It's time to see who has what it takes to contend for the 2012 national title. The MPSF and MIVA Conference tournaments start this Friday and Saturday. It was a tight race for the top seeds out west, with a three-way tie for second place in the MPSF.
After a strong end to the regular season in which they won their last 17 matches, USC grabbed the top seed uncontested with an 18-4 conference record. Two of their four losses came to BYU but they also fell in one of the two regular season meetings to UC Irvine and UCLA. Their last loss was back at the beginning of February.
The Trojans late season run put them just one game ahead of the three-way tie for second. BYU, Stanford and UCI each finished with 17-5 records. Stanford won out in their record with the two others, beating BYU twice and splitting with UCI. BYU edged out UCI by beating them twice in the regular season.
In this week's AVCA rankings, Stanford climbed two spots to No. 3 after beating UCLA 3-0. UCLA falls two spots to No. 5. Pepperdine fell three spots in the poll after losing to both CSUN and Long Beach in four sets. For their efforts, Long Beach climbed two spots to No. 6 in the national poll, but CSUN remained in their No. 11 spot.
The MIVA conference tournament begins on Friday. No. 1 Ohio State has a bye for the quarterfinals, but the best of the rest will fight it out on Friday and Saturday. The EIVA conference tournament will get underway next week. Check back for the match-ups there. For now, here's the first round schedule for the MPSF and MIVA Conference Tournes.
MPSF Quarterfinals, Saturday, April 21st:
No. 8 Seed CSUN @ No. 1 Seed UCLA
No. 5 Seed UCLA @ No. 4 Seed UCI
No. 6 Seed Long Beach State @ No. 3 Seed BYU
No. 7 Seed Pepperdine @ No. 2 Seed Stanford
MIVA Quarterfinals, Friday, April 20th
No. 7 Quincy at No. 2 Lewis
No. 6 IPFW at No. 3 Loyola
Saturday, April 21st
No. 5 Ball State at No. 4 Grand Canyon