Instead of the Cardinal, USC snagged the number one spot in the initial coaches’ poll, followed by BYU, Pepperdine, Stanford and Hawaii/UC Santa Barbara (who tied for fifth). This is the second season in a row that USC started off the season as No. 1, but last year they were knocked out in the first round of the MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) tournament.
Both USC and Stanford are returning 13 letter winners from last year’s lineup, and Stanford also has MPSF player of the year Brad Lawson returning. At the beginning of the season the Cardinal had won its last 6 consecutive matches and last 14 sets.
Southern California was atop the AVCA coaches’ poll for the second week in a row, garnering all sixteen of the number one votes. Stanford’s 3-0 start was enough to bump them from No. 4 to No. 2, while a 5-1 record from UCLA moved them all the way from No. 8 to No. 3.
BYU (3-2) and Pepperdine (2-2) both had some disappointing starts, and their rankings reflected their less than stellar performances: BYU fell from No. 2 to No. 4, while Pepperdine fell even farther, from No. 3 to No. 6.
But nobody’s week was as bad as Hawaii’s. The Warriors dropped their first three matches of the season, losing to Ball State, Penn State and UCLA in the Outriggers Hotel Invitational Tournament, which they hosted. That record plummeted them from No. 5 to No. 13.
Hawaii will look for redemption this weekend as they host defending champs Stanford; they had better things around and fast.
Photo from Hawaii Volleyball.