The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball season I will post the top five best men’s volleyball stories of the week from around the nation. The list, though, is based more on how well the reporter wrote and covered the story rather than just what happened on the court.
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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

There is only one match between two top 10 ranked teams tonight, but as today has shown rankings are not needed for intrigue.

No. 9 Penn State this afternoon survived in five games against Lees-McRae, which was attempting to be the first team from the Conference Carolinas to defeat a top 10 ranked team. In addition, one week ago all five of the top ranked lost, with four of them losing to teams outside of the top 10.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
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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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The top 5 matches to follow this weekend

The rivalry match in Los Angeles between No. 1 USC and No. 4 UCLA is by far the biggest match of the weekend. However, there are several other intriguing matches all around the country that have big implications on the conference standings and national rankings. Check out the top five matches you need to keep an eye on during the next few days before you start your weekend.
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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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