Minnesota stays at No. 15 in AVCA poll despite upset

Charlie Armitz

The Gophers volleyball team retained its No. 15 ranking in Monday’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll despite its 3-0 upset over No. 3 Illinois on Saturday night in Champaign, Ill.

Saturday’s 25-19, 25-20, 25-15 win was Minnesota’s first against a school ranked in the top-three nationally. The Gophers had defeated a fourth-ranked team five times in their history, including two wins against No. 4 Texas earlier this season.

Minnesota lost in straight sets to unranked Northwestern on Friday night, which was almost as big of an upset as the Illini win. The Wildcats were 2-8 in the Big Ten’s first half before defeating both the Gophers and Wisconsin over the weekend.

Illinois fell to No. 5 in the poll.

Big Ten leader Nebraska dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the poll after losing in four sets at Penn State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions, who are tied with Illinois for second place in the Big Ten, climbed two spots from No. 8 to No. 6.

Purdue (11th), Ohio State (22nd), and Michigan (23rd) round out the six ranked Big Ten teams.

Minnesota will host Penn State and Ohio State on Nov. 4-5 at the Sports Pavilion.