Jonathan Bates | Off the Block associate editor
The biggest storyline of this week’s Off the Block/Springbak Division II National Coaches Poll, released Tuesday evening, was that a record number – ten teams – received votes. Also, a record number 13 ballots were received from Division II coaches nationwide.
No. 1 Lewis received all 13 first votes, repeating the feat they accomplished last week. The Flyers traveled down to Briston, Tennessee last weekend and defeated a pair of Conf.Carolina teams, King and Mount Olive, in straight sets. Middle attacker led the Flyers, who attacked at a .442 clip, with 24 errorless kills this weekend. This week, Lewis welcomes Division III stalwart, Dominican, as well as No. 2 UC San Diego and Pepperdine.
No. 2 UC San Diego jumped a spot in this week’s poll, largely based on their road wins at EIVA foes, Sacred Heart and Harvard. The Tritons were led this weekend by outside attacker, Wyatt Harrison’s 29 kills. UC San Diego continues their road trip this weekend when they visit No. 1 Lewis as well as Loyola.
No. 3 Concordia-Irvine dropped a spot after they dropped all three matches at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Warrior Classic. Four of the Eagles’ losses have come to teams ranked in the national coaches poll. While on the islands, middle attacker, Hunter Howell set the program record for most solo blocks – 34. This weekend, The Concordia-Irvine takes a break from Division I/II play to welcome, NAIA power Benedictine (AZ), Westcliff, and reigning Division III champion, Springfield.
No. 4 Barton remained steady in this week’s poll. The Bulldogs were overwhelmed at home by the top team in the nation. Offensively, Barton was led by Adrian Iglesias’ 11 kills and defensively by setter, Oscar Fiorentino’s six digs. This weekend, Barton travels to Lebanon, Tennessee to face off against Grand Canyon, USC, and Quincy in the Grow the Game Challenge hosted by Cumberland University. .
No. 5 McKendree makes their 2019 debut in the poll after splitting their first two matches of the season; the Bearcats lost in three games to UCLA, while defeating Charleston in four. McKendree was led by outside attacker Brendan Dunn’s 18 kills and middle blocker Wyatt Dimke’s ten blocks last weekend. This weekend, McKendree travels to Pennsylvania to play Penn State and St. Francis.
Also receiving votes this week are Lincoln Memorial, Emmanuel, Charleston, Daemen, and Lindenwood.
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.
The Division II National Coaches Poll will be released on the Off the Block website every Tuesday during the regular season.
Off the Block Division II Coaches Poll
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Others receiving votes: Lincoln Memorial 12, Emmanuel 9, Charleston 7, Daemen 1, Lindenwood 1