While a few spots moved around with some upsets occuring in the top 10, the most chaos occurred after that and into the end of the rankings this week. That was due to some of those upsets, as some schools emerged big winners from the week. One of those, Ball State, makes a big jump from being unranked following a pair of top 10 victories, while Pepperdine is inching its way to the top 10.
Through it all, we had a match between #1 and #2. Sure enough, it was the top team taking care of business at home, as once again we kick off the VolleyMob Men’s Top 20 Power Rankings with an appearance from the Long Beach State 49ers:
1. LONG BEACH STATE 49ERS
- 13-0 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #1; Def. #2 UCLA (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: at #2 UCLA
- In set one against UCLA, the Beach lost just its second set of the season. From there, they picked things up though and downed the second-ranked Bruins in four. They’ll have an even tougher task ahead this week on the road against the same team looking for revenge, but they verified their spot atop the poll on Saturday night.
2. UCLA BRUINS
- 14-2 (3-0, MPSF)
- Last Week: #2; Def. #16 USC (3-0); Lost at #1 LBSU (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #1 LBSU, at Pepperdine
- The Bruins possess the deepest and strongest group of wins this season, but they couldn’t add to it with a prized win over LBSU on the road. They did take the first set and had 49 attack/serve errors, so should feel that if they play a more clean match at home they can achieve they coveted victory.
3. HAWAII RAINBOW WARRIORS
- 8-1 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #3; None
- Upcoming Week: vs. UC Irvine, vs. UC Irvine
- A second straight week off for Hawaii should serve them well as they play host to UC Irvine for a pair of matches in their inaugural Big West men’s volleyball appearance.
4. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
- 11-2 (4-0, MIVA)
- Last Week: #7; Def. Lindenwood (3-0), Quincy (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Lewis, at Loyola Chicago
- The Buckeyes were benefactors of UC Irvine and Loyola Chicago both losing, as they make the jump to the top four when comparing the resumes of a logjam from teams ranked four to seven. They’ll look to stay among the group as they take on one of them with a match at Lewis on the ledger as well.
5. UC IRVINE ANTEATERS
- 10-3 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #4; Lost vs. #14 Pepperdine (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: at Hawaii, at Hawaii
- For the first time this season, UC Irvine suffered an upset loss. It was even more of a surprise considering they had a week off the prepare, but the Anteaters were upended at home by Pepperdine. They only drop a spot though with an extremely strong overall resume (including two wins over BYU, one over Loyola Chicago).
6. LOYOLA CHICAGO RAMBLERS
- 10-3 (3-1, MIVA)
- Last Week: #5; Def. at #13 Fort Wayne (3-2); Lost at Ball State (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. McKendree, vs. Ohio State
- The Ramblers don’t fall too far in being upended by Ball State, as the Cardinals seemed to have figured things out and Loyola also won at Fort Wayne. Based on overall resume, they still have a better record than BYU, beat them on the road and have a comparable rest of the list to stay in front of the Cougars – at least for now.
7. BYU COUGARS
- 10-4 (3-0, MPSF)
- Last Week: #6; Def. at #10 Grand Canyon (3-0), at #18 Concordia Irvine (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Stanford, vs. Stanford
- The Cougars impressed in the week, only to slip one spot since things are re-evaluated every week. Head-to-head isn’t the end-all, be-all, but considering they have worse records than the teams ranked 5 and 6 (who both lost last week), lost to both of them a combined three times and have comparables the rest of the way, it keeps them below. If they keep winning, that will overcome the tiebreaker of head-to-head though.
8. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 8-2 (3-0, EIVA)
- Last Week: #9; Def. Sacred Heart (3-1), Harvard (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. George Mason, vs. Charleston
- Penn State slides up one spot for the second consecutive week as they’ve found their stride. It helps that part of that has come in EIVA action, where the league is looking for a second contender with Penn State. Maybe one has arisen in George Mason or Charleston, who Penn State will see this week.
9. LEWIS FLYERS
- 9-4 (3-1, MIVA)
- Last Week: #8; Lost at Ball State (0-3); Def. at #13 Fort Wayne (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Ohio State, vs. McKendree
- Lewis was the other victim of Ball State having its best week of the season, as they were surprisingly swept on the road. They found their groove against Fort Wayne to salvage the road trip and have a big opportunity to make their name be heard in the MIVA this week against Ohio State.
