The five teams that could surprise everyone in 2012

There are some teams that no one is talking about but could surprise people by the end of the season.

Whether it was UC Santa Barbara’s run to the NCAA championship match last season or Juniata reaching the EIVA championship match in 2009, there are always men’s volleyball teams each season that pleasantly surprise everyone in the nation.

Several teams last season that did not reach their conference tournament or finished outside of the national rankings could have a big season in 2012.
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Four dark horse teams that could crash the 2012 Final Four

Everyone loves an underdog story during the postseason — especially when you’ve been saying since the start of the year that it was the team to watch.

With the regular season set to start this week, there are the likely favorites to reach the Final Four. BYU, UC Irvine, Stanford and UCLA are the favorites from the MPSF, while Ohio State and Loyola are favorites in the MIVA and Penn State is the favorite in the EIVA.

However, there are several dark horse teams from each conference that could crash the Final Four this year.
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Off the Block launches UCSB Invitational Bracket Challenge

Volleyball fans can now fill out and submit their brackets for the Off the Block UC Santa Barbara Invitational Bracket Challenge.

The Off the Block UC Santa Barbara Invitational Bracket Challenge is a new contest that gives fans the opportunity to predict who will win the matches at one of the biggest non-conference tournaments.
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Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 1 BYU

BYU is projected by Off the Block to be No. 1 in the preseason national rankings.

Off the Block throughout December and January will reveal its projected men’s volleyball preseason top 10 national rankings and will profile a top-10 team each day. The Off the Block projected preseason rankings were created independently of the AVCA Coaches Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 Media Poll.

The college men’s volleyball season begins this week and concludes with the Final Four in May.
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Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 2 UC Irvine

UC Irvine is projected by Off the Block to be No. 2 in the preseason national rankings.

Off the Block throughout December and January will reveal its projected men’s volleyball preseason top 10 national rankings and will profile a top-10 team each day. The Off the Block projected preseason rankings were created independently of the AVCA Coaches Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 Media Poll.

The college men’s volleyball season begins this week and concludes with the Final Four in May.
Continue reading “Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 2 UC Irvine”

Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 3 UCLA

UCLA is projected by Off the Block to be No. 3 in the preseason national rankings.

Off the Block throughout December will reveal its projected men’s volleyball preseason top 10 national rankings and will profile a top-10 team each day. The Off the Block projected preseason rankings were created independently of the AVCA Coaches Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 Media Poll.

The college men’s volleyball season begins on Jan. 3 and concludes with the Final Four in May.
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Commentary: Finally putting a ring on it to end 2011

For a reporter, sometimes the best thing that happens during a big game has nothing to do with what takes place on the court.

This was the case for me when I was working for The Ball State Daily News in 2008 and covering the Ball State men’s volleyball team. No. 6 Ball State was on an 11-match winning streak and playing a road match against No. 1 Penn State.

It was one of the biggest matches of the season, and I had decided earlier that week that I wanted to make the 10-hour drive from Muncie, Ind., to University Park, Pa., to cover the match.
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Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 4 Penn State

Penn State is projected by Off the Block to be No. 4 in the preseason national rankings.

Off the Block throughout December will reveal its projected men’s volleyball preseason top 10 national rankings and will profile a top-10 team each day. The Off the Block projected preseason rankings were created independently of the AVCA Coaches Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 Media Poll.

The college men’s volleyball season begins on Jan. 3 and concludes with the Final Four in May.
Continue reading “Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 4 Penn State”

Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 5 Stanford

Stanford is projected by Off the Block to be No. 5 in the preseason national rankings.

Off the Block throughout December will reveal its projected men’s volleyball preseason top 10 national rankings and will profile a top-10 team each day. The Off the Block projected preseason rankings were created independently of the AVCA Coaches Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 Media Poll.

The college men’s volleyball season begins on Jan. 3 and concludes with the Final Four in May.
Continue reading “Projected preseason top 10 national rankings: No. 5 Stanford”