The MPSF and MIVA quarterfinals loom large, the EIVA and Conference Carolinas races will be decided this week, and the NCAA beach season heads down its home stretch.
This is our weekly Tuesday NCAA notebook. All the polls follow — men’s Division I-II, NCAA RPI men’s Division III and women’s beach — plus some analysis, the POW’s, and more.
AVCA Division I-II Poll: The last week had some pretty predictable results and, accordingly, there were no changes in the first nine spots of the 15-team weekly poll. Long Beach State remained No. 1 with 20 of the 23 first-place votes. Second-ranked Ohio State got two votes and BYU got one.
The first change was at No. 10, where USC moved up a spot. Ball State is up from 13th to No. 11 and Loyola dropped from No. 10 to 12th.
NCAA RPI: It’s got a different look than the poll. BYU is No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Long Beach State, Hawai’i — No. 4 in both — and UC Irvine, which is No. 5 in each. Good news for Lewis, which is No. 6. UCLA is No. 7 and Penn State, No. 13 in the AVCA, is ranked eighth in the RPI.
AVCA Division III Poll: Springfield took its first loss since the season opener last week, but the 25-2 Pride remained No. 1. However, No. 2 Vassar got one of the 17 first-place votes. Stevens stayed No. 3, but SUNY New Paltz moved up a notch to fourth and Wentworth jumped from No. 7 to No. 5. The biggest leap was by Dominican, which went from 12th to No. 8, while MIT, which beat Springfield, moved up three spots to No. 12. Mount St. Joseph moved in at No. 15.
AVCA Division I-II POW: Lewis sophomore opposite Mitch Perinar. Perinar averaged 4.43 kills per set and hit .431 in two victories.
AVCA Division III National POW: Dominican University junior right side Luke Spicer. He averaged 5.29 kills per set in two victories. Spicer hit .368 and also had 2.29 digs and .71 blocks.
Offensive Player of the Week: Sacred Heart senior setter Eduardo Zardo. The Brazilian averaged 9.9 assists as his team went 1-1, including a victory over Penn State.
Defensive Player of the Week: Princeton freshman middle blocker George Huhmann. The 6-11 Tiger had eight blocks against George Mason to go with 10 kills as he hit .412.
How it shakes out this week:
- Penn State will clinch the regular season championship, the top seed, and be the host for the EIVA Championship with one win or one loss by Saint Francis.
- Saint Francis will clinch the regular-season championship, the top seed, and get to be the host with wins in both matches and Penn State must lose both.
- If Penn State, Princeton, and Saint Francis all tie with a 9-5 record at the end of the regular season, then Penn State will clinch the top seed. In head-to-head records PSU is 3-1, SFU is 2-2, and Princeton is 1-3.
Offensive Player of the Week: See AVCA POW above.
Defensive Player of the Week: Loyola sophomore outside Collin Mahan. Mahan averaged 2.57 digs in a 1-1 week and also had three blocks.
Last week’s key results: Ohio State clinched the regular-season title by beating Lindenwood and then getting two wins over Quincy. Ball State swept Loyola to make the Ramblers travel to Ball State for the first-round MIVA match.
The quarterfinals: Quincy goes to Ohio State, Lewis plays host to Lindenwood, Grand Canyon entertains McKendree and Loyola goes to Ball State.
The tournament will reseed after the quarterfinals. The semifinals are April 19. The MIVA Championship is April 22.
Player of the Week: Hawai’i senior setter Jennings Franciskovic. He averaged 9.62 assists, 2.38 digs and 1.25 blocks in two wins over UCLA. He also had five kills in 10 swings without an error.
Last week’s key results: Hawai’i’s two wins over UCLA, Long Beach State wrapping up the No. 1 seed by beating CSUN and UCI securing the No. 4 seed with wins over Stanford and Pepperdine.
The quarterfinals: USC is at Long Beach State, UC Irvine plays host to UCLA, Pepperdine is at Hawai’i and Stanford goes to BYU.
The semifinals are April 20 at the home of the top remaining seed and the championship match is April 22.
Player of the Week: King University senior outside hitter Eddie Moushikhian. In a win over Limestone he had 15 kills and three digs to go with three blocks and two aces.
Key matches this week: The league title all comes down to Tuesday as King (26-3, 15-2) plays host to North Greenville and Barton (19-5, 15-2) entertains Mount Olive (16-8, 14-3).
Last week’s key results: King kept pace by beating Limestone.
Worth noting: The league tournament starts April 18.
AVCA Collegiate Beach Poll: The only movement in the top nine spots was UCLA moving from third into a tie at No. 2 with Pepperdine and Hawai’i creeping up from sixth into a tie with Long Beach State at No. 5.
Grand Canyon, 12th last week, moved into a tie at No. 10 with Georgia State. And TCU entered for the first time, getting ranked 13th, as Arizona State dropped out.
Otherwise it’s business as usual at the top, with unbeaten USC No. 1. Florida State stayed at No. 4 and LSU is still No. 7, followed by Arizona and Stetson.
CCSA top pair: For the second time this season, Florida State’s Francesca Goncalves was named to this week’s Coastal Collegiate Sports Association honor, this time with a different partner in Vanessa Freire.
Big West top pair: Long Beach State’s Jenelle Hudson and Megan Kruidhof had a perfect week at the No. 5 spot. They went 6-0, have won nine matches in a row and are 21-2 as a pair.
ASUN top pair: Katarina Raicevic and Courtney Miller of North Florida went 4-0.
Pac-12 top pair: Megan and Nicole McNamara of UCLA. The sophomore twins went 6-0 as their team did the same. They are now 23-3 all at No. 1.
Key matches this week: No. 9 Stetson plays No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 10 Grand Canyon and No. 14 Florida International in Tallahassee. The home team, No. 4 Florida State, gets Pepperdine on Friday and Saturday and also plays Grand Canyon and FIU.
No. 5 Long Beach State goes to Manhattan Beach and plays Cal Poly and Loyola Marymount.
Top-ranked USC, the other No. 2, UCLA, and the other No. 5, Hawai’i, have the weekend off.
No. 7 LSU is playing host to Texas A&M Kingsville, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and No. 10 Georgia State.
Worth noting: Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes finally lost! Their remarkable streak of 103 victories, spanning nearly two years, ended against Saint Mary’s Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund.
USA Collegiate team: USA Volleyball announced its U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team Europe Tour (CNT-Europe) roster comprised of current collegiate players who will train and compete in Europe from July 5-16.
The roster includes middles Corissa Crocker of Michigan, Claire Kiefer-Wright of Michigan and Jenna Rosenthal of Marquette.
Outside hitters are Washington’s Courtney Schwan, Carlyle Nusbaum of Lipscomb and Jaali Winters of Creighton.
The two opposites are Kelsie Payne of Kansas and Taylor Mims of Washington State.
The setters are San Diego’s Kristen Gengenbacher and Taira Robins-Hardy of BYU, and the libero is Brittany Witt of Creighton.
Cincinnati head coach Molly Alvey will be the head coach and have NC State assistant Nicki Holmes as her assistant.
The team will compete in the 13th Annual European Global Challenge July 11-14 in Pula, Croatia. The team will tentatively train in Maribor, Slovenia.