BYU edges out UCLA for top spot in MPSF preseason poll

The MPSF has a different look this season, but the top of its preseason coaches poll remained the same.

BYU for the third consecutive year was ranked No. 1 in the annual MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll that was released on Friday.

The Couagrs finished last season earning a share of the MPSF regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals. The preseason favorites in the seven-team conference return All-American outside attacker Brenden Sander and setter Leo Durkin, who was a 2017 finalist for the Lloy Ball Award.

BYU received four of the seven first-place votes to beat-out UCLA by one point for the top spot in the conference poll.

Besides BYU and UCLA, USC was the only other school to receive a first-place vote and was ranked at No. 5. In addition, Pepperdine and Stanford finished tied for the No. 3 spot.

This will be the first MPSF season since the departure of six Big West schools that left the conference because of the Big West sponsoring men’s volleyball. The MPSF also lost Cal Baptist, which disbanded its program in the offseason, but added Grand Canyon from the MIVA and Concordia-Irvine.

Both new MPSF members Grand Canyon and Concordia-Irvine finished in the last two spots of the preseason poll.

With the MPSF reducing from 12 to seven teams, the conference season will be shortened to 12 matches. Each MPSF team will have a home-and-home series against every team in the conference during the regular season.

All seven teams will qualify for the MPSF Tournament that begins in April. The MPSF regular season champions will earn a bye to the semifinals and the rights to host the MPSF Tournament semifinals and finals.

2018 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll

1. BYU — 33 (4) points
2. UCLA — 32 (2) points
T-3. Pepperdine — 22 points
T-3. Stanford — 22 points
5. USC — 18 (1) points
6. Grand Canyon — 14 points
7. Concordia-Irvine — 6 points