A season-high four teams received first-place votes in the national media poll, but UC Irvine moves back to No. 1 .
UC Irvine received six first-place votes to finish four points ahead of No. 2 BYU in the newest national media poll released Tuesday.
Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why I ranked each team where I did.
Let the debate begin on who are the best teams in the nation.
Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll
1. UC Irvine — 94 (6) points
2. BYU — 90 (1) points
3. Long Beach State — 72 (2) points
4. Penn State — 69 (1) points
5. Stanford — 60 points
6. UCLA — 49 points
7. Pepperdine — 46 points
8. USC — 23 points
9. Ohio State — 19 points
10. Hawai’i — 11 points
Others receiving votes: Cal Baptist, Pacific, Cal State Northridge, Princeton, Ball State
My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. Penn State (8-1, 2-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Mount Olive and Pfeiffer
Penn State has been willing to play any nationally ranked team anytime and anywhere. It’s not their fault the MPSF increased schedule prevents the Nittany Lions from having more marquee non-conference match. At some point you have to reward teams for winning the matches on their schedule.
2. BYU (6-2, 5-1 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Cal State Northridge, lost to Long Beach State
BYU lost at a conference match at home — that was biggest shock of the weekend. The Cougars, though, will be fine moving forward.
3. UC Irvine (8-3, 5-3 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UCLA and UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker Kevin Tillie has a combined 73 kills during the Anteaters four-match winning streak. Tillie is back after a slow start to the season.
4. Stanford (7-3, 4-3 MPSF)
Last week’s results: split two-matches with Hawai’i
It’s more impressive that the Cardinal was able to win a road match in Hawaii than horrible that they lost to the unranked Warriors.
5. Pepperdine (4-3, 4-3 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated USC
When outside attacker Maurice Torres and Josh Taylor both get going in a match the Waves are near impossible to beat.
6. Long Beach State (8-3, 6-2 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Cal Baptist and BYU
The 49ers finished their road trip 3-1, including a big upset against the Cougars. This is looking more and more like a team that will host a MPSF Tournament match.
7. Ohio State (7-2, 2-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated NJIT and George Mason
Ohio State is on a five-match winning streak going into their rivalry match against Penn State this weekend. That match will be a measuring stick for the Buckeyes.
8. UCLA (8-5, 4-3 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC San Diego, lost to UC Irvine
Outside attacker Gonzalo Quiroga leads the nation with 24 aces. The junior is also on pace to break the single-season UCLA record for aces — which is 63 aces set by Mark Williams in 2000.
9. Princeton (1-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Santa Barbara, lost to UC San Diego
The Tigers showed enough during their two-match West Coast road trip to belong in the national rankings.
10. Ball State (7-0, 2-0 MIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Lindenwood and Quincy
The Cardinals are the only undefeated team left in the nation and will remain on my ballot until they lose a match. Regardless of a team’s strength of schedule, at some point you have to reward a team for winning.
ON THE BUBBLE
Hawai’i — There are so many things to like about this team, including Sinisa Zarkovic excessive celebrating after every point he scores. When the Warriors get a winning record they’ll be on my ballot.
USC — Lots to like about USC. This team won’t have a losing record for long.