VolleyMob Men’s Power Rankings #11-15 (Preseason): Ball State Just Misses Top 10

  0 Derek Johnson | December 29th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, News, Rankings

The 2018 Men’s Volleyball season is less than a week away, so it’s time to unveil the inaugural VolleyMob Men’s Power Rankings. Over the course of the season this set of data will go 20 deep and take into account a heavy portion of resume to go with eye test, statistics, etc.

We continue our journey into the preseason rankings with teams ranked 11th to 15th in the opening rendition. Teams ranked 16th to 20th were released yesterday while the top 10 comes out over the weekend.

VolleyMob Men’s Top 20 Power Rankings (Preseason):


  • 2017: MIVA Semifinalist, #12 in final Coaches Poll, 19-10 (9-7 MIVA, T-4th)
  • Returning Letterwinners/Starters (at least half of matches): 13/4 + Libero
  • Incoming Freshmen (AVCA All-Americans)/Redshirts/Transfers: 7 (0)/0/0
  • Key Losses: S Connor Gross (2017 MIVA Second-Team), OH Brendan Surane (2017 MIVA HM)
  • Key Returners: OH Matt Szews (2017 AVCA All-America HM, MIVA Co-Freshman of the Year), MB Matt Walsh (2017 AVCA All-America HM), L Nick Lavanchy (2017 MIVA Freshman Team)
  • Top Newcomers: None with National Honors
  • Other Notes: None
  • Bottom Line: Last season for Ball State ended in a five set loss in the MIVA semifinals to eventual National Champion Ohio State. While the loss stung, it should give the Cardinals confidence that they can compete with the best. They’ll have a few roles to fill, but overall they have starters back at every position this year except for setter. Plenty of depth surrounds those starters too. They should have plenty of growth with some of the youth they counted on last season as well.


  • 2017: MIVA Quarterfinalist, #14 in final Coaches Poll, 16-12 (9-7 MIVA, T-4th)
  • Returning Letterwinners/Starters (at least half of matches): 15/4
  • Incoming Freshmen (AVCA All-Americans)/Redshirts/Transfers: 3 (1)/0/0
  • Key Losses: OH Ben Plaisted (2017 MIVA Second-Team)
  • Key Returners: MB Jeff Jendryk (2017 AVCA First-Team AA), OH Collin Mahan (2017 MIVA Second-Team), S Ian Cowen (2017 MIVA Freshman Team)
  • Top Newcomers: S Garrett Zolg (AVCA First-Team HS AA)
  • Other Notes: None
  • Bottom Line: Ohio State has taken the reigns, but prior the Buckeyes winning two straight it was Loyola-Chicago collecting back-to-back National Championships. Last year wasn’t quite as good though, but there is plenty to build off of for 2018. For one, they are healthier after fighting through injuries last season and second off they have a National Player of the Year candidate in Jendryk, who competed for Team USA at the FIVB World League last summer. If Cowen and Mahan take steps forward and they can fill some other holes, the Ramblers could be a surprise NCAA Tournament team.


  • 2017: No postseason, #15 in final Coaches Poll, 12-15 (5-13 MPSF, T-9th)
  • Returning Letterwinners/Starters (at least half of matches): 6/5
  • Incoming Freshmen (AVCA All-Americans)/Redshirts/Transfers: 8 (0)/5/1
  • Key Losses: None with National/Conference award recognition
  • Key Returners: RS Arvis Greene (2017 AVCA All-America HM), OH Dimitar Kalchev (2017 MPSF HM)
  • Top Newcomers: L Emmett Enriques (transfer from Cal Baptist)
  • Other Notes: CSUN moves to the Big West this season after 33 years in the WIVA/MPSF
  • Bottom Line: The Matadors should post better results in 2018 with depth at every position for Jeff Campbell in year 21 at the helm. Arvis Greene will be at the forefront of that, as they also have middle blocker Josiah Byers back in the fold, who missed the award podium last year after earning All-MPSF Honorable Mention in 2016. Enriques will be a key add if he can fill in the loss at the libero spot, but overall CSUN may have a few rough patches early with more than two third of their roster freshmen/redshirt freshmen.


  • 2017: MPSF Quarterfinalist, #11 in final Coaches Poll, 14-14 (8-10 MPSF, T-6th)
  • Returning Letterwinners/Starters (at least half of matches): 9/4 + Libero
  • Incoming Freshmen (AVCA All-Americans)/Redshirts/Transfers: 9 (1)/2/0
  • Key Losses: OH Lucas Yoder (2017 AVCA Second-Team AA), MB Andy Benesh (2017 AVCA All-America HM)
  • Key Returners: None with National/Conference award recognition
  • Top Newcomers: S Chris Hall (AVCA First-Team HS AA, 2016-17 U.S. Boys Youth National Team), MB Sam Lewis (2016-17 U.S. Boys Youth National Team)
  • Other Notes: None
  • Bottom Line: USC won eight of its final 10 matches last season in making the conference tournament as they doubled their win output from 2016. They have a majority of their starters back to go with a strong recruiting class, led by the duo of Hall and Lewis, who are familiar with each other from their time on the United States Youth National Team. The question for the Trojans becomes which returning starter can become a star, as the Trojans don’t welcome back any award recognized players and lose tp options in Yoder and Benesh. If they get someone to fill that go-to role, they could have a more balanced team in 2018.


  • 2017: EIVA Semifinalist, NR in final Coaches Poll, 12-14 (8-6 EIVA, 4th)
  • Returning Letterwinners/Starters (at least half of matches): 11/5 + Libero
  • Incoming Freshmen (AVCA All-Americans)/Redshirts/Transfers: 5 (0)/0/0
  • Key Losses: None with National/Conference award recognition
  • Key Returners: MB Junior Oboh (2017 EIVA First Team), MB George Huhmann (2017 EIVA First Team, EIVA Newcomer of the Year), RS Parker Dixon (2017 EIVA Second Team)
  • Top Newcomers: None with National recognition
  • Other Notes: None
  • Bottom Line: Princeton might be one of the best dark horse teams in the country. They had a taste of postseason EIVA experience and now bring back all but one starter. In fact, they only lose two letterwinners. They’ve got pop up front and should present a strong blocking game with Oboh and Huhmann, who is coming off a summer in which he played with the USA Junior National Team. Princeton had three freshman starters last year too and are now tied for most returning all-EIVA players in the league as they will look for more experience to potentially finish off those match points against Penn State that they couldn’t last season.

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