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NCAA volleyball news and notes, AVCA poll, opening-weekend leaders

It’s pretty tough to be the Big Ten freshman of the week. Tougher to be the B1G player of the week.

But Purdue’s Eva Hudson was given both honors Monday after having one heck of a start to her college career. 

She is one of many players who compiled big numbers as the 2022 NCAA volleyball season got underway this past weekend.

The AVCA first regular-season poll was announced Monday and Texas took over the top spot. Nebraska went 3-0 and dropped to second.

And we have a look at some of the top performers after the first weekend.

MONDAY-TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY:  There are two matches on the Monday schedule when Arkansas-Pine Bluff is home for Arkansas Tech and Cal Poly plays at Utah Valley.

There are 18 matches on Tuesday, including No. 12 Stanford at No. 13 Florida. Stanford opened with wins in Nashville at Lipscomb and Tennessee State, while Florida beat North Florida, East Tennessee and Virginia.

Also Tuesday, Northern Colorado is at Colorado State and Texas Tech is home for Tarleton State.

Wednesday’s 12 matches include some key battles when No. 4 Minnesota is at Texas, Florida State is home for Florida A&M, Auburn plays host to Alabama State, and in a big battle of 3-0 Bluegrass State teams, No. 3 Louisville goes to No. 22 Western Kentucky.

You can find the viewing links at the TV & Streaming Listings.

AVCA POLL: As you would expect after a wacky weekend when so many Power 5 teams lost, the new coaches poll looks quite a bit different than the preseason popularity contest from two weeks ago. 

After Texas and Nebraska, Louisville jumped a spot to No. 3, Minnesota did the same to No. 4, and Georgia Tech moved up from ninth to No. 5. Wisconsin, which lost at Baylor, dropped three spots to No. 6. BYU is up three spots to No. 7. 

Others making big jumps included Baylor from 16th to No. 9 and San Diego from No. 25 to No. 15 after beating Pittsburgh, Texas A&M and Hawai’i. But San Diego this week plays at Louisville against the Cardinals and No. 8 Ohio State. 

There were big drops by Washington from No. 8 to 14th and USLC from 12th to No. 23. Utah dropped out and Marquette got in at No, 24.

Click here for the complete AVCA Division I Poll. 

TRIVIA QUESTION: Who is the NCAA active career leader in kills? Answer below.

BIG NUMBERS: Start with Hudson, the 6-foot-1 product of Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Munciana, had 18 kills in the Boilermakers’ season-opening sweep of Bowling Green while hitting .444, had 12 more kills and hit .321 in a sweep of Loyola Chicago, and then had 17 more kills in a four-set victory over Tennessee. She led Purdue in kills in all three matches. 

The Big Ten told us that the last freshman to sweep boht awards was Julia OrzoÅ‚ of Wisconsin, who did it last October. The only other time it’s happened in the first week of the season was by Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy in 2017.

So after the first weekend of the NCAA volleyball season, she leads the Big Ten with 47 kills. Alissa Kinkela, a 6-4 Australian freshman, had 46 kills for Rutgers, which beat Fresno State, The Citadel and College of Charleston and is 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Jess Mruzik is third with 41 kills and she leads the B1G with a .568 hitting percentage after the Wolverines beat Old Dominion, Northern Arizona and Utah Tech … 

In the SEC, Mississippi State’s Sania Petties has 20 kills with no errors in 28 attacks, while Morgan Fingahl of Tennessee has the most kills, 61 … 

Megan Wilson of Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with 50 kills in 10 sets … 

Also at five kills per set is Oregon’s Brooke Nuneviller, but she’s fourth in total kills in the Pac-12 after the first weekend. Cal’s Lydia Grote has 57, Colorado’s Lexi Hardych has 43, Arizona State’s Marta Levinska had 41 and Colorado’s Meegan Hart also has 40. Stanford’s Sami Francis had 13 blocks in two matches. Not surprisingly after seeing those numbers by Hardych and Hart, Colorado leads the Pac-12 wth 166 kills, 27 more than Utah … 

In the ACC, Clemson’s Camryn Hannah leads with 50 kills in 10 sets, while Polina Shemanova also had 50 but in 12 sets. Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann only played seven sets, but the bgi Brazilian has 45 kills while hitting .389 … 

Another with five kills per set was High Point sophomore outside Sydney Palazzolo … Creighton’s Norah Sis, the national freshman of the year last season, picked up where she left off and is averaging 4.91 kills and 2.27 digs after a 3-0 start.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Utah State graduate student Kazna Tanuvasa, a 5-11 outside hitter from Lehi, Utah. She has 1,615 kills. Logan Eggleston of Texas is second with 1,547, followed by Lauren Deaton Samford with 1,538.

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Cammy Niesen of Ole Miss goes all out as Julia Dyess looks on in their season-opening match against Georgia Tech/Ole Miss photo