Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It is not as big as No. 1 USC playing No. 2 BYU next weekend, but there is definitely an appeal to tonight’s men’s volleyball matches.

All around the nation there is intrigue as two of the top five nationally ranked teams play each other in California, while No. 9 Penn State and George Mason meet in Virgina to play for sole possession of first place in the EIVA. In addition, off the court there is some intrigue on whether a MIVA coach will continue to bench his former All-American middle attacker.

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The top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

Rematch is the theme of tonight

All of the top five nationally ranked men’s volleyball teams are in action tonight, with three of them playing teams who they have previously defeated this season. However, as this season has already proved sometimes the most difficult thing to do is defeat a team multiple times in the same year.

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My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

What a difference a year makes deciding who is No. 1 in the rankings.

For most of last season there was a revolving door at the No. 1 spot with three teams having the top ranking by late February. However, this season USC has maintained the No. 1 spot since the preseason and is receiving all but one first-place vote in the coaches and media poll for the second consecutive week.
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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

After two weeks of teams primarily playing non-conference matches, the conference season has returned in full force this weekend.

Already two of the top five teams have lost this week and three more of the top-five teams have conference matches tonight. In addition, tonight features No. 5 Ohio State and Ball State renewing the oldest Midwest men’s volleyball rivalry and two conference leaders playing each other in one of the few non-conference matches.

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Scraping the wreckage of a historical upset Friday

The oddity of Friday night may be a first in the 41-year history of NCAA men’s volleyball.

All of the top five ranked teams in the ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Media Poll — No. 1 USC, No. 2 Long Beach State, No. 3 BYU, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 UCLA — lost Friday.

With a majority of the top 10 nationally ranked teams being in the MPSF, it is not unusual for one or two of the top five teams to lose a match during a weekend. However, I can never recall or find another incense when all five of the top ranked teams lost in a single day.
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My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

There isn’t a whole lot of question about who are the top four teams. USC, Stanford, BYU and Long Beach State have clearly established themselves as the four best teams in the nation during the first month of the season.

However, the question who are the other six teams remains unsettled.

Some teams such as a Ohio State have shown significant improvement since the start of the season, while teams like UCLA have struggled in recent weeks. These streaks continue to create a fluid voting ballot with the final few slots every week in the ballot feeling like a revolving door of teams.

Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why ranked each team where I did.
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My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

There are some weeks when you wish your ballot was larger to include more teams, and than there are some weeks like this one when you just can’t seem to find 10 teams who deserve to be in the top 10.

The top teams in the nation have quickly emerged. USC is unanimously the best team in the country both on the court and in the media and coaches polls. In addition, Long Beach State, Stanford, BYU and UCLA have separated themselves as top tier teams in the MPSF, while Penn State remains the best team east of the Mississippi River.

Everyone else still has a lot left to prove to be considered an elite team this season.
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My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

Well it took a bunch of hours going over box scores, game articles and videos, but I finally have my first ballot of the year for the ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Media Poll.

The first few weeks are always a little bit difficult to rank because you are still balancing preseason expectations with how the team is actually playing and who it has beat. Some teams like USC and Stanford have lived up to the preseason hype setting themselves above everyone else. While other teams like UC Irvine and Hawai’i are beginning to play well after horrific starts.

Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why ranked each team where I did.
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