Upsets highlight the opening weekend of the NCAA women's volleyball season
The GIST: Hollywood’s still on strike, but the court queens are already bringing the drama this year: Ten Top 25 squads (including four in the Top 10) fell to at least one unranked or lower-ranked team in the season’s first three days. Chaos.
Chomping the champs: Last season, the Texas Longhorns dropped only one match from first serve through hoisting the national hardware. This year? The nation’s No. 1 crumbled in their season opener — despite out-hitting and blocking unranked Long Beach State, the Longhorns were killed (literally) by the SoCal gals 3-1 on Friday night.
The other stumblers: A whole slate of top teams found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-1 match this weekend, including No. 5 Pitt and No. 10 Kentucky, who lost to No. 17 BYU and unranked Colorado State, respectively. Not to be outdone, No. 8 Penn State fell twice, losing to No. 11 Florida on Friday, and then to No. 20 Georgia Tech on Saturday. Yikes.
- The hardest crash, though, belongs to No. 13 San Diego, who started the season with three losses — two of ’em coming to unranked opponents (Hawaii and Northwestern). Oh, how the 2022 NCAA semifinalists have fallen…
The wildest invitational: Chances are no one had the Reamer Club Xtra Special Premier on their volleyball mayhem bingo card. But No. 16 Purdue’s mini-tourney with No. 18 Creighton, Duke, and Loyola Chicago deserves the Oscar for Most Dramatic Invite after not a single team emerged unscathed.
- Creighton opened the weekend by sweeping Loyola but ended it by handing Duke their lone weekend win. Host Purdue started with a dub but suffered two Ls, including yesterday’s stunning 3-2 match against the team that most impressed — unranked Loyola.
What’s next: Tuesday night is officially pancake night — after No. 1 Texas rebounded by sweeping unranked LMU on Saturday, their first real test will be undefeated No. 7 Minnesota tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on BTN.
- Then tune that second screen to the Pac-12 Networks where a pair of 2-0 Top 25 teams will face off: No. 11 Florida takes on host No. 3 Stanford at 9 p.m. ET. Sweet and spicy.