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The Top Contenders For The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament

There’s a dark horse lurking to ruin a team’s perfect season.

3 Contenders in the NCAA women’s volleyball tourney

The 2021 DI women’s volleyball NCAA bracket is here, and the 64-team field tournament is set to begin Thursday, Dec. 2. 

Of the total squads, 32 were awarded automatic qualification from a conference title, with the remaining 32 championship participants selected at large.

Here’s a quick look at the top teams to watch and what to know before the first set:

No. 1 Louisville (28-0):

  • First season where Cardinals women’s volleyball has been ranked No. 1 nationally
  • Only undefeated team in the nation (!) & the first time any ACC school has gone undefeated
  • In 28 matches, they won 84 sets, lost 11 & have not been forced to a fifth set in over a month
  • Anna Stevenson has a thunderous kill and a clinching block
  • Tori Dilfer is ACC Setter of the Year for the second-consecutive year
  • Odds to win it all at +120 (bet $100 → $120)

No. 2 Texas (24-1):

  • No. 2 in the nation & second seed in the tourney
  • Clinched fifth-consecutive Big 12 Conference Championship & have won/shared 13 of the last 15 league titles
  • Brionne Butler dominates at second in the nation in hitting percentage (.465)
  • Melanie Parra ranks fourth in the nation in aces per set (.64)
  • Most experienced roster with five returning All-Americans

No. 4 Wisconsin (25-3)

  • Won share of the Big Ten title for the third straight year
  • Sydney Hilley shattered the all-time career assists record for the Badgers after dishing out 48 assists in the final regular season matchup & sits No. 2 in the nation in assists per set (11.96)
  • Dana Rettke ranks fourth in the nation in blocks per set (1.44) & fifth in hitting percentage (.442)

The takeaway

The Cardinals are the clear favorite and could become the first unbeaten champion in DI volleyball since Penn State swept back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009. But perfection is hard to achieve! That’s why we’re considering the alternative if the options are Louisville or the field, especially with Butler and No. 2 Texas out for revenge after losing in the title game last season.

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