Way too early preseason 2022 college men’s volleyball national rankings

Photo courtesy of Pepperdine athletics

Sure, there is eight months until the start of the 2022 season but it’s never too early to begin the preseason coverage.

Check out Off the Block’s way too early preseason national rankings for the 2022 college men’s volleyball season.

1. Pepperdine
The Waves had three freshman starters and still found a way to reach the NCAA Tournament. The overwhelming majority of Pepperdine’s starters are slated to return for one of the top defensive teams in the nation. In a sport where serving and passing are the keys to success, Pepperdine should be the best passing team in the nation next season.

2. Long Beach State
Long Beach State in its abbreviated 10-match regular season showed its potential — upsetting UC Santa Barbara and forcing Hawai’i to five games. It also showed its youth — suffering a late-season upset to CSUN. That inexperience will turn into experience in 2022. Spencer Oliver, Clarke Godbold and Simon Torwie also are poised to be the best pin-hitter combo on the West Coast.


3. Penn State
Every starter is expected to return for the Nittany Lions, including the EIVA Player of the Year setter Cole Bogner. Plus, the serve of the opposite Cal Fisher, the 2021 National Server of the Year, is only going to get more difficult to pass in 2022.

Coach John Speraw openly admitted at the MPSF Tournament he advised many of his players to redshirt this season because of the uncertainty of it being played during the pandemic. Now Speraw gets those players back, a majority of his starting lineup returning and another recruiting class for a team that narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament this year.

5. Grand Canyon
There has been preseason buzz around this program the last two years with young players like Camden Gianni, Heath Huges and Christian Janke. This is now the time for the Antelopes to break through and establish themselves as a top-five program.

6. Hawai’i
Yes, the Rainbow Warriors lose a ton of starters but they still has setter Jakob Thelle, who was a finalist for the Lloy Ball Award. Add outside attacker Chaz Galloway, middle attacker Guilherme Voss along with opposite Spyros Chakas and the Rainbow Warriors have a strong foundation to start 2022.

7. Ohio State
Outside attacker Sotiris Siapnis as a freshman already started to emerge as one of the top offensive threats in the nation. With setter Michael Wright slated to return for his third season in the starting lineup, this has all the makings for the Buckeyes to make another legit run at a national title.

8. Loyola
Cole Schlothauer and Luke Denton should be one of the best pin-hitting combinations in the MIVA next season. The Ramblers will be in contention to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since winning the national championship in 2015.

9. BYU
The Cougars will be depleted with a majority of their starting lineup from this year graduating. BYU, though, still has All-America outside Davide Gardini and will go as far as Gardini can carry them.

10. UC Irvine
Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong from the Anteaters in 2021. UC Irvine historically has seasons like that and then always responds with a big bounce back the following year. Expect nothing less from the Anteaters in 2022.