UC Irvine will open the upcoming season in the rankings where it finished last season.
The defending NCAA champion Anteaters received all 16 first-place votes to finish atop the preseason AVCA coaches poll released Friday afternoon.
UC Irvine returns a majority of its starters from last season’s title team, including Off the Block Preseason All-American outside attackers Kevin Tillie and Jeremy Dejno. Along with the preseason No. 1 ranking, the Anteaters earlier this month were also projected to win the 2013 MPSF championship in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.
BYU enters the season at No. 2 in the national poll after receiving 222 points — 18 points fewer than the first-place Anteaters. Stanford finished at No. 3 with 191 points, while Pepperdine came in at No. 4 with 183 points.
Lewis after reaching the Final Four last season was the highest ranked non-West Coast school. The Flyers received 162 points — almost 40 more points than any other non-West Coast school.
Along with Lewis, the MIVA had two other schools make the preseason rankings with Loyola at No. 10 and Ohio State at No. 11.
The MPSF led all conferences with 10 teams making the preseason poll. Among the notable MPSF schools at the bottom of the poll is Cal Baptist, which will open its inaugural season in the MPSF at No. 15.
The EIVA had two teams in the preseason rankings.
Penn State was the highest ranked EIVA team at No. 8, while George Mason earned the No. 14 ranking. This is the first time in more than two years that George Mason has been in the national rankings.
Preseason AVCA Coaches Poll
1. UC Irvine — 240 (16) points
2. BYU — 222 points
3. Stanford — 191 points
4. Pepperdine — 183 points
5. Lewis — 162 points
6. UCLA — 154 points
7. Long Beach State — 139 points
8. Penn State — 124 points
9. USC — 109 points
10. Loyola — 101 points
11. Ohio State — 69 points
12. Cal State Northridge — 59 points
13. UC Santa Barbara — 47 points
14. George Mason — 28 points
15. Cal Baptist — 23 points
Others receiving votes: Pacific 14, Hawai’i 10; Princeton 7; UC San Diego 7; Harvard 3