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Beverly Oden

NCAA Men: Despite Loss, UCI Remains No. 1

By January 16, 2013

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Despite some big upsets this week, there wasn't much movement in the AVCA poll. Early season men's volleyball is always a little bit tumultuous and this year is no different. It's difficult to tell which teams will rise above the rest as just about everyone in the top 15 has dropped at least one match.

No. 1 UCI lost to USC in a rematch of last year's national championship. The Trojans took the match in a quick three sets and might have moved up more than the one spot they got this week had they not lost to UC San Diego the night before.

As it is, USC moved up one spot to No. 7 and UCI remains in the No. 1 spot, but for the first time it was not unanimous. UCI received eight first place votes, No. 2 Stanford received seven and No. 3 BYU received one vote.

Stanford is the only undefeated team left in the top 15, but they haven't been tested yet. At least, they shouldn't have been. They did have some trouble with No. 15 Pacific this week, taking five sets to beat them and overcoming six Pacific match points.

The Hawaii tournament was not so telling either. It pitted UH, Ohio State, Penn State and UCLA in a round robin. No team left the event undefeated. Penn State lost to UCLA. Ohio State beat only Hawaii. UCLA lost to Hawaii in five for the Rainbows only win of the weekend. The Bruins are getting very familiar with five set matches - eight of the 12 matches they've played this season have gone the distance.

Maybe all those five set matches and that trip to Oahu tired them out because last night they lost in four to Long Beach State. The 49ers had the biggest fall in the rankings this week, dropping three spots to No. 9 after losing to UC Santa Barbara. The UCLA victory may earn them a higher ranking next week. Otherwise there were just small changes in the top 15 as no teams dropped out of the rankings this week.

We have another big week of matches ahead as No. 1 UCI heads to No. 3 BYU. Stanford will take on USC and Pepperdine this weekend and then play UCLA early next week. Here are the rest of your matches to watch.

Matches to watch:

Wednesday, January 16th
No. 1 UCI @  No. 14 Cal Baptist

Thursday, January 17th
No. 14 Cal Baptist @ No. 13 UCSD

Friday, January 18th
No. 1 UCI @ No. 3 BYU
No 2 Stanford @ No. 7 USC
No. 5 UCLA @ No. 8 UCSB
No. 12 Lewis @ No. 6 Penn State
Hawaii @No. 9 Long Beach State
No. 15 Pacific @ No. 4 Pepperdine

Saturday, January 19th
No. 13 UCSD @ No. 3 BYU
Hawaii @No. 9 Long Beach State

Sunday, January 20th
No. 2 Stanford @ No. 4 Pepperdine
No. 15 Pacific @ No. 7 USC

Tuesday, January 22nd
No. 5 UCLA @ No. 2 Stanford

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