There is a new No. 1 in the national media poll for the first time this season.
BYU after defeating then-No. 1 UC Irvine during the weekend received all but one first-place votes to move atop to the new national media poll released Tuesday night.
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. BYU — 99 (9) points
2. Pepperdine — 90 (1) points
3. UC Irvine — 67 points
4. Penn State — 65 points
5. Stanford — 62 points
6. UCLA — 54 points
7. USC — 42 points
8. Long Beach State — 34 points
9. Cal State Northridge — 15 points
10. UC Santa Barbara — 8 points
Others receiving votes: Ohio State, Lewis, Pacific, Cal Baptist, UC San Diego
My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. BYU (5-1, 4-0 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Irvine and UC San Diego
Taylor Sander and Ben Patch look like the best outside attacker combination in the nation. The Cougars are rolling and may not lose at home the rest of the season.
2. Pepperdine (3-1, 3-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Pacific and Stanford
If anyone had any doubts that Matt West was an elite setter as sophomore, they got their answer Sunday. West had 51 assists and guided Pepperdine to a .386 attack percentage against then-No. 2 Stanford.
3. Penn State (4-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Lewis
Penn State got a signature non-conference victory against Lewis. Now don’t be shocked if the Nittany Lions have a 20-match winning streak at some point this season.
4. Stanford (5-2, 2-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results: lost to USC and Pepperdine
No shame in those two losses during the weekend, and after I sent in my ballot Stanford looked impressive in a victory against UCLA on Tuesday.
5. UC Irvine (4-3, 1-3 MPSF)
Last week’s results: lost to Cal Baptist and BYU
No one will say that the Anteaters peaked in January. However, this team is still a threat of repeating as NCAA champions.
6. Long Beach State (5-2, 3-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Hawai’i twice and UCLA
Outside attacker Taylor Crabb averaged 4.50 kills per game in the three matches last week. That threat on the outside will keep the 49ers a contender all year.
7. Cal State Northridge (3-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Concordia and Grand Canyon
The Matadors have quietly won three matches. If it can pull off the upset against UC Irvine on Wednesday it will legitimize it as a top 10 team.
8. Pacific (2-2, 1-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated USC, lost to Pepperdine
If Pacific can dig and pass like it did in an upset against USC on Sunday for the rest of the season, the Tigers will be in the MPSF Tournament.
9. UCLA (6-3, 2-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Santa Barbara, lost to Long Beach State
Coach John Speraw sent a message by telling certain players to not even attend a conference match because of actions that he described as not in the best interest of the team. That says a lot about the character and type of program he is building at UCLA.
10. USC (2-2, 2-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Stanford, lost to Pacific
Does anyone have any idea where to rank this team? I sure don’t with their resume.
ON THE BUBBLE
Princeton — Princeton opens its season, finally, next week against UC Santa Barbara. There hasn’t been this much excitement for people from New Jersey to travel to California and compete in a sporting event since Daniel LaRusso took on the Cobra Kai.
Ball State — The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since 2007. This could be the last undefeated left in men’s volleyball come next week.