UC Irvine and Stanford received the same amount of first-place votes, but the Anteaters remain atop the new national media poll.
UC Irvine received five first-place votes and 94 points to finish four points ahead of No. 2 Stanford in the latest college men’s volleyball media poll released Tuesday evening.
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 — 94 (5) points
2. Stanford — 90 (5) points
3. BYU — 76 points
4. Pepperdine — 73 points
5. UCLA — 66 points
6. Penn State — 45 points
7. USC — 43 points
8. UC Santa Barbara — 24 points
9. Cal State Northridge — 12 points
10. Lewis — 9 points
Others receiving votes: Long Beach State, Ohio State, UC San Diego, Princeton
My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. Stanford (4-0, 1-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Santa Cruz and Pacific
The Cardinal two weeks into the season are the only undefeated team left in the MPSF. In addition, Stanford’s offense with freshman James Shaw at setter has more than .300 attack percentage in all of its matches this season.
2. UC Irvine (5-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Pepperdine, lost to USC
All-American outside attacker Kevin Tillie returned to the court and was held to less than 10 kills and a .150 attack percentage in both his first two matches back. Don’t expect those numbers to stay like that for long. UC Irvine will be fine.
3. BYU (3-1, 2-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results: split a two-match series against Lewis
BYU recovered from blowing a two-game lead and losing in five games against Lewis in the series opener. BYU’s upcoming match against UC Irvine will tell whether the outside attacker combination of Taylor Sander and Ben Patch is enough for the Cougars to win a NCAA title this year.
4. UCLA (5-2, 1-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Penn State and Ohio State, lost to Hawai’i
The odds of a team opening a season with seven consecutive five-game matches is 0.00046 percent. Coach John Speraw’s first season with the Bruins is definitely becoming memorable.
5. Pepperdine (1-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC San Diego, lost to UC Irvine
Pepperdine’s absolute drumming of UC San Diego — winning each game in the sweep by at least 10 points and hitting almost .500 — prevent the Waves from dropping out of my top 10 ballot.
6. USC (1-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Irvine, lost to UC San Diego
USC middle attacker Robert Feathers earn national player of the week honors after having 12 kills and six blocks in a sweep against No. 1 UC Irvine on Friday. The Trojans could have the best middle attacker combination in the MPSF with Feathers and Ben Lam.
7. Penn State (2-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Hawai’i and Ohio State, lost to UCLA
The new-look Nittany Lions looked impressive at the Outrigger Invitational. After its match against Lewis on Friday, Penn State will be the clear-cut favorite entering all of its matches until it plays UC Irvine on April 13.
8. Cal State Northridge (1-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Santa Barbara, lost to UCLA
Someone get some ice for outside attacker Brandon Lebrock’s shoulder. Lebrock had a team-high 38 combined kills on 89 attack attempts in the Matadors’ two matches last week.
9. UC Santa Barbara (3-2, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Long Beach State, lost to Cal State Northridge
The Gauchos are young and exciting to watch. Its upcoming match against UCLA will be a big test for the team.
10. Princeton (0-0, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: Idle
The Princeton Twitter account tweeted that the Tigers participated in a team yoga session during the weekend. That’s about all the exciting news coming from New Jersey as we wait two more weeks for Princeton to open its season.
ON THE BUBBLE
Long Beach State — Getting swept by UC Santa Barbara knocked Long Beach State out of my top 10 but a win against UCLA would put them right back in.
Ohio State — The Buckeyes had an impressive performance at the Outrigger Invitational. Now time for them to pick up some wins and get above .500.
UC San Diego — What Tritons team will it be this season: the one that upset Lewis and USC or the one that got blown out against Pepperdine.
Ball State — Might as well include them here now because if you look at their schedule the Cardinals will be the last undefeated Division I-II team in the nation in a few weeks.