Skip to main content

NCAA volleyball: UCLA, Miami win; reshuffled AVCA Poll; POWs

Not surprisingly after a topsy-turvy opening weekend, the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll had a lot of movement.

Most conferences announced players of the week and there were some stout performances.

There were two matches Monday as UCLA swept at Northwestern State and Miami (FL) beat visiting Florida Atlantic in four.

There are 18 NCAA Division I matches on the Tuesday schedule, two especially with current and postseason impacts. 

Stanford, up to No. 2, plays host to No. 8 Florida and No. 5 Minnesota is home for No. 7 Texas.

Stanford is coming off victories at Northern Colorado and Colorado State. Stanford is 9-5 all time against Florida, which it beat in Gainesville last year in the pre-conference season. Florida opened with wins over then-No. 8 Penn State and South Florida, but had to come back from a 2-1 deficit to win in five against USF.

Texas was the preseason No. 1, but the Longhorns opened the season with a stunning four-set loss at Long Beach State. They then swept Loyola Marymount. Minnesota beat TCU in four and swept then-No. 15 Baylor.

Rice, up to No. 18, plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette. No. 22 Western Kentucky plays host to Belmont. Among the other matches, Michigan plays Western Michigan, Illinois plays Valparaiso, and Temple, 3-0 for the first time in four years, is home for Delaware State. Jackson State vs. Northwestern State was canceled because of “COVID concerns in the Jackson State program.”

AVCA Top 25

The preseason poll was flawed and the opening weekend gave coaches a chance to sort things out. The rankings are still pretty flawed, but … 

Wisconsin, Stanford, Louisville and Nebraska all moved up one spot and are ranked 1-2-3-4.

Minnesota is up two sports to No. 5, Oregon jumped three notches to No. 6, and Texas fell from the top to No. 7.

Florida follows, just ahead of No. 9 BYU and the team BYU knocked out of a tie for fifth, now-No. 10 Pittsburgh.

The biggest jump was by Georgia Tech, which went from No. 20 to No. 11. And that was solely because the Yellowjackets beat South Florida and Penn State.

Houston is at No. 13, its highest spot in history. Penn State dropped to No. 14. Purdue took the biggest tumble, going from 16th to No. 25. 

Kansas moved in at No. 23 and so did Tennessee at No. 24. San Diego, which was No. 12 but went 0-3, and then-No. 23 USC dropped out.

Click here for the complete AVCA poll.

Northwestern State’s Tessa Gerwig, left, and Reaghan Thompson block against UCLA’s Ceridyn Leverette/Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

UCLA, Miami win

UCLA, which was in Louisiana for its split of two matches with LSU, took a day off and then traveled to Northwestern State and came away with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-22 victory.  UCLA of the Pac-12 (2-1) got 14 kills from Iman Ndiaye and 10 each fro Anna Dodson, Cheridyn Leverette and Grayce Olson. Dodson had four blocks. Northwestern State (0-4) of the Southland Conference got 10 kills from Teresa Garza …

Miami (FL) of the ACC improved to 3-0 with a 25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19 win over visiting Florida Atlantic (2-2) of the American Athletic Conference. Flormarie Heredia Colon had 13 kills for Miamia and Angela Grieve had 12. FAU’s Romina Cornelia had 12 kills.


The common theme is that there are some really good freshmen playing NCAA volleyball this fall. To wit, Florida freshman Kennedy Martin is the AVCA national player of the week.

Start with the Big Ten, where Ohio State jumped two spots to No. 12 after sweeping Northern Kentucky, getting past Bowling Green in five and then sweeping ETSU. Senior Emily Londot was the Big Ten player of the week. There was hand wringing in Columbus when coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg let four graduate students move on, including setter Mac Podraza, now at Penn State. Well, Ohio State freshman Mia Tuman is the B1G setter of the week. One of those former Buckeyes, libero Kylie Murr, now at Minnesota, was the defensive player of the week. And the B1G freshman of the week is Nebraska’s Harper Murray, who averaged 3.67 kills, hit .343 and averaged 2.33 digs during a 3-0 start …

Mimi Colyer was last year’s national freshman of the year. The Oregon outside has picked up right where she left off and is the Pac-12 offensive player of the week. Teammate Karson Bacon is the defensive POW. And in a refreshing note, Cal’s Maggie Li is the freshman of the week. The outside from Beijing is Cal’s first freshman of the week since Lauren Forte in 2018 …

It was a good week to be named Emma in the ACC. Duke’s Emma Worthington is the setter of the week and Wake Forest’s Emma Farrell is the defensive POW. The offensive POW is Louisville star outside Anna DeBeer, who is in the national player-of-the-year discussion. And the top freshman is Clemson’s Kennedy Wagner …

Sticking with the same-name theme, how about Florida’s Martin? The 6-foot-6 freshman was this week’s SEC player and offensive player of the week after averaging 5 kills per set in two victories. Another player from South Carolina, LSU’s Jurnee Robinson, was tremendous for the Tigers and is the freshman of the week after averaging 4.6 kills …

Houston is new to the Big 12, so Kellen Morin is the school’s first conference POW. The junior middle got the honor on defense. The Big 12 offensive POW is BYU’s Erin Martin and the rookie is Mia Lee, thereby becoming the first BYU Big 12 honorees …

The Missouri Valley Conference defensive POW is Drake’s Jada Wills, who had 76 digs in three tough losses … Temple’s Taylor Davenport is the AAC offensive POW after averaging 6.33 kills for the 3-0 Owls … Another Owl, Manu Johnson of Kennesaw State, is the ASUN POW after averaging 4.27 kills … 

Rya McKinnon of Howard is the MEAC POW after averaging 5.49 kills … High Point’s Dylan Maberry averaged 4.38 kills and is the Big South POW … North Carolina A&T’s Naiya Sawtelle is the CAA offensive POW after averaging 5.33 kills and 2.17 digs … Paige Bartsch had 45 kills and hit .422 for Boise State and is the Mountain West offensive POW … Natalie Mitchem of Eastern Illinois is the Ohio Valley offensive POW for averaging 4.25 kills while hitting .457 … Kacy Sekunda posted Loyola Maryland’s first triple double since 2015 against Robert Morris and the junior setter/right side is the Patriot League POW … Morgan Romano, who transferred from Rider to Chattanooga, is the SoCon POW. She averaged 4.64 kills … Carly Gillen is the The Summit League defensive POW after getting 22 blocks as her Kangaroos got off to a 3-0 start.