Another weekend and more upheaval in college men’s volleyball as two of the top-five nationally ranked teams lost and several individuals came close to setting school and conference records.
Check out the five things to take away from this weekend in college men’s volleyball.
1. UCLA keeps on winning — No. 6 UCLA (5-1, 2-0 MPSF) extended its winning streak to a nation-best five matches as it upset No. 1 Stanford in five games on Friday and swept Pacific on Saturday. Outside attacker Robart Page had a combined 40 kills in the two victories, including a career-high 26 kills in the five-game win against Stanford (3-2, 0-2 MPSF).
2. Sander leads BYU to big road wins — All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander had a match-high 25 kills as No. 8 BYU (4-2, 4-0 MPSF) rallied from a one-game deficit on the road to defeat No. 7 UC Irvine in five games on Friday. In addition, Sander the following night added a career-high nine aces in a sweep against UC San Diego — two aces shy from tying the MPSF record in a three-game match.
3. UC Santa Barbara remains undefeated — No. 9 UC Santa Barbara upset No. 1 Stanford in five games on Saturday to remain one of two undefeated teams left in the nation among college men’s volleyball teams that have started their season. Middle attacker Ryan Thompson in the victory led the Gauchos (3-0, 2-0 MPSF) with six blocks and added 11 kills on a match-high .667 attack percentage.
4. Another new team likely to be No. 1 — With Stanford’s two losses this weekend, there will likely be a new team at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week when the national coaches poll is released Monday. This could be the first time that four teams have held the No. 1 ranking in the first four AVCA national coaches polls of a season since the poll started in 1986.
5. Penn State pick-up wins to start homestand — Penn State opened its season-long 11-match homestand with non-conference victories against Ball State and IPFW. Outside attacker Aaron Russell in both matches led the Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-0 EIVA) in kills, including having a season-high 21 kills in the four-game win against the Cardinals.