Lewis narrowly tops Concordia-Irvine for top spot in Division II poll

Jonathan Bates | Off the Block associate editor

In the season’s final Off the Block/Springbak Division II National Coaches Poll that was released Tuesday, Lewis edged Concordia-Irvine for the top spot. Lewis received six of the nine first-place votes in the poll, while Concordia-Irvine received the other three. 

No. 1 Lewis ended the season 19-11 overall (9-5 MIVA), with a five-game loss to MIVA champion Ohio State. Lewis also finished No. 10 in the final AVCA coaches poll. Redshirt sophomore outside attacker Ryan Coenen earned second-team All-American honors, while two other Flyers earned honorable mention honors. The Flyers ended the season ranked fourth in the nation in blocks and seventh in attack percentage.

No. 2 Concordia-Irvine ended the season 16-15 overall (5-7 MPSF) with a MPSF Tournament quarterfinals win versus Grand Canyon. Concordia-Irvine also finished No. 13 in the AVCA coaches poll.

Middle attacker Hunter Howell received AVCA All-American honorable mention honors. The Eagles finished third in the nation with a 2.60 block per game average.

No. 3 King ended the season 23-6 overall (15-1 Conf.Carolinas) with a regular season and conference tournament championship. The Tornado lost to Ohio State in the opening match of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

King outside attacker Jeff Sprayberry earned AVCA All-American honorable mention honors. King led the nation with a .156 opponent attack percentage while finishing fifth in the nation with a 9.76 digs per game average.

No. 4 McKendree finished the season 11-15 overall (6-8 MIVA) with a MIVA Tournament quarterfinal loss to Ball State. The Bearcats hadv18 of their 19 players received Academic All-MIVA honors. 

Brendan Schmidt finished seventh in the nation in attack percentage (.394), while setter Pasquale Fiduccia finished ninth in the nation with a 10.02 assists per game average.

No. 5 UC San Diego finished the season 9-19 overall (0-10 Big West) with a Big West Tournament loss to UC Irvine.

Senior opposite Tanner Syftestad earned the Division II National Player of the Year. Syftestad ranked second in the nation in attacks per game average (10.02), kills per game average (4.48) and points per game average (5.18).

Charleston received two votes, while both Barton and Lindenwood received one vote each to round out the final coaches poll.

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 is released on the Off the Block website every Tuesday during the regular season and then the final poll is released after thd NCAA Tournament.

Off the Block/Springbak Division II Coaches Poll

Rank Team Record Points Previous Trend
1 Lewis 19-11 42 (6) 1
2 Concordia-Irvine 16-15 39 (4) 2
3 King 23-6 21 RV +3
4 McKendree 11-15 20 3 -1
5 UC San Diego 9-19 9 4 -1

Others receiving votes: Charleston 2, Barton 1, Lindenwood 1
Dropping out of poll: Lindenwood