Not everyone in the MIVA got going in the 2018 season, but a majority did – led by the four ranked teams from the league. It was a pretty solid week of play to open things up too, as some strong performances led to the league owning four of the top 12 in the rankings. That should provide the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes with some tough competition come league play.
It may not have the depth of ranked teams like the MPSF or Big West, but make no mistake that the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association has teams that can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the country and is the top non-west coast league out there.
Below is analysis as well as the weekly MIVA table and awards as we hit the second week of the regular season:
|#12 Ball State||0-0||2-0|
|#3 Ohio State||0-0||1-0|
|#5 Loyola Chicago||0-0||1-1|
Matches of the Week:
- Jan. 12: #18 Stanford at #3 Ohio State
- Jan. 12: #6 BYU at #12 Ball State
- Jan. 12: #1 LBSU at #9 Lewis
- Jan. 13: #6 BYU at #3 Ohio State
- Jan. 13: #1 LBSU at #5 Loyola Chicago
Unbeaten & a Big Week Ahead
- #3 Ohio State Buckeyes
It was a short week for the Buckeyes, but they now had extra rest and practice time to get ready for a tough two-match week in Stanford and BYU. They’ll hope Reese Devilbiss has an encore to his 5.50 kill per set opening match as the Buckeyes new starters will truly be tested around 2016 National Player of the Year Nicolas Szerszen.
- #12 Ball State Cardinals
Ball State went 2-0 but still has plenty to prove after playing two easy openers. Still, they not only took care of business but dominated by winning every set with an average score of 25-15. Just like Ohio State though, the schedule ramps up this week against BYU and Stanford. If freshman Ben Chinnici continues to put up big numbers (4.67 kills per set) and add another dynamic to this team, the Cardinals are a legit MIVA contender.
Rising Up the Ranks
- #5 Loyola Chicago Ramblers
Loyola started ranked 12th in the preseason poll and moved up seven spots with a five-set upset in Provo over BYU. They fell to UC Irvine, but the Ramblers look to be a serious threat to Ohio State at the top of the MIVA, especially with a star in Jeff Jendryk. They’ll need to pick up some more help from their serve, which would only add to their strong block and floor defense.
Trying to Get Off the Schneid
- #9 Lewis Flyers
Lewis is still looking for their first win with #1 Long Beach State and #20 George Mason up next after they fell to UC Irvine and BYU in week one. They’ll have to turn things around specifically on offense, as they struggled to be terminal. Throw in that they couldn’t establish a consistent serve and that’s why they are winless through the first week. A big piece is Mitch Perinar, who played in just four sets last week and averaged 0.75 kills per set (.071) after leading the team in kills in 2017 and notching 3.18 per set.
Best of the Rest
- Fort Wayne Mastodons
We’re still waiting to see what Fort Wayne has to offer after wins over lower-end teams, but they swept both opponents and didn’t show much weakness. The offense was clicking to the tune of a .386 mark too. A match at Princeton this week will be a stern test of if they can crack the top 20.