Well, it was bound to happen eventually, and I suppose it’s fitting that it happened against Stanford, the team that handed Penn State its last loss back in September, 2007. Three years ago, however, the loss came in a gut-wrenching 5-game marathon; last weekend in the inaugural Nike Big Four Classic in Gainesville, FL, however, Penn State was swept by The Cardinal.
No, that’s not a typo. Penn State got swept. They lost 3-0, 28-26, 25-12, 25-18. The team that dropped less than five games last year lost three in a row. Ouch.
Stanford also took down Texas, who was ranked No. 5 last week but is now hovering near the bottom of the top 10 at No. 8, with a 3-game sweep, earning them the championship of this weekend’s tournament.
With that kind of performance I hardly need to tell you who now sits atop the AVCA coaches’ poll. That’s right, Stanford is this week’s No. 1 ranked team. Penn State falls to just No. 2, with Florida, Nebraska and Illinois rounding out the top five.
Illinois was ranked No. 3 last week, but a 5-game loss to Nebraska over the weekend dropped them down a few spots. With two All-Americans sidelined, one with an ankle sprain and one with mono, there was a lot of reliance on the bench this weekend. On the strength of their victory the Cornhuskers jumped from No. 7 to No. 4.
Florida lost to Penn State but managed a victory over Texas and climbed from No. 4 to No. 3.
Other top 10 teams are: Hawaii (No. 6), USC (No. 7), Washington (No. 9) and California (No. 10).
Conference play starts this week, so things are starting to get serious. Keep your eye on Volleyball-life.com for coverage!