The tie is broken and UCI is officially this week's sole No.1 in the AVCA poll after BYU dropped a five-setter to Pepperdine last weekend. The Anteaters were the only team in the top five that was not involved in an upset. They beat UC San Diego and UCSD with relative ease.
In addition to the BYU upset, Long Beach State manhandled Stanford, beating them in an easy three sets in which the Cardinal never really got anything going. For their trouble, Long Beach State replaces Stanford in the No. 3 spot and Pepperdine is up one spot to No. 4 while the Cardinal fell two spots to No. 5.
The upsets didn't end there however. The biggest surprise of the week was No. 9 Penn State's unexpected three set loss to Harvard. The win puts Harvard in the last spot of the AVCA's top 15 for the first time this season.
The Bruins rounded out the week of upsets when they dropped the second of two matches against an underrated Hawaii team in Westwood. Though they beat the Warriors in three the first night, they lost in five the second. This marks the second time that Hawaii has bested UCLA this season in the three matches the teams have played thus far.
Hawaii moved up two spots to No. 11 this week, but it is a wonder they are not higher up. With wins over Pepperdine, Stanford and UCLA they might be a bit underrated. Besides the wins against top teams they also managed to go the distance in some eventual losses with five set matches against UCI, Penn State, Ohio State, UCLA, Long Beach and Stanford.
My match of the week goes to No. 5 Stanford at No. 2 BYU on Saturday in which both teams will be trying to bounce back from losses. But also keep your eye on the UCLA-Pepperdine match in Malibu that same night. Here are the rest of your matches to watch for this week.
Matches to Watch:
Thursday, February 21st
UCSB @ No. 9 USC
Friday. February 22nd
No. 14 Pacific @ No. 2 BYU
No. 3 Long Beach State @ No. 8 CSUN
Saturday, February 23rd
No. 5 Stanford @ No. 2 BYU
No. 7 UCLA @ No. 4 Pepperdine
Monday, February 25th
No. 5 Stanford @ No. 13 Cal Baptist