Minnesota falls to No. 15 in AVCA Poll

Charlie Armitz

Following a 1-1 road weekend, the Gophers volleyball team dropped one spot to No. 15 in Monday’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.

Minnesota defeated unranked Wisconsin in five sets Wednesday in Madison, Wis., before losing to then-No. 12 Purdue in four sets on Saturday.

Neither result was considered an upset, so Minnesota’s one-place fall likely happened because Iowa State — the team that jumped ahead of them — won its fourth consecutive match Saturday by beating Texas A&M on the road. The Cyclones are 7-1 in the Big 12 and 16-3 overall; the Gophers are 5-5 in the Big Ten and 12-7 overall.

Four Big Ten teams rank above Minnesota: Nebraska (No. 1), Illinois (No. 3), Penn State (No. 8), and Purdue (No. 11). Two Big Ten teams rank below the Gophers: Michigan (No. 22) and Ohio State (No. 23).

The big match in the Big Ten this past weekend featured Illinois and Nebraska. The Illini had been ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll for four consecutive weeks before losing 24-26, 25-18, 25-19, 25-11 to the Huskers on Oct. 22 in Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska defeated the Gophers in similar fashion Oct. 15, rallying from two sets down to win 28-30, 19-25, 25-10, 25-12, 15-11.

The Huskers have won 15 consecutive matches and are 17-1 on the season (10-0 Big Ten).