10. UC SANTA BARBARA GAUCHOS
- 4-4 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #11; None
- Upcoming Week: vs. Pepperdine, vs. UC San Diego
- UCSB had its second straight week off, as they move up a spot due to Grand Canyon’s losses. It’ll be a big week ahead with a rematch against a Pepperdine team they downed earlier in the year, followed by their Big West opener against UCSD.
11. PEPPERDINE WAVES
- 7-3 (2-1, MPSF)
- Last Week: #14; Def. at #4 UC Irvine (3-1), vs. #16 USC (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: at UCSB, vs. UCLA
- Pepperdine has been a brand new team since they’ve gotten more healthy, and it showed this week as they went to Irvine and upended the Anteaters in four. They had to survive against USC at home to keep the unbeaten week, but did just that. Now if they can get revenge on UCSB, they should be a candidate for the top 10 next week.
12. CSUN MATADORS
- 7-4 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #12; None
- Upcoming Week: vs. Cal Lutheran, at Concordia Irvine
- CSUN just had their alumni match this past week, but now should be ready to go for a pair of matches this week that precede their Big West openers against LBSU.
13. GRAND CANYON LOPES
- 11-5 (1-3, MPSF)
- Last Week: #10; Lost vs. #6 BYU (0-3), vs. #19 Stanford (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: at Concordia Irvine, at USC
- Grand Canyon is in a bit of a rut now, as losers of three straight. The first two against UCLA and BYU are easy to explain, but faltering at home to a down trodden Stanford bunch was tough. They’ll need to end their free fall on the road this week to avoid a continued slipping down the rankings.
14. BALL STATE CARDINALS
- 7-7 (2-2, MIVA)
- Last Week: UR; Def. #8 Lewis (3-0), #5 Loyola Chicago (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: at Quincy, at Lindenwood
- Ball State looked like a brand new team this past week, as they took down a pair of top 10 opponents at home to burst back into the rankings where they began the season. They now embark on an incredibly difficult task of seven consecutive – and nine of 10 – matches coming on the road, where their new ranking will be truly tested.
15. FORT WAYNE MASTODONS
- 9-4 (1-3, MIVA)
- Last Week: #13; Lost vs. #5 Loyola Chicago (2-3), vs. #8 Lewis (0-3)
- Upcoming Week: at Lindenwood, at Quincy
- Fort Wayne’s non-conference shine as a surprise team has been outdone in early MIVA play by Ball State, but they’ve now got a chance to turn things around with four straight matches against unranked opponents.
16. SAINT FRANCIS RED FLASH
- 7-8 (2-1, EIVA)
- Last Week: #15; Def. Harvard (3-1), Sacred Heart (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Charleston, vs. George Mason
- The Red Flash snapped their three match skid by downing a pair of EIVA opponents to stick near the top of the league standings. They’ll have a tough week ahead with a pair of teams right around their level of play, as it should be a good test of who will be the top contender next to Penn State.
17. USC TROJANS
- 4-10 (1-3, MPSF)
- Last Week: #16; Lost at #2 UCLA (0-3), at #14 Pepperdine (2-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Concordia Irvine, vs. Grand Canyon
- USC has put up some competitive results, but the Trojans have struggled with getting a positive finish. That happened in an opportunity to knock off Pepperdine on the road, as USC slides a spot in the rankings.
18. CONCORDIA IRVINE EAGLES
- 5-6 (0-2, MPSF)
- Last Week: #18; Def. #19 Stanford (3-0); Lost vs. #6 BYU (0-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Grand Canyon, at USC, vs. CSUN
- Concordia Irvine stays in their spot through a loss behind a victory over Stanford, who in the same week earned a big win themselves.
19. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 3-11 (1-2, MPSF)
- Last Week: #19; Lost at #18 Concordia Irvine (0-3); Def. at #10 Grand Canyon (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. BYU, at BYU
- The Cardinal had a weird week, as they were swept by Concordia Irvine, yet won on the road against a top 10 foe in Grand Canyon. They stick behind the Eagles at 19, but don’t falter in their spot with the resume boosting win.
20. GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS
- 6-7 (2-0, EIVA)
- Last Week: #20; Def. NJIT (3-0), vs. Princeton (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Penn State, at Saint Francis
- The Patriots got their EIVA season started off on the right foot with a pair of sweeps. Things won’t come so easy this week, with two road matches – although they do have a big chance to make themselves be heard at Penn State.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Note: * indicates ranked last week; (#) is what they were ranked
McKendree (5-6, 2-1 MIVA)
UC San Diego (8-6, 0-0 Big West)
King (8-2, 5-0 Conf. Carolinas)
Charleston (7-1, 2-0 EIVA)