Big West Occupies Top Four Spots In AVCA Poll
2019 Men's Volleyball Release No. 10
Three Squads 2-0 In Big West Play
The inital rounds of Big West action have been played, and three squads emerged unscathed.
Long Beach State, Hawai‘i and UC Santa Barbara are 2-0 in conference action after all three squads extended impressive winning streaks following last weekend’s matches.
The Beach swept CSUN to move to 15-0 this season. Counting last season’s postseason run, LBSU has won its last 19 consecutive matches.
In a highly anticipated showdown between Hawai‘i and UC Irvine, the Rainbow Warriors showed championship pedigree with a pair of sweeps at the Bren Events Center. UH improved to 12-0 with each win in straight sets, and its 36-set win streak is the longest in NCAA history. UH is one way away from tying the program’s all-time best start of 13-0 set by the 1996 squad.
Meanwhile, UCSB continued to roll with its 11th straight win following a sweep of UC San Diego. A two-week layoff did nothing to deter the Gauchos, which have won six of their last seven matches in straight sets.
The Big West occupies the top four spots in both the American Volleyball Coaches Association and Off The Block in this week’s national rankings.
LBSU kept its stranglehold on the top spot, and has remained No. 1 since Jan. 15, 2018. UH asserted its ownership of the No. 2 spot after handling one of its primary obstacles in UCI, which stayed at No. 3 in both polls. UCSB crept up one spot to No. 4, as a looming two-match series with the top-ranked Beach is set for Mar. 14-15. CSUN is No. 12 in this week’s AVCA poll.
Back To Non-Conference Play
The Big West plays one more final flurry of regular season non-conference matches this week looking to improve upon its 60-18 record. LBSU, winner of a program record 34 straight home matches dating back to March 26, 2016, hosts No. 8 Stanford and Lindenwood this week. UH celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Outrigger Resorts Invitational with No. 15 Ball State and No. 6 Pepperdine participating in addition to King University.
UCI travels to No. 10 BYU for a tough two-match trip while UCSB hosts Lindenwood in its final non-league tilt of the regular season. CSUN also hosts Lindenwood in addition to Saint Francis (PA). UC San Diego visits Concordia and hosts Stanford to round off a busy week for the Big West.
Only two Division I programs remain unbeaten in the country, and both belong to the Big West as LBSU is 15-0 and UH 12-0. Rick McLaughlin of UCSB coached his 300th career match last Saturday against UCSD. David Kniffin of UCI will coach in his 300th on Friday at BYU.