Lewis finishes atop final Division II coaches poll

Jonathan Bates | Off the Block associate editor

There is no surprise in the final Division II Coaches poll – Lewis finishes on top with all 10 first place votes. The Flyers finish the season having swept all of the first place votes for the final dozen weeks of the poll.

No. 1 Lewis won the MIVA regular season and tournament championships. In the NCAA tournament, the Flyers defeated USC in four games in the opening round before falling to Hawai’i in the semifinals. Middle attacker Tyler Mitchem was named a Bryan Ivie finalist, awarded to the nation’s top middle attacker, as well as a finalist for the Dain Blanton Diversity award, awarded to the top player of a minority ethnicity. Setter Matt Yoshimoto was named Division II Player of the Year as well MIVA Player of the Year. Lewis had four players garner all-America honors.

No. 2 Barton finished the season losing to Princeton in the NCAA tournament play-in match. Opposite Angelos Mandilaris was named ConfCarolinas Offensive Player of the Year and received all-America honorable mention accolades. Mandilaris was named a finalist for the Division II Player of the Year. Mandilaris finished second in the nationwith 4.40 kills per game, while teammate libero Aleksa Brkovic finished tops in the nation with 2.65 digs per game. Four Bulldogs were named to the ConfCarolinas First-Team, while head coach Jeff Lennox was named ConfCarolinas Coach of the Year. Brkovic was named both ConfCarolinas Defensive Player of the Year and its inaugural Elite 23 winner.

No. 3 McKendree lost in the MIVA tournament semifinals to eventual champion, No. 1 Lewis. Setter Ryan Serrano was named MIVA Freshman of the Year, while head coach Nickie Sanlin was named co-Coach of the Year. The Bearcats finish the season in the top ten nationally with 2.41 blocks per game and 9.24 digs per game. This year was filled with milestones for McKendree – they defeated Ohio State for the first time in program history, defeated No. 8 BYU on the road (highest nationally ranked opponent the Bearcats ever defeated in program history), and hosted their first ever MIVA tournament match.

No. 4 Concordia-Irvine finished the season losing a MPSF tournament quarterfinals match at UCLA. Setter Chandler Gibb and outside attacker Jordan Hoppe received all-MPSF honorable mention accolades. Concordia-Irvine finished No. 14 in the final national coaches poll, on the strength of finishing 12-4 at home, including wins over then-No. 5 UC Irvine, No. 10 BYU, and No. 6 Stanford.

No. 5 Lincoln Memorial finished the season with another IVA tournament crown. The Railsplitters finished second nationally with 1.92 aces per game, second nationally with a .213 opponent attack percentage, and third nationally with 2.56 blocks per game. Opposite Evan Cory was named a finalist for Division II Player of the Year, while middle attacker Pedro Carvalho was named a finalist for National Blocker of the Year. Cory was also named Independent Teams Player of the Year and IVA tournament MVP.  

King received five votes, UC San Diego received two votes, and Charleston received one vote.

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 (Final)

Rank Team Record Points Previous Trend
1 Lewis 26-6 50 (10) 1
2 Barton 25-5 37 T-2
3 McKendree 13-13 29 T-2 -1
4 Concordia-Irvine 14-19 15 T-4
5 Lincoln Memorial 18-7 11 T-4 -1

Others receiving votes: King 5, UC San Diego 2, Charleston 1