As promised there’s a lot to say about last week’s match ups and a whole lot of shakin’ going on in the AVCA coaches poll as we head into April.
Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen
An embarrassing loss to previously-unranked Ball State on Saturday dropped the Cal State Northridge Matadors from No. 3 to No. 5. Cal State managed to take Ball State down easily on Friday despite an early morning flight, but on their home turf now-No. 15 Ball State had their 3-0 revenge.
After a senior’s night that saw last week’s No. 6 Penn State taking down Princeton without any trouble, the Nittany Lions were upset by Rutgers-Newark on Saturday, bringing them back down to No. 9 (they gained their No. 6 position the week of March 16).
The Cream Rises
BYU takes the No. 3 spot vacated by Cal State Northridge after handing No. 10 UC Santa Barbara its first sweep of the season and winning both matches this weekend. The Cougars set a school record for blocks on Saturday with 24.5 team blocks. Niiiice.
The University of Hawaii proved that they’re a contender by rebounding from a Friday night loss to No. 2 Pepperdine to hand the waves a 3-0 loss on Saturday. The Warriors come up to No. 4 this week.
Although it’s worth noting that Ball State is a newcomer to the rankings this week (No. 15), the fight is all about the top five spots for the next few weeks.
With a victory over No. 8 Long Beach State and Pepperdine’s loss to Hawaii, Stanford has moved into sole possession of the lead in the hyper-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).
Earlier this season Stanford dropped matches to Cal State Northridge and UCSB back-to-back, and the Cardinal faces both again next week.
So what’s the big deal with the MPSF? First place there determines the top seed in the MPSF Tournament, which in turn determines the conference’s lone automatic NCAA bid.
Pepperdine has No. 7 UCLA and No. 11 UC Irvine coming up, and on April 9th we’re treated to the No. 1 v. No. 2 match up, Stanford v. Pepperdine.
Hawaii will come up against No. 10 UC Santa Barbara and No. 14 UC San Diego, while BYU needs to overcome No. 8 Long Beach State, Cal Baptist and No. 5 Cal State Northridge before its regular season closes.