FloVolleyball's Weekly Notebook: Big Week For Wisconsin

Yep, Baylor is still undefeated and No. 1, but the Bears weren’t the hottest team in the country this week. Keep reading to find out who was and more of the top storylines from the last seven days in women’s college volleyball.

Wisconsin’s Big Week

The Wisconsin athletics department wasn’t shy about dubbing the Badgers’ straight-set defeat of Nebraska in Lincoln last Saturday, saying it may have been the biggest road win in program history. 

Heading into the match, Wisconsin was ranked No. 13 but was coming off that win over Penn State and Nebraska was No. 2, having lost just one match the entire season to defending national champ Stanford. 

And not only did Wisconsin beat Nebraska on the road for just the second time, the Badgers did it in straight sets for the first time ever.

Wisconsin didn’t allow Nebraska to score a single ace, the first time all season the Huskers have been scoreless from behind the service line. The offensive showdown saw Wisconsin hit .376, just slightly ahead of Nebraska’s .336.

Four Badger attackers logged double-digit kills, led by Molly Haggerty’s 11. And when there’s no clear start among the hitters, all credit goes to the setter, which is why Wisconsin’s junior setter Sydney Hilley was named not only Big Ten Player and Setter of the Week, but also AVCA National Player of the Week. 

In this week’s AVCA Top 25 Poll, Wisconsin rose to No. 7, while Nebraska fell to No. 5. Wisconsin (9-4, 5-0), Minnesota (11-2, 5-0), and Michigan (11-3, 5-0) are now the only teams still undefeated in Big Ten action.

Kentucky Takes The SEC Lead

Kentucky went down 1-2 against Florida in the marquee SEC match of the week on Sunday, but the Wildcats rallied big in sets four and five to take the lead in the conference standings.

The win extended Kentucky’s SEC win streak to 29 in a row and helped elevate the team to No. 12 in this week’s national rankings.

Florida won the blocking battle 16 to 10 and scored five aces to Kentucky’s four, but Kentucky had the better offense, specifically in sets four and five in which the Wildcats hit a combined .416. 

Kentucky outside Leah Edmond led the match with 19 kills, while Alli Stumler (15) and Leah Meyer (11) also hit double-digits. Edmond and Stumler both recorded double-doubles, with 12 and 14 digs, respectively. 

Stanford Without Plummer

Two-time national player of the year Kathryn Plummer has sat out Stanford’s last two matches with an undisclosed injury. 

Stanford, which is back to No. 2 this week, didn’t miss a beat, however, winning a pair of road matches versus Oregon, in four, and Oregon State, in a sweep. 

In Plummer’s absence, freshman outside Kendall Kipp, senior opposite Audriana Fitzmorris, and junior Megan McClure led the offense, with Fitzmorris tallying 16 kills with just one error to hit .500. Only setter Jenna Gray managed a better clip, as she scored four kills on seven attempts with no errors to hit .571.

Against Oregon State, the kills totals were lower overall, but Kipp, Fitzmorris, and McClure once again led, breaking double-digits.

Thompson: Nation’s Kills Leader

If you followed her summer with the national team, the fact that Jordan Thompson leads the nation in kills per set, total kills, and points per set. 

But the numbers themselves are pretty astonishing. She’s averaging 6.26 kills per set, hitting .356. She’s already taken 776 swings this season, and she’s first on her team with 24 aces and 161 digs. 

She’s led her Cincinnati squad to a 4-0 start in conference play, and earned her fourth American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday following a week in which she averaged 9.29 kills per set, hitting .447, and 3.29 digs per set. 

Around the nation, other national statistical leaders worth noting are top blocker Jasmin Sneed of Virginia Commonwealth, who leads not only the blocks per set list with 1.75, but also has the top total of 112. The most prolific digger is Yumi Garcia of Charlotte (6.59 digs/set), followed closely by Wright State’s Jenna Story (6.41 digs/set).

The woman with the most tired shoulder is Sarah Davis of Sacramento State, who has taken 900 swings this season, a full 15 more than the next athlete on the list.

Arizona senior middle Devyn Cross boasts the nation’s best hitting percentage, with just 15 errors to go with 103 kills, hitting .512.

Upcoming NCAA Volleyball Matches Live on FloVolleyball:

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

James Madison vs. Elon 7 PM ET

Friday, Oct. 11, 2019

UNC Wilmington vs. Northeastern 7 PM ET

Maryland vs. Penn State 7:30 PM ET

Michigan vs. Iowa 8 PM ET

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019

Maryland vs. Rutgers 7 PM ET

Purdue vs. Northwestern 8 PM ET

Indiana vs. Illinois 8 PM ET

Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019

Michigan State vs. Iowa 2 PM ET

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