This week in the AVCA coaches poll we saw one of the biggest shakeups at the top that we have seen this year. All 5 of the top teams last week have a new spot in the polls this week. BYU has regained the No. 1 ranking after enjoying a bye week after their trip to Hawaii. BYU is currently riding a 12-match winning streak and had their 35 set winning streak broken in the third set of the second match in Hawaii. Ohio State received a 1st place vote for the first time this season after defeating former No. 1 Long Beach State in five. OSU extended their winning streak to 9 matches and their record to a sizzling 16-1 over their last 17 matches. Stanford had the worst weekend in the polls coming off their loss to Pepperdine. They now find themselves 34 points behind 4th place OSU and they received at least one 6th place vote.
We decided to run the VolleyMetrics Rating Index from the week that Long Beach State took over the No. 1 ranking (which was February 8th). Here are the results.
The only major difference between the data and the coaches poll is the placement of Stanford third best in the country. We may have simply seen a significant drop in the rankings solely based off their 0-1 week and we will look to see if they can rebound with a couple of wins this week. We also decided to look this week at the losses that the top-5 teams have had since #2-5 all have three losses.
All share at least one loss among the other top 5 teams and we can maybe see why BYU and LBSU hold the top 2 spots as they have only lost to top 5 caliber teams. Stanford seems to have the next best resume as they have only lost to the top 2 teams in the nation and No. 8 Pepperdine. However, one could argue that Ohio State has a more impressive resume. They lost their first match of the season to McMaster (one of the best Canadian volleyball teams) and then dropped another early match, 5 days later, to No. 3 UCLA and then only have the one loss, to the streaking Ball State Cardinals, since then. Then we get to UCLA who has maybe the strangest losses. Hawaii has gone 3-8 since splitting matches with UCLA and UC Irvine has a 4-12 record this year against ranked opponents and that includes an early season victory against George Mason, who hasn’t lived up to their preseason ranking.
This upcoming week will be a big one for the polls as well as BYU will host Pepperdine for two matches as the Waves look to continue their upset run. Long Beach State looks to get back on track with two matches against CSUN, who is coming off two losses to Hawaii. Ohio State only has one match this week but it involves travelling to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions. Stanford will look to rebound in the polls with matchups against USC and Cal Baptist.