MIVA action is a few weeks in, and the two-time defending champ in the league (Ohio State) has surfaced as the top team through four matches once again. They’ve got some good competition at the top this year, but both of their two largest perceived challengers were upended last week. That gives them the slight edge as we move into late February.
With new story-lines emerging and a new season of sorts in league play commencing, VolleyMob will be giving conference updates. Below is analysis as well as the weekly MIVA table, awards, matches of the week and power rankings:
|#4 Ohio State||4-0||11-2|
|#6 Loyola Chicago||3-1||10-3|
|#14 Ball State||2-2||7-7|
|#15 Fort Wayne||1-3||9-4|
- VolleyMob Honorable Mention POTW (Maxime Hervoir, Ohio State)
- VolleyMob Honorable Mention POTW (Mitch Weiler, Ball State)
- MIVA Weekly Awards
MATCHES OF THE WEEK:
- Feb. 22: #4 Ohio State at #9 Lewis
- Feb. 23: (RV) McKendree at #6 Loyola Chicago
- Feb. 24: #4 Ohio State at #6 Loyola Chicago
- Feb. 24: (RV) McKendree at #9 Lewis
- Feb. 24: #14 Ball State at Lindenwood
VOLLEYMOB MIVA POWER RANKINGS:
- Ohio State
- Loyola Chicago
- Ball State
- Fort Wayne
- #4 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are the lone unbeaten in MIVA action through four matches, but will have arguably their two toughest opponents ahead this week – not to mention both come on the road. Even in their two non-conference losses this year they fell in five sets, so they’ve been good throughout, but they’ll have to be great to make it out of this week at 6-0 in MIVA play.
THE NEXT TIER
- #6 Loyola Chicago Ramblers & #9 Lewis Flyers
Loyola Chicago and Lewis are in the same company for standings – right behind Ohio State – after both were upended by Ball State on the road last week. Additionally, each has a shot at Ohio State this week to prove that they aren’t in the ‘next tier’ and are instead right at the top with the defending league champion Buckeyes.
ENCROACHING ON THE TOP GROUPS
- #14 Ball State Cardinals
The Cardinals finally put everything together over a week’s span and dispelled some of their questionable losses early in the year (like to Stanford) with wins over two top 10 teams. Those came at home over Loyola Chicago and Lewis, and besides putting them back on the national rankings map, also keeps them at least at arms length from the top in the MIVA discussion. If that’s the Ball State team we are going to get from here on – who also heavily challenged Ohio State a week prior – they could be a serious contender.
- #15 Fort Wayne Mastodons
Things haven’t gone as planned for Fort Wayne to start MIVA play, who actually was a set away from downing Loyola Chicago. Unfortunately, the loss piles on to be their third already in league play. They’ll have to get hot from here to reach up to the levels of the top three, but early on they’ve still shown enough to provide evidence they have what it takes to hit that hot streak and turn the slow start around.