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Beverly Oden

NCAA Men: Jumpstart to Season

By January 11, 2012

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Men's NCAA volleyball is getting off to a very quick start. After a weekend of tough tournament play, UC Irvine came out at the top of the Week 1 AVCA poll.  The Anteaters beat pre-season No. 1 BYU in four sets, Long Beach State in five and UCLA in four to win the Santa Barbara Invitational last weekend. UCI was led by sophomore outside hitter and tournament MVP Jeremy Dejno as well as senior opposite Carson Clark.

BYU will head to Irvine this weekend for two re-matches in what should be an exciting No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle royale. Though most of the top ten teams started the season out with some stiff competition, No. 4 Stanford and No. 7 Penn State have yet to play any significant matches. Both will have their first tests of the season this weekend and we'll find out if their rankings are accurate.

The biggest jump from the pre-season poll to Week 1 was made by Lewis who moved up four spots to No. 9 after splitting with Pepperdine last week. Lewis beat the Waves in four on the first night and lost in five on the second.

This weekend should give us a really good idea as to where the teams are at this early point as many of the top fifteen teams will face-off right from the jump. Here are your matches to watch this week:

Wednesday, January 11th
No. 4 Stanford @ No. 15 Pacific
No. 11 CSUN @ No. 10 Pepperdine

Thursday, January 12th
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 9 Lewis (Hawaii Tourney)
No. 5 Long Beach State @ No. 6 USC

Friday, January 13th
No. 2 BYU @ No. 1 UCI
No. 11 CSUN @ No. 6 USC
No. 9 Lewis @ No. 13 Hawaii

Saturday, January 14th
No. 2 BYU @ No. 1 UCI
No. 3 UCLA @ No. 13 Hawaii
No. 14 Loyola-Chicago @ No. 4 Stanford
No. 5 Long Beach State @ No. 10 Pepperdine
No. 7 Penn State @ No. 8 Ohio State

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