Stanford hangs on to the No. 1 spot and the Penn State men jump three spots. Do the Nittany Lions have a shot at emulating the women’s team and winning it all?
The newest AVCA Coaches Top 15 Poll is out, and with just four teams shuffling in the middle of the pack it looks fairly familiar. Stanford, Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge, BYU and Hawaii all maintained their top 5 spots in that order. After the top five, however, things get a little interesting.
Long Beach State, last week’s No. 6 team, drops to No. 8, giving its No. 6 position to Penn State. The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 9 last week, so this swap is somewhat reminiscent of the Hawaii/UCLA exchange that we saw last week. But Hawaii stayed strong while UCLA continued its downward momentum and dropped to No. 9, rounding out all that changed in the poll; teams 10-15 remained static this week.
The Top 5:
Stanford was off last week and continues their hiatus until March 20th due to Dead Week and final exams. They’ll be meeting both No. 2 Pepperdine and No. 3 Cal State Northridge in April, so be sure to check back for the results of those matches!
Pepperdine took down Ball State and No. 10 UC Santa Barbara to hang on to their No. 2 position, with freshman opposite Maurice Torres posting an amazing triple double (16-kills, 10-blocks and 10-digs) against UCSB. The two wins put Pepperdine in a tie for first place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) with Stanford.
Meanwhile Cal State Northridge also took down UCSB with ease, and the Matadors breezed by No. 12 Chicago-Loyola without dropping a single game. BYU took matches from No. 9 Penn State as well as St. Francis, and Hawaii took the week off.
With top-ranked teams facing off several times in the next few weeks anything can happen. April will bring out the true colors for most of these teams, so at this point I think anybody in the top 10 has a shot at the championship. Stay tuned for more updates next week!
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