. Right now the Pac 10 is a crapshoot and honestly, the whole bunch could be between 2-10 or 12-20. We should find out soon though.
3) Penn State - Well look who decided to show back up in the top 3. They Nittany Lions have won 8 straight and head into a weekend showdown with the Illini and have their sights set on a Big Ten title.
4) USC – Another big win for the Women of Troy as they took out Cal last weekend to complete the season sweep.
5) Nebraska – The Huskers have responded to the loss at Texas with three consecutive wins including a sweep over Iowa State. If they can win out, they wuill still have an excellent shot at a top 4 seed.
6) Hawaii – Yea… They still haven’t lost in a long time.
7) California – A long tumble from the top for the Golden Bears as they struggled to defend their homecourt this past weekend losing to USC again, in 4, and narrowly escaping UCLA 16-14 in a fifth set. There were some doubts surrounding this team all season, some are starting to be cleared up.
8) Texas – The Longhorns will look to take their winning streak to 10 matches as they take on Baylor on Wednesday. Jerritt Elliot’s squad has started to play the kind of Texas Volleyball people are used to.
9) Illinois – It is possible that a lack of talented depth, on-court leadership, and just overall wear from playing at such a high level for sop long has started to catch up to the Illini as they were swept at Northwestern on Friday. Or perhaps it was just a perfect storm for the Wildcats that pushed them over the edge after a sub-par stretch in conference play had plagued them up to that point. Either way, Next weekend at Penn State and Ohio State will be very large for the Illini and the Big Ten.
10) Northern Iowa - The streak is now at 19, including a gutsy 27-25, 27-25, 29-27 sweep of Notre Dame in South Bend.
13) Colorado State
19) Iowa State
20) San Diego
23) Ohio State
Arizona, Tennessee, Ball State, Oklahoma, Duke, Mizzou