BYU one year after finishing in second place in the MPSF is now projected to win the conference this upcoming season.
The Cougars received six of 12 first-place votes and finished in first place in the MPSF Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released Wednesday.
BYU has six starters returning for the 2012 season, including Off the Block Preseason All-American outside attackers Taylor Sander and Robb Stowell. The team also ended the 2011 regular season No. 2 in the national rankings but was upset at home in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals and missed the Final Four.
The Cougars’ 115 points in the preseason poll is the most points a team has received since the 2007 MPSF Preseason Poll.
UC Irvine was projected to finish conference in second place — receiving four first-place votes and 112 points. The Anteaters last season advanced to the MPSF Tournament semifinals and return All-American outside attacker Carson Clark.
Stanford and UCLA were the only other teams to receive first-place votes — each earning one first-place vote. Stanford was picked to end in third place with 92 points, while UCLA placed in fourth with 90 points.
USC, the 2011 MPSF regular season champions, received 72 votes to round-out the top five.
The defending-MPSF champions UC Santa Barbara was 10th in the preseason poll with 32 points. The Gauchos return one starter after reaching the NCAA championship last season and pulling off one of the greatest upset runs in postseason history upsetting four top-five nationally ranked teams.
MPSF PRESEASON POLL
1. BYU — 115 (6) points
2. UC Irvine — 112 (4) points
3 Stanford — 92 (1) points
4. UCLA — 90 (1) points
5. USC — 72 points
T-6. Long Beach State — 68 points
T-6. Cal State Northridge — 68 points
8. Pepperdine — 62 points
9. Hawai’i — 44 points
10. UC Santa Barbara — 32 points
11. Pacific — 26 points
12. UC San Diego — 11 points
* Parenthesis indicates first-place votes
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