BYU will start the upcoming season right where it ended the abbreviated 2020 season.
The Cougars received every first-place vote to finish atop the preseason national coaches poll that was released earlier this week.
BYU opened last season on a 17-match winning streak and in days before the season was canceled split a two-match road series against No. 1/1 Hawai’i. Among the starters returning for the Cougars include three First-Team All-Americans, including opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez.
Fernandez led the nation with a 0.92 aces per game average — and ended the 2020 season with more aces than service errors. The 2020 National Player of the Year also was in the nation’s top 15 averaging 4.00 kills per game on a career-best .343 attack percentage.
The Cougars in the preseason poll finished 14 points ahead of Rainbow Warriors, which were the unanimous No. 2 ranked team among the 14 voters.
UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and Lewis round-out the top five of the national coaches poll. All three of these schools also concluded the 2020 season in the top five of the national rankings.
Fourteen of the 15 teams that concluded the 2020 season in the national rankings were ranked in this preseason poll. Ohio State at No. 14 is the only unranked team from last season to move into the rankings to open this season.
The college men’s volleyball season will begin in January and conclude with the seven-team NCAA Tournament in May.
A new national coaches poll will be released each week during the regular season starting on Jan. 25.
2021 Preseason National Coaches Poll
1. BYU — 238 (14) points
2. Hawai’i — 224 points
3. UC Santa Barbara — 200 points
4. Long Beach State — 191 points
5. Lewis — 187 points
6. UC Irvine — 147 points
T-7. Pepperdine — 123 points
T-7. UC San Diego — 123 points
9. UCLA — 109 points
10. Grand Canyon — 99 points
11. Penn State — 77 points
12. Concordia-Irvine — 49 points
13. George Mason — 37 points
14. Ohio State — 28 points
15. Stanford — 24 points
Others receiving votes: NJIT 19; Princeton 19, Purdue Fort Wayne 15; Ball State 8