Jonathan Bates | Off the Block associate editor
For the first time this season, the University of Charleston and Barton ranked in the Top 5 in the latest Off the Block/Springbak Division II National Coaches Poll that was released Tuesday evening.
Barton and Charleston are tied for fifth place in the poll, while Lindenwood has dropped out after being ranked in the Top 5 in the previous five polls this season.
There is no coincident that Barton has won 10 of their last 11 matches, after starting the season off 0-5. They lead Conference Carolinas in hitting percentage and kills per set. The Bulldogs are also undefeated in Conference Carolinas action, with a record of 8-0 (six coming by sweep.) The Bulldogs went 3-0 last week with victories over Mount Olive, Lees-McRae, and King. This Friday Barton travels to Charlotte to play Queens in a non-conference match, and then play at Belmont Abbey the following day.
Charleston lost their match at Penn State this past Saturday, after winning the previous five, including a five-game victory at St. Francis. This weekend, the Golden Eagles continue their road swing by playing two EIVA conference matches at Harvard. Charleston leads the EIVA and is top-6 nationally in digs per set, winning percentage, opponent hitting percentage, and opponent attacks per set.
Lewis is the unanimous top team in the poll, as they received all eight first place votes. This past weekend, the Flyers beat Ohio State and No. 3 McKendree at home. This week, they travel to Chicago to take on Loyola (on Wednesday) and then host Lincoln Memorial on Friday.
Concordia-Irvine is ranked second in the poll, on the strength of a respectable 3-3 record in MPSF confernce play. The Eagles won all three matches last weekend, including two conference matches and a five-gamer vs CSUN. This weekend, Concordia-Irvine travels to islands to play the University of Hawai’i for a pair of matches.
McKendree dropped both of their matches last weekend (at Loyola and at No. 1 Lewis.) This weekend, the Bearcats host Ohio State for a pair of matches.
Last Friday, UC San Diego forced UC Santa Barbara to five games on the road. The Gauchos come to La Jolla this Friday as the back end of a home-and-home series that the Big West is doing in conference play. This Saturday, the Tritons host Ball State to inaugurate their four-match swing in California.
Both NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II men’s volleyball programs compete for the same national championship. The AVCA National Coaches Poll ranks the top 15 Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and is released each Monday during the regular season.
A national voting committee comprised of coaches from the more than 20 Division II teams determines the weekly rankings for the Division II National Coaches Poll.
Off the Block is a website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the Division II National Coaches Poll and produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB and U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
The Division II National Coaches Poll will be released on the Off the Block website every Tuesday during the regular season.
Off the Block/Springbak Division II Coaches Poll
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Others receiving votes: Lindenwood 3
Dropping out of poll: Lindenwood