My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

Some times change is not need every week with the national rankings.

All but three teams maintained the same ranking from last week in the new top 10 media poll that was released Tuesday. The only changes were Ohio State moving ahead of Pepperdine to No. 8 and Loyola replacing Long Beach State for the final spot in the poll.

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. UCLA — 98 (8) points
2. UC Irvine 92 (2) points
3. Stanford — 75 points
4. BYU — 73 points
5. Penn State — 60 points
6. USC — 51 points
7. Lewis — 37 points
8. Ohio State — 28 points
9. Pepperdine — 25 points
10. Loyola — 4 points
Others receiving votes: Long Beach State, IPFW, Pacific, Lees-McRae

My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. UCLA (12-1, 7-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated UC Santa Barbara
UCLA middle attackers Thomas Amberg and Wes Dunlap are both hitting more than .525 and leading the MPSF in attack percentage. The Bruins are running the most balanced offense in the nation and are on a nation-best 10-match winning streak.

2. UC Irvine (9-2, 3-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Hawai’i twice
The Anteaters’ offense has been the epitome of consistency during their five-match winning streak. UC Irvine has an attack percentage between .330 and .365 in each of its last four matches. The big test for UC Irvine comes when it plays host to Stanford on Friday.

3. BYU (8-3, 6-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated UC San Diego twice
BYU found a way to win without All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander — even if it was against a team that BYU has never lost to in its program history. The Cougars just need to weather the storm for the next three to four weeks before Sander returns and they make a late-season push.

4. Penn State (8-1, 2-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results:
Rutgers-Newark and NJIT
Penn State did what everyone expected it to do and swept both its home match to open EIVA play. It’s unlikely that a team can go an entire conference season without droping a single set. However, if any team could accomplish the feat it’s this Nittany Lions team.

5. Stanford (9-2, 6-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge
The Cardinal should just stay away from Palo Alto, Calif., if it’s going to get these types of results. Stanford is 6-2 so far on its 10-match road trip and will conclude the season-long trip with matches against UC Irvine and UC San Diego during the weekend.

6. Lewis (8-3, 2-1 MIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated Loyola
Lewis responded from its upset loss against IPFW with sweeps of Ball State and Loyola and looks like the team to beat in the MIVA this year. If Lewis can win the MIVA regular season title and get home court throughout the MIVA Tournament, the Flyers will be extremely difficult to beat in the postseason.

7. USC (6-4, 5-4 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Pepperdine
All-American outside attacker Tony Ciarelli is without a doubt USC’s top offensive weapon. However, outside attacker Steven Mochalski and Tanner Jansen are both averaging more than 2.50 kills per game and emerging as strong secondary offensive options for the Trojans.

8. Ohio State (9-4, 1-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results:
defeated IPFW
Ohio State might have the simpliest game plan in the nation: set the ball to outside attacker Shawn Sangrey and watch him take over the match. Sangrey leads the MIVA with a 4.85 kills per game average and is on pace to have more than 1,250 attack attempts by the end of the regular season.

9. Pepperdine (6-5, 5-4 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
lost to USC
The Waves are a young team that will be Final Four contenders within the next two years but it’s nearing the time to hit the panic button on this season. Pepperdine has lost four of its last five matches and still has road matches against Stanford and BYU coming up in the next three weeks.

10. Lees-McRae (4-4, 1-0 Conference Carolinas
Last week’s results:
defeated Cal Baptist, lost to Springfield
Lees-McRae is a young team that in 2014 could get the Conference Carolinas’ first bid to the NCAA Tournament. However, the Bobcats are not a top-10 team just yet and this ranking is more symbolic in recognition of the feat Lees-McRae accomplished during the week weekend. Lees-McRae defeated Cal Baptist at the Morgan Classic to become the first Conference Carolinas school to defeat a Division I-II West Coast team.

On the bubble
IPFW —
It took a step back with its home loss to Ohio State but IPFW could move into the top 10 if it defeats Ball State on Saturday.

Long Beach State — The roller coaster ride of a season continues for Long Beach State. It’s just unclear to everyone if it’s heading up or further down.