My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

For the first time this season there is no new No. 1 in the weekly top 10 media poll.

BYU stays at No. 1 — receiving all but one first-place vote — for the second straight week following its two-match sweep against No. 5 USC. In addition, Lewis had one of the biggest jump in the new poll that was released Tuesday, moving up one spots to No. 6.

Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why ranked each team where I did.

Let the debate begin on who are the best teams in the nation.

Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll
1. BYU — 99 (9) points
2. UCLA — 86 (1) points
3. UC Irvine — 84 points
4. Stanford — 62 points
5. Southern California — 59 points
6. Lewis — 52 points
7. Penn State — 38 points
8. Pepperdine — 37 points
9. Ohio State — 18 points
10. Long Beach State — 8 points
Others receiving votes: Cal State Northridge, Loyola, George Mason

My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. BYU (6-1, 4-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated USC twice
The Cougars are on a nation-best six match winning streak. In addition, outside attacker Taylor Sander was named the MPSF Player of the Week for the second straight week after averaging 5.33 kills per game in the two victories versus USC. The scary thing about this team is that it’s doing all this without All-American middle attacker Futi Tavana.

2. UC Irvine (5-2, 1-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated UC San Diego
Have to love looking at early season conference standings — and some of the goofiness that can happen because of a loss or two. With its victory against UC San Diego, UC Irvine moved out of last place in the MPSF. Don’t expect this team to finish anywhere outside of the top four by the end of the season.

3. UCLA (7-1, 2-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Stanford and Pacific
Anyone wondering if the Bruins really were a top-five team got their answer this weekend as UCLA swept Stanford. Coach Al Scates has a chance to go out on top with a Final Four appearance and national championship. And for those wondering why I don’t have UCLA above UC Irvine it’s because the Anteaters won their lone head-to-head matchup.

4. Stanford (4-1, 2-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated UC Santa Barbara, lost to UCLA
It’s hard to think that Stanford after getting so badly thumped against UCLA could actually move up one spot on my ballot this week. However, with rankings a lot of times a team benefits from the losses of others. This team is still good but needs to pick up a signature win this week versus Penn State or Ohio State to stay in the top five.

5. Lewis (4-2, 0-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated Penn State
Lewis has signature victories against Pepperdine and Penn State and played UCLA close at the Outrigger Invitational. In addition, the Flyers have five players in the MIVA top 25 for kills per game average. Through the first three weeks of the season this is the team to beat in the Midwest.

6. Penn State (2-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated Loyola, lost to Lewis
The biggest thing to take away from Penn State going 1-1 on its Midwest road trip is that the Nittany Lions won’t go undefeated this season. Penn State is still one of the best teams in the nation and will be in the Final Four in May. A win, though, against Stanford this week would do wonders for their ranking.

7. USC (3-2, 0-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results:
lost to BYU twice
Of all the teams that lost last week the Trojans had the most positives to take away. USC faced its biggest test of the season play at BYU and was more than competitive in both matches. It’s a young team and expect it only get better throughout the season.

8. Pepperdine (5-1, 4-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Hawai’i twice
Freshmen Matt West and Joshua Taylor continue to live up to all the preseason hype and the Waves are on a five-match winning streak. However, it has only one victory this season against a team with a winning record. Pepperdine’s match against UC Irvine on Wednesday will be a good measuring stick for this team ranks among the conference elite.

9. Ohio State (5-3, 0-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated Sacred Heart, George Mason and St. Francis
If you are in Columbus, Ohio, please give outside attacker Shawn Sangrey some ice for his arm. Sangrey leads the conference with a 4.17 kills per game average but also has 268 attack attempts — one of three MIVA players with more than 200 attempts. The Buckeyes right now are living by Sangrey and dying by Sangrey in their matches.

10. George Mason (3-2, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated Ball State and IPFW, lost to Ohio State
George Mason has played five matches this season and each match has gone five games — that has to be some type of record. In addition, All-EIVA outside attacker Mark Jones returned to the Patriots starting lineup during the weekend and had 54 combined kills in his first two matches.

ON THE BUBBLE
Long Beach State —
The soft spot of the 49ers schedule is coming up. This team needs to pick up some wins to move back into the rankings and regain some momentum.

Cal State Northridge — The Matadors had a nice win last week against Long Beach State but they need to get a few more wins before I put them on my top 10 ballot.