My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

UC Irvine opens the first national media poll right where it ended last season.

The defending-NCAA champion Anteaters after winning the UC Santa Barbara Invitational to open their season received every first-place vote in the new media poll released Wednesday afternoon.

Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why I 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. UC Irvine — 100 (10) points
2. BYU — 90 points
3. Stanford — 73 points
4. UCLA — 69 points
5. Pepperdine — 56 points
6. USC — 48 points
7. Long Beach State — 40 points
8. Penn State — 36 points
9. UC Santa Barbara — 20 points
10. Ohio State — 8 points
Others receiving votes: UC San Diego, Lewis, Princeton, Cal Baptist

My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. UC Irvine (5-0, 1-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Concordia, Cal Baptist, Long Beach State and UCLA
The Anteaters won the UC Santa Barbara Invitation without All-American outside attacker Kevin Tillie having a single kill. UC Irvine is that loaded this year.

2. BYU (2-0, 2-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Hawai’i twice
Outside attacker Taylor Sander had a combined 33 kills in the two victories against Hawai’i. Let the Sander for National Player of Year campaign begin.

3. Pepperdine (0-1, 0-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
idle
My ballot was sent in before Pepprdine’s three-game loss against UC Irvine on Tuesday. The Waves will have to play better than it did in their season opener if they want to remain in the top five.

4. Stanford (2-0, 0-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated George Mason and Grand Canyon
Two nice non-conference victories to open the season, but more importantly the matches showed freshman setter James Shaw is the real deal and can successfully run the Cardinal offense.

5. UCLA (3-1, 1-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego; lost to UC Irvine
One thing is certain — this team has a flare for the dramatic. Four matches so far this season and all four have gone five games.


6. Long Beach State (2-1, 0-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Loyola and UC San Diego; lost to UC Irvine
Coach Alan Knipe came back to the college game with a bang with a third-place finish at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. Give this team so time to develop and they would be dangerous come the postseason.

7. UC Santa Barbara (2-1, 0-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Lewis and Loyola; lost to UCLA
The Gauchos have found their new starting setter in true freshman Jonah Seif. If Matt Marsh can continue to be productive on the outside, the Gauchos will be headed back to the MPSF Tournament.

8. Penn State (0-0, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results:
idle
The Nittany Lions are young and have a new look this season. We’ll see just how good they are this weekend at the Outrigger Invitational.

9. Princeton (0-0, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results:
idle
The Tigers open their season with a two-match West Coast road trip later this month. Don’t be shocked if Princeton wins one or both of those matches.

10. UC San Diego (1-2, 0-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results:
defeated Lewis; lost to UCLA and Long Beach State
Some people are already calling this the best Tritons team in program history. In addition, Kevin Ring might be the most under-rated head coach in the nation

ON THE BUBBLE
Ohio State —
When the Buckeyes show they can win a match against a nationally ranked team without All-American Shawn Sangrey they will be in my top 10.

USC — Completely honest moment. I made a mistake. I forgot to include the Trojans on my ballot this week and didn’t realize the mistake until the poll was out. Trojans will on my top 10 next week.