The Poll Commentary returns after a couple of weeks off and it has certainly been a crazy couple of weeks. When we last left you, Ohio State had become the number one team for the first time all year, BYU had just lost to Pepperdine, and UCLA had made a run for the top spot. The face of the NCAA volleyball competition looks much different now. BYU rebounded from their loss to Pepperdine to beat UCLA twice in Los Angeles. However, UCLA responded to that with impressive victories over Stanford and Pepperdine. And for Stanford, that loss to UCLA came just a few short days after an impressive victory over Long Beach State. Meanwhile, back east, Ohio State has quietly been racking up their victories to the tune of a 17-match win streak. They have controlled the MIVA and beat LBSU and Penn State (twice) during that streak.
The beautiful part of all this chaos that has happened is that it creates lots of drama as we head into tournament time. Both the MPSF and the MIVA start their conference tournaments this weekend, and if you look at the EIVA matchups you might as well say that the EIVA tournament is starting this weekend too. Because we are at this point in the season, I decided to run the VMRI on the last three weeks to see who is peaking come tournament time. There are a couple of teams on hear that you might want to watch out for.
George Mason has, as well, quietly been making a run. Going into the month of March George Mason sat at a lowly 1-4 in EIVA play, 5-10 overall, and on a 4-match losing streak. Since then, they have been a completely different team. Their only loss, since Feb. 27th, was to UC Irvine in 5 sets and they are currently riding a 12-set winning streak. We will get to see some good matches this weekend as they meet up with the top 2 teams in the EIVA.
The other “surprise” team is the Gauchos from UC Santa Barbara, but they as well having been playing excellent volleyball as of late. The pattern of the Gauchos season had been beating handily those teams that were ranked below them and struggling to keep up with the better teams. Until a ‘wake-up’ sweep by LBSU, the which triggered a 5-match win streak that include two victories against Hawaii, and one against Stanford and Pepperdine. They will meet up with Stanford once again this weekend in the MPSF tournament.