Two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a roster loaded with returning starters has Pepperdine favored to win the MPSF in the upcoming season.
The Waves received five of seven first-place votes to finish atop the MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll that the conference released Thursday.
Pepperdine ended last season earning the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and at No. 5 in both the national coaches poll and national media poll. It also returns five starters, including two All-Americans and setter Bryce Dvorak who was named the 2021 AVCA National Newcomer of the Year.
Along with the returning starters, the Waves added former Stanford all-conference pin-hitter Jaylen Jasper. The graduate transfer opted out of the 2021 season but in 2020 was seventh in the nation with a 4.11 kills per game average.
UCLA was the only other school to receive first-place votes and finished the preseason poll in second place with 30 points – five fewer points than Pepperdine.
The defending MPSF champions BYU garnered 25 points for third place in the poll, while Grand Canyon at 22 points rounds out the poll’s top four.
The seven-team MPSF will start conference play in February and conclude the season with the MPSF Tournament in April. The winner of the MPSF Tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at UCLA.
2022 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Pepperdine – 35 (5) points
2. UCLA – 30 (2) points
3. BYU – 25 points
4. Grand Canyon – 22 points
5. USC – 13 points
6. Stanford – 12 points
7. Concordia-Irvine – 10 points